Monday, August 15, 2016

Vegetarian Tacos at Rubio's

Rubio's, Rubio's, Rubio's.  I <3 Rubio's.  And I realize how ridiculous this is.  I don't really like Mexican cuisine.  I'm kinda a snob so "fast casual" concepts rarely impress.  Yet, I love Rubio's.  I reviewed the place so many times, I added label to my blog for it.  If you somehow haven't discovered the magic of Rubio's and have no idea what I'm talking about, go read my other posts first.  I'm skipping all the generic details this time around.

This visit was inspired in the same way as my first visit to Rubio's: a freebie.  I'm a member of Rubio's "Beach Club", so, for my birthday, I get a free taco.  I couldn't wait to go redeem my coupon.

I decided to really mix things up this time, and get a non-seafood taco, the veggie version of the Grilled Gourmet Taco.  My choice was not a reflection on Rubio's seafood in any way; I genuinely enjoy most of their seafood (basically, everything but the salmon), but, I was really desiring vegetables.  Plus, I'd had the roasted veggies on the salad before, so I knew how good the roasted veggies are.
Grilled Gourmet Taco with Veggies, no avocado, plus bacon.
"Grilled sweet peppers, onions, zucchini and squash served on a warm stone-ground corn tortilla with toasted cheese and topped with buttery Hass Avocado slices, our roasted chipotle salsa, our creamy chipotle sauce and cilantro/onion mix."

I was not disappointed by my choice, although, at a first glance, it looked pretty horrible.  My heart sank when it was delivered to my table.  The tortilla was glistening, it looked crazy oily and soggy, and the bacon seemed to have been thrown on top at last minute, and it too was all flabby and soggy looking.  My memories of past Grilled Gourmet Tacos were of a slightly grilled corn tortilla, coated in perfectly melty crispy cheese, with the bacon mixed in and crisp too.

A bit heartbroken, I picked it up, and took a bite.  My fears were instantly erased.  Execution flaws aside, it was delicious.

The mix of veggies was red, yellow, and green peppers, all diced, along with onions, and bigger batons of zucchini.  The veggies were all soft and tender, really well seasoned (I believe they marinate in garlic and lemon), and had a decent grilled flavor to them.  There was tons of veggies inside, my taco was a bit hard to fold up and eat without veggies spilling out everywhere.

Although it wasn't listed in the description, I also found some of their fire-roasted corn inside, which was a bonus surprise that I was happy to find, as I've always liked the corn.

The roasted chipotle salsa and creamy chipotle sauce were flavorful as always, and, even though I wanted to load my taco up with stuff from the toppings bar, it was perfect as it was.  I loved how the creamy sauce complimented the spicy salsa.  I really adore the sauces at Rubio's.

Since I'm allergic I left out the avocado, and, since I'm not actually vegetarian, I had the bacon added back in (bacon is included on all the other Grilled Gourmet tacos, just, not the veggie one).  I think this may have confused someone, because I know that the bacon is usually baked on to the tortilla with the cheese, and mine was just thrown on top.  I *almost* said something, but, decided to not be a pain.  Still, the flabby bacon on top was not great, and I'd leave it off in the future.

The final element was a little bit of the onion/cilantro mix, really, a meager amount, but the salsa bar has more if you want it, but I didn't feel the need.

Overall, was it perfect?  No.  The tortilla *was* soggy and oily, the bacon *was* flabby and thrown on top, and the cheese, while melted, wasn't crunchy like I wanted.  But, the great flavors and textures made up for all of these shortcomings, and I really enjoyed it anyway.

Rubio's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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