Okay, so it wasn’t the World Cup, but a still a sporting event – England v Spain. So what better place to combine sports and food, than at Preston’s very own American-themed sports bar – Wings and Beer Co.
Wings and Beer styles itself on the type of bar in the US where you can you get good beer, plus wings. And, of course, the sports.
And with over 17 televisions showing a whole variety of sports from NFL to darts, to Formula One to football, you really are spoilt for choice.
The night the Music Man and I chose to attend was the international friendly, and when we arrived, we also found that boxing was being shown–- the Khan v Vargas bout, but with the added bonus of Preston lad Scott Fitzgerald also fighting.
We had decided to get there early – around 6.30pm – so we could eat and watch the game. But we hadn’t done our research very well – the place was already very busy and we had failed to realise we could book tables.
The venue looks small from the outside, but opens up quite nicely inside with plenty of tables – big and small – scattered around. Unfortunately for us, most of them were already taken or pre-booked.
My eagle eyes spotted a cosy little table for two right at the back of pub and we settled down to peruse the menu, with half an eye on the three tvs that were easily within view.
But it soon became apparent why this particular spot was empty... a speaker right in the corner was blasting out so loud you couldn’t think, let alone speak or hear each other.
It soon transpired that the pub has only about four speakers in the whole place – two at the back and two at the front – and they were turned up so loud so that they could be heard around the whole place.
Nevertheless, we were there to dine out, so we picked out something from the menu. On ordering at the bar, we were immediately told there would be a half hour wait for food, but having already seen how busy the venue was, we were expecting this.
However, because of our unfortunate place beside the incredibly loud speaker, we were unable to converse much. A quick pint of Coors Light (£3.80) hit the wet spot, but was found to be somewhat lacking in taste for both of us.
After the promised wait, the food arrived and immediately set our mouths watering.
As the place is famed for its wings, the Music Man opted for them, though he went for the easier option of boneless wings (£7) – described on the menu as chicken tenders coated in southern fried seasoning and tossed in Coca Cola BBQ sauce. I found the wings to be very tasty and moreish, and the sauce which I was a little apprehensive about, to be just right. Though there didn’t seem to be enough for the whole plate, and it sunk into the grease paper. The Music Man polished the lot off, though later said he thought they were dry.
My chosen main was the FR Chicken Burger (£7.99) – buttermilk southern fried chicken breast topped with Coca Cola BBQ sauce and red slaw. To go with the American theme I asked for it to be southern fried, though you can also have it grilled.
The burger itself was delicious, with just the right amount of the sweet Coca Cola BBQ sauce and the tangy red slaw, which set the burger off perfectly.
The bun was fresh and soft inside, with just the right amount of crunch on the outside. The Music Man also agreed.
The burger was accompanied by what was described as seasoned fries, which we found to be a bit soggy. But you could also pick a bowl of mac and cheese or upgrade to sweet potato fries if you prefer.
We also shared a side order of pulled pork (£2.50) and quickly agreed this was the best bit of the meal. It was perfect, with a little kick to it that wasn’t too overpowering.
In hindsight, we wished we had both selected a main that had included the pulled pork.
Overall the portions were just right, and very filling. And with the bill coming a total of just £37.69 (this also including a few pints of Spanish lager Estrella), it makes for extremely good value.
Wings and Beer is a great little gem, tucked away off the beaten track in Preston. And while a busy Saturday night is perhaps not the best way to appreciate its attributes, both the Music Man and I decided we would return, most likely during a quieter afternoon.
The Music Man summed up his visit by saying the food was just like in America – he has recently spent three weeks there on tour. So they must be doing something right.
Wings and Beer Co.
Tel: 01772 204323