Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ruby Tuesday

Your usual wordsmith is out of town this weekend to join his siblings in Kentucky. I am his son, Adam, who you may have read about in previous posts as the quiet one with opinions ranging from “fine” to “not bad”. I am not as verbose as my father, who has been reading and dabbling in writing longer than I have been alive, so you won’t see me using words like “wainscoted” or other such snobby language. He insisted my mother take pictures of our meal, so I decided to take the helm of this week’s blog. I have attempted writing before, but could never muster the motivation for anything extensive, so this might be a fun exercise.
The Place:
Ruby Tuesday, an old favorite. Well, “favorite” may not be the right word. This was one of the few places we dined at before starting this blog and escaping our rut. Our adventures in trying new places has noticeably expanded our palettes, most obviously with another classic, Bob Evans, growing just too salty for us these days. Quickly burning through established chains early on led us to lesser known locations, growing our taste even more and allowing us to see that, hey, there is some real quality food out there if you actually go beyond the usual. Perhaps this is why I had such a scathing review of O’Charleys recently, or, perhaps, they are just not great in general. Either way, our continuing return trips to Ruby Tuesday, what surely must be our most visited location at this point, show just how good it is. Or maybe it’s nostalgia.

The Food:
We were seated in a booth, which had a loose table rather than a bolted one. This is nice if you
 want to shift it around, but I much prefer a stationary surface. After a moment we were greeted by our waiter, an odd fellow. I didn’t catch his name, but he reminded me a lot of Otho from the movie Beetlejuice.
We put in our drink orders: my mother a sweet tea, myself a Coke. Their menu had changed quite a bit over the years due to an apparent initiative to become more than just a typical family eatery. This works for the better in terms of the food quality and creating a more focused variety, but results in me never remembering what they have.
A scan of the menu revealed some new features, most notably sandwiches and burgers being served on pretzel buns. This intrigued me. Local shop Cool Beans (which is currently remodeling! We will definitely be returning soon) feature pretzel buns, so I know from experience they are good. This time, however, I wasn’t quite that hungry, so I decided on another new option: a half rack of barbecue ribs and “southern” style hand breaded chicken
tenders, with a side of fries. My mother also chose a half rack of ribs, but with a request for a skewer of grilled shrimp. She then asked to have the salad bar as one of her two sides, but Otho had to decline. He apologized that, much to his disdain and continued protests, the salad bar can only be added on, not used as a side. She sighed but got it anyway, instead ordering her two sides as spaghetti squash and cooked zucchini. I’m unclear why she felt the need to punish herself by ordering these, but I didn’t pry. Otho headed for the kitchen and my mother went for her salad. Since I did not get a salad, she jokingly warned that I would not be allowed at her croutons. I scoffed at the idea, and recommended just grabbing extra. Several minutes later Otho returned with cheese biscuits, fresh out of the oven. They remind me of the similar biscuits served by Red Lobster, but since that place is otherwise terrible, Ruby Tuesday having them dismisses any chance of going back there. Warm, cheesy, soft. They were excellent.
Our meals arrived. I don’t usually order ribs, but these looked quite good. So much so that the lady seated at the table behind us ended up changing her previous order to the ribs. The meat fell right off the bone, much to my delight. I am not a fan of eating around a bone. Too much of a hassle. The meat itself was quite tasty, but not wonderful. Ribs are good, but I prefer other areas of the cow more, I suppose. As for the chicken, it was very tender, and the seasoning was quite… “southern” I guess you could say. A side of honey mustard made them even better. The fries were crispy but not crunchy, and seasoned well.My mother agreed about the ribs, which is all I rea
lly needed to hear, but then she commented on the slop she considered sides.
The zucchini, she says, was good, but the squash was not her cup of tea. No fault of the restaurant itself, just not something she liked. I acted surprised by this finding.
Of course it was good. Ruby Tuesday is a constant in our new world of dining. Not spectacular, but never awful. Above average and with enough variety that our return trips never grow tiresome.
Otho was having a rough day, and I sympathize with him. I myself work in the food industry and sometimes have opinions about what management does. He regularly checked up on us, made sure we understood everything, refilled our drinks in a timely manner, and was otherwise perfectly friendly. He just needs a break.

Editor's Note:
If I must add anything from this meal, it is about the shrimp skewer. I wasn't there, but I certainly heard about it. The skewer cost $3 and had a grand total of 3 shrimp. Angel mentioned this several times, many, many times. (DCB)

Ruby Tuesday on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I'm convinced I was one of the first readers of this blog- I check it frequently...A few years back I wanted to see if there was an online for the now deceased "Kim's Cafe" and found a link. I thought "Ill be dam*ed, a fellow smart a$$, fellow tea snob who writes well from my area. I've read ever since and have passed this on to everyone I know- It is always a great read-
    Watch out, Adam can ABSOLUTELY write well and I would like to see more of him. That is if he can steer away from the few years of chicken strips lol