Mention the city of Vicksburg, and one attraction comes to mind: the Vicksburg National Military Park, one of the nation’s most distinguished Civil War battlefields. But, there’s actually a lot more to see and do in the River City which annually attracts over 150,000 visitors from around the world. Vicksburg is filled with historic museums, including my favorites, the Old Courthouse Museum and Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum where the first Coke was bottled in 1894, art galleries, antique shops, bed and breakfasts, and antebellum homes dating back to the 1800s.
These things, along with sweeping vistas of the Mighty Mississippi River, are reason enough to drive over for a day trip or weekend. However, there’s another good reason to visit Vicksburg – the city is filled with restaurants offering everything from hand-rolled tamales to fried catfish to everything in between. Rusty’s Riverfront Grill is in the latter category, serving up delicious seafood, steaks, pastas, and its famous key lime pie.
Located on historic Washington Street near the Mississippi River, Rusty’s has quickly become one of locals’ and tourists’ favorite restaurants due to its friendly ambiance and wide selection of food and beverages. Diners can sit in the expansive dining room or move outside to a patio table to enjoy the view and breeze rolling in from the water. Atmosphere aside, Rusty’s consistently serves some of the best food in the area, and that’s saying a lot.
Rusty’s appetizers are creative and delicious and include fried calamari ($8.88), fried crab claws ($18.99), broiled oysters ($16.99), and seafood gumbo ($$5.99-cup/$7.99-bowl). These and other appetizers are large and filling enough for a light meal or to simply get a larger dinner started.
Salads are also large enough to qualify for the light, yet meal-worthy, category. There’s the chicken Caesar ($8.99), blackened chicken pasta salad ($8.99), blackened chicken (10.99), and the delicious crab cake salad ($12.99).
Many come to Rusty’s for the fresh seafood prepared in a variety of innovative ways, and one look at the menu illustrates why. First, there’s Rusty’s house specialty, blackened red fish with crawfish cream sauce ($25.99). It’s flaky, perfectly seasoned, and covered with a rich sauce that
utilizes the best of this season’s crawfish in an amazing way. Other standouts are stuffed grouper, a large Gulf grouper ($30.99), filled with crab cakes and topped with chopped vegetables and grilled tomatoes; Gulf shrimp ($17.99) served broiled, blackened, or fried; stuffed soft shell crab ($28.99); Captain’s platter ($30.99) filled with shrimp, scallops, oysters, crab cake, and grouper; crab cakes (3 for $21.99), and surf and turf ($29.99).
Surf and turf is my go-to dish, and Rusty’s didn’t let me down. Their offering contains a 12-ounce grilled ribeye served with a choice of shrimp, scallops, or oysters. Rusty’s steaks are tender, juicy, and cooked to perfection. Combined with succulent grilled shrimp, my last dinner there was simply outstanding.
If steak or chicken is your mind, you’ve come to the right place. Choose from among ribeye ($26.99/$29), filet mignon ($28.99/$35.99), or grilled, blackened, or Hawaiian chicken ($12.99).
Rusty’s also serves a delicious seafood pasta ($19.99) and shrimp and grits ($21.99), along with sandwiches and poboys. Start with an all-American cheeseburger or work your way up to a shrimp or poboy, Hawaiian chicken, grilled or blackened chicken sandwich. All are in the $9 range.
Save room for dessert, because you’ll want to sample the aforementioned key lime pie ($4.99). Also on the menu are chocolate peanut butter and coconut cream pies, along with bread pudding.
Rusty’s is located at 901 Washington Street in Vicksburg. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Call 601-638-2030 for more information.