The Rusty Nail American Bar & Grill

I anticipated this week’s BHFE for two weeks, since our Meat Week excursion to Heirloom Market trumped BHFE. (I would have loved to do both, but I’m not made of money, and my colon would have probably exploded. Fact.) So I had two long weeks to look forward to visiting a new place. A quick trip to The Rusty Nail’s website yielded some background information…

The Rusty Nail was established in 1974, and there are actually two locations – this one and one in Sandy Springs. Both locations support local darts, which sounds fun and intriguing to me. Finally, our location has happy hour 3-7pm weekdays and trivia that starts at 9pm on saturdays.

“Smoking gun BBQ”

Being trivia buffs, the husband and I knew at once that our trip to The Rusty Nail must surely be for trivia, and we invited Ashley and Stephen along to round out our trivia team. We had been eyeing The Rusty Nail for quite some time, due to the giant gun-shaped smoker out front. However, I’m not a particular fan of bar food, so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the experience.

Toasting with our hefty tankards.  

Right off the bat, I liked it pretty well. A cheery sprawling interior with interesting decor welcomed us. In our booth we found Trivial Pursuit cards to entertain ourselves with. We started with a round of beers and the fried mushrooms. Our Warsteiners came in gigantic tankards that we had a good time sloshing around. I enjoyed the mushrooms and the horseradish sauce they came with quite a lot, but I feel like $7.95 was a bit much.

Fried mushrooms and horseradish sauce. 

For dinner, Adam had the Three Little Pigs Sandwich (Pulled pork, ham and bacon) with mac ‘n’ cheese for $8.95. I had the Daily Special Liver & Onions plate with Brunswick stew and cowboy baked beans for $10.49. Stephen had a Black & Blue burger with Miss Vickie’s Pickle Potato Chips for $10.95. Last, but not least, Ashley had the two-meat combo with collard greens and broccoli salad for a whopping $13.95.

Adam enjoyed his sandwich, and we felt like it was a good value. He felt that the mac and cheese was “a little dry but alright.” I did not, unfortunately, enjoy my liver and onions at all, but since it was the first time in memory that I had tried them, it’s likely due to personal preference rather than the Rusty Nail’s liver-cooking technique. Everyone enjoyed the Brunswick stew and the cowboy baked beans, though.

Two-meat special on the left, three little pigs on the right.
Beans yay, liver boo.

Ashley thought her chicken was dry, but enjoyed the brisket and collard greens. I passed on the chicken but I agree on the brisket and collard greens. She didn’t care for the broccoli salad (it is kind of a strange dish) and while I enjoyed it more, I have to say for the best broccoli salad I’ve had, it would have to be Kitsch’n 155. But anyway. In general, she says, “the food was alright, but not worth the price considering you can get better quality for less at other places. And personally, I could get them without the lungful of smoke, which make me feel ill by the end of the night.”

Black & Blue burger.

Stephen says “The first thing I noticed walking in was the smell of cigarette smoke.  Not unexpected, but not entirely welcoming. The service was informal and fun, as well as generally fast (right up until getting the check at the end).  The trivia was great; that’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had doing trivia. As far as the food itself, I REALLY liked the burger I had, even more than I thought I would, but otherwise, the food was mediocre and, at least collectively, on the expensive side.”

The nail-themed menu.

Trivia started up at 9pm, along with half-price wings. Speaking strictly for Adam and I, who love going to trivia and have tried it at several places around the metro area, we simply loved this trivia experience. The guy was extremely funny, he heckled the players and messed around with the score, and it was just a nice, fun experience. And the trivia questions were good! We really, really enjoyed the experience, and we would like to repeat it. However, we are not sure how we would swing it, because I feel like the food is just a little too pricey. It was good for bar food, but bar food is bar food – if that makes any sense. Maybe we can play at the bar and just have a few drinks?

Also, I would like to try to play darts, even though I’m really not clear on the finer points of how the game works. I would also like to watch the local league (is it called a league?) play and see how it’s really done.

Though we were kind of full we got a basket of half-price wings to try them out (and for comparison to the next BuHi eatery, a wing shop). Half mild and half lemon-pepper. Both were fine, especially for the price, though i have enjoyed lemon-pepper wings more at Joe’s on Juniper.

A shot of the right side.

In the end, we really enjoyed the evening, more than we thought we would. It is just a dark, dive-y kind of bar, but for that bar experience it was awesome. It serves bar food, but for bar food it was pretty okay (and the burger above average). Being impervious to cigarette smoke, Adam and I were more impressed with it than Ash and Steve, but we collectively give it 3.5 stars when trivia is involved (and a 2.5 when it’s not). Give it a try for trivia sometime!

A shot back towards the bar in the center.

The Rusty Nail American Bar & Grill
2900 Buford Highway
Atlanta, GA 30329

Rusty Nail on Urbanspoon


Nerd. Foodie. Gamer. Homecook. Perpetual planner. Gardener. Aspiring homesteader. Direct response graphic designer. I use too many damn commas.

4 thoughts on “The Rusty Nail American Bar & Grill

  1. Oh man, I'm way sad-face I didn't go with y'all to the Rusty Nail; I've been wanting to go there ever since I moved into my old apartment right down the road! It's too bad the food wasn't better, but at least the trivia kept it lively and enjoyable. 😀

  2. In, oh, about 1973, the building that the Rusty Nail is in was a Sandy’s Hamburger joint?
    I worked next door (former Lawrence’s) at a place called Taco Pronto. I was 15 at the time
    and we swapped food with Sandy’s all the time.

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