Cafe Society

Red Robin does the time warp -- with burgers from the past

I'd love to see chains bring back some of my old favorites that have been erased from menus over the years: the Bellbeefer from Taco Bell, the McOnion nuggets from McDonald's, the 5 Alarm burger from Red Robin. And now that the folks at the Denver-based Red Robin are giving customers a chance to resurrect one burger with their Bring My Burger Back campaign, perhaps other fast-food restaurants will return past faves from the grips of ignominy.

See also: -Red Robin's Burger Works: Rise of the machine -Red Robin's "Cry Baby" and "Fiery Ghost" burgers: Where's the fire? -A few more Colorado beer floats in case Red Robin's didn't float your boat

Red Robin's Bring My Burger Back, which runs from now until December 6, lists ten past burgers for consideration, as well as peppy descriptions of each: the Orbit Burger (an out-of-this-world creation made with Italian wine salami, ham, and topped with Dijon Pickl'd Mustard Sauce No. 10), for example, as well as the Santa Fe Burger (topped with fire-roasted poblano pepper, guacamole, crisp tortilla strips and Ancho mayo) and the Blackened Bayou Burger (this Southern-inspired spicy burger featured red peppers, Creole mustard sauce and a cabbage-carrot mix).

Then there's my personal favorite from menus past, the 5 Alarm Burger (pleased heat seekers with a scorching combination of jalapeños, fresh tangy salsa and chipotle aioli); the Blackened Chicken Burger (ruffled feathers with its chipotle aioli); the Godfather Burger (made an offer guests couldn't refuse with melted mozzarella, anchovy strips and spicy tomato sauce); the Honey Mustard Chicken Burger (offered a harmonious blend of guacamole, red onion and tangy-sweet honey mustard sauce); the Jamaican Jerk'd Chicken Burger, (a tropical breeze topped with grilled pineapple and cool mango mayonnaise); the One Great Chicken Sandwich (a garlicky delight with a garlic-marinated chicken breast, crumbled bacon and ham); and Ragin Cajun Chicken Burger (red hot and dipped in cayenne pepper sauce).

Customers can choose their favorite from this list -- or go with a write-in option -- and to sweeten the deal, the company is offering every voter an automatic sweepstakes entry for a chance to win $50 Red Robin gift cards each day, with the ten most prominent campaigners to receive $500 gift cards. Vote online at

The winning burger will be featured on the Red Robin menu in 2013, when Red Robin will also bring back the Chili Chili Cheeseburger: beef patty topped with Cheddar, red onions, chipotle aioli and, of course, Red's signature chili.

I say vote early, vote often, and hope that that Taco Bell and McDonald's will get the hint.

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Jenn Wohletz
Contact: Jenn Wohletz