Wondering where to take your vegan, gluten-sensitive, or keto dieting lover on an inspired date?

I had trouble keeping my greens and berries from falling off the plate. My gorgeous, delicious and humungous salad spilled over when I wasn’t careful. The table was so clean I was tempted to put the lost berry back on the plate. I chose every single item from a spread of 60 ingredients — like a child in a candy store!

Chef Zac was very helpful in answering my questions about the food. Rubi’s Salad Haus has a beautiful setup, giving a feel of comfort and quality, and the staff is so friendly it felt like coming back to my parents’ home for a Sunday afternoon dinner. 

humungous saladWondering where to take your vegan date on Valentine’s Day? Your gluten-sensitive date? Your keto inspired date? Or the one with severe allergies? There are a few places in the area, but first, let’s talk about this brand new and very unusual eating spot! (Note: there will be limited spots for Valentine’s Day and you will need to call ahead for reservations. See below for details on what will be available to order.) 

Ricardo and Martha Cerqueda and their son Chef Zac Cerqueda recently opened a third restaurant, Rubi’s Salad Haus in Parkersburg.  They also own Rubi’s Pizza and Grill on Seventh Street in Parkersburg and a restaurant in Steubenville. 

Ricardo told me with a chuckle that he’s a Mexican who’s been cooking Italian food for 35 years! The family has a history of successful restaurants. With the growing trend of people wanting choices and healthier options, Rubi’s Salad Haus will no doubt be their third success! 

The restaurant offers awesome pre-prepared salads to grab and go as well if you don’t have the time to choose ingredients. For proteins, they offer tofu, macadamia nuts, cheeses, pumpkin seeds, steak, ahi tuna, chicken and shrimp. 

Rubi’s owners pride themselves on having high-quality food, and mostly organic produce from local farmers.  One new addition is microgreens from Yellow Blue Greens, a new local urban farmer. (I purchase microgreens myself from this farmer weekly.) Another local farmer that will be providing organic produce is Dave Hawkins of Mother Earth Foods. Hawkins grows food with higher than organic standards. He calls it “Beyond Organic.” 

“This is an entirely new concept for the Mid-Ohio Valley” says Ricardo. “We have high-quality food. For example, we have the biggest shrimp, and we can feed everyone – the carnivores, vegans, those who need gluten-free. We don’t want to exclude anyone.” 

Rubi’s offers soup daily. Some days the soup contains meat, and other days the soup is vegan. Just a fair warning – tempting desserts will likely call your name. I’m not sure if you can find fresh-squeezed citrus juice anywhere else, so that’s another good reason to stop by! 

Valentine’s Specials: 

If you want to come to Rubi’s on Valentine’s Day, call ahead and do it ASAP! There is limited seating and you will need a reservation, according to Chef Zac. If you want a vegan or gluten free meal, let them know in advance and they’ll prepare it if there is space. (Though the menu already seems to be gluten free. Double check with the chef if you need that.) The planned menu for Valentine’s is a three course meal that includes appetizer, entrée and dessert: escargot with hotel butter, saffron risotto with lump crab meat, and chocolate souffle for dessert.  

Other area restaurants with Valentine’s specials:

Star of India at 123 Greene Street in Marietta will offer free dessert on Valentine’s Day. There are multiple items on their menu that are gluten-free and there are also many vegetarian items. Four options can be prepared vegan and must be requested. These three are on the menu: Alu Gobi, Maharani Dal, and Bengan Barth. Chana Marsala can also be prepared vegan, but it is not on the menu. I was surprised to learn that the appetizer Vegetable Pakora is gluten-free as the batter is made with chickpea flour. 

Riviera and Valley Gem:  Our Valentine’s specials will be Crab Dip or Mushroom & Spinach Stuffed Potatoes for appetizers. Our entree specials are Surf & Turf with beef tenderloin and scallops, Marry Me Chicken and Mushroom and Kale Linguine. For dessert, you can enjoy, Creme Brûlée or Chocolate Cobbler with ice cream. Our soup will be Zuppa Toscana. VEGAN/VEGETARIAN options: The Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Potatoes and the Mushroom and Kale Linguine are both vegan/vegetarian options. Of course, all regular menu options will be available as well.  

Buckley House never got back to us, but they did indicate in an initial conversation that they had a special. So, give them a call.

There are other places in town that offer some choices. If you know of other Valentine’s Specials, comment on our Facebook page to let others know. #Local+LoveMAB

Happy Valentine’s Day!