Blazing Burger

The first bite of the Five Alarm Burger ($7.29) at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Spirits (7620 Katy Freeway, 713-476-9096) gave little indication of what was soon to build to a reasonable afterburn. What was clear immediately was that Red Robin follows one of the simplest rules of food preparation to the letter: Keep the hot food hot and the cold food cold. The flame-broiled, juicy, all-beef patty was served piping hot, melting the spicy pepper Jack cheese. The sesame seed bun was warm, but the rest of the ingredients -- shredded lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños, chipotle mayo and a fresh, tangy salsa (which also adds a little heat) -- came right from the refrigerator. Like all of their burgers, the Five Alarm is served with an endless supply of thick-cut steak fries. Spice them up with Red Robin's seasoning salt, which contains just enough cayenne to get your attention.

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