I’d say it takes a little moxy to name your upstart restaurant “Rust Belt”. Maybe not the most enticing image? The name fits the area around Hamburg’s Route 5 across from the Ford plant, but not the shine that comes from the inside. Once you get through the door you’re soothed by a casually attractive decor, a friendly staff and an appealing bar space.
The Rust Belt has many of the standard WNY menu items -steaks, fish, crab cakes, burgers, pasta. The emphasis here is house-made and served super fresh. This difference is obvious when you take your first bite.
For entrees we ordered: We stopped for lunch. I had the Slow Roasted Pork on a Kaiser roll with coleslaw and fries ($7.99). Substituting regular fries with the sweet potato fries served with honey seemed like a sure thing. Nice big portions – plenty for the hungry Ford worker.
My companion had Crab Cakes that came as a small plate for $9.99 Fresh, house-made and just the right proportion of everything – NICE!
Menu Items missed: Too many to mention. They had a lunch special Black and Blue burger that sounded great. They also have a salmon BLT on the lunch menu for $10.99 and a Haddock fish sandwich for $9.99 – it was hard to choose.
The dinner menu includes some good looking pasta dishes for ~ $12, Cioppino (seafood stew) for $18.99,they have fish fry everyday for $10.99 (or batter or broiled), pan seared Trout ($16.99) and a 15 oz. bone-in Ribeye for $17.99. This is not everything that looks good either – honest. They have some empting appetizers/small plates and salads as well.
Scene: We were in for lunch so it was pretty calm but a nice crowd of various ages.
Service: Friendly and hard working- tough combination to beat.
Clientele: For lunch I’d say it was a local crowd, but as word gets out I think (hope) they’ll be pulling people of all ages from many locations.
Beverages: I didn’t see a wine list so I’m not sure what they have. I know they have wine but… They have a full service bar with beer by the bottle and four taps running.
Final thoughts: While this might not seem overly inviting from the street, it is plenty good when you walk through the door. The Rust Belt Bar & Grill is a winner. Locally owned and operated is noticeable by the hustle with a smile attitude and the attention to detail. This place is worth going out of your way – you won’t be disappointed.
3720 Lake Shore Rd
Blasdell, NY 14219
Hours: Mon-Sun 11 am – 11 pm