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Waterfront Red Robin Sneak Peek Review: Not Just a Meal, An Adventure

June 26, 2015

photo 4My family and I went to the sneak preview of the soon-to-be-reopened Red Robin at Pier 55 and here are a few quick observations about our experience.

The first, most important thing for you to know, especially if you have a reservation for the free sneak peek this weekend, is that it is hard as hell to find. That’s because work on the Waterfront has made everything a total mess. So, if you’re planning on driving down, allow plenty of time, especially if you’re going for lunch because there are Mariners day games on Sunday and Monday  (00ps, sorry, I misread the schedule. The team is in Anaheim this weekend) Even if there weren’t a Mariners game, as much of Elliott Southbound along the waterfront has been reduced to one lane.

The fun isn’t over when you get of your car, either. There are areas where the sidewalk is closed on the west side of Elliott so you may have to walk on the Alaskan Way Viaduct part of the way. The unexpected detour becomes even more confusing when you try to get to Pier 55 because it’s fenced off and you can’t get there from here. You actually have to enter at the gate near Pier 56…..Once you’ve confirmed that your name is on the list and the guy from the restaurant tells you what you can and can’t order.

It is a free meal after all.

Don’t worry, though, the selection is good. You can’t order an appetizer, a premium burger or a dessert and you only get one monster milkshake per table, but if our experience is any indication, you won’t go away hungry. We ordered fish and chips (bottomless sweet potato fries), a fish sandwich (with bottomless herbed garlic fries), a Little Reds burger and mac and cheese for our kids, a side salad and a side of steamed broccoli plus four bottomless glasses of Freckled Lemonade (two large for the adults, two small for the kids) and barely had enough room left for the chocolate banana milk shake we had for dessert. I should point out that I had difficulty drinking the lemonade because, as I’ve already mentioned, it was in a bottomless glass (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Everyone enjoyed their food, including my extremely finicky daughter, which is a miracle.

Not all that surprising, though, because Red Robin has the formula down. Good burgers, check. All you can eat fries, check. Tasty beverages, check. Good service, check, even though it was the staff’s first trial run. About the only complaint I had about the food was that all the tomatoes, lettuce and sauce overwhelmed the taste of the breaded cod. The freckled lemonade was excellent. And the Nana Nana Moo Moo chocolate banana shake wasn’t bad either.

About our only complaints centered on the temperature of the dining room. Although we had a great view of the water, the sun made our booth hot and there was no way to shut the blinds on my side. We later found out that the air conditioning also went out making the rest of the restaurant hot as well. We were assured that the problem would be fixed later Friday evening.

I also wish I had been told about the spicy Terminator Genisys burger before I ordered, but if those are my worst complaints, I can live with that. Especially when we ended up getting about $50 worth of food for free.

One last note, if you do go and you do follow the guidelines and get a complementary meal, don’t forget to tip your server based on the amount you would have paid for the meal on a regular day.

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