RuRu’s Tacos & Tequila is the kind of restaurant I want to show off.
With a stealthy location tucked away off Providence Road and an unexpectedly expansive and impressive patio hidden around back, it feels insider-y and exclusive in a way that makes me want to bring my out-of-town guests so they know I’m in the know. But with a packed house and a 90-minute wait, make no mistake: The secret is out and this place is on everybody’s radar.
I made my first visit to RuRu’s during primetime at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. It was packed. There was a 90-minute wait for outside tables so we opted for the 45-minute indoor wait instead. Here are the pros and cons of my experience.
The patio is gorgeous with a sizable outdoor bar, courtyard fountain and festive string lights. This is the perfect place to enjoy a drink (or two) while waiting for a table.
Margaritas are very important to me and I would consider myself an expert on the beverage. I can’t think of anything more offensive than the inclusion of garbage neon green sour mix in a margarita and you will find none of that here at RuRu’s. I got the Magic Mike (x3, whoops), which is tequila, orange and lime juice, agave and a salted rim… as it should be. $9.75 each.
RuRu’s menu includes quesadillas, burritos, fajitas, salads, organic brown rice bowls and, of course, tacos. Items are named after quotes from classic movies like Old School, Superbad and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. As a vegetarian, I appreciated having options in every category and am definitely getting the That’s Not Snowflake tacos next time. (Ace Ventura!)
Everything on the menu is under $10 except the fajitas which are $15-$17. We made the mistake of eating Chipotle for lunch so I was kind of burrito’d out. I got the Mary Samsonite salad with fried tofu. I live for a chopped salad because I’m lazy and like the good stuff to be evenly distributed throughout the lettuce. This was perfect. My boyfriend got three tacos ($4 each) and said they were the best he’s ever had.
We spent about $65 (not including tip) on an appetizer, two entrees and five drinks for two people. Considering my drinks accounted for half of that (whoops), I think that’s pretty reasonable.
I’d call RuRu’s “elevated casual” if that means anything. It’s nicer than your standard Mexican restaurant with food pictures on the menu, but it’s still laid back enough that you don’t feel obligated to dress up. That works for me.
All that said, I’m giving RuRu’s two minor offenses for not doling out free chips and salsa and for decorating a Mexican restaurant with Spanish art.
I’d be OK with paying $5 for chips and salsa if the chips were coming fresh out of the fryer, but the consensus from the table was that these were store-bought chips warmed under a lamp. If they’re not, they taste that way. Please correct us if we’re wrong, RuRu’s.
Update! [12:20pm 8/31/15] RuRu’s has informed me they do in fact make their chips in house every day.
Nerd alert! I wouldn’t have noticed this were I not the world’s biggest fan of Don Quixote, but the restaurant’s artwork depicting scenes from one of Spain’s most important literary works is out of place in a Mexican restaurant.
Extra bonus points for the classic Britney Spears playlist that was rotating throughout the night.