Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ruby Tuesdays

Ruby Tuesdays
Multiple locations

Ruby Tuesdays is one of those restaurants that I always lumped into the same category as Applebees, Max & Ermas and TGIFridays: popular casual dining chains with precious little for vegetarians. In fact, the last time I had visited a Ruby Tuesdays (admittedly, over five years ago) they had nothing at all for vegetarians and I ended up walking out.

Ruby Tuesdays: Who could hang a name on you?

I probably would have happily continued ignoring the restaurant had I not gone on a weekend get-away with my Mom and Ruby Tuesdays was the only restaurant near our hotel that wasn't drive-thru fast food.

I was wowed by the salad bar, which is a cut above the average. Alongside the standard bar items, there are unique items like edamame, thinly sliced zucchini and slivered pickled beet. They also offer four varieties of lettuce to choose from, two types of vegetarian pasta salad, a smashing bean salad, and creamy apple salad.

The salad bar choices are excellent

It's too bad their hot entrées aren't as well thought out as the salad bar. None of the soups are safe (the broccoli-cheese soup has a chicken base) and the menu's only veggie entrée is a standard veggie burger.

The restaurant has jumped on the "mini sandwich" and "endless fries" bandwagon with a bevy of pint-sized selections a la White Castle that are available as appetizers or as a salad bar accompaniment for a small upcharge. There isn't a veggie burger mini, natch, but they do offer a mini grilled cheese option if you don't mind ordering from the kid's menu.

My neice and nephew tagged along on a recent visit and tried out the minis. Truthfully, we probably could have gotten away with one plate between the two of them, but Zoe wanted grilled cheese and Gunnar wanted burgers. It's a shame that the restaurant doesn't offer a mix & match option because one of each mini was left untouched by the kids.

Zoe is pleased with her mini-grilled cheeses

Gunnar prepares to dig into his mini burgers

Steve wasn't about to be left out: he ordered the mini buffalo chicken burgers

The restaurant's bar has different drink specials every day of the week and margaritas are $5 all the time. Sadly, although they advertise Yuengling on their beer menu, Ohio law doesn't currently allow for the sale. Too bad!

All in all, Ruby Tuesdays' menu still isn't all that different from other nationwide casual dining chains, but the addition of a veggie burger (boring as it may be) and a better-than-average salad bar makes it an acceptable vegetarian-friendly option when traveling.

Ruby Tuesday on Urbanspoon


Suz said...

Actually, I don't like the Ruby Tuesday veggie burger. It doesn't seem to be a "typical" veggie burger as it was very different in flavor from others I've had. The one time I ate it, I thought it was horrible and have never ordered it since. The salad bar has always been one of the best things about Ruby Tuesday; they used to have a baked potato and salad bar menu item, but the low carb crave did away with their baked potato feature.

Veggie Option said...

Hi Suz, thanks for reading. Maybe "typical" was a poor choice of words - I meant that if restaurants have a vegetarian option on the menu, typically it is a veggie burger.

You are right about the Ruby Tuesday veggie burger; it's different than the standard patty normally found in restaurants (ie. frozen Gardenburger or Boca burger). Theirs is more of a homemade affair with a lot of rice.

Pebblesjlb said...

I absolutely LOVED their veggie burger. I asked about what kind it was, and they make it --- like Veggie Option said, it is not the typical frozen Boca or Gardenburger variety. I asked about their recipe. Too many ingredients to mention. I would love to have the recipe -- rice, black beans, squash, zucchini, and flax were the ingredients I remember. If anyone has the recipe, it would be great -- I'm not even a vegetarian -- just trying to cut out red meat and fat and eat healthier! Can anyone help?

nortoncommando said...

The Ruby Tuesday veggie burger recipe now is not vegan. It contains dairy and there is an appeal for them to go back to the original recipe (don't know if it is now a pre-made/frozen patty).

Anonymous said...

I thought the veggie burger was good. Unfortunately, they have now removed it from the menu completely. Truly stupid business decision.

Anonymous said...

Don't really see truly vegetarian offerings on this menu. What about pastas without meat like fettuccine Alfredo or meatless lasagna? What about more vegetable options for the veggie plate like rice pilaf or fried corn? I was uninspired by their offerings. Very little from which to choose for a vegetarian like me.

Coupon Billie said...

Is Ruby Tuesday still around? We used to eat there all the time, I absolutely loved the veggie burger. It had little bits of veggies in it that you could see and didn't taste like the typical frozen types you can get in any store including Walmart. A few years back they changed to a boring burger and that was the end of our visits.

I bought some Dr Praegger's veggie burgers from Trader Joes and they are about the closest that I can get to that wonderful veggie burger that I used to crave from Ruby Tuesday long ago.