Red Robin’s Spicy Asian Burger & A Book Review

My birthday was this past weekend (31 baby!), and much like anyone should, this was only step one in my celebration.  Step two will be this Saturday when we go to a dessert tasting at Tru.

I met up with a large number of friends for brunch at Crispy Waffle.  Everyone was pleased with their food, even if we had to wait an hour for a table.  They really, REALLY need to reevaluate the “No Reservations on the weekend” policy they have, at least with large groups.

Dinner was at Red Robin with my family, always a social experiment since our personalities don’t always get along with each other.  But maybe because it was the most holy day of the year, or maybe was doubled up on their anti-depressants, it was actually a fun time.  Still full from brunch, I skipped the appetizers, going straight for the new burger they were advertising on the tabletop.

Apparently they hold a contest every year for “The Next Gourmet Burger Kids Contest”; the winner having their burger produced in the restaurant.  The other 49 finalists get put into The Next Gourmet Burger Kids Contest: 50 Gourmet Burger Creations From Kids Across The Country.  The cookbook is available in the restaurant or online for merely 5 dollars, and the benefits go towards the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

The winner this year? The Spicy Asian Burger created by Adrianna Montgomery.  If the burger didn’t have me at ginger wasabi sauce, it definitely had me at wonton strips.  The burger was delicious, which honestly surprised me.  I was expecting the wonton strips to be more of a novelty than anything else, but damned if it didn’t make the burger a nice, crunchy affair.  The wasabi ginger sauce was spicy, but nothing that would cause your mouth to catch fire.  And the napa cabbage, something I’m not usually a fan of, complimented everything perfectly.  After eating Adrianna’s burger, it’s no wonder it won the grand prize.  I don’t know if it’s a limited edition affair, or if it’s going to be a permanent fixture, but do yourself a favor and get over there to try it out.  It may not replace the Banzai burger as my absolute favorite, but it’s up there.

The rest of the book has quite the collection of interesting ideas.  Take for example the “Bonanza in a Bun” Burger, which calls for gravy, mashed potatoes, steak sauce, bacon bits, cheese, and a biscuit in place of the bun.

Or how about the Chicken Fried Steak Burger.  That’ll bring you a piece of chicken fried steak smothered in sausage gravy on the bun.  Mmmmmm….carbohydrate and fat coma.

That’s not to say all the burgers were created with the intent of killing you.  There are a few that I’m half tempted to try at home, like: The Artichoke Burger (spinach and artichoke dip), The Cheese Explosion Burger (heavy on French cheeses), or the Chop Suey Burger (Chow Mein Noodles?!).

They’re not all winners, but I believe the idea of fried pickles to be on par with someone stabbing me in the tongue with a salt spear.  Some people like that kind of thing.  Me?  Not so much.

If you’re a fan of new and interesting burgers, as you may have noticed I am, the cookbook is definitely worth the 5 bucks.  Even if you disagree, pick it up for the charity, and then eat your weight in free steak fries.

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