As the sun was setting in Old Towne last Thursday, I was walking home from the Plaza and I passed Rutabegorz Restaurant. We all know it, and we all love it….BUT I (Marshall speaking here) HAD NEVER TRIED IT! Ever since I toured Chapman University for the first time (about 2 years ago), I have walked past Rutabegorz and always been intrigued by the homey, niche patio aesthetic. It looks like I would be joining my family for morning brunch or evening appetizers on the patio, complete with card games and an unavoidable argument about whose house Thanksgiving would be at this year. I love it!
Well, I had about an hour before my night class and decided to stop in and try Rutas for the first time, and give my full review to you all! The restaurant categorizes itself as “Healthy, American, and Vegetarian-Friendly.” Sounds perfect! I could not believe I had not tried Rutas before. Rutabegorz is self-seating, so you will be sure to find the perfect place to sit. I chose the outdoor patio so I could enjoy eating my meal while looking up Glassell Street and seeing the corner of my university. There was something so peaceful about seeing the school I love, with food I love, in the city we all love.
As an appetizer, I was completely torn between the hummus and the guacamole. But if you have read my Byblos Cafe Blog, you will know that I am secretly on the hunt for all of the hummus Old Towne Orange has to offer. I just had to try it! The hummus was delicious. It was a lot thicker than store-bought hummus and had a nice touch of garlic. I would suggest squeezing lemon juice over Rutas’ hummus to add extra zest and make it just that much more creamy.
As an entree, I ordered the veggie burger. The veggie burger is served on sourdough garlic bread (my mouth is watering all over again!), with melted cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. The veggie burger was juicy and hearty and the crisp lettuce created the perfect combination of flavor. And if you're like me, you know that sourdough bread is the way to make any meal better (or any day brighter!). The veggie burger was amazing and came with a dill pickle and a side of chili, which the pleasant waitress surprisingly informed me was made with soy meat and was therefore vegetarian.
Lastly, the best part of every meal, the dessert! I had not had my fill at Rutabegorz quite yet and ordered a pumpkin spice cookie and pumpkin spice coffee with coconut milk. Pumpkin spice flavoring is very trendy every year at around this time, and I had to buy into the trend with these sweet desserts. The cookie was huge and just the perfect amount of sweet, which paired nicely with the bitter, yet flavorful, coffee.
Overall, my experience at Rutas was amazing. I want to say, out of all of the menus I have seen in Old Towne, Rutabegorz’ menu might be the most extensive, so you will be sure to find something that you’ll enjoy. Try out Rutabegorz Restaurant this weekend and let us know what you think! We might just see you there.