Welcome to EatWisconsin, the blog formerly known as Undelicious. This blog will focus on the food, the people, the history, and restaurants in the State of Wisconsin. Though we will focus primarily on the State of Wisconsin, there will be occasional forays into other Cities.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Red Robin is coming to the Milwaukee area.

Milwaukeeans have a huge inferiority complex. Many residents often look to other places, mostly Chicago and the suburbs and wonder why we don’t have certain chain restaurants as if the quality of a City should be measured by how many PF Changs we have per capita. When a new chain announces its intentions of coming to Milwaukee it often makes the front page in the Milwaukee Journal. In recent years we have seen the openings of Krispy Crème, The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s, Carrabas, Pedro’s Mexican, and the aforementioned PF Changs. Every single one of these places are packed most nights of the week. Wait times at Maggiano’s and Cheesecake Factory are up to 2 hours on a Friday or Saturday. People like to eat at these places as if it is some kind of a status symbol, a measuring stick to compare us to more upscale places like Chicago. (Disclosure, I love PF Changs, it is easily better than 90 percent of the Chinese places in town but don’t tell anyone).

Red Robin is the latest chain to push its way into Milwaukee (Greenfield, actually) and I think the restaurant is slated to open later this year. This Midwestern chain describes itself as a gourmet burger place. While on a motorcycle trip in Oshkosh this weekend, my dad and I decided to check thie restaurant out. When you walk in its just like every other chain sit-down, an enthusiastic staff and a bunch of wacky posters on the wall. Real original. Nonetheless, the place was packed and people seemed to be having a good time. They had a pathetic beer selection (think Miller and Bud products) but I will give them credit for having New Glarus Spotted Cow and some Leinenkugel’s selections. Burgers were served either medium well or “with a little pink” which was greatly appreciated by my dad and I. I ordered a Bleu Ribbon. Which was basted with a tangy steak sauce and topped with crumbled Bleu cheese with onion straws, lettuce, tomatoes and zesty Chipotle mayo on an onion bun. My dad went with the traditional cheeseburger. They are served with steak cut fries that while quite tasty with some ketchup would be even better with a splash of malt vinegar. Anyhow, while the burger was decent tasting, I was not terribly impressed. I couldn’t taste a hint of chipotle in the mayo and it definitely wasn’t “zesty,” as the menu described. I don’t want to get off topic, but when is the Chipotle craze going to die down? I remember a few years back when the only place to get Chipotle flavor was in the little cans of Chipotle in Adobo sauce and even those were hard to find around here. Nowadays you can’t escape it. Even the fast food chains are jumping on the Choptle craze.

Getting back on topic, the burgers were served, as my dad called it “McDonalds hot,” which was to say that it was served at a temperature of a Big Mac, which are usually served warm. I suspect that they just have one guy making a bunch of patties and then the add toppings as orders come in, so the burger may have been sitting for a few minutes. The meat kind of had that fast-food consistency. I guess if you are looking for a good place to take the kids, Red Robin would be okay but if you wanted a true gourmet burger there are a ton of bar & grills in the area that make way better burgers with “gourmet” toppings. Given Milwaukeeans tolerance, and even preference for the mediocre food masquerading as fine cuisine I have no doubt in my mind that this restaurant will be packed most nights of the week.


  • At 2:10 AM, Blogger BeanoCook said…

    What? You prefer a medium to medium well burger?

    you are joking right?

    food rube.


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