Pros: Cold beer, good food
Cons: Skimped on the sauce, salad bar is average
If you’re hungry enough, it usually doesn’t matter by that point where you eat, as long as it’s somewhere you can sit down and dive in with a fork. And I was that hungry today. And as easy as it would have been to visit one of several fast food joints in the area, I wanted a cold beer with my grub, and the closest place that fit that requirement was Ruby Tuesday. And that’s how we ended up there.
Ruby Tuesday is a chain that boasts over 900 restaurants nationwide. We hit the store located at 750 Citadel Drive in Colorado Springs (inside the Citadel Mall,) and sat ourselves in the bar area, where we were greeted promptly by our bartender. To say that the place was clean is an understatement, its cleanliness is probably the first thing you’ll notice.
From our cozy bar booth, I ordered a Stella Artois (large) on tap, which came quickly and was very cold. And at $5.24, it was pretty reasonable—there are bars here in Colorado Springs that’ll charge you between four and five bucks for a pint, let alone a large.
Ruby Tuesday has changed their menu from when I last visited. If you order a Chef’s Special Meal, you can get unlimited Garden Bar and one side (or two sides if you don’t want the salad bar.) After pretty much deciding on the Crab Cake dinner ($14.99,) I changed my mind at the last minute and opted for the Meatloaf with a side of grilled green beans ($10.99.) The Garden Bar is pretty much your average salad bar, but everything was fresh and crisp. The green beans were hot and crunchy, and the three slices of meatloaf were crisp on the outside, and moist on the inside, and covered with a tangy barbeque sauce. The meatloaf came with a small container of this sauce to dip it in—a very small container, as if giving a little extra sauce might break them.
My girlfriend chose the Soup (Broccoli Cheese) and Garden Bar ($9.99) with a side of Onion Rings ($2.99.) She was a bit disappointed that the soup was more cheese than broccoli, but liked the salad bar enough to make a return trip. She liked the Onion Rings—they were nice and crispy and not at all soggy like some onion rings can get sometimes.
Not wanting to try the meatloaf or crab cakes? Ruby Tuesday offers shrimp dishes, as well as Herb Crusted Tilapia, and on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, a Lobster special. Chicken dishes appear to be a specialty, as does their steak selection. And if you just want a burger, they do up burgers as well.
After I finished off my meatloaf and green beans, I noticed the dessert menu, and the Double Chocolate Cake was calling my name. It’s a moist circle of chocolate cake surrounding warm chocolate sauce, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream garnished with strawberry sauce. And while it could’ve used more chocolate sauce, it was a pretty damn tasty dessert ($5.99.)
I don’t often eat at corporate restaurants—I prefer to support locally-owned businesses. But Ruby Tuesday was good enough that I’d return in the future if I’m in that part of town again. Was it the best meal I’ve ever eaten? No, not by a long shot. But it also wasn’t the worst I’ve had. They did what I needed—filled me up with a good, hot meal. If you’re hungry and there are no mom and pop places nearby, by all means, stop in and enjoy a cold beer and some good grub.