Robin’s declicious, pricey, decently decorated


by Mark Pleiss

Robin’s Wood Oven Grill in Des Moines supplies dark, wood-encompassed surroundings entailing delightful tree decals, a horribly distasteful selection of carpet and desirable food. But there are a few problems college students should ponder before making the venture.

The food is tasty, but as the manager stated, “the food is priced at its quality.” And the quality is very good. So definitely don’t forget the wallet.

In search for the meal Simpsonian readers would most likely choose, I picked the cheapest of dinner entrees. For $7.25, I ordered the Barbecue Bacon Burger with fries instead of a soup. Robin’s other noted specialties include their pizzas topped with any choice of chicken alfredo, rotisserie and barbecued chicken, sausage and vegetables. Robins also boasts a prominent calzone and steak portion of the menu.

But most of these items will put the bill uncomfortably close to that magical $10 limit (with tip and drink, of course).

I had little time to admire the eloquent display of the silverware – each culinary instrument lined perfectly within the boundary of my napkin – before the food arrived. The burger was aesthetically presented atop an organic undercarriage of lettuce and tomatoes, with a small pool of barbecue sauce on the side.

The bacon was hearty and crisp, not that thin, fat and grease infested stuff some places will serve. The fries were prepared well and it was obvious they weren’t frozen. The potatoes were cooked in small, fat slabs that were delightfully salted and properly fattened. Once the barbecue sauce and lettuce were assembled, the meal before me was quite formidable.

Though the meal was no match for my teenage-boy metabolism, I was quite full. Robin’s does well at providing a substantial amount of food.

With a full stomach, I immersed myself in the surroundings. Beware, Robin’s isn’t a place for a Valentine’s Day or proposal meal, but I’d gladly bring a plutonic date as well as any family member to Robin’s. The restaurant is large and almost entirely filled with booths. There are windows for a possible romantic gaze, but the scenic streets of Des Moines aren’t really going to tug at the heart.

Nevertheless, if a night of romance is intended at Robin’s, and the consumer is legal age, the wine list is more than adequate. A courtly selection of red, white and house wines on display near the register can elegantly bring lady liquor into any “more than friends” environment. The house wines are the cheapest, a glass going for around $4, while the red and white wines will be around $5.50 a glass. Sadly, my birth fell three years short of trying the wines on for size.

Overall, Robin’s Wood Oven Grill is a fine eating establishment. The food is excellent, and the service quick and friendly. I wouldn’t let their interior decorator one foot inside my house, but I wouldn’t be embarrassed to bring my mother there either. The predominant issue is the cost. It’s necessary to bring someone stronger than Hamilton ($10) to get through a meal for oneself and a significant other.

And just pretend the carpet isn’t there.