Review: The Rusty Nail – Canton, MI

The Rusty Nail – Canton, MI

If you are dining in Canton, you are either at a chain or a dive. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the best food I have experienced has come from dives. When Boyfriend and I first moved to Canton, we had no idea where to eat. Now, a couple years later, we have our preferred haunts and craveable Canton specialties.

I must admit that I have been to the Rusty Nail in a former life, long ago, but it was only for drinks and I was concentrating more on pretending to listen and enjoy the company I was with than noticing what was going on around me or into my mouth.

Boyfriend has been on my case about going to this place for a few weeks. They have these banners on the side of the building that someone is responsible for replacing every day to advertise the special du jour:

Mondays: $1 tacos
Tuesdays: 2-for-$3 mini burgers
Wednesdays: $0.50 Coneys
Thursdays: Assorted Drink Specials
Fridays: “Famous” Fish Fry
Saturdays: More Drink Specials
Sundays: $0.25 wings (and trivia!)

They also have a Monday-Friday, 2:00pm-6pm happy hour that grants you $1.00 off all of their drinks.

The Rusty Nail is located in a little building sandwiched, like most businesses in Canton, between a bank and a strip mall on Ford Road. Boyfriend insisted it must be Canton’s best-kept secret, because the parking lot is always packed. Care to take a guess at which deal we scored?


When we walked in, there were only a couple other tables occupied, but it was early (4:30) and as the evening progressed, quite a few more people showed up. The crowd consisted of what appeared to be the regulars, mostly middle-aged. The service was nothing remarkable, but speedy, pretty much what you would expect from the wait staff as a bar on a Monday. There were also quite a few flat screens mounted on the wall, and I told Boyfriend it would be a good place to watch sports.

Just as the banner promised, the tacos were a dollar each. You had your choice of beef or chicken, hard or soft, and each taco came with lettuce, cheese, and the bottle of Ortega taco sauce that adorned each table. You could also get tomatoes or sour cream for an additional charge (I’m still not quite sure how they charge for the extras… I got three tacos with the tomatoes and sour cream and the total was $3.55, to give you an idea. Nothing that is going to break the bank).

While we were waiting for our food, Boyfriend, asker of great waiting-time questions, inquired about my expectations for the food. I told him that as long as they were on-par or better than Taco Bell, I would be satisfied (I was famished).

The food arrived quickly, and was not fresh-out-out-of-the-pan hot, but exactly what I would expect at a $1 taco night. I got all chicken tacos, both hard and soft, and Boyfriend got a variety of both meats and shells. The chicken was shredded and seemed to be of decent quality; the shells were probably bought at the Meijer down the street. The chicken had a smoky flavor to it, almost like there was a little barbeque sauce in the marinade, but they were definitely tasty. The chicken hard shells were the favorite for both Boyfriend and I.

Overall I’m going to give the Rusty Nail a solid 3.5 pickles. If you can accept it for what it is (a dive locals bar, with bar food and great food and drink specials), you will be able to enjoy the Rusty Nail. I look forward to returning to try some more of their food specials when the bank account is running low.


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