Rusty Bucket is an Ohio-based chain of “corner taverns” that specialize in pub food. It opened its first Cincinnati location at Rookwood… well, yesterday! Terry decided he wanted to go there for dinner last night, and we figured it had been open for a bit– nope, just opened that day!
(I limit myself to reviewing very small chains. Ohio-based? Sure. Cheesecake Factory? Not so much.)
Our waitress, Kristen, was very informative. They make everything on site– no TGI Friday’s-esque premade stuff here. They have a daily blue plate special, a daily drink special, and more beer on tap than I could count. I mistakenly thought it was Thursday (wishful thinking) and wanted a Caipiroshka (the Thursday drink special), but they didn’t have the makings of it since they hadn’t had a Thursday special yet. Duh. So she recommended their pineapple vodka– Finlandia vodka with pineapples that they have in huge vats at the bar. I was game. Instead of a sharp alcohol taste with a hint of pineapple, this was smooth and pineapple-y, with a little sweetness and very little bite. I’d go back just for that.
We ordered fried pickles– they make their own beer batter on site– and they were good, indeed better than the Pub at Rookwood’s. Terry ordered fish and chips, which came with a tasty horseradish-y cole slaw, decent fries and two big pieces of beer battered fish. The fish was flaky and moist, and the batter was crispy– very well done. The fries were frozen, but not bad. I had a BBQ chicken chopped salad, which was a little bland– the chicken wasn’t really barbecued, just grilled, and needed some barbecue sauce or additional seasoning to really be great.
I ended up with dessert– blueberry stack. It’s basically blueberry bread pudding with maple syrup. Pretty tasty. Pretty good the next day for breakfast, too. Not that I’d do that. Not that I’d want to wash it down with the pineapple vodka. Nooo.
All in all, not a bad place for a quick weeknight meal or to watch the game.