Red Robin Gourmet Burgers next week begins a fall menu promotion with a distinctly Mediterranean theme. The showcase item, according to sources, is something new and different for the chain: the Mt. Olympus Burger, topped with artichoke-spinach dip, bacon and feta cheese. Also featured will be a Mediterranean Chicken Salad with feta and other Greek-salad-style ingredients.
Both items will be priced at $6.99, the discount price Red Robin appears to have settled on after testing other price points, including the $5.99 it tried with its Prime Chophouse Burger in February. With the Big Melt Bacon Burger in May, the chain moved back to $6.99. The Mt. Olympus promotion begins Tuesday (9/14) and runs until early November. TV advertising from agency Periscope supports the LTO promotion.
According to sources, a new tri-fold menu will debut in about half of Red Robin’s locations. Replacing a double-side menu that has been its standard for years, the new version is intended to be easier to read, and it will include a few new items, including a riblets entrée.
Red Robin’s move to bring feta cheese into the mainstream as a burger topping is a welcome sign. Cheddar and Swiss are fine, but as Wendy’s discovered with the popularity of its Bacon & Blue burger, consumers are willing to branch out. This will be news to the server who recently stared me down like a lunatic when I ordered blue cheese on my burger.
Adding a nontraditional cheese to the list of options is nice, but some restaurants have faith in their palates and the courage to go ahead and make combinations. DMK Burger Bar in Chicago, for example, offers burgers topped with Cheddar, Amish blue, Gruyère, Sonoma Jack, fontina, sheep’s milk feta and more. DMK’s No. 6 burger boasts blue Brie cheese, marinated Portobello mushrooms, griddled green onions and Dijonnaise.
Here are a few other joints that know that cheese for burgers doesn’t have to be processed or orange:
Θ Mediterranean Restaurant, Boulder, Colo.
Hamburguesa: Sun-dried tomato and olive-studded lamb burger, manchego cheese and tzataziki ($9.95)
Θ 5 Napkin Burger, New York City
Original 5 Napkin Burger: 10 oz, ground chuck, caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese, rosemary aïoli, soft white roll ($14.95)
Θ Café Beau Soleil, Newport Beach Calif.
Double Café Beau Soleil Burger with havarti cheese and caramelized onions ($14.50)
Θ Cheeseburger in Paradise, multiple locations
Oh So Gouda Burger: Gouda cheese, sautéed cremini mushrooms, fried basil and roasted-red-pepper-basil sauce on onion-ciabatta roll
Θ Umami Burger, multiple locations
Port & Stilton Burger: English Stilton blue and port-caramelized onions ($9)
Θ Eichten’s Market and Cafe, Center City, Minn.
Eichten’s Classic: Third-pound bison patty topped with “Mom’s signature Tilsit cheese,” lettuce, tomato and onion ($8.49)
Θ Kuma’s Corner, Chicago
Baroness: Chimichurri, fire-roasted corn salsa with bacon and toasted red peppers, green beans and grated Asiago cheese ($13)
Θ Joe’s Farm Grill, Gilbert Ariz.
Fontina Burger: 6 oz. beef patty, roasted red pepper, grilled mushrooms, field greens, house-made pecan pesto and fontina cheese ($8.99)
Θ Café Centro, New York City
Café Centro Burger: Raclette cheese, apple-smoked bacon ($19)