Anyone who’s been around Acadiana for a few decades knows the name "Ruby," as in "Ruby’s Restaurant."
Her son Tim of "Tim’s Kitchen" is keeping the legacy going.
"In our core group of our family, it's just a natural gift that God has bestowed upon us to be great cooks,” says Tim Sharlow. “You go in the kitchen and you just cook; whatever you throw on the pot, it comes out and, 'oh, that's delicious!'."
Generations of Lafayette eaters knew Ruby's on Eraste Landry Road and Kaliste Saloom and then Rue Louis XIV. Ruby's decision to retire a few years back left a bit of a void in the need to satisfy our taste buds. In 2018, the fifth of Ruby's seven children opened his own place, with classic recipes from his youth.
“We had smothered chicken, we had chicken fricassee, we had gumbo…” And customers can quickly tell that there's a decided touch of "mom" thrown in.
“But I'm old school,” explains Sharlow. “You're gonna’ get rice and gravy, what mom and dad cooked, what grandmother cooked years ago. Rice and gravy, you're on a diet? Don't came here; well you can still come here and have a chicken fried steak, but no gravy.”
Customers like Darnel Sonnier come to Tim's Kitchen on Albertson's Parkway six days a week, but if you're late, you do run the risk of having those classic favorites sell out quickly.
"I don't know if y'all got this on camera; it's the turkey wing--I come here every Thursday for the turkey wing. (has he ever been out of the turkey wing and you let him have it?) Today. Yes. right now, right now. He doesn't have turkey wing right now,” laughs Sonnier.
Now 85-years old, Ruby herself pops in every so often. And while she's made it known to Tim that he is the boss, she also reminds him that mom is just phone call away.
"She'll say, 'Tim, if you need help, call me. I'll be there'. 'Mom, you're 85 years old, you've paid your dues. I can handle it now'. 'Ok, but if you need any advice call me'. Yes, ma'am'."
For the dessert of this story, we revisit the matter of "legacy," and Tim Sharlow's thoughts on following in his mother's footsteps.
“I am a part of her legacy, but for me, I'll never fulfill it. She'll always be 'Miss Ruby', and all I'll be is ‘Miss Ruby's Son. Tim’."
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