Looking for new posts?

I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

update: How was your weekend?
Here are the winners for the Rubio's gift cards!

Portia, Sarah, Becks and A. Verzello!

email me your mailing address so I can send you your gift cards - hoiyinjohnson{at}gmail{dot}com. Remember: if I don't hear from you in a week your gift card will be given to someone else.

Thank you to everyone who entered, keep your eyes open for more giveaways. i have been conspiring to give things away via twitter.

happy monday.

and sunny backyards with the sprinkler running, picnics at parks, and summer birthdays.

Those are only a few places where my mind has been lately, so I have spent little time 'round these parts. Not to mention a certain collection of written word that keeps me up nights. I figured since I likely won't be around much the rest of the week (and possibly early next), why not have something to keep you goin'?

what better than a giveaway?

Last week I attended a round table event at Rubio's. It was my first time eating there. Initially, you would think Rubio's is just another mexican food restaurant, albeit a good one. I know little about mexican food, bu ti do know we have decent representation here in Utah (most being the mom n' pop shops i love el hab), don't get me started on the "mexican" restaurants in the south... and maybe if you went to Rubio's without context or foreknowledge of how it originated, you may not notice all the differences that make Rubio's all its own.

Now if you were to sit down with the man who tasted his first fish taco on the shores of baja, the man who 'begged' for and then scribbled the recipe on the back of his pocket address book, the man who co-founded this very restaurant, it would be much more apparent to you how very different this "fresh-mex" restaurant really is. It makes it more personal, like he has invited you into his home to share his favorite meal with you rather than inviting you to a eat out at the newest chain restaurant in town. and for the record, personal is good.

Ralph Rubio led a handful of utah bloggers through the Rubio's menu, explaining how he fell in love with the food he ate during his days surfing the baja coast, where inspiration came from for each dish, how the restaurant started as a small shop run by his immediate family until it became so popular, and how he hopes people won't classify the restaurant as just another mexican restaurant dotting the map.  We talked about food, more of his life experiences, I asked questions about where Rubio's sources thier food, how and if they are trying to localize those sources, and I learned a lot about how they not only provide baja food to the cities they open shops in, but make an effort to help worthy causes and real people by making effective connections. Even if we differ in our definitions of sustainability, I agree with them that people come first, and they seem to be doing a number of honorable things to really become a part of the communities they feed.

The food itself was fresh, had varied textures and flavors, appealing presentation, and a taste that kept you ever ready for the next bite. Everything is made with whole foods, foods with pronounceable names, inspired by real people, and connected to real memories. My favorite were all the great salsas, and Ralph shared his favorite item on the menu, the grilled gourmet taco.  Even though I had to pick off a bit of cheese and/or cream here and there, I came away satisfied and impressed with what Rubio's is trying to achieve; sharing their love for good food, which is something I can relate to.

Now here's where you come in. You don't have to take my word for it, go experience it yourself. Rubio's was also very generous in letting me give away one $10 gift card to four of my lovely readers. If you want to win one, check out the locations and let me know which Rubio's you would go to, and what you would order.

a few things:
- you have five days to enter. this giveaway closes sunday, july 25th at midnight/whenever i close comments.
- you must live nearby a rubio's, makes sense right?
- the winners will be chosen using random.org and announced on monday, july 26th at the top of this post.
- if you don't respond to me within a week, your prize goes to someone else; sorry in advance.
- please leave a reliable e-mail for me to contact you so the previous bullet point doesn't happen.
- good luck, and tell your friends!


- if you follow the blog, you won't get another entry but i will proclaim my adoration for your good taste.
- if you follow me on twitter, again you won't get an extra entry and really i should apologize for all the worthless information you probably know about me.
- if you 'like' me on facebook, again, not another entry but the satisfaction that i like you too. :)

however if you were to make up a song and dance as an alternate entry, i'd consider doubling your odds, tripling if it knocks my socks off. video or it won't count.

one more note - Rubio's also has a list of allergies in each menu option which I thought was courteous, just ask for it. Even if you can only eat the fresh veg and shrimp (brittnee), they'll accommodate you.

the other beautiful bloggers in attendance:

p.s. more chances of winning, enter sarah's giveaway here.


  1. I have heard nothing but good about Rubio's. Now I want to try it even more.

  2. I would love to try the Big Burrito Especial at the Orem location. It's so good to hear that they use whole, fresh foods. There is hope for chain restaurants!

  3. I love Rubio's!!! The only problem is choosing what to get! I think I would have to go with the HealthMex Burrito with grilled fish...it has all my favorites, grilled fish,(I would get mine with veggies), beans and rice and of course yummy salsa!!! I would love to win a gift card towards my next Rubio's purchase!

  4. Mmmmmm. I think I would go for either the Enchilada Plate, Chile-Lime Salmon, Blackened/Grilled Mahi Mahi, or maybe even the Big Burrito Especial Enchilada Style at the Orem location! Yum! I guess I'd really need a gift card if I am going to try all of those O_____O.

    *cross fingers*

    P.S. Do I get an extra entry for being your awesome sister? ;D

  5. You don't need to enter me in the contest as I was there with you...I just wanted to compliment you on the stellar review (You have a gift for writing), and tell you how fun it was to meet you. Love your blog!

  6. I'm not sure what I'd choose! Everything looks good.... Probably a burrito. Yummy. And the American Fork location is super close. yay!

  7. Loved your review on Rubios. Please enter me in the contest. Although I live a bit from a Rubio's I am always traveling up north. redcouchrecipes@gmail.com Joni

  8. I live about 5 minutes from the American Fork location so I would go there. I would order the street tacos! Sounds delicious!

  9. I <3 Mexican foooood

    I would probably end up going to the one in SLC (Food always tastes better on a date in the city) And I would probably get just the good ol' Street Taco's. YUM YUM in MY TUM TUM.

  10. Mmmm, I love Rubio's! I love the salads that they have. amy_m_cowley (at) yahoo (dot) com

  11. LOVE the chipotle ranch salad, orem ut pixielidia@aol.com I follow you on TWITTER!

  12. I live near the Orem location. And since I have never been there I would probably try a few things like, the street tacos or the fish tacos. You can't go wrong with chips and salsa and I love guacamole! My mouth has started to water- please pick me!!!!

  13. i would go to the orem location and get something with fish--i've never tried the fish tacos and i'm kind of skeptical but open to new tastes! :)

  14. I would love to win this!
    Looks like you guys had a fun day at Rubio's.