Finally! We got a Rubio's Coastal Grille in Orlando...Winter Park Village, to be exact. As a seafood lover, I have been watching this California taco/ burrito chain for years and hoping it would eventually come to Florida. That is because many fast casual eateries - even if they offer tacos and burritos - are very light on seafood dishes. But not Rubio's. And the seafood they use is high quality. Wild salmon and pollock from Alaska. Delicious mahi mahi. And yummy shrimp. Of course, they offer all sorts of delicious vegetarian, chicken and steak dishes too.
The restaurant officially opens September 15, and we were fortunate to get a sneak peek the night before. Here are the top 6 reasons to visit the new Rubio's:
1. The location. Next to the AMC Theater in Winter Park Village, this is the perfect spot to grab an affordable dinner - and wine or beer - before the show. Since it's a fast casual eatery, prices are reasonable at between $3.99 for tacos and $8.49 for salads and rice bowls.
2. The Grilled Shrimp & Bacon Burrito was one of our favorite things on the menu. Ingredients include bacon, avocado, toasted cheese, blackened jalapenos, citrus rise and salsa fresca. However, if you are wary of heat, ask for little or no jalapenos - they can really surprise you!
3. The service. Even though the restaurant just opened, the managers, cashiers and other employees are all friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. We had a great dining experience, and every need was taken care of.
4. The Original Fish Taco, which features a battered and fried fish, was one of our other favorite dishes. We love how crispy it is - without being overcooked - and how flavorful the breading is. We will definitely order this again.
5. The California Bowl is delicious. With a base of citrus rice, guacamole, black beans, lettuce, chipotle sauce and salsa fresca, you can choose from shrimp, mahi mahi, Alaska coho salmon, all natural chicken or grilled veggies to top off your bowl. Everything tasted so fresh and the shrimp was cooked perfectly. Also, this is not greasy like the rice bowls I have had at Jimmy Hula's.
6. The ambiance. We love the modern, comfortable decor with wood tables, cool lighting and glass fish art on the wall.
What are you waiting for? You must try this delicious, fresh Baja California-style food soon!
Where: 510 N. Orlando Ave., #100, Winter Park, Fla.