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Tweet tweet: Red Robin opens in Carle Place

"Whiskey River" barbecue burger at Red Robin in Carle Place Credit: Newsday, 2011 / Joan Reminick

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is currently nesting in Carle Place’s Country Glen Center,  also home to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

This full-service chain restaurant has that '70s look  — “hodgepodge lodge,” a la TGI Friday’'s  — and a cheery crew. I went around noon and was seated immediately; by the time I’d finished eating, the line was out the door. A waitress I asked told me the wait this past weekend ran over two hours.

From a long list of burgers, my favorite was the spicy, juicy char-grilled turkey burger, served on a whole-grain bun with chipotle mayo, lettuce and tomatoes. The signature “Whiskey River” BBQ burger” featured a grilled beef patty (which they’ll only cook “with a little pink” – i.e., medium – or “with no pink” – medium well) crowned with barbecue sauce, Cheddar, fried onion straws, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo.

Wish I could have gotten mine medium-rare, since it wasn’t all that juicy. Still, with all those toppings, did it matter? Accompanying "bottomless" (free replenishment) steak fries were the previously frozen variety. A much better side was mac ‘n' cheese (an extra 99 cents), crusty on top, the corkscrew pasta al dente.

Another nice surprise: a competently done Cobb salad, which I got with pretty decent ranch dressing on the side. But a chocolate malted wasn’t nearly chocolate-y enough.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is at 125 Old Country Rd., Carle Place, 516-248-3700

Above,  "Whiskey River" barbecue burger at Red Robin, Carle Place


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