The real deal
Rub’s Pub & Grille1290 E. Plumb Ln.
Reno, NV 89502
Pub, grille and free are all words that catch my attention. I love pubs and pub food. I can’t think of anything wrong with pub drinks, and I’m all the more tickled to get something free. After walking out of the pushing-and-shoving affair that is a Friday afternoon at Costco, seeing signs for Rub’s Pub & Grille—and their daily 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. happy hour and two-for-one entrées after 4 p.m.—was a welcome sight.
Rub’s is a nicely appointed, tidy, open restaurant with a relatively small bar for drinking and a large area full of tables and booths for eating. I know “pub” rhymes with the owner’s name, but I’d like to see the place a little danker, a little grimier, and inhabited by a few more jovial derelicts before granting it pub status. The decor is a mix of framed Monroe, Hepburn, Elvis and baseball prints mostly hung near the restrooms, with a fair number of flat screens hanging throughout the dining area. Rub’s is just about two months new, so the owner still has time to cram his pub full of personal touches.
That Friday, Rub’s had four entrée choices available two-for-one. That’s a screaming deal for you budget-minded folks. Of the two-for-one entrée selections were the fish and chips ($10.99), which I ordered, and the four-piece chicken dinner ($12.99), which Kat ordered. However, I like to try everything when reviewing, so despite my wife’s objections, I also ordered the Nevada burger ($8.50), plus a cheese quesadilla ($6.25). That’s a ton of food, so I chuckled when the waitress approached us later saying, “Your food will be out in a few minutes. We wanted to have everything ready at once.” Out came entrée one, entrée two and then my burger. I thought the server had forgotten our appetizer, a good thing considering the quantity of food before us, but a few minutes later she delivered the quesadilla. Everything looked great, even Kat’s chicken dinner, which the server described as being “similar to the rotisserie chicken,” though it was really fried. Rub’s has good fried chicken—crunchy, not greasy and ever-so-sweet. Kat’s plate also came with a side of steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes and gravy.
Apart from forgetting the coleslaw, my plate of beer-battered cod and French fries was fine pub grub. Both fries and fish were cooked up expertly, producing a crispy batter encasing a flaky and flavorful fish fillet. Rub’s Nevada burger is a one-third pound patty topped with grilled mushrooms, grilled onions, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato. The bacon was rubbery and flaccid, and I immediately pushed it aside. However, the cook seasoned my burger up right, which made for pretty savory meat.
Kat and I took a lot of this food home, especially the quesadilla, which had so much cheese, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo and sliced jalapeños, it was almost like a fourth meal. I recommend ordering prudently because fried foods tend not to age well overnight.
Rub’s two-for-one entrée deal is the ticket. Including a beer for me, our bill came to just under $30. Though our waitress had room for improvement, she was still friendly and eager to please. Most importantly, the food on a whole tilted toward better than average. Luckily, I work far away from Rub’s because I could easily be turned into a happy-go-lucky denizen of a bargain food and drink establishment like that.