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Tag Archives: Oakbrook

This Foodie Just Keeps Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along

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Welcome to a retro Masticastion Monologues?  What’s that you say, milkshakes?  Retro?  Well, today’s post focuses on the Red Robin Gourmet Burger chain that is throughout America and known by its signature jingle.  It is one of many burger joints that try to evoke the spirit of 1950s diners that rocked around the clock to strains of Elvis on the jukebox.  While the times have changed since then, and the music has become more interesting (not always better), a good burger with a side of fries will never go out of style.

I went with Janice to the location closest by me at the Oakbrook Center shopping mall.  It was a new addition to the upper level by the Nordstrom’s, but it is quite popular with families and the teenage pods that roam from shop to shop.  However, it is also a fun place to go if you want to grab a cold one with your friends. 46716679_IDs7asvk6P2fAMb1kCe5RF3goIR9CPkJrdDMEyGl8Cc We were there to get a bite to eat before seeing a movie nearby, and it was a pleasant experience.  I looked over the menu and after seeing all of the burgers, chicken sandwiches, and side salads the place had to offer, I went for the Burning Love burger ($10.49).  Janice got the Royal Red Robin burger ($10.79).  However, I didn’t want to just get a burger.  I saw that you could “style” your burger in three ways:  Pig Out with extra bacon (+$1.50), Cantina Jack with mild green chiles (+$1.00), or Fiery Ghost with a ghost pepper sauce, fresh jalapeno pepper slices, and fried ones (+$1.00).  Needless to say, if you’ve read my blog, I love everything spicy.  Whether it’s a deadly pork cutlet in Korea or gastro-intestinal shredding poppers in Portland, Oregon, I can’t say no to the tongue burning experience.  Eventually they came out, and Janice’s burger looked delicious. IMG_4562 It was like a combo of breakfast and dinner where the bacon and eggs got down with the beef patty to make an extremely rich but runny burger.  It was a flavorful meal that whetted my appetite to finally tuck into my devilish basket.IMG_4561  I had tried ghost peppers before, and it was a tough but manageable experience.  However, I was pretty disappointed with my burger, spice-wise.  I was expecting to have my taste buds blown off my tongue, but the red ghost pepper sauce didn’t even make it beyond a weak habanero.  I enjoyed the fresh and fried jalapeno pieces more since they provided a crunch and buttery finish to the salsa, chipotle aioli, and jalapeno cornmeal kaiser bun. IMG_4563 Still, it was a finger licking good burger, but if you’re a real spicehead, you won’t blink with the spice levels.  Janice tried some of the sauce on the tip of her finger, and she couldn’t handle it.  So, I think my tastebuds might be dead or perhaps zombies since I can still taste other flavors.  As for the fries, they were of the steak cut variety, probably tied for favorite along with waffle.  They were on average larger and softer than the smaller crispier ones you might find at McDonalds or Burger King, but they had the perfect ratio of fry to salt flavor.  Plus, at Red Robin they’re bottomless!  So if you feel like carbo-loading, hit up Olive Garden and Red Robin.  You’ll definitely get your money’s worth.  By the end of the meal, I couldn’t even finish all of my fries because it was all so filling and scrumptious.

So if you want to visit a new burger chain that isn’t afraid to be creative with their burgers and get a lot of food for a reasonable price, check out Red Robin! Yuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon

My March Madness of Mastication and Moreish Morsels

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So today’s review is of an establishment with whom I have a bit of a history since I used to work for them.  The place in question is Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill, or just Stir Crazy for short.  They have branches all over the United States, but the one I went to is located at Oakbrook Mall in Illinois in the western suburbs of Chicago.  My history with them derives from a brief period of time where I worked for them as a host, so I’m quite well versed in their menu and their franchise in general.

First, Stir Crazy is a pan-Asian restaurant that offers dishes that are not quite as authentic to the actual cuisine of the nations they claim to represent (Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai), but they do have some creative entries like the plate I ordered.  Second, they are very  accommodating for any sort of dietary restrictions in terms of dieting customers, food allergies, and gluten-free sauces.  Finally, they have good service which my former fellow coworkers manage to bring to all of the customers who entered the doors even if they are being difficult.

Their menu contains many Asian restaurant classics like orange chicken, different kinds of fried rice, and even pho.  Plus, the name Stir Crazy comes from their signature “make-your-own” stir fry bar.  You can choose between this option or a classic sit-down meal, but with the former, you have the option of making your dish a bit healthier since you control everything that goes into your meal without any extra specifications.  It’s a very straight-forward process where you pick your meat or tofu and then rice, noodles, or no starch option.  After that, you go up to the vegetable and seasoning bar to fill up your bowl with various types of produce and sauces.  From there, it is fried up by the cooks in an open kitchen for all to watch, or you can sit down and have your food brought to you.  I forewent this option and instead ordered my favorite dish on the menu: Thai tacos ($15.25).  IMG_2503While tacos are normally synonymous with Mexican food, Stir Crazy has managed to combine a perfect fusion dish where they take the roti flatbread common to southern Asian cuisine and create tacos.  I ordered two beef and two chicken tacos, but there is also a tofu option for all those veggie heads out there.  It came with a side of fried rice that was rich but not too greasy.  I also enjoyed the broccoli pieces that pepped up an otherwise standard recipe.  I finished that off first before tucking into the tacos.  They came with a spoon of chili-infused mayo that I liberally showered upon the tacos, and I did not regret that decision at all.  These tacos had everything going for them with each bite.  From the sweet and savory sauce that enveloped the pieces of tender meat to the cool and crispy cucumber strings and crispy roti, I was loco for these tacos.  They were light but filling which checked all the boxes for this starving gourmand.

So if you’re looking for a good pan-Asian restaurant with some creative but slightly more expensive dishes, check out a Stir Crazy by you!

Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill on Urbanspoon

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