Thursday, March 12, 2009

Red Rocks Cafe (Huntersville)

One of my favorite restaurants in the Birkdale area is Red Rocks Cafe. (Yes, I know I'm addicted to Birkdale -- I'm looking for a 12 Step program to address this issue.) Every time I've been there everything has been great; the food, the service, the atmosphere are always top notch. I've never been disappointed by Red Rocks -- until now.

I met some friends for lunch this week, and it was a perfect day to eat on the patio. The sun was out and a perfect gentle breeze made me think that this was going to be a great meal. The server came by and took our drink orders. He returned promptly with our beverages, and my sweet tea was quickly refilled every time I emptied it... which was often.

He came back to take our orders, and I was craving a big juicy burger. So, I ordered the usually succulent Kobe Beef burger. My mouth was salivating with anticipation.

The food arrived quickly considering there were five of us, and after applying ketchup and arranging the fresh lettuce and tomatoes, I took a huge bite. And I was completely disappointed. The burger was completely overcooked. It was dry, tough, and lacking any flavor. This was a well, well, well done burger. I asked for medium well -- which usually gets me a slightly pink middle. This was not the case. At least the fries were good.

Unfortunately, this Kobe Burger was a mere shadow of the burger I've had here previously. In all honesty, I would have been MUCH happier with a Five Guys burger, and the price would've been half as much. After this experience, I won't be paying over $10 for a burger for a while.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 2/5
Service: 4/5
Total: 10/15
Price: $$ (most lunch-style entrees are over $10)

Conclusion: I still like Red Rocks, and this experience is not typical. Though they are a little more expensive than I believe they should be, but I've always had a great dining experience. In short, I'm not scared away and will be returning, especially for a late night dessert on the patio during the summer.

Restaurant Info:
Red Rocks Cafe
8712 Lindholm Drive
Huntersville, NC 28078


  1. Hmm, I've never had a problem like that there before... Have you had a chance to try Dresslers in Birkdale?

  2. Most restaurants can produce a great burger, but also tend to overcook or precook the patties in anticipation of a "rush". Next time ask your server to speak with the manager, and send that burger back. I know its a pain but it is the only way to get these restaurants to give you a fresh, hot and juicy burger. Same goes for the fries, if they are not hot and fresh send em back

  3. Thanks for the idea! It never occured to me that the food was sometimes pre-prepared for "rush" times.

  4. I have never been impressed with Red Rocks. I think a lot of the food is frozen, and most of it is generic. I have given it several tries and each time been disappointed. I would much rather spend 10 dollars more and walk away with a great meal from other resturants in Birkdale AKA Dresslers or Eez instead of walking away feeling unsatified.

  5. I have to say that I have had great meals at Red Rocks... Never had the thanks I will avoid that one. I LOVE the potato cakes, though.

  6. I've never had a problem like that at Red Rocks, all though it does happen periodically I'm sure. Sometimes it depends on the day or time you go out. For example, many chefs have off Sundays and/or Mondays. This usually leads to a more slack kitchen staff. Either way, a burnt burger is the server's problem, too. They should observe the food before it goes out and double check your satisfaction. My only problem with Red Rocks is the winelist. They need help!

  7. Laurie, gotta agree with you, the Potato Cakes are fantastic!

  8. I love Red Rocks, the chef there is amazing, Dominic. Love the artichoke crab dip, the tuna medallions, the wings, crab cakes, never had a bad experience there! Although I have across the street at Dressler's.