Diet Friendly Dining: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
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Red Robin was named Zagat 2011 Fast Food Survey full-service chain "Best Burger" for the third straight year in a row. Known for their great atmosphere, unique burgers and Yummm®, this family friendly restaurant has had quite a transformation to achieve this honor. Originally started as a tavern back in the 1940s, it quickly became known as Sam's Red Robin for its singing owner that could frequently be heard singing "When the Red, Red, Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)" with his barbershop quartet. By the 1970s, Red Robin had transitioned from a tavern to a gourmet burger restaurant. Today, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is an award-winning restaurant with both kid and parent appeal. When observing the pride they have in providing value centered service to their guests as well as the communities where they do business, it could be easy to forget to ask how their food stacks up nutritionally.
Innovative gourmet sandwiches tend to come with high calorie and sodium counts. Add to that calories and sodium from the Bottomless Steak Fries® (434 cal/18g fat/444 mg sodium per serving) and Bottomless Beverages™ and the totals could easily soar. While it may feel hopeless that you can enjoy a meal here while also staying within nutritional guidelines, there is a way to have your burger and eat it too! Here are some tips to help.  

Understanding all the nuances of food and nutrition and their influence on our body is a learning process that takes time to figure out. That is why healthy eating for weight control and health is a lifelong marathon and not a one-week sprint. Being able to look at a menu and know that grilled pineapple and homemade guacamole are better nutritional choices compared to hand-battered crispy onion straws or fried egg might seem easy. However, determining better options between different types of artisan buns or varieties of cheese can become overwhelming. Red Robin must understand that nutritional needs are as different as the number of patrons served and provide the Red Robin Customizer tool (and downloadable apps) to help guests plan individualized diet friendly meals.  
Most choices are likely to be too high in sodium for many meal plans so care is necessary for those that are highly sensitive for medical reasons. Appetizers are typically high calorie and high fat "extras" that are best avoided as the start to a meal. Portion size is always important so select smaller sizes when available. Many people will need to plan on only eating half of the entrée and either taking the rest home or sharing it with a friend to keep nutrient intake in line. Meal customization is encouraged at Red Robin and the customizer tool and app is a great help in do that before you arrive or as you prepare to order. Let's take a look at how this tool can be used to find a great tasting gourmet burger that won't break the nutritional bank.  
Customizing burgers is the only way to make them fit into most meal plans. The Banzai Burger sounds healthy with its beef patty, pineapple slice, fresh tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and cheese. However, when you calculate the nutrition and see that it contains over 1,000 calories you might gasp in horror wondering how you could have been so wrong. Looking a little closer you will realize you can customize it by removing the mayo and the Teriyaki Sauce to lower the total calories to 766 with 35 grams of total fat and 1,251 mg of sodium. When you divide the gourmet burger in half (and save or share the other half), you cut those totals in half and end up with a gourmet burger providing 383 calories, 17 total grams of fat with 625 mg of sodium which fits much nicer into most meal plans. Most gourmet burgers can be customized to fit into meal plans especially if you are only eating half.
Here are some of the best options (with recommended customization) that you might want to consider when visiting Red Robin.


Simply Grilled Chicken Sandwich (as served)
Calories – 409
Fat – 7 grams
Sodium – 993 mg
Carbohydrate- 51 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 37 grams
Garden Burger (as served)
Calories – 478
Fat – 13 grams
Sodium – 1,754 mg
Carbohydrate – 74 grams
Fiber – 5 grams
Protein – 9 grams
Grilled Salmon Sandwich (without Country Dijon Sauce)
Calories – 395
Fat – 7 grams
Sodium – 555 mg
Carbohydrate – 48 mg
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 32 grams
Grilled Turkey Burger (without Chipotle Mayo)
Calories – 502
Fat – 22 grams
Sodium – 719 mg
Carbohydrate – 49 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 29 grams
Keep It Simple Burger (as served)
Calories – 569
Fat – 24 grams
Sodium – 991 mg
Carbohydrate – 51 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 37 grams
Lettuce-Wrap Your Burger (as served)
Calories – 423
Fat – 27 grams
Sodium – 397 mg
Carbohydrate – 7 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 35 grams
Vegan Boca Burger (as served)
Calories – 462
Fat – 11 grams
Sodium – 1,872 mg
Carbohydrate – 62 grams
Fiber – 10 grams
Protein – 36 grams
Salads and Soup

Apple Harvest Chicken Salad (as served)
Calories – 804 (half = 402)
Fat – 43 grams (half = 21 grams)
Sodium – 1,750 mg (half = 875 mg)
Carbohydrate – 64 grams (half = 32 grams)
Fiber – 8 grams (half = 4 grams)
Protein – 44 grams (half = 22 grams)
Avo-Cobb-O (without Bleu cheese crumbles, bacon bits and garlic focaccia with 2oz of Balsamic vinaigrette dressing)
Calories – 497
Fat – 27 grams
Sodium – 1,154 grams
Carbohydrate – 23 grams
Fiber – 9 grams
Protein – 39 grams
Half Serving of Grilled Chicken alla Caprese (as served)
Calories – 330
Fat – 17 grams
Sodium – 660 mg
Carbohydrate – 18 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 26 grams
Simply Grilled Chicken Salad (without bread and with 2 oz Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing)
Calories – 491
Fat – 24 grams
Sodium – 1,258 mg
Carbohydrate – 26 grams
Fiber – 6 grams
Protein – 42 grams
Half of a Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad (without tri-colored tortilla strips or fried Jalapeno rings)
Calories – 335
Fat – 21 grams
Sodium – 785 mg
Carbohydrate – 11 grams
Fiber – 3.5 grams
Protein – 23 grams
Cup of Red's Homemade Chili (as served)
Calories – 278
Fat – 16 grams
Sodium – 665 mg
Carbohydrate – 14 grams
Dietary Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 15 grams
Best Sides for Substitution

Melon Wedges (as served)
Calories – 61
Fat – 0 grams
Sodium – 29 mg
Carbohydrate – 15 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 2 grams
Steamed Broccoli (as served) (Also Steamed Carrots but no info available for those)
Calories – 32
Fat – 0 grams
Sodium – 31 mg
Carbohydrate – 6 grams
Fiber – 3 grams
Protein – 3 grams
Kid's Entrées
Chick On A Stick (as served)
Calories – 152
Fat – 4 grams
Sodium – 275 mg
Carbohydrate – 0 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Protein – 30 grams
Rad Chicken Burger (as served)
Calories – 302
Fat – 7 grams
Sodium – 535 mg
Carbohydrate – 28 grams
Fiber – 1 gram
Protein – 34 grams
Rad Garden Burger (as served)
Calories – 305
Fat – 7 grams
Sodium – 1044 mg
Carbohydrate – 51 grams
Fiber – 4 grams
Protein – 4 grams
Rad Robin Burger (as served)
Calories – 286
Fat – 12 grams
Sodium – 381 mg
Carbohydrate – 28 grams
Fiber – 1 gram
Protein – 17 grams
Rad Vegan Boca Burger (as served)
Calories – 289
Fat – 5 grams
Sodium – 1,162 mg
Carbohydrate – 39 grams
Fiber – 9 grams
Protein – 31 grams
Red Robinetti Spaghetti (as served) 
Calories – 297
Fat – 2 grams
Sodium – 522 mg
Carbohydrate – 56 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 11 grams
For a gourmet burger restaurant, there are healthy alternatives especially for children. What is your healthy favorite? How would you customize to make better options?

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