by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director
We recently reported that Red Robin now offers the vegan Boca™ Original Burger at most of its US locations along with the vegetarian Gardenburger™ which has been on its menu for some time.
We followed up with Red Robin about the Boca's™ preparation and bun options. A senior quality assurance manager at Red Robin told us that the vegan patties are "microwaved in their original plastic wrapper." Then they are "crisped on the flattop grill which may be used for other proteins." Guests have the option of requesting that the Boca™ patty be microwaved only.
It appears that the whole grain bun and the sesame bun are entirely composed of plant-based ingredients including the mono- and diglycerides and sodium steroyl-3 lactylate. The whole grain and sesame buns are Kosher-certified.
These two ingredients in the ciabatta bun, herbed focaccia bun, jalapeño cornmeal bun, onion bun and slider bun are also from vegetable sources. However, these buns contain L-cysteine “derived from poultry” and are not certified Kosher.
Red Robin also offers a number of salads, all of which may be customized upon ordering like most menu items. However, it appears that only the Natural Toasted Sesame Dressing is all plant-based. The Italian and the Caesar Dressings contain anchovies. The Balsamic Vinaigrette contains egg yolks. All of the others contain dairy or honey.
All of the soups at Red Robin contain animal ingredients. The French onion is made with a beef base.
A "Veggie Rice Bowl" is on Red Robin's menu. It may be customized to be entirely vegan by choosing from the black beans, chipotle beans, white rice, salsa and/or steamed vegetables. All of these components are prepared apart from animal products.
Wontons are a new item at Red Robin. They cannot be microwaved and may be fried along with animal products. It is uncertain whether the L-cysteine in the wontons is derived from an animal source. Except for this ingredient, they appear all plant-based.
Red Robin's Steak Fries is a signature item free of all animal ingredients according to the senior Q&A manager with whom we spoke. The Fries are cooked in a designated fryer apart from all meat products "a majority of the time" according to our contact. Guests may request that their Steak Fries be cooked in the designated fryer.