Endless appetizers, bottomless fries and other very filling promotions

UntitledIt’s the age-old question: How many loaded potato skins CAN you eat?

If you have $10 and a flexible attitude about calories, you can find out.

TGI Fridays, which has a Wichita restaurant at 2441 N. Maize Road, is offering “endless appetizers” until Aug. 24. Customers pay $10 and can get all the refills they can stomach of garlic and basil bruschetta, Mozzarella sticks, boneless buffalo wings, Tuscan spinach dip, crispy green bean fries and pan-seared pot stickers. (Be warned: If you start with potato skins you must stick with potato skins. No traveling through the menu allowed.)

I do love boneless wings, but all-you-can-eat deals and buffets are something I generally try to avoid. I always have a nagging feeling that I should eat more because, you know, I CAN. But if I do, I’m sorry for hours, maybe days. Bottomless steak fries at Red Robin? Unlimited soup, salad and bread sticks at Olive Garden? Sounds delicious. But really, I shouldn’t.

If only Red Lobster would revive its all-you-can-eat crab legs promotion, I’d make an exception. But I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.

Free chili for first 100 at Red Robin today

Red Robin, the burger restaurant at 9990 E 13th St., is offering a free cup of chili to the first 100 guests who ask for it today. They open in less than an hour, so start shoveling and warming up the car.

The promotion is playing off the fact that Hell has frozen over today. Hell, Mich., that is. (Doesn’t Michigan freeze over every day of the winter?)

Red Robin’s hours today are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 316-425-6300.

Question of the week: What would the kids pick?

Red Robin is all kinds of kid friendly.

My dining story this week outlines a list of places parents can take their kids for free meals.

In that spirit, my question this week for parents. If you gave the kids their absolute choice of where to go out for dinner, what would they choose? What do you think would influence their choice most — food, atmosphere or something else?

Fingers crossed that all my answers aren’t “McDonald’s.”

Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

Burger Boy’s creation on Red Robin’s menu

The official photo of Donovan Duggins' Mt Vesuvius Burger at Red Robin.

Well, almost.

You might recall my posts from December about Donovan Duggins, a Robinson Middle School eighth grader who won the Red Robin Kid’s Cookoff with his burger creation.

On Tuesday, Red Robin will officially add Donovan’s burger to its menu, where it will stay until Sept. 11. You’ll recall that the burger Donovan invented is topped with crumbled blue cheese, bacon, provolone cheese and Lava Sauce, made by combining barbecue sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder and paprika

Donovan, whose picture will be featured on table signs throughout the company, gets to celebrate the addition with a private party and tasting on Tuesday night and says he’ll probably continue using his gazillion dollars worth of Red Robin gift cards he won in his prize package toward the purchase of his own creation.

Wait. Shouldn’t he get the burger for free whenever he wants it?

“Hey, yeah,” he said with a laugh. “Maybe I should start a petition.”

Wichita’s Red Robin is in the Waterfront development at 9990 E. 13th Street.

Donovan's winning moment in 2010. He also won the Peoples' Choice award.

Feed the kids without guilt

Red Robin is one of Wichita's most kid-friendly restaurants.

Parents magazine is out with the results of its 10 Best Restaurant Chains survey, and Wichita has all but three of them.

The survey was intended to gather a list of restaurants where families can get the most nutritious foods for the best price while having the least stressful experience — a trifecta that most parents would insist doesn’t exist.

Here’s the list, which will appear in the April issue, scheduled to hit newsstands on March 15.

1. Jason’s Deli: Wichita has two of these — one at 7447 W. 21st and 2000 N. Rock Road.
2.  Cosi: This sandwich and soup chain has its nearest location in Tulsa.
3. Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes: This chain specializes in soups and salads, too, and has a store in Overland Park.
4. Red Lobster: Wichita’s are at 555 S. West St. and 333 S. Towne East Mall Drive.
5. Chipotle: We have four– at 515 N. Hillside, 2241 N. Maize Road, 3015 N. Rock Road and 535 S. Rock Road.
6. Noodles & Company: The city’s first Noodles & Company opened late last year at 3300 N. Rock Road.
7. Red Robin: Kids love Wichita’s Red Robin, which is at 9990 E. 13th St.
8. Mimi’s Cafe: This chain offers healthy home cooking and has a restaurant by Oak Park Mall in Overland Park.
9. Panera Bread: Wichita has three existing Panera’s, and a fourth will open soon at Maple and Ridge.
10. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro: Wichita’s P.F. Chang’s is at 1401 N. Waterfront Parkway.

Burger boy! Burger boy! Burger boy!

donavandugginsAt the risk of sounding repetitive, we need to redouble our efforts to vote for our local Burger Boy.

Donovan and his family are in Colorado. The competition is tomorrow. People’s Choice voting ends at midnight, and Donovan has fallen into second place. NO!

Vote, everyone. Vote!!

Local burger bigshot

Donovan DugginsWichita burger fan Donovan Duggins is one of 10 national finalists in Red Robin’s Fifth Annual “Red Robin Kids’ Cookoff.”

Donovan, an 11-year-old Robinson Middle School seventh grader, made the finals with his recipe for what he calls a Mt. Vesuvius burger, made with Lava Sauce, crumbled blue cheese, Provolone cheese, and bacon on a sesame seed bun.

Donovan’s burger was chosen from thousands of entries, and he and the nine other finalists will travel to Denver on Dec. 9, where they’ll make their recipes for a panel of judges. The winning burger will be featured on the Red Robin menu this summer.

Donovan also is in the running for a “Fan Favorite” award, and Wichitans can vote for him by visiting www.redrobinkidscookoff.com. While on the site, they also can register to watch a free webcast of the burger competition on Dec. 9.

Red Robin was kind enough to share Donovan’s recipe, which you can find by clicking on “more ” below.

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