The zesty kick of ancho. The tropical sweetness of mango. And the satisfying crunch of crispy chicken. Rubio’s partnered with Celebrity Chef Richard Blais to help us create three incredibly delicious street tacos — in restaurants May 20th.
We’re taking a fresh look at a street food staple, reimagining the flavor possibilities. Follow the journey.
Richard develops 20 initial concepts—from a puffy hamburguesa taco to the Nashville hot fish taco—representing a mix of veggie, meat and seafood options.
The Rubio’s culinary team and Richard spend weeks working together in the kitchen to narrow down the concepts to the top three tacos.
The Rubio’s culinary team works with ingredient suppliers to refine the recipes and ensure the best quality and consistency across all locations.
All Rubio’s team members are trained and get to taste the tacos for themselves as they get ready for the big launch.
On May 20th, the new Rubios x Blais street tacos hit Rubio’s restaurants.
The Hula Hula Carnitas taco features juicy pork marinated in a rich blend of gochujang, achiote, and garlic, slow cooked in a banana leaf to create the tender kalua-style flavor. It’s served on a stone ground corn tortilla, topped with mango salsa, black sesame seeds, cotija cheese, and a slice of lime.
Named after New Orleans’ most famous sandwich, the Ancho Po-Boy Shrimp taco features flash fried ancho-lime shrimp with Cajun aioli, served on a warm flour tortilla with crisp shredded cabbage, salsa fresca, and a slice of lime.
The Blaised & Glazed taco starts with Rubio’s crispy chicken tossed in Frank’s RedHot® sauce, the secret ingredient to the original Buffalo wings created in Buffalo, NY in 1964. It’s layered with crisp shredded cabbage, homemade ranch sauce, and house-pickled celery and jalapeño, then garnished with cotija cheese and celery seed. Served on a warm flour tortilla.
When Ralph Rubio asks you to meet him in his test kitchen, you put on your apron and go.
But first, some history.
In 2013, I'd moved to San Diego from Chicago, and gave an interview to San Diego Magazine where I was asked about the San Diego food community. I'd answered, “I'm quite excited about fish tacos, both eating many and making them.”
I'd heard the story about Ralph bringing the fish taco to the U.S. and biting into the combination of crispy fish and fresh cabbage was incredibly memorable – and delicious.
Fast-forward a few years and here I am, making tacos with Ralph and Rubio's Culinary Director Justin Mosel, two great guys who radiate the beachy vibes you get when you eat their tacos.
The idea behind our collaboration was to create new street tacos that not only rivaled the Original Fish Taco in craveablity, but also to create all-new flavor and texture combinations. Ralph, Justin and I went so crazy creating, building and tasting tacos that we ended up with a whopping 20 new tacos, leaving 17 of them on the cutting room floor! (RIP Puffy Taco!)
Fellow taco lovers, please give a warm welcome to our three winners: the Hula Hula Carnitas Taco, the Blaised & Glazed Crispy Chicken Taco & Ancho Po-Boy Shrimp Taco. These street tacos are so good, you'll want to eat them every day. Can't wait to see which one is your favorite.