I work on a college campus and there is nearly zero chow to be had. The only thing that comes close is the faculty center and I'm not a member (my wife is, though, so we go there once in a while).
So, mostly I stop at the salad bar or grab a $2.25 bowl of chili in one of the student unions. (or go off campus).
But, today I was in the main student store looking for Final Four t-shirts (they are coming in tomorrow) and decided to eat at the Rubios that is there.
And I wasn't expecting much.
They had some new (to me) things on the menu. It's likely been a year or two since I ate there, so maybe it's not that new. They called it "street burrito" and "street taco." Instead of burritos and tacos loaded down with everything but the kitchen sink (the gloopy beans, the sometimes hard rice, the special sauces that aren't) these were just grilled meat -- asada, carnitas or pollo -- with some guac, and some grilled onions and cilantro. The taco was the same, but on a corn tortilla. Supposedly, there are what you order on the street in Mexico. I've been to Mexico lots of times and I guess I can see the resemblance.
And they were pretty darn good.
First of all, I liked the fact that they were small. They weren't these huge, unwieldy things that fell apart. And they were reasobable, 2.70 for the burrito and 1.25 for the taco.
The pollo was all white meat, charred pretty much just right and very juicy. I'm pretty sure the guac was industrial, not fresh, but it tasted fresh enough (maybe it was, I didn't ask) and the cilantro and onions were a nice touch.
Look, I live within a mile of a couple of dozen family owned taco shops, burrito joints and Mexican restaurants. I don't usually go to Rubios. But I gotta be honest. I really liked the street burritos and tacos and I'm glad I've got someplace else on campus to eat. I'm gonna try the asada and the carnitas at some point.