Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ruby Tuesday



1120 Shapiro Dr.
Festus, Mo
It’s been three weeks since the last review. I was sick, busy, busier, and Angel was out of town last week. We’re all back now and ready to inform you, our loyal fans.
I was tired of burgers, I’ve had more than usual the last couple of weeks. Quick, easy, tasty, but ultimately, after a while, boring and heavy.
No one was in the mood to pick a place, so I just threw this out there.
The Place:
Once again, below Lowe’s parking lot on a hill above I-55. It seemed pretty busy, it was. We were greeted at the door by a young lady with cleavage. Not that that is a bad thing, nor do I admit to actually noticing it or leering. I’m just mentioning it to be thorough. The cleavage did not motivate me to order any more food or drinks than I would have normally, nor did I leave a larger tip than usual.
Those awesome biscuits
We were seated near the bustling bar. The booths are smaller in this area, and overhead are TV’s playing sports. Angel and I got a football game, Missouri vs. Syracuse, and Adam got a NASCAR race. NASCAR is curiously considered a sport in some places.
I didn’t mind the football, especially college games. A trend among university teams is to have brightly colored and highly stylized uniforms and helmets. If you take off your glasses and sit at a distance the action looks like a swirling 60’s LSD flashback.
We were handed menus, a plate of garlic-cheesy biscuits and gave the waitress our drink order, tea, sweet tea and Coke.
By the time our drinks came around we were all ready to order.
The Food:
The perfect salad
I found nothing really new on the menu, so I went with a favorite; Petite Sirloin, mashed potatoes and the awesome salad bar. The petite is a small nine-ounce cut, perfect for the taste of steak without the heft of a full sized serving, I was counting on the salad to be the bulk of the meal.  Angel went for the dry-rub Memphis ribs, asparagus and mashed potatoes, and of course, the salad bar. Adam took on the Prime Bacon Cheddar Burger, with fries and broccoli. Yeah, a burger and broccoli, go figure. The young man is disgusted by onions and tomatoes, but sides a burger with limp, slimy, disgusting broccoli. I blame his mother.
There was a long line at the salad bar, no surprise. Whatever else I might say about Ruby, she’s got the best salad bar in the entire tri-state area.
Angel's topped with pumpernickel croutons.
The plates seemed smaller than I remembered, Angel doubted it. My appetite was certainly larger than the plates though. Greens, all crispy and fresh, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, red onions, bright green lima beans, real bacon bits, boiled egg, cheeses,  thin sliced tomatoes, apple salad, potato salad, this time covered in a thin layer of Thousand Island dressing (my choice of dressing varies).  Angel had a slight variation, the main theme was those dark, heavy pumpernickel croutons that Adam would be swiping later.
Petite Sirloin
My plate was piled high, I dug in with the passion of a hungry guy with an awesome hand-crafted salad in front of him. “These biscuits mean we never need to go to Red Lobster again.” Adam chimed in. He was right, Ruby’s biscuits are to die for.
   Then they did it again. About halfway through the salad a mere few minutes in, the main courses arrived. Too soon, too soon!
Memphis Ribs
The table was too small to make room for everything and keep it all in reach. Ruby’s done this before, and pardon my Italian, it really pisses me off. What’s the big hurry? I can’t afford to take my family here very often, why rush us through like some cheap fast food joint? The salad bar is the draw to this place, why rush our rare pleasure? I made the salad, I wanted the salad, but you interrupted with a medium rare steak that loses freshness fast. I had to shove aside one third of the awesome salad to be able to savor the steak at its best.
I’ve griped about it before, I’ll complain about it again if they keep doing this.
This food itself was quite good. Though the plating was sparse and plain, the food was delicious. The steak was cooked perfectly to order, topped with butter and pepper. The mashed potatoes were fluffy and cheesy and only a little too salty.
Prime Cheddar Bacon Burger..with broccoli
“That’s a very pretty burger.” Adam said shortly before it disappeared.
I tried a bit of Angel’s ribs, and gave her a sliver of steak. She loved the spiciness of the steak, I was less impressed with the rib meat. It wasn’t bad, I’m just not much of a rib-guy, or a big dry rub fan. Angel in fact later said that the rib-rub could have been spicier. She said that however, over a plateful  of bare, gnawed bones. “The meat just fell off the bones.” She said, while smacking her lips.
I enjoyed my steak and potatoes, finished them off. Angel and Adam wanted dessert, to go, I didn’t. “You’re passing up the chance for cheesecake?” She was puzzled. “I already have a snack planned.” I responded, thinking of the graham crackers and fresh jar of peanut butter at home, the result of a recent craving. They each ordered a slice of pumpkin pie cheesecake. I don’t care for pumpkin anyhow.
Summary:
The wait staff was exceptional, they kept us refilled and cleared away. The only bad thing about the meal, and it’s not a minor thing in my book, was the rushed main course delivery.
Pumpkin Cheesecake
The tea was clear and fresh as it most often is at Ruby’s. Even Angel commented on it. The price for the meal and the two desserts came to just over sixty two dollars. Kind of pricy if you eat there a lot, but for a once every other month or so thing, probably not too bad. The food was, as it usually is, of high quality and prepared well. The most telling fact is that we keep going back. Ruby gets it mostly right most of the time. It’s dependable and predictable.
Another minor point though, The booths in the area around the bar are too small, stiff and lumpy.
By far the main draw for us is here the salad bar. It’s always well stocked with a huge variety of fresh produce. Next time I might just make a meal of the salad and the biscuits. That would avoid the recurring problem of being interrupted by a too-quick main course.



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