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Ruby Tuesday’s New Menu Features “Fit and Trim” Selections

August 25, 2010

The Ruby Tuesday chain of restaurants, based in Maryville, unveiled a new menu on Wednesday.

Truth be told, several colleagues and I got something of a sneak peek when we lunched at the Donelson Pike location in Nashville Tuesday afternoon. The garlic cheese biscuits looked delish, but I was determined to not devour the plate of them.

I’ve always had a “take it or leave it” attitude about Ruby Tuesday, frankly. I like the salad bar, which features a spread of fresh vegetables and healthy proteins like garbanzo beans. The bar also has mayonnaise-y offerings like potato and pasta salad, of course. But Ruby’s is rarely the first place I think about when the lovely Sarah and I are planning a night out.

I’m certainly willing to give Ruby’s the benefit of the doubt on the new menu, though. In addition to lobster mac and cheese and other new fare, the revamped menu features “Fit and Trim” selections, like top sirloin or vegetarian pasta marinara, that boast fewer than 700 calories.

I appreciate that Ruby’s has long been ahead of the curve on offering nutritional information, even if their previous attempt failed to win over diners. After all, knowing the actual calories and fat grams in a blue cheese burger with fries can make you feel bad about yourself.

In all seriousness, the Affordable Care Act eventually will require restaurants with more than 20 locations to provide nutritional information before long, which is not a bad thing.

Some readers of the Knoxville News Sentinel aren’t as beneficent, it would seem. In comments posted to the paper’s story about the menu change, a number of readers criticize Ruby Tuesday for uneven service, lack of cleanliness at some locations, and the seemingly constant tinkering with the menu. Several readers fondly recall the days when Ruby’s was a burgers-and-beer joint. Still others expressed dissatisfaction with the chain’s current upscale casual decor, yearning for the brass, ferns and Tiffany-style lamps of yesteryear. What is this, 1985? 

At any rate, if Ruby’s is willing to provide calorie counts on at least some of its menu items, I’m willing to eat something other than the salad bar next time I’m there.

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