Pros: Terrific salad bar. Good, consistent food, great service.
Cons: Ummm... I'm thinking...
Chopped eggs, bacon bits, shredded ham, cheese, and croutons.
Broccoli, olives, onions, cucumbers, and peas.
What are these groups of foods? The first is stuff my husband likes on his salad, stuff that I won't touch. The second group is all the stuff I love on my salad, that my husband won't touch. You'd think that pleasing both of us would be difficult, wouldn't you? Well, it's not, when we eat at Ruby Tuesday. That's because Ruby (or Ruby's as we usually call it) is one of the few chain restaurants in my area that still has a salad bar. And boy do we love it. It's quite large, kept well-stocked, and everything is always fresh.
Adding the salad bar to any food item (entrée or appetizer) normally costs $2.99. But right now they are running a special where the salad bar is free with any steak, chicken, or seafood meal. As these meals run from $12-$17, adding the salad bar for free is a terrific deal, one we love taking advantage of. Usually we eat so much salad that we take nearly all of our main dish home with us for the next day. Oddly, the hostess wasn't able to tell us just how long this special would run. She just sort of said "We have it now". I hope they keep it around forever!
So, what are the steak, chicken, and seafood options? Well, for steak options they have Petite Sirloin, Top Sirloin, Peppercorn Mushroom Sirloin (Yum!!!), and Rib Eye. Chicken dishes include a Chicken & Broccoli Pasta dish that is wonderfully delicious, but hideously fattening. That's because it comes smothered with a sinful parmesan cream sauce. Lighter choices are Chicken Fresco (grilled chicken and tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette sauce), Bistro Barbecue Chicken, and Chicken Oscar (grilled chicken, jumbo lump crab meat, and asparagus in a lemon butter sauce). For seafood, you can choose from Creole Catch (broiled tilapia), New Orleans Seafood, Parmesan Shrimp Pasta and two kinds of Salmon. Plenty of choices, and don't forget - right now they come with the free salad bar!
But if you don't feel like any of those, don't fret, there's plenty more to choose. A great way to make a reasonable meal is to order an appetizer and add the salad bar for $2.99. The appetizers are usually pretty big, and coupled with the salad, make a terrific meal. They have spring rolls, Asian dumplings, crab cake, Thai shrimp, and wings. You can also go all out with the "Grand Sampler" (wings, spring rolls, fried Mozzarella, and chicken tenders). That's the most expensive appetizer ($10.99) but it can easily be shared by two. I love their wings and usually choose those. They're fattening, but I've decided that if you eat a healthy salad with them, it negates all those calories! (Kidding, folks!!!)
Or, maybe you're a rib lover. I'm not. But if you are, they have Baby Back Ribs, that can be ordered as Classic Barbecue or Memphis Dry Rub. By the way, I found it interesting to learn that the Dry Rub is higher in fat and calories than the Barbecue. I would have guessed it to be the other way around, but I am certainly not an expert in ribs.
Finally, if you're into burgers, you've got plenty of choices here. Burgers can come with Swiss cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce, Blue cheese, or mushrooms. You can have a bison burger (lower in fat and calories than their regular burgers), a veggie burger (higher in calories, but lower in fat, than the bison burger), or a turkey burger (lower in fat and calories than either of the two options above). Or, lowest of all, a Jumbo Lump Crab Burger. (I'm not too tempted by that one). Ranging from $7-$12, they're huge, and come with fries. Not a bad deal!
We have never had a bad experience at our local Ruby's. The service is always perfect and even the pace of the meals is fine. (We actually get to finish our salads before the main course comes out).
When it comes to décor, Within the past two years, they've made a lot of changes. The first set of changes was made to their dishes. Every dish is a rectangle now. (Some are squares, but you know what I mean). They all have four straight sides. I don't really love this, but I've grown accustomed to it. I do think that the salad bar plates are a little bit small, but that's probably done on purpose. The next change they made was to the interior itself. All new booths, tables, and lighting. It's kind of dark, but I think overall it's a nice change. We always feel very comfortable there, have terrific food, and perfect service. No complaints here!
I would hope that the other locations are just as wonderful, but I can only speak for my local Ruby's which is on Hiatus Road & State Road 84 in Davie, Florida.
Oh - one last thing - right now you can go online after your meal, take a short survey, and receive a coupon for $4 off your next meal.