Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rubio's Coastal Grill Opening in St. Petersburg

The life of a food blogger is a fun one! Many times we are invited to places to try out new menu items or we get invited to grand opening events.   I am not sure how I came upon this invitation, but it was for free lunch and non-alcoholic beverages for two at a restaurant that was opening in St. Petersburg.

Rubio's is based out of San Diego and there are currently almost 200 restaurants nationwide. This location is the 3rd location in Florida.    Their menu includes "responsibly sourced grilled seafood options along with steak and all natural chicken raised without antibiotics, served in tacos, salads, bowls, and burritos."

A reservation was made and we were one of the first people to try out the new (to the area) restaurant. Two friendly ladies were outside checking people in and telling us a little more about Rubio's.

We were reminded when we entered that everyone is in training and to please be patient. 

As we made our way up to the counter to order our food, it became clear that I was not going to be able to decide what I wanted to order!  The restaurant is fast-casual.  Your order is placed at the front and you are given a number to have your food delivered wherever you are sitting when your meal is ready.

First stop was salsa bar!  Numerous options of mild, picante, roasted chipotle and verde.  There were also fresh cut limes, a cilantro onion mix and jalapenos.

Next stop is the beverage counter.  I was very delighted to see all of the options available!  I love - and normally stick to iced tea - but there were so many choices that I had to deviate!!
Lemonade and strawberry lemonade.

Numerous soda options
three choices of fresh brewed tea!

I tried all three of the teas (all were good, mango tea was delicious) and also tasted my husband's strawberry lemonade.

We made our way towards the table to wait for our food.  There are various seating possibilities.  tables, booths, high top tables, tables with one side booth and one side chairs, a high top counter (great for solo dining) as well as round tables up front.  I think there is something for everyone here!

As we waited for our orders, we learned more about Rubio's. I have never even heard of this restaurant before receiving the invitation and was happy to see this on the table.
 We were prepared for a long wait as we knew the staff was "in-training;" but were pleasantly surprised when the food was delivered a lot sooner than I thought it would arrive.

I ordered the grilled shrimp and bacon burrito.  (Bacon in a burrito - yes I had to try it!) [Toasted cheese, all natural bacon, avocado, blackened jalapenos, citrus rice, salsa fresco and chipotle sauce served in a flour tortilla with chips.] ($8.99)  Add a fountain drink and "signature no fried pinto beans" to any burrito for $2.50
 My husband ordered the California bowl. Fresh guacamole, citrus rice, black beans, lettuce, chipotle sauce and salsa fresca topped with roasted chipotle salsa or salsa verde. He chose the salmon (grilled or blackened) with the salsa verde.

I also loved the taste of the "no-fried" pinto beans. I will definitely add them to my order anytime!
One of my favorite things on the salsa bar was the "cilantro-onion" mix.  This is so delicious and fresh.  I had my husband go back and get me a second soufflĂ© cup!

Just another picture.

 I had a little leftover and asked for a box.  I didn't pay attention to it, but when I got home I realized that it was NOT Styrofoam and it made me love  Rubio's even more!

Rubio's is located in Tyrone Mall (6901 - 22nd Avenue N).  If you use a Garmin or mapping device for some reason it takes you around to the back of the mall.  Rubio's is located facing Tyrone Boulevard.  There is a street entrance so you do not have to enter the mall.

I did feel guilty eating here since it is not a LOCAL restaurant and a chain, but I am hoping that the owner lives in the Tampa Bay Area. (I have no idea.)  I am all about supporting the small independents and the Localshops1 members, but I think this place is going to be one of my favorite dining choices! 

Rubio's will be opening on October 13th.  the first 100 people on that day will receive one FREE taco and Rubio's merchandise!

Visit their Facebook page for more information.