Taste Test: Wings and Beer Co – friendships forgotten as relationships formed with food

Posted on - 22nd December, 2017 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Food & Drink, Preston City Centre, Pubs, Restaurants in Preston, Reviews
The exterior of Wings and Beer Co in Cannon Street. Credit: Mark Lawrence

Wings and Beer Co. is the place to go for food in Preston as a sports fan.

Pleasant food, drink and sports coverage, that’s what you want from a sports bar.

Great food, an array of sports, and craft beers and ciders, that’s what Wings and Beer provides — what’s not to love?

On his birthday, a friend hoping to catch the live coverage of the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL team he follows, led us to this sports fans’ nirvana. Another interested member of the party was hoping to catch NFL Redzone, the instant highlights show, whilst the least NFL-interested amongst us had his heart set on seeing the La Liga action. These events clashed but no one would leave disappointed.

First impressions of the bar left me expecting good things. The closing stages of Manchester City vs Huddersfield was playing out on a couple of screens and I was pleased to see other sports being shown as well. A modern look to the bar was pleasing and there was a friendly atmosphere. Bar staff offered warm greetings as I walked past them on the hunt for my fellow Wings and Beer newbies. My first words when I found them: “I like it here.”

The booth setup. Credit: Mark Lawrence

A booking had been made for the group and a rather secluded booth was reserved. Not too far from the bar, but not so near we’d have to overhear anyone else getting served. The booth came with its own television screen built in, so we could watch something different to anyone else in the bar if we desired. There were also two wall-mounted screens conveniently placed between ourselves and the neighbouring booth.

Helpful staff were more than happy to change channels to whatever we requested on any of the three screens, and even isolated the speakers nearest to our booth so we could hear different sound to any of the bar’s other visitors. This meant there were three different screens showing the three different channels our party were wanting to watch — a perfect setup. That’s a huge tick for coverage.

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Three of my companions had arrived before me and had whet their whistle with some selections from Wings and Beer’s craft menu. A mango cider had gone down a treat, with the Dortmunder Vier also hitting the spot. I stuck to soft drinks and for the first couple of rounds I was under charged for my pints of lemon and lime. A pound a pop — happy days.

The next member of the clan to arrive followed down the adventurous route with a pint of Sharp’s Orchard Cider. The verdict? “That’s outstanding.” My trusted advisers tried a few more craft drinks that night, with a consistent theme throughout — simply delicious. Perhaps a little heavy on the pocket, but worth what they paid. Another big tick, this time in the drinks column.

Wings and Beer Co’s food menu. Credit: Mark Lawrence

Onto food, and this is where it goes up a notch. Everything about the menu was exceptional. Aesthetics, content, price. All fantastic. The menu was laid out beautifully with great design and unique titles such as ‘extra time’ instead of the usual ‘extras’, and prices seemed very reasonable.

There was a magnificent selection. Sports bars I have visited in the past have yielded a very limited showing of wings, burgers, nachos or hot dogs. This was different and not only because sweet potato fries were a standard side with burgers and hot dogs. As well as typical sports bar food there was burritos, sandwiches, steaks and salads, and the usual suspects were nothing like the usual. Burgers I hadn’t even dreamt of, featuring toppings such as mac and cheese, southern fried bacon and chipotle pulled pork. Some of my friends couldn’t resist a burger and I don’t know how I did.

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Oh wait, I do. The topped plates looked even better. Double dip chips or corn tortilla chips smothered in cheese and covered with one of four almost arousing toppings. Beef chilli, sour cream and jalapenos appealed to the spice lover in me, whilst another member of the gang chose the Buffalo topping: boneless chicken wings, caramelised onions, red peppers and house Buffalo sauce. I’m almost drooling writing this.

Everyone’s order arrived promptly and immediately conversation ceased as moans of pleasure took its place. Friendships were forgotten as everyone started a new relationship with their food. With each mouthful I fell a little more in love.

The chilli was the perfect consistency, the jalapenos were crisp and their kick was contrasted perfectly by the cooling sour cream. The double dip chips were light and fluffy whilst the melted cheese had a great pull and did nothing but complement the rest of the dish.

‘The Texas’ topped plate. Credit: Mark Lawrence

Those helpful staff I mentioned earlier were back to check if there was anything else we needed and how everything was with our food. There was nothing more they could have done to improve this perfect experience. As plates were cleared those reasonable-looking prices had become extremely generous, with the group of agreeing that we would have happily paid more.

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The meal was divine and completed the holy trinity of food, drink and sports coverage. It is no surprise that one of the group returned the following day and if not for a lack of free time, I would have too.

I can’t recommend Wings and Beer enough and I implore you to make a visit.

Mark paid for his own food and they didn’t know he was coming.

 This article originally appeared on Mark Lawrence’s blog here.

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