Eating to Live on the Outside: Ruby Tuesday

I’m not so sure how “ruby” any day of the week would be for an Eat to Liver dining at Ruby Tuesday—it’s a tough one. Now, you’ve probably heard me say this a bunch of times, but if this weekly series has taught me anything, its that many standard American restaurants are nightmares when it comes to responsible eating. Ruby Tuesday isn’t much better—lots of burger, steak, and cheese-oriented food. Oh goody! I can feel my arteries hardening already.

No surprise here, but the safe-haven on the menu is the “Salads, Soups & Sandwiches” section—although not with out its problems. The first item I don’t have too many hang-ups about is the Garden Vegetable Soup. Now, it’s not perfect. After all it is prepared with chicken broth, so this may discourage some Eat to Livers. As for me, I eat meat once a week, so if my weekly meat intake was simply chicken broth, well, I’m not exactly going to beat myself up over it. Besides the chopped tomatoes, roasted corn, and green beans make me feel a whole lot better about. If this doesn’t suit your fancy, Ruby Tuesday does have a Fresh Garden Bar. This is a great fallback option, why take your chances with the chef’s creation? Grab a dish and pile-high the veggies!

Evidently Ruby Tuesday is known for their burgers—and there’re a lot of them! Most of them don’t interest me, especially the ones drowned in cheese and topped with bacon. But surprisingly a few did catch my eye. I like the Turkey Burger, the Portobello Swiss Turkey Burger, and the Veggie Burger. Okay, all three burgers come served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Not bad, the bun would be my biggest concession. The other thing is, each burger can come topped with cheese—now I don’t care if it’s Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese, I’m ditching both. Diary and I went through a nasty divorce, so I don’t go anywhere near cheese. Also, I guess I could just eat the burger without the bun, but I don’t want to be mistaken for a low-carber—dread the thought!

Finally, and we’ve seen this come up before, Ruby Tuesday has a decent selection of side dishes. So I think another great option would be to construct a meal out of the healthier sides they have available. For example, the premium baby greens, sautéed Portobello mushroom slices, fresh steamed broccoli, and plain baked potato all look good—just think of all the phytonutrients in the broccoli and baby greens. The creamy mashed cauliflower also caught my eye, but before I’d order it, I’d want to ask the waiter if there’s really cream in it. If so, that would certainly ruin a good thing.

Overall I’m not very impressed with Ruby Tuesday. So much of the menu is devoted to standard American urges: ribs, steak, cheese, fries, bacon, etc. They do provide the menu’s nutritional information online, but little good it does you when you’re seated at the restaurant. And, lets be honest, just because people know how unhealthy the food is, doesn’t mean they won’t eat it—after all McDonald's is still selling burgers!

Okay, you know the drill—we want your feedback! Check out Ruby Tuesday’s menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at
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Comments (4) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
vegheadjones - October 27, 2006 5:03 PM

No salad bar at your Ruby Tuesday's? They normally have a fantastic all you can eat salad bar with dark leafy greens, many vegetables and all different beans.

John Gilpin - October 28, 2006 12:19 PM

Vegheadjones speaks true. As I wrote to Gerry in early September:

"Ruby Tuesday has a spectacularly Fuhrman-compatible salad bar. It provides enough diversity, including several kinds of beans, that one can make a very satisfactory complete meal from it, as I have done twice now. All you can eat for about $8. Fresh, high-quality stuff. Only a handful of the components are *not* Furhman-compatible."

The salad bar IS mentioned in Gerry's write-up ("Ruby Tuesday does have a Fresh Garden Bar. This is a great fallback option..."), but it is buried so deep that I am sure Vegheadjones is not the only reader who missed it.

Of coure RT is a chain and Vegheadjones and I have sampled only the ones readily available to us. Your mileage may vary. But two independent data points make the chances you will have a good experience at RT's salad bar a pretty good bet.

Kyle Key - October 29, 2006 9:20 AM

It's hilarious (in the most saddening manner) that, as a biological "animal," your quest to "Eat to Live" involves the death of animals. The title of the diet is misleading--it portrays the situation as if you were on the brink of death, crawling toward a desert oasis with the loss of other lives unavoidable. Instead, the scene is exactly opposite: one wherein you have more monetary resources than most people on earth, more access to food than most people can dream of, and yet, suffering must occur so that you can maintain a position at one of the highest levels of human health.

Black comedy.

Unknown - February 4, 2008 12:10 PM

I think this site is a big joke and because my day is made better by worsening yours I figure I would let you in on some secrets. I work at ruby tuesdays and just letting you know your brocolli and baby greens beans are drenched in butter and seasoning and also the turkey burgers may be served without cheese they too are cooked in melted butter and the graden veggie soup is no longer on the menu...have a good one!

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