People kept pouring in the night we went to the new Rusty Bucket location in the Orchard Town Center in Westminster. And why not? It’s a brightly-lit, casual, welcoming, sports-on-TV kind of gathering place. In fact, several of the tables around us were large groups. With burgers, sandwiches and pizza (from homemade dough), it’s the kind of place you go to hang out and grab a bite. We pride ourselves on not just trying and writing about what everyone is having already – the masses already know about those things. We like to try something different – things that the masses might not order but that might be hidden gems. I asked a couple of staffers what they thought were under-appreciated items at Rusty Bucket. They told us: Seafood and steak. Boom! Choices made.
We got started with an appetizer of a half-pound Bucket O’ Shrimp ($11.49), chilled, and cooked with Old Bay Seasonings. This was some of the very best shrimp we’ve had! No kidding. The shrimp were plump, firm fresh and full of flavor.
Another dish Rusty Bucket staffer said is often overlooked, the Pan-Seared Salmon had soy glaze, sticky rice and stir-fried veggies. We ordered it to be done “medium” but the very center was a little underdone for our taste. But it’s also the way most chefs would do it to keep the moisture in. Just keep that and your tastes in mind as you order.
While I love fried onions like this, I could have done with fewer of them and instead maybe a baked potato topped with a few of those onions on top. The Gorgonzola Steak however, was delicious! Some restaurants put too much of the powerful cheese on top, drowning the flavor of the meat or making it all too rich. But this was just the right amount. The broccoli with a hint of garlic was delicious. Growing up, if I’d broccoli like this, I would have eaten it every day!
Rusty Bucket has a good selection of beers. The cocktail menu is smaller but included the Pink Gin Fizz with Rogue Pink Gin, fresh squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup and soda then topped with a float of Hangtime Pinot Noir and garnished with a lemon peel. It sure was pretty.
At the overwhelming recommendation of two staffers, we ordered the Sticky Bun Bread Pudding ($5.99). Super-sweet, it also had good, cinnamon/nutmeg flavor.