Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ruby Tuesday Food Review II

Ribs and Crispy Popcorn Shrimp

My friend Rhonda insists on eating at Ruby Tuesday; and old friends deserve first dibs... even if their judgement is temporarily impaired. I've had good times at RT before; but as a rule... it's not one of my favorite places to go. Today's visit was for barbecue (or Ruby Tuesday's version of) so let's see how they racked up.

Give the folks at Ruby Tuesday credit: They know how to make you feel welcome. It's casual (granted) but they didn't bat an eye when we asked for a quiet table, away from the action. It's hard to judge staff efficiency, because we told them upfront that we weren't in a hurry. That said, it took more than half an hour to get complimentary biscuits (and we had to ask for them.) Said biscuits were hot out of the oven, but greasy (note drops of butter.) They're OK, I suppose; but not even close to Cafe Deluxe or Red Lobster.

Garlic Cheese Biscuits... Finally

On to the entrees... Herb-Crusted Tilapia ($13.29) for my friend: Ribs & Crispy Popcorn Shrimp ($18.99) for yours truly. As you can see, not cheap... especially my order: Barbecue half-rack served with crispy popcorn shrimp and two sides. Their sides are far from inspiring, and evidently small in portion. I doubled-up on starches, opting for Onion Rings and Mashed Potatoes. The latter was pitifully tiny (literally a large spoonful) and the rings, few in number and tasteless.

Popcorn shrimp were woefully small as well, with little to no shrimp inside. Fried food usually doesn't carry much flavor, and the onion rings/shrimp were no exception to the rule. As for the potatoes, three bites and they were gone (and quickly forgotten... zero taste, as well.)

Best on the plate (and I'm being generous) were the ribs, which "ate" up half my plate, and packed some flavor. The glaze was syrupy sweet, and the meat fatty; but compared to the rest of the dish, not terrible. Obviously, the whole lot didn't come close to justifying its cost.

Service improved, as the meal progressed; and our server (Maya) was friendly and even took time to joke around with us towards the end. All-in-all, exactly what I expected to find. Ruby Tuesday has struggled to find its footing in DC; and I wouldn't be surprised to see them close this location sooner than later. Their suburban locations have always performed better, in my humble opinion; and Rhonda and I need a new place to catch up on old times.