Ruby T is not your everyday big box lunch
By Jon Roosenraad, GLOB Historian
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Jon Roosenraad is a University of Florida Professor Emeritus of Journalism. Dr. Jon loves sports, a good cigar, and the smart economy of a cheap, tasty lunch special.
Well, Ruby Tuesday, located in the Oaks Mall, came from Knoxville in 1972 when four U of Tennessee frat boys put together $20,000 to open a restaurant across from campus.
"Who could hang a name on you?"
The name was taken from the Rolling Stones song of the same name, which appeared on the album "Between the Buttons" in 1967. Apparently none of the frat boys had a girlfriend named Ruby.
"Don't question why she needs to be so free."
In the company's initial years, the chain located itself in or near malls (as the one here is) but in the 1990s they included more freestanding locations. The plan has worked: There are now 850 Ruby Tuesdays in 47 states and 15 foreign countries, including one I've eaten at in London.
"She just can't be chained to a life where nothings gained."
Ruby Tuesday (RT) is obviously part of a chain but somehow it has a different feel from similar "big box" lunch places along Archer Road. It has more the feel of a neighborhood bar-and-grill, such as the Red Onion Grill. It's a little more upscale in décor and wait staff. This was reflected in the mainly "over age 50" customers eating there last week. (Hey, in a college town, maybe NOT having a bunch of 18- to 24-year-olds around is a good thing!)
RT's lunch menu is very value-priced with most items between $8 and $10 and includes fish and other seafood, chicken, and pasta dishes. Salads are available, and there is a wide range of burgers to match any taste. The GLOB Master went for a Buffalo Chicken Burger, which he pronounced excellent and came with onion rings instead of fries at no extra cost. (Why do places do that? Are onions more expensive than potatoes?)
I'm a big fan of their "Minis & Garden Bar" selections – two beef, turkey, buffalo chicken or zucchini cake minis with fries and a trip to the wonderful salad bar, certainly one of the best stocked and freshest looking garden greens and veggie troughs in town and VERY popular with maybe two-thirds of those lunching there.
"There's no time to lose, I heard her say. Catch your dreams before they slip away."
Don't waste any time –try RT's Sunday brunch, which begins at 10 am. Featured is a three-course meal that starts with cheese biscuits that tie those at Red Lobster as the best anywhere. Next is a yogurt parfait with fruit that I always save for desert. The "third course" has traditional brunch items of steak and eggs, French toast, egg benedicts, quesadillas, omelets (go for the Crabacado that has just what it sounds like in it) and even crepes. Start the meal with a Cajun Mary – a bloody one on the spicy side. A complete Ruby Tuesday's menu is available at the restaurnt link below.
"Yesterday don't matter if it's gone."
WRONG, it would matter a lot if Ruby Tuesday left town. That would be like a world without Mick and the boys, the greatest rock and roll band of all time. RT has a wide range of lunch choices that are reasonably priced, served in a pleasant setting, and highly recommended by me.
The Pluses and Minuses of Ruby Tuesday's
Ruby Tuesday's + Indicators: Excellent burgers, ever changing and tasty petite lunch specials, quality salad bar, good prices.
Ruby Tuesday's – Indicators: Well at least it's not on Archer Road but traffic at the Oaks/North Florida area is pretty bad also. Another reason to visit on a Sunday.
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Ruby Tuesday. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 331-0033
- Address: 6329 W. University Ave., Gaineville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: Newberry Road
- Web Site: Ruby Tuesday
- Latitude: 29.658003
- Longitude: -82.41073
Kristin Rossetti Wednesday, 08 June 2011 11:09 Comment Link
Ho Hum food, IMO. However, my husband and I dined here once after a week of camping. The cheesy fries and cheeseburger really hit the spot after a week of food cooked over a campfire. No way to make french fries in the woods- or at least, I haven't figured it out yet.