Many many years ago, I was introduced to this "new" burger placed called Red Robin. There weren't very many of them in our area, and everyone I talked to said it was "SO GOOD" and they had neverending steak fries. I was in!

On one of our very early dates, Adam and I met for lunch at Red Robin. I ordered a guacamole bacon burger (with a turkey patty for some reason) and was smitten. Later that year, on one of our excursions to IKEA and Woodfield, Lizz and I headed to Red Robin for a burger. We were both immediately drawn to the Banzai Burger. I'll get to what that is in a minute... just bear with me.


Now mind you, at this time in my life (Early 2005) I was in major Hawaii withdrawal. I'd gone to Hawaii over spring break of 2004, and lived in a constant state of "wantingtogoback-itis" from the moment I got home. I filled my apartment with plumeria-scented candles, hung framed photos of hibiscus in my kitchen, and flipped through my Hawaii online photo albums nearly every day.


Everything we ate in Hawaii came with a side of pineapple. I loved the stuff before my trip, and was obsessed with it after!

The obsession continued after Adam proposed to me in a hollowed out pineapple at our favorite sushi restaurant.


This Banzai Burger on the menu at Red Robin threw me back there. This burger was on a wheat bun with cheddar cheese, a slice of grilled pineapple, and teriyaki sauce.

And so, for Independence Day this year, to celebrate our 50th state, and by the suggestion of Adam, I made us our very own Banzai burgers.


A fresh whole wheat bun topped with a char-grilled burger, neatly adorned with sharp cheddar, grilled pineapple, teriyaki sauce, lettuce, and just a touch of mayo.

Let's look closer, shall we?


This would have been amazing all on its own, even without the meat... or with a portabella mushroom cap. But allow me to toot my own horn for a minute.

These were the best burgers I've ever made.


Banzai Burgers

Print this recipe!


  • 1.5 lbs. lean ground beef, 90% lean or more
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. panko
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 4 slices fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 1/4 c. teriyaki sauce
  • sliced cheddar cheese
  • buns
  • 2 tsp. mayonnaise


Mix all ingredients from beef to seasoned salt together in a bowl until just combined. Allow to sit 5 minutes before forming into 4 or 5 patties. Heat a grill or frying pan to high heat. Cook each burger until your desired doneness while also grilling the pineapple. To assemble the burger, place the burger on the bottom bun, top with cheese, then pineapple, then teriyaki sauce and other desired toppings. Spread 1/2 tsp. mayonnaise on the top of the bun, close the sandwich and devour.


I served this amazing burger (have I said they were good? Really?) with grilled chili-lime corn. I just wrapped up fresh ears of corn with a bit of butter spread, chili powder, and the juice of half a lime, and grilled until done (about 20 minutes).

Again, trust me.

This stuff is delicious.


Believe it or not, this isn't the only food post I have for you all this week...there are at least 2 more! I know, you can peel your jaws off the floor now.

Then go to the store, get some pineapple, and make these burgers. Or just a grilled pineapple, teriyaki, and cheddar sandwich. Seriously.



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6 Responses to Banzai!

  1. Tamyr says:

    Oh my goodness!
    The burger looks just mouthwatering

  2. Lauren says:

    Awww, cutest story ever! I don’t think I ever knew that Adam proposed in a pineapple. LOVE that! 🙂

  3. Liz says:

    I. LOVE. Red Robin. SO MUCH. Seriously, that commercial where the guy swerves off the road to get to one? That is me. I literally did that once to go to Red Robin.

  4. Roz says:

    This looks better than anything I’ve ever had at Red Robin (even though the Whiskey River burger is pretty darn good!) Have a great day Mara.

  5. Marianne says:

    Good ol’ Red Robin. Takes me back to like, high school…which was in 199…whatever. We don’t need to go there. We used to hit up that place all the time for dinner with friends. Heck, I still get there probably once a year for nostalgia sake. Weirdly, I never get a burger there – it’s all about the clucks and greens for me, with the cheesy garlic bread…drool.

  6. Pingback: 11 Things | What's For Dinner? | recipes and cooking

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