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Rubio's Crunchy Shrimp Taco Plate

Price: $5.89
Rating: **** / *****

Rubio's is a mostly-California chain specializing in their famous deep fried fish tacos, which are good enough to maim for. I remember that Rubio's claimed to be so good that people who hated ordinary fish tacos would love theirs. A bold claim and a leap in logic, considering that I would never think to bring someone who hates beef to my favorite steakhouse. So they gave Mandy Moore, who is apparently a fish taco hater, one to try on some MTV show. She visibly choked it down and pretended to like it, struggling to compliment something she clearly didn't enjoy. I guess that was convincing enough for me to go out and try one. Mmm...Mandy Moore...

*ahem* Anyways, Rubio's specializes in fish tacos but they, as most chains tend to do when they expand, are increasing the selection on their menu. Some, like the ridiculously small and overpriced street tacos are a slap in the face of everything I deem tasty in Mexican food. Another, like the new "wrapsalada", is a simple exercise in making an unnecessarily stupid name for a salad wrapped in a tortilla. I ask this question again: when did lazy stoner food become the newest trend in the world of casual dining? Please people, stop the madness, have a seat, and take 10 minutes to enjoy your lunch. And if you work at a place where you're in such a rush that you have to eat your salad in wrap form, please consider leaving immediately or perhaps arson.

However, sometimes you get lucky and they introduce new tacos that are worth trying. This is certainly the case here with the crunchy shrimp tacos, which are both crunchy and shrimpy as advertised. Served on corn or flour tortillas(corn is really the only way to go), the fried shrimp are laid on top of a yogurt sauce spiced with salsa and lime. It is then topped off with a refreshing chunky salsa and a handful of cabbage, which sets it apart from tacos made with lettuce. The cabbage doesn't wilt under the heat of the fried items and produce a crunchy, light texture that further enhances the crunchiness of the shrimp. Though it was very good, I must say that some of the shrimp had a little too much breading and there were times when I hardly got any shrimp when I bit into the tacos. This is a common complaint with fried shrimp, and I'm not sure if a solution will ever be found.

The combo comes with beans, tortilla chips, and a soft drink. Now that I finally got my filling replaced after waiting a month and a half for my HMO dentist to treat me, I can actually enjoy the soft drink without the searing pain of cold liquid. The chips at Rubio's are freshly deep fried and crunchy as they should be, and feel a bit more rustic than the unusually light Taco Bell chips that one gets accustomed to. The beans, which are topped off with a crumbly Mexican cheese, are piping hot and salty enough to make a good dipping partner for the chips. Take some lime and salsa from the condiment bar on the side and you're pretty much set.

One thing I've always found unsettling about Rubio's were the little cardboard stands of Pesky the Fish that line the tables. Pesky is an example of suicide food, a disturbing trend in the advertising component of the culinary world. These are mascots that literally feast on themselves(as opposed to that loud chick everyone hates, who metaphorically does it) and invite you to do the same. It has always freaked me out, and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one to notice the twisted existence that we live in. In the year 2000, when the aliens take over and my name is AN#34589 or something, I will sooner set myself on fire than pose with my deep fried limbs on either hand. Shame on you, Rubio's, for making a fish pose inside a taco. You're lucky that Pesky tastes so delicious, or else I'd take a stand against your demented ways.

God damn thats a scary mascot.

i'm so sad that this was only a limited time thing. i loved them! they were scrum-dili-umpcious!

but the fish tacos are always solid. thanks for introducing me to corn, i have yet to go back to flour.


Rubio's is by far the best fast food/cas dining there is in southern cali. It's awesome when they have those 1 dollar fish taco deals.

The only Rubio's around here is a half hour drive, but I make the trip every once in a while cause their tacos are wicked.

Anon - It feasts on children.

Pill - All their limited things come back in cycles, though. There's lobster season...then rock shrimp season...then soylent green. I find the last one a little gamey, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Maris - Dollar fish tacos makes me skip school. Who needs Dean's List when you have fish tacos?

Eric - Yeah, there aren't any exactly near my house either. Good thing I have friends who work/live near them.

I always like the combo. And your combo is amazing

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