AV Club: After a slow, labored tabulation of data that required frequent stops for heavy breathing, Red Robin has been declared the winner of this year’s Xtreme Eating Awards. The annual contest, whose name ironically alludes to the sort of sports activities it makes impossible, is conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest—specifically the interest in not seeing the public gorge itself to death. Red Robin took the top prize with a meal consisting of its Monster burger—a regular A1 peppercorn burger rendered hideous and unlovable with the addition of a second patty—the Nietzschean abyss of its “bottomless” fries, and a Monster salted caramel milkshake, which accidentally killed a young peasant girl by throwing her into a lake. (The milkshake thought she would float! Must this milkshake be deemed a monster for not understanding our world?) All together, this classic Universal-style pairing of terrifying salt-based creatures weighs in at 3,450 calories, well above the 2,500 daily intake recommended for an adult man by the nanny-state government. More notable, however, is that perennial winner The Cheesecake Factory did not go down easily. The chain’s Crème Bruleed French Toast—custard-soaked bread topped with powdered sugar, then served with maple-butter syrup, bacon, and sweatpants—clocked in at 2,780 calories all on its own.
I’m impressed. Red Robin is now probably my favorite fast food joint, and I’ve eaten there as many times as I’ve successfully opened an envelope without tearing it to shreds (SPOILER: I’ve never done that). Sometimes you don’t need to experience something first hand to enjoy it. I like people who have a lot of money, but I’ve never had a lot of money. I like volcanos, but I’ve never seen one. I like magic tricks, but I have never been able to perform one. And I like Red Robin while I’ve never actually eaten there. It’s semantics at this point. But I digress.
I’m impressed because they’re taking something that is viewed as a negative in the eye of the health-driven public and turning into a positive from a business standpoint. They’re basically advertising that they have the most unhealthy meal in the country, and knowing that does nothing but make me want to try it. Red Robin is gonna be swimming in cash soon. If I’m a Red Robin GM or restauranteur, I put up a huge billboard on a local highway saying “CAN YOU HANDLE THE UNHEALTHIEST MEAL IN AMERICA?” Make it a challenge for everyone. Fast-food indulgers won’t be the least bit turned off by these statistics. People who eat like fat people are gonna continue to eat like fat people if all is right in the world. But now they’re targeting a new audience, promoting their greasy goodness.
Never heard of a peppercorn burger but I gotta have one. Steak fries rank right up at the top with the bests (waffle fries, curly fries, krinkle cut, wedges, etc). And milkshakes just make everything better always, 7 days a week and twice on Sundays. Not to mention that salted caramel is the most popular up and coming flavor anything in the world, (my) studies show. 3,540 calories sounds like a lot without a doubt, but is it though? Pretty sure my deep dish stuffed crust bacon pie from Pizza Hut out-calories this little league meal by a zillion. Have you ever had the Belly Buster Breakfast Sandwich from the former All-American Deli? No you haven’t. None of that even matters. You don’t eat at Red Robin and count calories. Just like how you don’t get onto the train before people get off. Just like how you don’t talk at the movie theaters. There’s often a fine line between right and wrong, do the right thing. There’s no honor in choosing the “healthy option” at Red Robin. It’s not a contest, and if it were you would lose, you loser. You sign a unwritten contract when you eat fast food that your body will hate you for the meal you are consuming. Your stomach will hate you, you’re arteries will resent you, but that’s how it works. Give me the grease.
Pretty sure I went off on a tangent and none of that has any relevance to the story at hand. But just a great movie from RR here. They’re going to sell one million pepper Jack burgers in the next week. If there’s a red Robin stock, get me in on that action. It’s public record that I am Team Coca Cola, Team Voss, Team Blue Cheese, Team Hansel, Team One Direction, Team Margarine, and Money Team. Now I’m Team Red Robin, and I’m the captain.
Just thinking about Creme Brûléed French Toast gets me hot in the pants.