In the summer of 2008, my family was staying at Marco Island, but I had an ulterior motive for being there. I knew that Red Robin in Ft. Myers was only 45 minutes from where we stayed.
There was no way I was going back to Miami without having gone to Red Robin. I’ve seen enough if their commercials to know I had to check it out.
I didn’t realize that it’s a family-type restaurant, not what I envisioned or expected (not that there’s anything wrong with that). After reviewing the menu, we settled on a few “shareable starters,” the towering onion rings, buzzard wings, pretzel bites, and the cheeseburger con queso.
Alright, so the wings were OK. They weren’t anything I hadn’t tasted before, not horrible, just not memorable.
The towering onion rings were pretty good, and the tangy sauce served with the order made them better. The highlight of all the starters we ate was the cheeseburger con queso.
It’s a cheese dipping sauce with ground beef, salsa, and cilantro and comes with various flour and corn tortilla chips. This is the first time I am tempted to say “Yum” like the commercials, and I will restrain myself.
Of course, you must wonder what I ordered from a place that fancies itself as the restaurant to get gourmet burgers.
I ordered the Royal Red Robin burger (fresh fried egg topped with three strips of hickory maple-smoked bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo). Just for the record, I do not eat lettuce and tomatoes, and they were discarded.
It’s just not my thing. So, oh yeah, the burger. Wow, what can I say? It was good, but then again, I was expecting a little more. This could have been one of those cases, like when I went to another chain disappointed, but I’ll leave that story for another post.
Since this was originally written in September 2008, Red Robin opened its 1st location in South Florida in April 2012, which closed eight years later in Summer 2020 due to the pandemic.
Latin House at Red Robin
In November 2015, the Mad Love Burger (inspired by Latin House‘s Chef Michell Sanchez) was added to the Red Robin menu. It was a 1/2 lb. Black Angus burger with a cheddar and parmesan crisp, jalapeño relish, candied bacon, avocado, & the offending subjects of citrus-marinated tomatoes and onions plus shredded romaine on a ciabatta bun. It was a great attempt to recreate Chef M‘s burger, but I preferred the original.
10021 Gulf Center Drive
Fort Myers, FL
Website – https://www.redrobin.com
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/redrobinburgers
Monday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Tuesday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm