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Ruby Tuesday

I ate at Ruby Tuesday once, about 8 years ago. It was so awful I never went back. About 5 years ago they opened one within 2 miles of where I live but I never bothered to see if it was any better, that's how bad my first meal was. My recollection of that first experience was a bad chicken sandwich and a salad bar full of wilted and brown vegetables.

The recent Ruby Tuesday commercials have me curious about whether they have improved their food quality or have they just improved their marketing strategy?

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  1. Jpan99, I think their only major change is the waitstaff now wears more "flair".

    1 Reply
    1. At the one by us, the burgers are decent & the salad bar is OK too (no wilted greens, other veggies are fresh). The prices are reasonable as well. We have 2 small children (3-yr. old twins) & it's very close by, so we go there a few times a year with them.

      If the kids really want to go out to eat during the week, it's someplace where we can go & have a good time. Lots of other families with small children there as well. However, I would never think of going there with co-workers or with just my wife.

      1. i was recently traveling from NY to FL and was forced to eat at Ruby Tuesday as it was the only place close to the motel. I had a chicken sandwich (can't remember which one) but it was actually pretty good.

        1. Only good thing is their burgers period.

          1. I'm a big fan of their salad bar. I've never had anything else there, and I have no desire to change that.

            1. Your suspicions are correct. Their marketing strategy would lead you to believe their food is much more high-end than it really is. The menu isn't very big, and half of it is just variations on a burger. And the food isn't that impressive. If you already didn't like it from 8 years ago, you're probably not going to like it now.

              1. There was a study where they compared nutritional values of Ruby Tuesday food. One RT "Colossal Burger" is equal to 5 Big Macs in fat and calories, and their "Fresh Chicken and Broccoli Pasta" had 2060 calories and 128 grams of fat. Yuck.

                Here's a link to one report: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet.f...

                1. we went there recently with my in-laws because it was next door to the hotel - i had some chicken thing with tomato and basil, it was fairly inoffensive. It was also one of the few non-sandwich entrees that wasn't covered in some kind of parmesan cream sauce. I have a dairy allergy, so it was a pretty limited menu for me.

                  1. There's a complete nutrition breakdown somewhat hidden on their website. Go to http://rubytuesday.com/menu.asp and click on 'Download nutrition information' on the bottom of the lefthand TOC. These calorie/fat numbers don't include sides, dips or bread that comes with the meal.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mojoeater

                      True, they have some pretty high-calorie items, but so does every other major restaurant out there. But try looking for nutritional info on some other sites (hello Outback!?). I actually never went to RT's much until about a year ago when we moved close to one. Now we go all the time. I'm pretty health conscious so I usually have a salad bar and a crab cake, or bowl of white chicken chili. The avocado turkey burger is pretty good too, but here's a health hint - you can reduce the calories by about 300 if you just ask for no butter on the bun! (I know one of their culinary exec's.) Happy eating!

                      1. re: Turtle177

                        300 calories of butter on a bun seems an inordinate amount. That equates to a one-inch cube of butter. Hard to imagine the restaurant's cost-control if they're using that much butter per bun.......

                      2. re: mojoeater

                        thanks for the link, mojo
                        I like their triple prime burger medium rare which has 883 cals and 56 gm of fat.
                        They must put butter or oil on everything! How can fresh steamed broccoli have 8 grams of fat? The veggie burger has more cals and almost as much fat as the triple prime. What do they do to add all the fat to vegetables?

                      3. if you like a thick juicy burger and salad bar you can't go wrong with Ruby Tuesdays IMO. Unlike a lot of places they will actually cook your burger rare if you ask them, that is a huge thing to me as I won't even eat a medium burger, which makes my choices outside cooking them at home rather slim these days. the salad bar actually has a nice selection of mixed greens which you seldom see on a salad bar these days, and they recently added an avacado ranch dressing which I think is amazing (I dont even want to know about the calories thank you very much) it actually tastes like avacado!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: willdupre

                          I agree w/ Willdupre, avacado ranch dressing is phenomenal. We are St. Louis foodies, and eat out alot, rarely chains. Ruby Tuesday, however, is our "go to" default for a great affordable salad bar and a reliable burger cooked to order.

                        2. Burger = indigestion
                          Salad greens, well let's just say the spinach was sub-par and well past its prime
                          Service iffy
                          Scale of 1-10: 3

                          1. The ones in our area our pretty good. The new crabcake is really good...mostly lump, very little breading. Salad bar is very impressive. Triple Prime burger was OK...would not get it again. I like their sliders and other burger variations better. The last time I had a chicken dish that was very good.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: GroovinGourmet

                              I don't do chains if I can avoid it but the in-laws in Long Island also swear by the crab cake (for the same reason, little breading) and salad bar. My friend was lamenting that she had agreed to meet friends at RT in Eatontown. I told her what the in-laws said and she ended up agreeing.

                            2. Had the triple prime burger rare last night and it was very good. The salad bar is OK if you stick to the green stuff, but you could really load up on the calories by heaping your plate with the ham, crumbled bacon, potato salad, avocado ranch dressing, etc. I ordered a martini which was prepared well, but a rip-off: for $8, the drink comes filled only half-way up the glass. They must have a corporate portion control policy on alcohol, because any decent bartender would have been embarrassed.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: whs

                                whs- I'm a bartender for RT, and frankly, you got ripped off. A properly prepared martini, using the RT recipe, fills the glass a bit over 3/4 of the way, and has 2.5 ounces of vodka, with vermouth ranging from a splash, to 1/8 of an ounce, depending on how you take it. $8 seems a bit high, too, but you might be on a different pricing scale from us, depending on your location.

