There are a few things every man should have, and among them is a good chicken wing joint. These are the places gents like myself congregate for big football games or big outings, with good drinks and better food, plus the all important who can eat the spiciest wing bouts (Answer: Me). While Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters are OK, any self-respecting man should keep his eyes out for a less generic establishment, and I may have found mine in the form of Quaker Steak and Lube.
One of several in a small chain on the East coast, the one in Richmond is located just off of West Broad Street, and has earned quite a reputation among big wing eaters, no small thing when it’s next door to a Hooters. Needless to say, hungry after a long week of college finals, myself and some of my buddies decided to hit it up for their Tuesday All-you-can-eat wings night, and see what all the fuss is about.
Even outside the restaurant, maybe it’s the classic dive bar look, but you can just tell it’s the kind of place to go for a good meal and a good time. Of course, the inside erases any doubt of that, with classic rock anthems blaring over the speakers, the decor made up of cars and motorcycles, with a pair of them slated through the walls, a fleet of flat-screens spread around the bar, and a well tended bar that is always packed but always has an available seat or two. Though often imitated by it’s better known competitors, Quaker Steak actually manages to have an atmosphere that permeates good times, a must for any good pub or wing joint.
The service is surprisingly attentive for a wing joint, the food always comes quickly and refills are never an issue. Though the prices are a tad steep, the quality of food more than justifies it. I feel it is also worth mentioning that they are one of the few restaurants in Richmond I’ve found to offer military or veteran’s discounts, which is a quick way for any eating establishment to get on my good side.
Of course, there is the food itself, which I am more than pleased to say, has earned every scrap of praise I’ve heard about it. The nacho bar (yes, they have a nacho bar) was surprisingly good, and the appetizers are out of this world, especially the 4-wheeler, which consists of onion wings, pretzels, cheese-sticks and fried pickles. There is little surprise however, that the main attraction was the wings, which were meaty, well-cooked and had the perfect amount of sauce. As for the sauces themselves, I found myself quite partial to the Arizona Ranch and the Golden Garlic, but having tried several of them, I can recommend any of them with confidence. Just glancing at the menu, almost anything looks mouth-watering, and all of their offerings are made fresh, so the Lube really gets high marks here.
Overall, Quaker Steak and Lube is the rare kind of dive bar that delivers in every way, with a good atmosphere, decent service, and food and drink that is out of this world. It’s easy to see why it has earned the reputation it has, and even while I was there I saw people parking at the neighboring Hooters and walking over the Quaker Steak. Now I know why, and I will definitely be coming back, solo or with a group, and certainly for their All-You-Can-Eat wings nights. If you are craving some buffalo wings, Quaker Steak and Lube has some of the best I’ve ever had, and I recommend it heartily.