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The Conversant Critic: The Rusty Crane

The Rusty Crane is a unique, vintage style restaurant tucked away near the Brady Arts District. It has a distinctive atmosphere and a variety of different foods. This pub flaunts its “Be Here” motto, which encourages people to have conversation with friends and look them in the eye while enjoying meal.

The small pub’s name suits its rustic design. The restaurant feels as if it were pulled right out of the early 1900s with aged elevator shafts, old décor and worn brick walls.

The atmosphere is laid back with dim lighting. Some tables are designed with historic pictures of people from what appears to be the 1900s. The Rusty Crane has a large bar area with bar stools and

The eclectic, old feel of the Rusty Crane encourages relationship and conversation.
The eclectic, old feel of the Rusty Crane encourages relationship and conversation. Photo by Jeremy Luczac. 

booths located on the first floor. This area seems to be the most popular area among guests. More tables are located upstairs for those who want to enjoy a meal. There is also a spacious patio guests can enjoy on warm days.

The Rusty Crane has an eclectic menu consisting of wings, pastas, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, soups, salads, appetizers, sides and desserts. The pub also offers a brunch menu served Saturday and Sunday until 2 p.m. including bacon cheddar chicken & waffles and breakfast tacos.

On slower days, The Rusty Crane invites customers to seat themselves.

The staff is cordial, but they walk around in a hurried fashion, busing tables and taking orders. Customers may have to flag down waiters to let them know they are ready to be served on days when guests seat themselves. The waiters do come back to check on customers after they order a meal, asking if they would need anything else or if they need to-go boxes.

Sweet, tangy wings were paired with sweet potato fried fried to crispy perfection.
Sweet, tangy wings were paired with sweet potato fried fried to crispy perfection. Photo by Jeremy Luczac. 

The Rusty Crane’s BBQ wings come 10 to an order, are tossed in the famous “rusty dust” and topped with the Rusty Crane’s house BBQ sauce. They are made to order and come out not incredibly steamy but hot enough. Eat the wings soon because they will get cold quickly. These wings are a mediocre selection, but they can be satisfying. The BBQ sauce is tangy, mostly sweet with a pinch of spice. The sauce is average and doesn’t have the unique taste one would expect from a special sauce. Instead of reveling in each bite, one will get quickly tired of the same moderate taste.

The moist and hot chicken, however, goes well with the sauce, making a decent wing. The wings also serve good as left overs and are a tasty snack re-heated. The wings are $12.99 per order and only come in a large size.

The sweet potato fries are cooked to crispy perfection, thickly cut and seasoned with salt and paprika, and served with a side of ranch. These sweet versions of the classic french fries have a bold taste and serve as a good comfort food. Dip the fries in the ranch to make a creamy combination. Sharing might be a good option for those who like to eat light because the fries come in a generous portion size. For those who don’t like sweet fries, try the Crane Fries. These original style fries come thickly cut and seasoned with salt with a crispy finish. All sides are $2.99.

The Rusty Crane is a unique place designed to attract specific people. For those who love small, distinctive places to dine, The Rusty Crane is a perfect spot. The restaurant would also be an ideal spot for a late night date. Overall, The Rusty Crane’s atmosphere is more enjoyable than the food itself.

Story by Victoria Atterberry, Photos by Jeremy Luczac

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