Articles

The Ruby on Johnson

RestaurantsVictoria, BC

Illustrative image

That Mexican food is a world-spanning phenomenon might seem like an obvious fact these days, but it was far from always the case. Outside of the Americas, one could charitably describe what one found to be of Taco Bell quality.

Things have improved over the past few years, and even Canada has gotten in on the action. This spurred Tortillaphilia Editorial Board™ to send an exploratory committee to Victoria, BC to feel the temperature on its tortilla scene.

Any town with respect for the tortilla will have a good breakfast-taco spot. That is just a fact. Our sources pointed us in the direction of Ruby on Johnson, which has garnered a reputation for being a good brunch spot. With four types of tacos to choose from, they’re serious about their tortilla-based offerings, too.

I sampled the Migas, a simple assembly of eggs, beans, avocado sauce, pico de gallo, and cheddar. The pièce de résistance, though, was the topping of tortilla chip strips. Tortillas on tortilla? Most impressive.

Importantly, the tacos did not fall into the trap of being too heavy. To me, a breakfast taco is taco first, breakfast second, whereas many spots tend to go with quantity over quality. Don’t get me wrong, three of these will fill you up, but they weren’t loaded. You can pick them up and eat them with one hand. (Rule of thumb: A taco that can’t be picked up, is a bad taco.1)

The tacos themselves weren’t overly exciting, but they held a good quality. Particularly the avocado sauce added a zing of zest to the palate. I do wish they would have used two tortillas for the base, as the tacos did go a bit soggy. Plus tortillas on tortilla on tortilla? The mind boggles of what could have been.

So Ruby might not have revolutionized the breakfast taco, but what they delivered was good. Fresh, not too heavy, and the tortillas were tasty. Ruby represents its country admirably.

Next in the Canada investigation: Fast-food quesadillas.

1 Note that these are migas tacos. Traditional migas are served on a hardened tortilla, more tostada-style.