Monday, August 11, 2014

Review - The Rusty Rudder

The Rusty Rudder is a new restaurant on the outskirts of Mt Pleasant on your way to Awendaw. The restaurant sits in the old 17North location and has a lovely patio area with games and lots of room to enjoy the live music that's played weekly. Inside, the decor is simple yet inviting. The woodsy feel of the place and long bar, serviced by a pretty female bartender on this day, is an inviting establishment with a hopeful future. Landing in Charleston after having large success in the Charlotte market, the owners are hoping to achieve the same in their new location.

We took the liberty of ordering a couple of appetizers with our meals. Our choices were she crab soup, which was pretty good, and Oysters Rockefeller. To their credit, the oysters were plated nicely and looked appetizing enough. The tops were nicely browned, had a heaping amount of spinach on the salty oyster beds, and they seemed scrumptious. Unfortunately for us, they simply - weren't. They were OK. The oysters seemed unfresh and cold but edible, so we ate them anyway. Looking forward to our meals, we hoped that the BBQ sandwich and mahi mahi tacos would prove to be a little more appetizing than the previous dishes.

The meals were delivered promptly and HUGE. The tacos were filled with big pieces of fish, a pineapple slaw with a jalapeno mango sauce. The BBQ sandwich was piled high with pulled pork, and they gave us two choices of sauce. One was a tomato-vinegar based, called the Rudder special, and the other was a spicy mustard sauce. As things seem to go, the food looked delicious! Tasting it was to be a little less exciting, as they simply didn't convey what they promised. The tacos were a little bland but not bad. There didn't seem to be a hint of anything spicy, and we didn't even realize that there was supposed to be any on them until we were informed by the server. (She was great by the way. One of the best in Mt Pleasant.) The BBQ sandwich was, well, a BBQ sandwich. The fries, on the other hand, were outstanding. We ended up dipping them into the sauces. Fat yet crunchy on the inside, their soft middles blossomed with the sauces' sweet and spicy undertones.

After we indulged a little in the above, we decided to take most of it home and try one of their unusual desserts. The cheesecake stuffed strawberries, dipped in chocolate, should be a nice end to our meal. They weren't bad, but the "cheesecake stuffing" was more of a mushy filling that tasted like it was born out of a can. You can't beat a strawberry dipped in chocolate though, so we ate a couple and took the rest home.

Overall, the restaurant is OK. It's definitely not one of the best in town, but it's not bad either. If you don't mind spending a little too much for food that is of average quality, this is your place. The convenience of having it so close to home (for us in North Mt Pleasant), the lovely outdoor patio with live music, and a family friendly atmosphere make up for a lot of the issues we have with the food. It's a cool place to kick back with a few of their craft beers and specialty cocktails after work. Just, maybe skip the oysters and head straight to the meat of the place.

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