Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shrimp Tacos from Rubio's

I know, I know, you don't want to hear more about Rubio's.  You don't understand why I keep going back, particularly when this blog started out as basically only reviews of high end restaurants.  On the surface, it doesn't make sense, I admit it.

But, as I've said before, I really like Rubio's!  It is nearby, it is quick, it is convenient, it is reasonably priced, and most importantly, it is good!

I did do something differently this visit, I went at lunchtime (I usually go in the evening), and I went during the week (I usually go on weekends).  I've never been during weekday lunch there before. It was totally packed, with folks dining in and taking out.  A very different vibe from my other visits.

As always, the staff were ridiculously friendly, and not in a fake way.  The person taking my order even said something like "it is nice to meet you", and it sounded genuine.  I'm always blown away by how nice the service is for a fast casual establishment!

Since I've bored you to death with my general reviews already, I'll skip those details, and focus only on my meal this time.
2-Taco Plate:  Salsa Verde Shrimp Taco, Grilled Gourmet Shrimp Taco,  "No-Fried" Pinto Beans, Chips. $8.XX.
I went with Ojan for lunch, and since neither of us were starving, we decided to split a two taco plate.  I planned to pick one taco for myself, and have him pick the other for himself.  He asked what I was having, and I said I couldn't decide between the two different shrimp tacos I'd enjoyed before.  I was definitely in the mood for smoky, grilled shrimp, but the two tacos were completely different, and I couldn't decide.  I remembered loving the cheesy, bacon goodness of the Grilled Gourmet Shrimp Taco, along with the crispy corn tortilla, but I also liked the fresher flavors of the Salsa Verde Shrimp Taco, filled with crisp cabbage, and a soft flour tortilla.  Totally different, but both memorably delicious.  Ojan saved the day when he quickly said "let's just get those two and share them!".  Thank goodness, no more decision necessary, although, cutting tacos in half is a bit difficult.

Since I'm allergic to avocado, and both of these tacos normally include avocado, I had it on the side (seen on the edge of the photo, they packaged it up into a separate container), so Ojan could add it into his.

Each of the tacos contained 4 shrimp, nicely grilled as before, and not at all rubbery.  They didn't have quite the same smoky flavor that I remembered from my previous trips, but they were well prepared.

We both started with the heavier one, the Grilled Gourmet Shrimp Taco: "Sustainable shrimp grilled on an authentic comal then served on a warm stone-ground corn tortilla with toasted cheese and topped with crisp bacon pieces, buttery Hass Avocado slices, our red tomatillo salsa, our creamy chipotle sauce, a cilantro/onion mix and cotija cheese."  Like last time, I just loved the combination of the melted cheese, the bacon, and the corn tortilla.  So good!  There was far less cheese on this than the one I had last time however.  I may have complained about how much cheese there was last time, but this time I felt it was a bit skimpy.  I think that was due to my expectations however, and without a comparison point, I'm sure I would have found this to be totally sufficient.  And like last time, I felt that the shrimp were kinda lost in the cheesy/bacon/creamy chipotle sauce spectacle, so I ate them separately.  Still, pretty delicious, and I'm glad I ordered it again.

Then we moved on to the Salsa Verde Shrimp Taco: "Sustainable pan-seared shrimp topped with a salsa verde sauce made with tomatillos, poblano chiles and fresh herbs, along with buttery Hass Avocado slices, a melted three-cheese blend, our creamy chipotle sauce, a cilantro/onion mix and cabbage. Served on a warm flour tortilla."  This was a much lighter feeling option, as it didn't have tons of cheese and bacon.  The flour tortilla was warm, soft, and I liked it more than I had in the past.  I loved the freshness and crunch from the cabbage.  There was quite a bit of it, but it really was just the perfect amount.  But the star of the show, as before, was the absolutely delicious creamy chipotle sauce.  Soo soo good.  I didn't taste the cheese that was apparently in there, but I didn't care at all.  It was pretty much perfect as it was.  The winner of the pair, but I'd gladly order either of them again.

The chips were again standard, unremarkable, and something I'd normally skip, except that I totally fell in love with the chipotle salsa from the salsa bar.  I used it to dunk the edges of my tortillas in, and then started in on the chips.  And didn't stop, until I used up all the salsa.  I have no idea why I was so into it this time, it just had a great smokiness to it!

The beans were about the same as all previous visits, creamy, hot, but meh, just beans.  Ojan liked dipping some chips in them.
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