The Ruck is a rugby lovin’ bar deep in the heart of Troy, NY (104 3rd St, Troy, NY).
It’s an institution with local college kids and residents alike. The crowd is very diverse. You’ll likely see girls in semi-formal dresses, guys relaxing with a brew or two, and a local drunk. It’s much more low key if you come any time before 10 pm, which is when the night life starts to pick up and said gussied up gals start pouring in.
The building itself is like a barn – tall ceilings, all wooden beams running inside. It’s really a great piece of architechture. There are rugby jerseys pinned to the ceiling and walls, plus other sporty type things, and a few big screen TVs. There’s also a standing-level shuffleboard game to play in the back, plus darts in the front. It’s got a lot goin’ on.
They’ve got a wide selection of beers on tap, as you can see above. They run an all-day $8 pitcher of Coors Light. It’s not too bad when it’s from the tap. The Ruck keeps a clean tapline, too.
I got a double Stoli raz and club for $6. SIX DOLLARS. I’m used to Albany prices. That would have been at least $8-9. And man, that bartender was not stingy with the booze. I can see why they’re popular with the college crowd.
There is no calling system, so you just wait for your food to come out. There is a food bar area next to the alcohol bar area. Just wait around and someone will take your order and money. I sat at a table and watched for food, and had no problems.
Well, actually, I stood for a while and then went to go sit with someone from my group because this guy who looked EXACTLY like my brother’s father-in-law came over and drunkenly hit on me and wouldn’t leave me alone. They were like “Oh, that’s So&So. He’s the bar’s drunk. He’s been here for decades. Yeah, he does that to everyone. Watch him hitch his pants up.” And then all I could see was Margarita’s Dad drunkenly hitching his pants up while he walked up and down the bar.
My favorite wings are crisp-skinned, and moist in the center, with sauce that thickly coats the wings and doesn’t make them insta-soggy. The Ruck’s met all my criteria for a great wing. They maintained their crisp exteriors throughout the entire time I tried to eat them.
Which was a long time, because they don’t mess around with their hot sauce. Good lord, they were hot. Albany John couldn’t even finish them. Next time I’m going for medium or mild.
They were meaty, crispy, excellent examples of good wings. I’d definitely order them again, but I think $8.50 ($10 really, when you factor in tip) is on the high side for wings. Then again, wing prices are rising, and it’s food at a bar (sandwiches were around $6.50-7.50). I can also name restaurants in the Cap Region with buffalo wings I like on the top of my hand, so it might be a little more expensive, but I’ll take it. It also doesn’t hurt that all the staff are really nice.