It all began with a little kid and a bucket.  If you had told five-year-old, (or even 15-year-old), Zac Cerqueda that the day his papa put him on an upside-down bucket and taught him to do dishes at the family restaurant would be the start of his culinary career, he wouldn’t have believed you.  The youthful dream of playing soccer was young Zac’s plan.

It wasn’t until he came home and realized that working at Rubi’s, his dad Ricardo’s restaurant on 7th Street in Parkersburg, didn’t really seem like work. He enjoyed it!  So, he enrolled in the culinary program at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  After nearly four years of training, Chef Zac would go on to work for nearly a decade in some of Pittsburgh’s most notable restaurants. During his time at the Duquesne Club, Carmella’s, Bar Marco, & All in Good Taste Productions, Zac would prepare food for guests including Brad Pitt, Elton John, & Pittsburgh royalty – professional athletes, team owners, and members of the Heinz family.

Chef Zac Cerqueda at the new Rubi’s Salad Haus in Parkersburg

Now Zac is back home for the new Rubi’s Salad Haus venture.  The Haus features the same level of deliciousness as the original restaurant with an intense focus on the freshest ingredients and the ability to customize dishes to suit each customer’s taste and dietary requirements.  Anyone, from a vegan to the most consummate carnivore, can find something to enjoy. 

As a couple sat feasting on the charcuterie, a meat and cheese tray with complements that transports the consumer out of the small, warm storefront into a five-star experience unrivaled in the MOV, another customer stood at the nearby register picking up a takeout order. (Yes, that’s an available option!) An employee asked, “Were you here yesterday?”  The customer chuckled and said, “Yes, I’m here every day!”  And therein is the beauty of the Salad Haus.  With more than 60 ingredients as an option, a diner could eat there every day of their life and never have to have the same combination. 

The irresistible offerings of the charcuterie board

In a short conversation with owner Ricardo and his wife Martha, (who co-manages the restaurant) it is easy to see that love of family and food runs deep. Ricardo’s life included meandering from his native Mexico and a possible career as an engineer to the northeastern US, where he learned from the family of friends the business of running a pizzeria.  As Martha refilled glasses of a delicious Tempranillo, a Spanish red that pairs well with the smoked meat offerings on the charcuterie, she and Ricardo recalled the culinary experiences they enjoyed on a trip to Paris. 

Zac, Ricardo, and Martha are excited to bring something very new to the Mid-Ohio Valley.  Cerqueda is working with Mid-Ohio Valley suppliers to have the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients.  Seasonal changes will bring new wines, meats, cheeses, and desserts to the menu making Rubi’s Salad Haus a place where even the most frequent guest can take their taste buds on new epicurean adventures. Open from 10:00 7:00 p.m. every day except Sunday, the restaurant is busiest during the typical lunch span of 11:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.  While dining in ultimately affords the best experience, for ease of choosing ingredients and enabling tasting of the delicious housemade dressings, call ahead or takeout orders are welcome at (681) 315-3312.  Follow Rubi’s Salad Haus on Facebook and Instagram, where posts include daily specials, featured menu items, and new offerings.

Chef Zac slices fresh meat for the charcuterie. 

Looking for a special treat this weekend? A one-day, special Valentine’s Day dinner is being offered, reservations required, that will include an upscale tasting menu.  Call to get your seats for this experience!