Touting the Best Burgers in the Full-Service Chains category according to the 2010 Zagat Fast-Food Survey, Red Robin features gourmet burgers stacked high with manifold fixings. The chain started in the 1940s under the name Sam's Tavern, where its proprietor Sam could be heard singing "When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)." He loved that old tune so much that he changed his tavern's name to Sam's Red Robin. Today, Red Robin still serves up the same gourmet burgers that put it on the culinary map in 1973—such as the Royal Red Robin burger topped with a fried egg—but the menu also includes more than 15 fire-grilled burgers, hearty mac 'n' cheese with riblets, zesty mexican grilled chicken, and towers of crispy onion rings.
Red Robin's aptly named 'Green Team' ensures that the chain implements green initiatives. All of Red Robin's produce is pesticide-free, and all of its eggs come from suppliers that do not use battery cages. The company is also dedicated to using recycled and recyclable packing and shipping materials sourced from suppliers certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and high-fived by Mother Nature.
Bright-red walls surround the inside of Flaco’s Burgers & Tacos, which serves a menu of hand-formed burgers given a satisfying crust from a flattop grill and a variety of intriguing sauces and toppings. The Texas burger comes with barbecue sauce and bacon, and a burger named after a mysterious Eric fellow belies his hearty appetite with double meat, two cheeses, and bacon. Tough taste buds rise to the challenge of the Flaming Flaco burger, which is stuffed with grilled jalapeños, cheese, and grilled onions before getting a topper of standard burger fixings—mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. The eatery also folds tacos and burritos full of fillings such as carne asada, chicken fajita, or pork chop. Fresh-cut fries and free WiFi accompany meals, eaten while patrons chat among themselves or gaze at a large flat-screen TV along the wall.
Both a quick pit-stop for grabbing a coffee and homemade pastry and a respite for sitting down for lunch and lingering a while, Hearthstone Express functions as a coffee shop and bistro. The cooks usher in the day with breakfast, scrambling eggs and tucking them into buttery croissants with spinach-artichoke spread and crispy bacon. Meanwhile, the bakers whip up pastries such as danishes, scones, and bagels to complement cups of coffee. For lunch, the cooks move on to gourmet sandwiches and paninis; best-sellers include Alicia's club?turkey, avocado spread, mozzarella, and honey dijon on a croissant?and the turkey artichoke panini, topped with spinach-artichoke spread. But the staff is open to customers' own creations as well, making Build Your Own sandwiches. Diners can pick their meat, bread, cheese, veggies, and dressings, and name it anything they want, such as Janet.
At Genghis Grill, cooks stir-fry more than 70 fresh ingredients to make healthy, flavorful bowls loaded with proteins and vegetables. Diners can mix and match ingredients to create customized feasts, or choose signature dishes such as the Thai Chicken bowl with chicken, veggies, and udon noodles in red curry peanut sauce. Nutrition-focused heart-healthy bowls, developed with the help of a dietitian, feature flavor combinations such as Sichuan-style bamboo beef or ginger-citrus shrimp.
The interiors of The Lion & Rose pubs emulate the convivial atmosphere of British and Irish settings, with each corner of the restaurant ornamented with vintage wall sconces and handmade wood decor. The draught list overflows with imported pints such as Boddingtons and Smithwick's, while the menu includes unusual specialties such as chips and curry alongside shepherd's pie and bangers, mash, and beans. As befits a sports bar, locations boast plasma TVs tuned to the biggest games as well as dartboards where friends can challenge one another.
Given Biff Buzby's penchant for classic cars and vintage airplanes, his classic take on another all-American staple, hamburgers, comes as little surprise. Each patty weighs in at a half- or quarter-pound of 100% ground beef, sandwiched between a homestyle bun along with its fixings?crispy bacon and grilled onions for The Q burger, house chili on the Chili Cheese Burger?and served up with a helping housemade pinto beans.
Elsewhere on the extensive menu, a deep roster of comfort staples vie for second billing. These include starters such as the beer-battered mushrooms or the housemade cheesesticks, as well as the chopped steak and chicken-fried chicken platters. Matching the loaded menu is a calendar chock-full of weekly events, including Cruisin' Night every Friday evening, when souped-up hot rods and confident station wagons alike collect in the parking lot so their owners can bond over burgers and car-talk.