The last two times I went to Ruby's In A Rush, the weather outside was rainy and dreary, but inside the restaurant was sunny and bright.
The atmosphere at Ruby's is homey and inviting. The walls are painted a warm yellow, and a television in the corner is set to CNN, so customers can keep up on the news of the day.
The majority of the menu consists of sandwiches and includes options such as honey maple ham and the rush club. Diners can choose from a variety of breads, including rye, wheat, sourdough, pita, ciabatta and croissant. Sides include chips, pasta or potato salad.
Also, there are hot dishes, like meatloaf and baked chicken, that are offered up daily, for those who want a heartier meal.
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Ordering is a casual affair. We told the women at the counter what we wanted, and they instructed us to have a seat, where we were brought our sandwiches and drinks.
True to the name, customers in a rush certainly have time to drop by Ruby's. It took mere minutes before our meals appeared. For those who can't afford to wait even a minute, Ruby's accepts orders from people who call ahead for pick-up.
On my visit, I ordered the loaded chicken salad sandwich on wheat berry bread. The menu described the sandwich as "white meat chicken with celery, spices, grapes, apples and cinnamon pecans."
I always have high expectations for chicken salad because it is my favorite sandwich, and this one did not disappoint. The combination of the spices with the grapes was perfect, although I did not detect the telltale crunch of any apples.
My dining partner ordered the roast beef sandwich, topped with lettuce, tomatoes and olives, and the BLT. He said the roast beef was the best he'd had, although he wished there was more bacon in the BLT.
On my second trip, I opted for the hot bar, choosing baked chicken, corn, wild rice and corn bread. The baked chicken had a tasty, spicy and salty rub on the outside, and was cooked well. The wild rice was flavorful, as was the corn. On both trips, the food was a pleasure for the taste buds, and nothing was plain.
My partners ordered a grilled chicken wrap with provolone cheese and the loaded chicken salad sandwich on a croissant, per my recommendation.
The loaded chicken salad sandwich was described as "sweet and crunchy," and my friend noted that he did have apples in his, but would have liked more chicken.
My other friend enjoyed his grilled chicken wrap, which had ample chicken, and ordered corn bread as well. He raved about the corn bread, which was moist and flavorful, and said it would go in his "top five." He even ordered some to go before we left.
Tucked inside the Gateway Plaza, most people probably wouldn't know about Ruby's unless they stumbled upon it by accident. The restaurant was not crowded either time I went, and most of the customers appeared to be businessmen. I definitely plan on adding Ruby's to my list of downtown restaurants for lunch.
On a side note, Ruby's is open for breakfast as well, with offerings such as biscuits, eggs and grits, which the menu warns "could become addictive."
Overall, Ruby's offers excellent food at an excellent price. One could easily eat lunch there for less than $10. Take it to go - or eat in - either way it's Ruby's In A Rush for a tasty, well-prepared lunch.
Ruby's In A Rush
Gateway Plaza Office Park, 300 Mulberry Street, Suite 102, Macon
Three and a half stars
Phone: (478) 742-4643
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday
Payment: Cash, check, major credit cards
Children's menu: No
Vegetarian selections: Yes
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Noise level: Low
Smoking policy: No
Latest health code rating: 100