Sunday, June 6, 2010

Is Ruby's Still a Gem After 25 Years?

Ruby's Diner
31781 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, I always return to Ruby's. Ruby's has been a constant through my life. I remember going to the Balboa pier location many times as a kid. My sister also had a brief stint working at the Fullerton Ruby's. This visit was for my girlfriend's brothers birthday. Jimmy chose the San Juan Capistrano Ruby's for his birthday bash, a location I had never been to before. Let's see how we made out.

For the few of you who have never been to Ruby's, here is a little history on the place. Ruby's started with just one location on the Balboa pier, in 1982. The former bait shop was transformed into a classic 1940's diner. Ruby's now boasts over forty locations in six different states. So lets see if the San Juan branch, can maintain the Ruby's legacy.

There were ten of us eating, but one couple was running late, not naming names, but they know who they are. So we ordered three appetizers to kill some time, and delay our hunger. This is the first of three starters, the Zippity Zucchini. In the picture these looked great, but they were a tad over cooked, but it did not affect the taste. These were a decent starter.  

These were the surprising Ruby's nachos. I had never seen these on the menu of any Ruby's I had been to before, but they were really good. The tortilla chips were crisp and even stayed that way with all of the toppings on these nachos. These really hit the spot. I guess that these are not available in all of Ruby's locations.

Our last appetizer was the above pictured Sweet Potato Fries. Out of the three starters these were the least favored. I am no fan of sweet potato fries, so I can not really say if these were good or not. Sweet potato fries are popping up all over the place on menus, so they must be a popular item, I will stick with regular potatoes though. 

This is Katie's Roast Turkey Breast Sandwich. This sandwich of course featured turkey, mayo, lettuce and cranberry sauce. It was kind of like Thanksgiving in May. I would have liked a little more mayo on this, but Katie had no complaints.

The birthday boy ordered the Guacamole Burger. Two slices of Swiss cheese on this one. Jimmy liked the juiciness of this burger. I have had this burger before and have really liked it. A burger fit for the birthday tyrant! 

So, of course I went big, I chose the Ruby Dooby Double Cheeseburger with the add of bacon. I really wanted to like this burger, and I would have liked it better if I had got what I ordered. I ordered this with cheddar cheese, but it came out with American instead. Not wanting to wait for another burger, I just ate this one. It was good, but not great. The fries that came out with this were just lukewarm.

Emily, the family salad expert, ordered the Chicken Finger Salad. This big salad featured fried chicken pieces, bacon, egg, tomato, cheese, and green onion, all atop of a bed of lettuce. Em, the girl with the tiniest appetite, ate a good majority of this, so I assume it was a good scene. She had some left over that she planned on eating the next day.  

This drab looking salad belonged to Sara. She got the Ruby's Apple, Pecan and Bleu Cheese Salad. Sara liked this salad and thought that what it lacked for in color, it made up for in flavors. She thought that all the flavors of this salad were big, and melded together well.

Our trip to this Ruby's was more misses than hits. The service for our party of ten was not so good. They were slow on refills of drinks, the food came out cold in some instances, and the food did take a long while to come out. The burgers were good and the nachos were a big surprise. We liked the outside patio of this restaurant, and it was just warm enough to sit out and enjoy it.

So out of five Furbies, (since the birthday boy, Jimmy was born in the nineties, and this was a hot toy in the 90's), five being best, to zero being worst, Ruby's receives 2.5 Furbies.

If you would like more information on Ruby's, check them out here:

Ruby's Diner on Urbanspoon

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