I’ll admit it, I am not a “fish guy.” So it’s natural, I guess, that Rubio’s isn’t on the fast food circuit here at Fast Food Source as often as some other fast food chains. Apart from their reputation as a fish taco place, Rubio’s also tends to roll out restaurants in strip malls, without drive-thru’s. This only adds to the list of reasons why I passed up Rubio’s in favor of other Mexican fast food alternatives. But that is my loss, as a recent trip helped me rediscover some Rubio’s goodness.
First off, my local restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona is spotless. Just look at the meticulous craftsmanship that went into provisioning the salsa bar in the above picture. Those are real lemons and limes, by the way. The place was so clean that, when a tiny drop of salsa missed my portion cup while scooping I felt guilty. Grabbing a readily-available napkin I restored the restaurant to its unspoiled nature.
Now, this ain’t my first rodeo. One restaurant experience does not represent the chain as a whole. But I was off to a good start. Next, I turned to the menu. Formerly using the extended name “Baja Grill,” Rubio’s used to play up the San Diego/Mexico cross-border connection. The new moniker, Rubio’s “Coastal Grill” still implies a focus on seafood but may have more national appeal, even if a bit more generic.
The menu has a full selection of seafood. We’ll review a couple of selections in an upcoming article. But they’ve got landlubbers covered too with a decent selection of steak and chicken offerings. I, of course, tried a chicken taco and will review that one too.
The service was quick and friendly. The prices are on the higher end for a la carte tacos – expect to pay between $3.50 and $4 for most selections. You can get combos with chips and beans for some reasonable prices. I’ve scanned the most recent menu and posted it here to get a feel. The aforementioned salsa bar is kick ass. Four main salsas vary in degree of kick. Fresh slices of lemons, limes, chopped onions, etc. all add to the appeal.
In short, Rubio’s should be in your consideration set for a Mexican fast food stop, especially if you’re dining in where you can take repeated advantage of the salsa bar.