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Mar 25, 2008 10:58 AM

Ruby Tuesday's: So Very So-So

This past Saturday we needed something safe to satisfy my in-laws as well as the almost-four-year-old twins. We decided to try the nearby new Ruby Tuesday's (this is in South Riding, Loudoun County, VA). I figured I could at least just make a meal out of the salad bar.

Well, the salad bar is now a pale shadow of its former self and at $7.99 isn't worth it. For another buck you can get a couple of mini burgers or a cup of soup etc, but still not worth it. So I had to order from the menu. I got a turkey burger with bacon and avocado. The burger wasn't bad, but the avocado wasn't nearly ripe enough, so the slices just slid off the burger. The bacon, while tasty, wasn't crisp enough. B- for this thing.

Little Sophie's chicken tenders and fries came out cold. Boo hiss. So did MIL's chicken pot pie, but once they heated it up she enjoyed it. Mrs W.'s steak came with undercooked shrooms and instant mashers. FIL enjoyed his steak, and Little Cooper enjoyed his buttered pasta. (We didn't really challenge the kitchen on that one.)

For dessert, one molten chocolate cake. Mediocre at best.

Places like this have great ad agencies and great menu designers, because what comes out on the plate just doesn't live up to expectations. The service was also amateur hour quality. No desire to return anytime soon, but the place should do just fine, being within around five miles of thousands of families in an area that is still underserved by restaurants.

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  1. Not a fan. The one time I ate there it was with family taking a break from marathon mall Christmas shopping(just so you understand what the alternatives were...more mall chain food).

    They offer "famous" burgers...yeah, right

    Since I don't eat franchise food all that often I recall this was the first time I'd encountered a "health notice" regarding the cooking of ground beef to medium or well on a menu...mmm...appetizing...

    Since the "health warning" specified you could order your burger to your preference, I checked with the waitress to be sure and requested medium-rare.

    And, of course, received medium well. I wasn't going to make an issue of it with family there and all...and, really, in a place like Ruby Tuesday's what's the point?

    I silently chewed and chewed and chewed my "famous" sawdust burger.

    But the real kicker was the s/o's mom's "coconut shrimp" which is her favorite thing there, apparently(and, to each their own)... know how popular these coconut shrimp preps have become over the years...I had no clue they make them with sweetened coconut...!

    ...the horror, the horror

    yes, please, I'd love a macaroon-encrusted shrimp and could I possibly get some more of that syrup to dip it in?


    seems obvious to me that you'd coat a shrimp in unsweetened coconut to play off the natural sweetness of the shrimp...and serve it with a sauce more tangy than sweet

    to make matters worse, the "margaritas" ordered as an amelioration of existential shopping malaise were more mixer and water than tequila

    Ruby Tuesday's...feh

    3 Replies
    1. re: aelph

      Actually, in my area, Ruby Tuesday used to be the chain, sit-down, family-type place to go for a really good burger in the '80s. I think they're trying to stay up with all the other chains these days.

      1. re: aelph

        How did your mother in law get coconut shrimp? That was taken off the menu at least a year ago. FYI, at most corporate restaurants, particularly Ruby Tuesday and Applebee's, there are very strict alcohol policies. Bartenders must use their Bar KDS to ensure everything is "spec", and, yes, those drinks are mostly simple syrup and sour mix. Besides, if you were looking for a real margarita, I'm surprised you ordered one there.

        1. re: Ette1010

          A miffed fan of Ruby Tuesday? I don't quite get the irritation in your post. We ordered margaritas because we felt like it and certainly didn't expect great ones...just drinks that tasted as if they had alcohol in them. BTW you are assuming the orderer of, yes indeed, coconut shrimp, is my mother-in-law when in fact she isn' marriage being illegal in most of the country.

      2. I ate there over the holidays with my parents. My father is on a very restricted low fat diet, and asked if he could have his steamed vegetables without the butter. Our server explained that they come "pre-buttered." Nice.

        The food wasn't actually that bad (I went into it with pretty low expectations), but I'm amazed that a restaurant that has a salad bar full of raw broccoli can't figure out a way to steam it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DeeCee

          That's true. That sort of prep is done in the morning. It's not butter either; it's hydrogenated cotton seed oil. 100 calories per tablespoon and found at every chain restaurant in America.

        2. My wife and I ate takeout from Ruby Tuesday in Charlottesville, VA last week and we were shocked to find that we both liked it quite a bit. She actually had the Turkey Burger with Avocado (sans bacon) and Swiss and she loved it. She declared herself full about 2/3rds of the way but kept nibbling on it because she said it tasted good. And she described the fries as "delightful." I had a ribeye, which they cooked a true rare (hard to get, actually...actually cooked but still nicely rare inside). They swapped the broccoli for green beans (that didn't have any butter on them, so I think some places have figured that out) and I had a baked potato. We were quite pleased with all of it. And the chocolate chip cookies were pretty good for dessert.

          1. agree with the OP re the salad bar. A few years back it was a much better selection - last time I went the salad bar was dull and lifeless with many of the same dishes repeated down the line to make it look fuller.

            Fries came up cold, burger was nothing special.

            1. The original comment has been removed