Last night, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill held a preview of their new Langostino Lobster menu items. I had a chance to talk with Ralph Rubio, founder of Rubio's, about the new menu items, his concern for the ocean and many other things. Ralph started by explaining, “The last couple of years, we've really expanded our menu into grilled seafood. We started out with our original taco, the beer battered fish taco. As we have started getting into more sustainable seafood, such as our tilapia for our fish tacos, we have sought out better ways to use the sustainable resources while giving our guests the best tasting food available”. He continued, “Our Regal Springs Tilapia, something we introduced a year ago, it's a really delicious fish, it's sustainable, from a volcanic lake in Sumatra, Indonesia, where it's raised. Very clean water, lots of current, so it's a wonderful, very clean environment. And so, we get more into grilled seafood, especially sustainable seafood, we're also finding that in the marketplace, our consumers are really interested in the provenance of where the food comes from. It's not just what they're eating but where it's from, 'tell me more about it'. They're more socially and environmentally conscientious as many of us are, so that comes into play. That blends with our partnerships, whether it's Seaworld, HUBS Research or the Oceans Foundation that we have here today, that's really important, because people relate to that now”. This forms the core philosophy of Rubio's community commitment and their “To the Ocean” love of the sea. Rubio's firmly believes that it is important to use sustainable seafood and keep the oceans healthy and full of fish.
Rubio's new Langostino Lobster menu items will be available in all their restaurants on October 23. The Lobster Tacos were served with refried beans and chips. The tacos were delicious, with the sweet taste of the lobster and the creamy smoothness of fresh avocado playing against the delicious sauce that Rubio's created especially for the lobster tacos. As Ralph Rubio described the certified wild caught langostino lobster, “It has a nice sweet flavor; that's what I like. The langostino crop this year was really very good, so it's sweet and succulent and we just grill it, add a little basil butter and a little sea salt and then you squeeze a little lime over it for a citrus flavor and it's absolutely delicious”. Indeed, the flavor of the lobster was excellent, cooked perfectly on their authentic comal, so it was tender and flavorful. The squeeze of lime was all that was needed to liven up the delicious taste of the tacos. He added, “Langostino has become really popular, actually. We were one of the early adopters of langostino. It's caught offshore, maybe 4 or 5 miles offshore of the coast of Chile. I was just down there in the spring and it's carefully managed by the Chilean government. They only permit so much to be caught by certain fishermen. It's in everybody's best interest to regulate it and they do a really good job”. He finished by saying, “the new little langostinos work very well from a taco or burrito viewpoint. They're tailor made for Rubio's!”.
The Langostino Lobster Burritos were another taste treat that they presented last night. These burritos has the tender langostino wrapped in a tortilla with black beans, adding another layer of texture to the burrito. It was filling and delicious and benefitted from the same squeeze of lime to brighten up the flavor. Accompanied by tortilla chips and salsa, it was an excellent meal. Another item that Rubio's highlighted was their sangria, a refreshing new menu item. Ralph Rubio explained, “over the last thirty years, we've always had a demand for wine, but served beer. We'd never a figured out a good way to deliver on the wine option. A lot of people like wine, especially with dinner. About a year and a half ago, someone, not me, had come up with the great idea of sangria. It's fruit infused wine and really fits the brand, something really light and bright. It just complements the food really well”. Sipping it, the sangria did really go well with the food, with a nice flavor from a lime squeeze and some Mandarin orange. Ralph added, “it's very approachable, with some nice sophisticated flavors, imported directly out of Spain, and they have really nailed the flavor profile. It's kind of a summery thing, and you know it's always summer at Rubio's!”. As I sipped the delicious sangria, I was amazed at the complexity and flavor that it had.
The new menu items will be available at Rubio's beginning October 23. Rubio's again has shown that their delicious spin on Mexican seafood makes them a place to get a casual, delicious meal, with fresh flavors, freshly cooked.
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