Family Dining: Red Robin

Fun Fare
Taking the kids to the popular eatery on River Highway (N.C. 150) in Mooresville always is a no-brainer – the food is hot and fresh, the lemonade bottomless, and the atmosphere is colorful and cheerful, with the patrons under the age of 13 often outnumbering the adults.

Bright red ceramic tiles surround the open kitchen area, and if you look up you’ll probably see a variety of balloons floating near the ceiling, as most kids’ menus are handed out with a complimentary balloon. Our kids enjoy taking in the scenery, and a few times a week, the large and furry costumed Red Robin makes the rounds greeting the young patrons. Framed prints of past pop-culture icons cover most of the walls. The restaurant also is a popular spot for celebrating birthdays, and you’ll often see large tables of family members singing “Happy Birthday” along with the staff at the end of a meal. Red Robin is known for offering selection of more than 22 gourmet burgers, including versions with toppings such as pepperoni slices and grilled pineapple rings. My husband enjoyed the very large and filling Guacamole Bacon Burger, topped with zesty guacamole, three strips of hickory-smoked bacon and melted Swiss cheese. I sampled the tangy Whiskey River® BBQ Wrap, which consisted of a juicy chicken breast smothered in barbeque sauce and topped with lettuce, cheddar cheese and tortilla strips. The Freckled Lemonade ($3.99 with bottomless refills) is a blend of strawberries and Minute Maid Lemonade, and is a popular drink choice for diners of all ages.

I was impressed by the variety on the kids’ menu, which includes items such as Grilled Chick N’ Parmesan Noodles, Red Pizzeria Pizza and a Rad Robin Burger. Our kids opted for a Carnival Corn Dog and Chick-Chick Chicken Fingers. Parents magazine recently recognized Red Robin as one of their “Top 10 Family-Friendly” restaurants, citing the healthy kids’ menu side item choices of canteloupe wedges, apple slices and carrots with dip as a major winning factor. The menu also has plenty of vegetarian items.
If you still have room for dessert, the Mountain High Mudd Pie will not disappoint.

The Chow Down
Red Robin, 613 River Highway, Mooresville
Dollar Deal: $6.99-12.99
Atmosphere: Cheerful and colorful
Kids’ Menu: $4.49, including a side item and drink
Amenities: High chairs/booster seats and diaper-changing stations in restrooms Got Milk/Juice: Yes
Smoking/Nonsmoking: Nonsmoking

Renee Roberson is an associate editor at Charlotte Parent magazine.