This past week, I had the opportunity to dine at a Ruby Tuesday's. I wasn't too excited at first, because as with most franchises, you get the feeling that if you've dined at one, you've dined at them all. I myself had this same thought, along with the reminder of how everyone always raves about the salad bar, no matter which location they are at.
This location did have ample parking much to my surprise, especially considering how busy Collinsville can be at times, and the fact that the exterior of the establishment was very well kept was a fact that was not lost on me. Aside from these niceties however, the restaurant itself seemed to be very much like most of the other Ruby Tuesday's that I have dined at previously.
Exterior aside, the foyer was quite clean and the hostess was very gracious, allowing us to be seated a few booths down from the lunch crowd, which did not seem to be at capacity, allowing for conversation and calm. Soon after we were seated, our server, Colton C., made sure to not be “intrusive”, and to offer the time needed which allowed for my dining partner and I to situate ourselves in terms of review material, jackets, etc. Following this, we were offered drinks and informed of specials, the garden bar and other items that were popular choices for most of the patrons. We placed our drink orders, sweet tea for myself and strawberry tea for my companion, and after they had been brought, we took the time to catch up on business matters before ordering. I appreciated that Colton offered to give us time, and let us know that he would continue making his rounds to the other customers, and that if we should need him, he would be more than happy to assist us.
As business matters were being discussed, I found myself listening to the music and smiling every so slightly, as it seemed to be a mix of late 80's, 90's, and even a few hits from the early 2000's thrown in for good measure, all of which brought back memories of my own earlier years. Once the majority of business matters were concluded, the menu was inspected and I was impressed to say the least. I had not been to a Ruby Tuesday's in a while, but some things seemed to change for the better since my last visit. Every dish on the menu, as well as the sides, all had calories listed at the end of their descriptions, and there were small obscure symbols on the menu that read RT or FT, both enclosed in a boxes next to numerous menu items. Upon closer inspection, I learned that RT represented Ruby's Signature Items, whereas FT represented Fit and Trim: Selections under 700 calories with fresh grilled zucchini and rice pilaf. I thoroughly enjoyed this as it is quite easier to enjoy a lunch when you don't have to do any guesswork as far as calories are concerned.
We came to this restaurant with seafood in mind, and the selection this establishment provided was quite ample to say the least. I myself ordered the New Orleans Seafood which consisted of mild & flaky tilapia, creole-seasoned then topped with sauteed shrimp and topped with Parmesan cream sauce, and because two sides were offered, I chose the fresh grilled zucchini and the fresh steamed broccoli. My partner chose the Grilled Salmon, which was hand-cut salmon that was lightly seasoned and grilled to perfection, and typically served with fresh grilled zucchini and a rice pilaf. As a personal choice, my lunch partner is not the largest fan of rice, and he was allowed to substitute the pilaf for fresh steamed broccoli at no additional charge. This made for a very nice surprise as most dining establishments will charge for substituted sides, and judging by the menu it seemed to me as though all of the sides were health conscious, all of which increased my positive thinking in terms of dining at this particular location.
We found the entrees to be quite enjoyable in terms of taste and presentation. Once lunch and business was concluded, our server brought the check, having waited patiently for us to finish before setting it on the table and offering travel cups. I have mentioned in previous reviews that having a server wait until the end of a meal to bring a check makes a very big difference in my opinion because I feel that when a check is brought along with an entree it almost feels as though it makes the lunch experience feel rushed. All together this lunch was very nice from the upbeat music to the well prepared meals, and I myself would strongly recommend trying this establishment if you are ever in the Collinsville area. Who knows, you could end up hearing a song that you haven't heard in years come across the speakers, only to find yourself smiling and looking back on memories that only certain songs bring to mind, all the while enjoying a truly wonderful meal.
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