‘Tis the Season for Wings: The Pour House

Sunday Dec. 1st, 2013

I’m neither a Montana native, nor am I a regular patron who bellies up to the bar rail at, “Pour House Bar & Grill,” or as the locals call it, “PH.” I’m just a small, Indiana town gal who’s recently relocated to Bozeman, and no matter where I reside, I’m always in search of the best of the best when it comes to great food and drink. If you asked me what my favorite typical bar fare is, I’d have to say chicken wings, and I truly appreciate the make of a great, meaty chicken wing. So when I got wind that the wings at PH were touted as, “Best Wings in Bozeman,” I just had to go and find out for myself. The verdict: These chicken wings are about as legit as wings get, and all the places I’ve tried thus far in this hip and funky town, PH tops the list for not only taste, but also for affordability and variety.

Let me tell you a little secret – PH offers 50-cent wings on Thursdays only, and I get it, 50-cents might sound like a proud little price tag for a single chicken wing that is so teeny tiny it takes a magnifying glass to find, but rest assured, PH’s wings are meaty, juicy and will take you straight to flavor town. What’s not to like about ordering up a basket of ten and only paying a mere $5? Trust me when I say that a ten-pack and a couple local beers will totally satisfy most wing-lovers, even those who share a love for good bar food like myself. Therefore, you should do a huge favor for your tummy and fill it with some delicious and perfectly executed chicken wings, while watching a little Thursday night football on one of their several flat screens. I’ll bet that you’ll be licking your fingers clean in preparation for your next basket of wings you’re already thinking about ordering.

The Pour House wings
The Pour House wings

My two personal favorite wing flavors are the spicy wings and the dragon wings, but I love the spicy wings the most. I just really enjoy the spices in the dry rub, and also really appreciate that they’re a tad more on the crispy side than the other types of flavors, even though I always order all my wings extra crispy, regardless of what flavor or sauce they’re served with. I’m a huge fan of ordering bleu cheese crumbles and hot sauce, both separately, and then dunking my spicy wing into the hot sauce before rolling in a bit of the cheese crumbles before “airplane-ing” the spicy and tangy poultry into my big mouth. This is usually my personal “go-to” way to order and eat chicken wings, and this mostly has to do with my preference for extra crispy wings. I’m just not a big fan of wings that are slimy and slide right off the bone; a little “gnawin’” never hurt anyone right?

Even though the dragon wings can be a bit “overly-drenched” in the dragon sauce, there’s just something about this sauce that’s created an addiction within me, and this has proved to NOT be a deal breaker when it comes to me ordering these delicious Asian-inspired hunks of meaty goodness. These wings come with a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top, which in my opinion is a right nice touch, but I think a sprinkling of scallions and maybe even some extremely, thinly sliced Thai chilies, in addition to the sesame seeds, would just take these delicious drumettes to a much higher level.

There are also two other wing flavors: the traditional buffalo-style and a bourbon option. When I ordered the bourbon wings on two separate occasions, I was both a little turned off and under-whelmed, as my wings were soggy while the bourbon sauce was rather clumpy. The bourbon sauce does have a nice kick of flavor to it, but if I order them again I believe I’d order my usual extra crispy spicy wings (hold the hot sauce and bleu cheese this time) and get the bourbon sauce only on the side so that I can dunk and dip into the bourbon as I please. Buffalo-style wings are pretty traditional, and so I must confess that I haven’t yet tried these but I’m sure PH does an exceptionally well job with these.

Aside from all this wing talk, during a recent Thursday night, my husband and I decided to try a Reuben with fries to share, in addition to one order of spicy wings. We’d been coming in only for the 50-cent wing special up until this point and decided to give some of the other food at PH a chance. So upon deviation from our usual two or sometimes three orders of wings (we really do love the wings here), our executive decision was that it most definitely should not be famed as, “Best Reuben in Bozeman.” There just really wasn’t anything too special about this sandwich. I usually remember every detail about a food dish that I thoroughly enjoy, and I’m at a loss for words right now on how to describe this sandwich. Bottom line: There was nothing bad to say nor would I consider it anywhere close to it being dubbed as the “Best in Bozeman.” I will say that the fries were decent, big and crispy, and when we asked for a little Cajun/blackening seasoning on the fries it wasn’t an issue, and they were delivered as requested. Oh, and a side of homemade tartar sauce never hurts a good, seasoned side of steak fries either. I prefer some good tartar for dipping my fries, and if I only do this as often as I order French fries, which isn’t too often, then I’ll be all right. Actually there is one other thing to note as far as the food — I sampled their self-proclaimed, “famous,” shrimp bisque one Friday afternoon, and yes, it was tasty. It’s exactly what shrimp bisque (or any bisque) should be. It was velvety and creamy and would be incredibly devilish if served in a sourdough bread bowl, which I don’t believe they do, but I just couldn’t allow myself to order even a cup of this. Translation: This bisque is going straight to my thighs and I might be going straight to hell if I surrender to its comforting creaminess.

A couple of other things to mention about PH are the exceptional customer service and daily happy hour they offer. Service has always been great, and I’ve always been pleased and satisfied with the friendly bartenders and servers, mostly ladies, who know just how to keep you coming back again and again. They’re always on top of things such as keeping your glass full and delivering your food while it’s still piping hot. The daily happy hour at PH is from 2-6pm, in which they have some nice and affordable drink specials such as $3 drafts and $2.50 well drinks. I usually order one of their ice-cold, local microbrews, but if you’re more into the harder things in life, their well liquor selections aren’t too shabby either. As far as their food specials go, there are ever-changing daily dishes, in addition to some PH mainstays, such as the shrimp bisque or an entire rack of ribs that they proudly offer only on Fridays. All the food specials are served up both day and night or until they run out, whichever happens to come first. Just do yourself a favor, and get a seat at the bar earlier rather than later — and don’t forget to order up a 10-pack of some of those delicious, extra crispy spicy wings.

Hello to all local Bozemanites, and more specifically, to my fellow foodie friends at heart. My name is Ashlee Yerrick, and I hope you’ll continue to follow my food critic reviews each month in Bozeman Magazine. If you’d like to send me any questions/comments, you can visit my personal food blog at: apronsandapricots.blogspot.com. “Happy Eating!”

The Pour House
15 N. Rouse Ave.
Bozeman, MT 59715, (406) 587-7982;

Menu: Contemporary American. Typical bar food with a few unexpected surprises.

Lunch: Daily,
11am – Mid Day
Dinner: Mid Day – Late

$9.95 – $12.95
$8.95 – $12.95
Soups & Desserts

Drinks: Full bar

Vibe: Cozy sports bar feel w/ multiple flat screens. Wheelchair accessible at Main street.

Service: Five Stars