Friday, August 31, 2012

@RubiosTweets - Why Didn't Someone Tell Me About This Before?!?!

I was very nicely invited to check out the Beach Mex restaurant called Rubio's recently.  I was a little weary, as I lumped this place in with Baja Fresh and the rest of the "Bland Mexican" chains.  I couldn't have been more wrong.

They greeted us as soon as we walked in, and it's important for me to note that it was a nice, perfectly friendly welcome.  It wasn't annoyed, or stressed out the way that some people working those kind of jobs can be.  They waited very nicely for us to figure out what we wanted and order.  After we placed our order they invited us to visit the salsa bar while we waited for our food.

I don't think that anyone could've said anything better to me.  I adore salsa, and the 4 different kinds of salsa were all delicious.  The mild, picante, chipotle, and tomatillo are all perfectly equal in flavor.

I went with their new item, the Chipotle Orange Shirmp Salad, even though I'm not a huge fan of salads.  The Neon Beast went a different route, trying 3 different types of tacos.  He liked them so much that he only thought to let me have one bite of one of them, so he laid them out for me here:

The Original Fish Taco: "Very thick corn tortilla, fried fish with cabbage and their fish taco sauce.  The tortilla has a different texture than regular corn tortillas, very firm.  If you don't like corn tortillas falling apart on you, then this is the tortilla for you.  I have to admit that the flavor isn't as great as a classic tortilla, but it's not bad." (Argot note: I tried a tiny piece, and I thought it tasted just as good as a regular corn tortilla) "Flavor was good, fish was not overpowering."

The Avocado Corn Fish Taco: "Corn Tortilla.  This is the same as the original, only instead of cabbage there was avocado and corn.  Really good, but I preferred the cabbage personally.  I thought it was a better contrast.  I used the chipotle and picante salsa on this taco, which lead me to like the chipotle salsa better."

The Mango Habanero Ono Taco: "Flour Tortilla.  This was the Ono fish with the Habanero and Mango sauce with chunks of mango and some cabbage.  This is the one that I would have everyday for the rest of my life.  In fact if they were open late I would get some all the time.  I can't really say how the tortilla tasted like because the other flavors were so bright and sweet and spicy.  If festive was a flavor, it would be to describe this taco.  This is what I wish every fish taco I've ever had tasted like.  Needless to say, a big thumbs up from me.  I hope it's not just promotional or seasonal, because I would like it always."

My salad was one of the best salads I've ever had.  In fact, even though the lettuce was fresh and tasty, I ended up leaving a lot of it to concentrate on the amazing bits of fresh mandarin oranges, avocado, and OMG the shrimp.  Normally I'm not a huge fan of shrimp, unless it's sweet shrimp at the sushi bar, but this shrimp had been marinated and cooked on a grill to the utmost perfection.  I could've had a whole plate of just them and been perfectly happy.

Also, this is not something that I normally point out, but since we had just had lunch at "Nacho Daddy" the day before and could barely stand to eat there due to it being so gross, Rubio's smelled, looked, and was actually clean.  As soon as someone would leave, there would be staff there to wipe everything up and make sure that it stayed clean.  It makes a huge difference to me that they take pride in that.

My only words of criticism would be that their location on Eastern and the 215 is terrible.  It is in the Southeast-most corner of the Wal-mart/Sam's Club parking lot, so much so that we missed it entirely on our first trip out to visit.  The last criticism would be that I feel that giving away a small plate of chips would do wonders.  The salsa bar is complimentary, but their food doesn't really need extra things like salsa.  However, the salsa is amazing on their own, and I didn't see chips even on the menu until we were on our way out.  Maybe a quick "would you like some chips for our complimentary salsa bar?" when we ordered would've cleared everything up.

Overall it is an amazing restaurant, far better than it has any right to be for faster food.  We will for sure be back with our family and friends, and I encourage you to check it out whenever you can.  Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, and let your taste buds be your guide!
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