Accompanied by my niece and after a tour of a local chocolate exposition, we ended up in the bistro chain of “Ruby Tuesday”, ostensibly named after a Rolling Stones’ song but who knows?
We were seated at a fine booth with a pleasant view. The service throughout our dining experience was impeccable.
We began with a drink, a margarita. Not that I’m a connoisseur of mixed drinks but I thought my drink to be a little low on the spirits. Although the lime was fresh and sharp as only fresh limes can be.
I considered the Shrimp Pasta Alfredo but changed my mind quickly. This dish, one of my favorites, is always served in gigantic portions and offers little of variety in terms of taste and presentation. Ruby’s brags about its salad bar and with full intention of testing it fully, I decided on an appetizer termed by the restaurant as a “4-Way Sampler”.
Ruby’s own menu describes this treat as:
Asian glazed wings, classic Tuesday tenders, Southwestern spring rolls and fried cheese sticks. Served with smoky honey Dijon, ranch and marinara dipping sauces.
My niece opted for one of Ruby Tuesdays custom hamburgers. We both decided to begin our meal with a trip to the salad bar.
We arrived at around 4:00 pm for a late lunch/early dinner. While an employee was busy keeping the salad bar stocked with plenty of food, no one was paying any attention to the general untidiness of Ruby Tuesday’s great source of pride. Lettuce that was meant to frame the pretty vegetables was tossed all about and was more a nuisance than a pleasure to the eye.
As for the food as presented on Ruby’s vaunted salad bar, it was all crisp, fresh and tasty. I had some shredded beets to top my lettuce, cuke and tomato concoction and was pleasantly surprised. It’s a vegetable generally offered, if at all, as round slices drowning in a vinegary liquid. There were also plenty of pasta-based salads offered, some big crispy croutons and a plethora of salad dressings. I’d give the salad bar a solid B+. If Ruby’s would keep its green bounty a little cleaner it would be right up there with an A rating.
My 4-Way sampler appetizer was a mixed affair. The fried cheese sticks were under-fried, wrapped in a pale soft breading with not a hint of crunch. The so-called “spring rolls” were okay but nothing like the crispy wonton-wrapped vegetable creations of the Orient one associates with this food. The chicken legs were the best of all four offered items. They were crispy-skinned, meaty and coated with an intriguing sauce that makes one want to eat more. The chicken tenders were perfectly fried with a crunchy crust such things require. I’d recommend this appetizer as it is the perfect size, accompanied by a trip to the salad bar, for a complete meal.
My niece loved her cheeseburger. One can design their own burger at Ruby Tuesday and she came up with a blue cheese-topped hunk of meat on a freshly made whole-wheat bun. She raved about the pleasant sweetness of the bread and, indeed, made me take a bite. To my surprise the bun itself was such a joy that the meat might be a second player to its holder. Not to fear. My niece, a little thing who never eats much at one sitting, chowed down heartily on Ruby’s custom-made burger, burped joyfully and pronounced her meal filling, hearty and delicious.