Winging It: Houston Gets Its First Pluckers
Photos by Carla Soriano Pluckers Wing Bar has a college-bar feel to it, but serves food that is far above average.
If you love wings, TVs and cheap drinks, you'll be happy to learn that Pluckers Wing Bar has landed in Houston. While it's the concept's first location in the Bayou City, the company has 14 other spots scattered throughout the Austin area, where it began, and in Dallas and Baton Rouge.
I got a great first look at the casual restaurant and bar this past week when complimentary, open-to-the-public mock services were held. The huge restaurant -- two patios, a large main dining area and an almost equally big bar area, all plastered with TVs -- was packed to the brim.
I didn't expect my visit to "pass" with flying colors on one of the first days it was "open" and simultaneously on the verge of being overcrowded. Plus, two visits to their Austin locations a couple of years ago were disappointing (the chicken sandwiches I ordered
came out incorrect both times.)
But the place actually did pass, and with flying colors. My lunch began with a huge mason jar of their sweet iced tea. The oversize jug of what some would call the state beverage made me feel so Texan that I almost uttered a "y'all" and "fixin' to." I had one and a half appetizers, which could have easily equated to one entire meal: an order of Pluckers Nachos (tortilla chips topped with chicken, queso, honey barbecue sauce, red onions and cilantro) and fried pickles. The nachos looked prettier than your average bar nachos, and they tasted quite all right, too. The chicken topping the nachos was...gasp... real chicken -- not the ubiquitous microwavable varieties found at many chain restaurants that come pre-painted with grill marks. The cilantro and onions were pleasantly fresh as well. My only complaint was that the barbecue sauce was a little too sweet, even for me, and I'm a big fan of the sweet-savory marriage.
The Pluckers Nacos are great for sharing.
As for the fried pickles, they are the best I've ever had, I kid you not. These juicy pickles came in spears rather than round slices, and were covered in a delicately crispy batter that adhered perfectly to the pickle. Pluckers could have saved time and effort on making a dipping sauce to go with them, as the fried pickles were great all by themselves.