                              2. I was there last night. Didn't care much for the seasoned fries, but the salad bar looked awesome, lots of variety and interesting prepared salads, and I had the jumbo lump crab cake burger. My friend laughed as pieces of crab meat kept falling out, but I was thrilled because there was hardly any binder -- almost all crab! Excellent.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Covert Ops

                                  Damn, it was a choice between the burger burger and the crab cake burger, and I was a little nervous about the quality of fish on a Monday night. I'll have to try it next time.

                                  1. re: whs

                                    I'm going to venture a guess here and say that for an operation like Ruby Tuesday, the fact of it being a Monday is pretty irrelevant to the quality of the fish. Which isn't to necessarily say that the fish is of poor quality, just that I expect that the quality is the same regardless of the day of the week....or at least there's no reason to think it is any more likely to be better or worse.

                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                      Very few restaurants get deliveries daily, so chances of getting day old or even two day old fish is pretty high any day of the week. The last restaurant I worked got fish on Thursdays and Mondays.

                                      1. re: mojoeater

                                        Yep, that's the point exactly. Some will get it Monday and Thursdays, some Tuesdays and Fridays, etc. So, unless you can figure out the delivery schedules, you're just as likely on any one day as on any other to get "fresh" stuff.

                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                          Having worked on a fishing boat, I can tell you that delivery date really doesn't matter much. Even if you're getting the fish straight off the boat, the fish on the bottom of the pile was caught and cleaned 6-7 days prior. The best stuff sells for more, and thus doesn't end up on the menu at franchises where cost is more important than quality.

                                          If you want to ensure fresh fish just go to a reputable place.

                                          1. re: everyman

                                            Yep, reuptable and high turnover and you'll get good fish (or whatever else) most of the time.

                                2. I've eaten at Ruby Tuesday a few times recently(work-related, not my choice) and find it to be decent but not memorable in any particular way. I also find the chain indistinguishable from all of the other "bar and grill" type restaurants such as Applebees, Max and Ermas, Bennigans, etc. I'm not sure what their marketing strategy is but I can't think of a point of difference between Ruby Tuesday and those others.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: swissgirl

                                    Their difference is they have square plates. :-D

                                  2. Ruby Tuesdays offers one of the best salad bars I've seen, as far as chain restaurants go. At least when I have gone, they have fresh green lettuce and a huge variety of vegetables (including my favorites- peas and chickpeas). Their crutons are also unique (rye I think) and delicious.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: commonground

                                      As for the seafood discussion, it's not as fresh as a seafood place near the ocean, but pretty close. They only have "fresh" salmon and crab at the moment, but it's flown in and distributed twice a week. I can say that this is one of the few chains I've seen where they really do spend more to get high quality, sometimes at a loss for restaurants in the middle of the country in order to stay consistent.

                                      And about the butter, yes they put it on everything and yes it costs a fortune, but it's what makes everything taste better. That is also what gives the veggie their high fat and calorie content, but you can ask them to leave off the butter on anything.

                                      1. re: Turtle177

                                        I live in Florida, where no town is more than an hour from the ocean, and I can tell you with certainty that location is absolutely no indicator of the freshness of fish.

                                    2. A new one opened in my area recently and we went for lunch...and will never go back. I ordered a glass of wine and it arrived in a dirty glass smeared with fingerprints and bits of cork floating in the glass. I rarely send anything back in a restaurant but this was beyond. Evidently my request annoyed the bartender...I got a clean glass but a small bit (or should I say "spit") of froth floating on top of my wine made me regret asking.

                                      1. I went to the one in Plymouth Meeting PA.

                                        I was going to say the burgers are actually pretty good in terms of taste. However I don't think I would make a habit of eating there because I was pretty shocked at the calories and 75 grams of fat in the Swiss Alpine Burger I ordered (thanks to those who linked below.) WOOF!!

                                        From the looks of it, I wouldn't really bother with the salad bar. I suppose it could be OK in a pinch, but I saw a great deal of shredded American Cheese there.

                                        I thought the fries were too salty, otherwise they wer OK. I had them take them away half way through though so I wouldn't eat them all and wake up gasping for water in the middle of the night.

                                        Even though it was pretty good, I will do whatever it takes to avoid chains. In this case however, we were practically forced to go due to in laws who did not want to get back in the car due to having been stuck for hours in a Colossal traffic jam on the PA turnpike.

                                        Hence, Ruby Tuesdays was literally a five yard walk from their hotel.

                                        1. I like the food...but then again, I've always gotten the white chili/salad bar combo. I think I had a decent bison burger there once, but that was before the recent "upscale" makeover.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: willrun4food

                                            I try to stay away from chain restaurants, but RT is one one guilty pleasure. I agree and always get the salad bar white chicken chili combo but I think their buffalo chicken burger is pretty tasty too.

                                            Ill admit, it is a bit of a mess of a place and much like all the other chains I absolutely cant stand but I still love that salad bar and those pumpernickel (I think) croutons.

                                          2. I like that they put their nutrition information on their website - our weight watchers leader discovered that their veggie burger has an insane amount of fat! Next time I go I'll check the site for what to order.