Fast Food Review: Rubio's Ultimate Nachos
If you're going to use the word "ultimate" in a description, you have to bring it. Ultimate fighting? Used to, before they added all these so-called "rules." The Ultimate Warrior? Crazy intense wrestler who retired from the ring to become a completely deranged right-wing motivational speaker.
But the most relevant precedent here is Jack-in-the-Box's ultimate cheeseburger. It lives up to its title, with two hefty meat discs and something like six cheese slices. Maybe eight. I don't have time to count them while stuffing my face.
Rubio's newly available "ultimate nachos"? Not so ultimate. First problem being the cheese.
When you get nachos at a full-on restaurant, they generally have melted grated cheese. Buy 'em at a convenience store, they'll more often have liquid glow-in-the-dark cheese. Both approaches work. Combining them does not. Especially since Rubio's queso sauce, much like the similar offering at El Pollo Loco, is white and mild-tasting. Nachos need a kick, and any liquid cheese on them needs to be radioactive orange. And if Taco Bell is kicking your ass at doing something right, you've got a problem.
The other problem with "ultimate" nachos is that the only add-on option is chicken. (Only the regular size nachos allow steak.)
Rubio's has steak and carnitas available, but not on these. And worse, Rubio's is known for fish and shrimp -- why no possibility of shrimp ultimate nachos, huh, Ralph Rubio? Nobody goes to your place for chicken. And if they do, they're dumb.
I love Rubio's, mostly. I'm mad that they stopped doing the lobster burrito, but I still like the fish and shrimp. I treat myself to Rubio's at least once a week. But I'm never ordering the "ultimate" nachos again.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.