I posted over a year ago what I called an Ensenada Style Baja Fish Taco - and I had the audacity to describe it as "oh-so-close-to-Rubio's"... (the link is HERE - my apologies Ralph!) I remembered that (with embarrassment) when I received an email invitation to attend a food-writer's roundtable event at Rubio's. I probably would not have accepted if I didn't have an obsession for those great fish tacos. You see - San Diego is my favorite spot on earth. About 4 years ago, I was encouraged to try my first 'real' fish taco there at Rubio's.
Once I came home from that trip, I was on a quest to find a place like Rubio's - even CLOSE to it. But I didn't until a few months ago. On my birthday last February my family wanted to take me to dinner. I told them all I wanted was fish tacos - and they looked at me with that "are you crazy Mom?" look and agreed they would help me find a Rubio's here in the Salt Lake area. They thought I wanted a sit-down-fancy-schmancey restaurant experience, but I was content to enjoy a plate full of these.
As I've mentioned before, when it comes to deep frying anything, or using authentic ingredients from another culture/country/location - I will support restaurants in what they do best. (I also don't work on my own cars, do my own plumbing, or shingle my own roof - enough said!)
Here is a beauty-shot of that famous fish taco - what Rubio's is (most) famous for:
This was a great thing to be a part of. You see, I'm a food NO-body. I'm just a humble little Utah food blogger, talking about my love of food & cooking online to very few followers. The only reason I keep this blog is so I don't have to read my recipes over the phone to my married children over and over again. So, I pinched myself a few times to make sure I wasn't dreaming this.
Ralph Rubio (owner of Rubio's) spent some time telling us the story of how this famous franchise began (fun to realize how that inauspicious beginning has grown into over 200 restaurants now).
He walked us through the kitchen and showed us how everything is fresh and made to order - no fast food here. Did I mention how squeaky clean it was, and that I didn't see any evidence of pre-made, pre-cooked, or pre ANYthing?
Then we sampled four of their fantastic salsas and fresh guacamole with chips while he described the ingredients and preparation details of each of the following:
The fish taco - shown above... (of course!)
(out of my box - but amazing!)
(this is only showing a HALF size portion)
(HALF portion shown here)
And, as for a few other things I learned... Did you know that one reason their gourmet tacos are really GOURMET is this... (look closely now)
The inside of the corn tortilla is a layer of crisped cheese (literally cooked on the grill till crispy, then a soft corn tortilla is added on top till they 'mesh'. So good, it's hard to describe the delicious texture that one element added)
And their beans... you'll just have to try them. I'm not a bean girl, but I'm now reformed.
Thanks to Ralph (owner of Rubio's), Rhonda & Marshall (of crowelladv.com) and the awesome manager(s) and staff of the Jordan Landings Rubio's.
And check out the sites of some of the other blogger/writers who attended with us yesterday...
Jamie (pictured on the left of Ralph & myself) of Jamie Cooks It Up
Dara Michalski of Cookin Canuck
Donna & Sandy of Everyday Southwest
Johanna Dodge of Jomade
Mariel & Jessica of Or So She Says
Lindsay & Brooks of Our Family Treat
Gabi of The Feast Within