Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Yes, more Rubio's.

It has been exactly one year since I discovered Rubio's, as part of my epic birthday freebie quest.  I've returned many times since, and have always been fairly impressed, particularly for the price point.

Since I've reviewed Rubio's a zillion times, I'll skip all the general comments this time, and focus only on the meal I had this time.
Pacific Mahi Mahi Taco, No-fried Pinto Beans, Chips.  $5.46.
I've basically tried all of Rubio's seafood tacos at this point.  I had a really hard time deciding what to get this time.  I knew I didn't want salmon, as that is the only seafood I've had there that didn't seem very high quality.  I have really liked the shrimp tacos before, but I just wasn't in the mood for shrimp.  I almost ordered the mango habanero mahi mahi, but since I've had that two times before, I decided to try the more simple pacific mahi taco, the only one I hadn't yet tried (because the mango habanero version always sounds so much better!)

Described as "Pacific mahi mahi, a mild, white fish, seasoned in olive oil and garlic or house blackened with a mix of spices, grilled on an authentic comal, and topped with fire-roasted corn with a hint of chile, our creamy chipotle sauce, a cilantro/onion mix and red and green cabbage. Served on a warm stone-ground corn tortilla and garnished with a slice of lime."

The taco contained a huge filet of mahi mahi and was loaded up with other ingredients.  It was easily the fullest taco I've received at Rubio's.

Since I liked the blackened seasoning when I had it with the tilapia, I went for it again.  However, just like last time when I had it with the mango habanero mahi, the blackening totally overwhelmed the fish, and all other flavors in the taco.  It worked with the tilapia, but I won't be trying it again with the mahi.  The fish was nicely cooked, tender, flaky, although just a bit fishy.

The tortilla was unremarkable, their standard corn tortilla, with a nice corn flavor, warm, but not as toasted and nice as on several other visits.

The fire-roasted corn, which I really liked when it was included in other tacos, didn't have the same great roasted flavor this time around, and I didn't detect any of the chile.  The cabbage, cilantro, and onion mix helped round out the taco, provided some crunch, but weren't as memorable as the other slaws.  I saw some of the creamy chipotle sauce, but didn't taste it, likely due to the blackening.

I realized once I got my receipt the the person taking my order entered this as a single taco plate, with beans and chips.  I wasn't planning to get those, as I haven't ever cared for them in the past, but since this was a freebie, I didn't bother correcting it.

The beans were just the same as always, hot, fresh, creamy, topped with a little queso fresco.  I'm sure if I liked beans, they would have been good, but they just aren't my thing.  I tried a few bites, but brought the rest to Ojan.

The chips were also the same as always, not hot, barely salted, just not remarkable.  I had a few, along with all the salsas from the salsa bar, but just wasn't into any of it.  I felt the same about the salsas as my previous visits: tomatillo is just watery and blah, mild is not flavorful enough and tastes just like tomato, the picante tastes burnt, and the roasted chipotle was my favorite, but still not great.  Thus, Ojan also received some chips and salsa.

Overall, there wasn't anything all that wrong with this taco, but it just didn't come together well, and the blackening was too much.  I won't get it again.
Churro.  $1.50.
Since I hadn't used my full $7 birthday credit, I decided to throw on a churro as well.  I've only tried the churro at Rubio's once before, and I really didn't like it, but I wanted to give them another chance.

It was the same as the previous time: really crispy, oily, loaded up with cinnamon and sugar, and just not very good.  I gave it to a co-worker, who seemed to enjoy it though.
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