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Saturday, July 13, 2013

You want bottomless fries with that, Bub?

If it's been awhile since your last trip to Red Robin ("Where screaming toddlers and feeble old geezers come together to enjoy mediocre hamburgers and all-you-can-eat steak fries"), then you are probably unaware that they are currently offering a cheeseburger sandwich known as the Berserker, which is, if you haven't already guessed, the official burger of the upcoming hit motion picture, The Wolverine.  What is the Berserker, you ask?  Well, here it is, right from the Robin's beak:

"A flavorful combination of zesty aioli, Sriracha onion straws and spicy pickles topped with Cheddar on a brioche bun"

OK, first of all, does that look like a brioche bun to you?  Me neither.  I actually didn't even know I was supposed to get a brioche bun until right this second when I visit Red Robin's Web site.  The bun pictured on their Web site is, in fact, a brioche bun, and it looks delicious.  Now look at my sorry excuse for a brioche bun.  It's a) obviously not a brioche bun and b) there is no "b" because it's not a brioche bun, and that sucks.

Let's talk about the "zesty aioli" next.  There was certainly something "aioli-ish" on my Berserker, but it certainly wasn't zesty, unless zesty means "subtle to the point of near uselessness" now.  Does it, English professor friends?  I could look it up in a dictionary, but I threw my dictionary away the day I graduated from college.  I actually set it on fire and threw it at the Dean of the English department screaming, "Not gonna need this shit no more!"  I have a flair for the dramatic, I guess.  

Sriracha onion straws, you're up next.  I like onion straws on a burger.  I like onion straws on almost anything: tacos, salads, ice cream sundaes, other onion straws.  But Sriracha onion straws?  Well, that's a whole new ball game, a ball game where the ball is covered in some kind of lubricant and players have to wear those novelty Hulk hands that make breaking glass sounds when you pound them together.  The Sriracha onion straws on my Berserker where fine, I guess.  I've never had Sriracha before (little too popular for my taste--plus, hipsters are really into it, right?), but I'm pretty sure it's supposed to make an impression.  It did not.

Let's talk about the spicy pickles.  They were legitimately spicy, so that was nice.  They were also SWEET PICKLES!  What the hell, Red Robin?  Why are you putting sweet pickles on ANYTHING? Sweet pickles suck usually, but on the Berserker, they added the spicy touch my taste buds had prepared themselves for, so, good on ya, spicy sweet pickles.

Cheddar is Cheddar.  It's great, but whatever.

Do me a favor.  Check out the Berserker on the Red Robin Web site and then look at the photograph I took of the Berserker I was served last Thursday evening.  Notice anything off, besides the lack of brioche bun, which I've already established as complete horseshit?  Exactly.  Where are my tomatoes?  Where's my lettuce?  I didn't ask for them to be removed.  I ordered a Berserker and I expected to get exactly what I paid for.  Turns out I didn't.  What a minor annoyance.

Look, the Berserker was fine.  In the end, it was enjoyable hunk of meat covered in cheese and boring, not-at-all-spicy-and-or-zesty toppings.  Enjoyable, but not stellar.  I mean, I could recreate this burger at home and it would probably be a lot better.  It wouldn't have stupid-ass sweet pickles on it, that's for sure.  I'll have you know that I currently have two different brands of spicy pickles in my fridge right now, and neither one of them is sweet?  Did you you know that?  Huh?!?

What makes the Berserker ultimately disappointing is that it doesn't deliver what it promises, and I'm not talking about the brioche bun.  I'm talking about the fact that it aligns itself with one of America's most beloved characters, Wolverine, of the X-Men group and its affiliates.  Wolverine wouldn't eat this burger.  If served the Berserker at a restaurant, Logan would probably sniff it, put his cigar out on the brioche bun (in this scenario, Wolverine is served the correct bun) and snikt the shit out of the nearest Red Robin employee that thought Wolverine would get a real jolt out of the combination of Sriracha and fried onions.  This isn't a hamburger worthy of Hugh Jackman, let alone one of the most bad-ass mutants in comic book history.

So, what should the official burger of Wolverine be?  I don't get the spicy angle, really.  I mean, Wolverine is a real man's man; a rugged, hirsute individualist who plays by his own rules.  The Berserker should be something uncompromisingly manly.  Like, I don't know, three beef patties, cooked rare (Red Robin currently gives you two options when ordering your burger: "little bit of pink" or "no pink at all;" for my version, they'd have to make an exception), topped with several slices of bacon (you would actually have the option of bottomless bacon in this situation, so you could add more as you navigate through the burger), and covered in A1 steak sauce.  Or how about make it out of wolverine meat?  They're not endangered yet, are they?  I've never had wolverine.  I bet it's pretty good.  Anything with Cheddar melted all over it is usually delicious.

Anyway, the Berserker was fine, but it wasn't something I'd get again.  And, Red Robin, you totally owe me a brioche bun, and you better believe I'm coming to collect, bub.

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