On a dark, wet, cold and windy evening the warm glow of a railway arch in the new Wood Lane development was extremely welcoming. The Prairie Fire BBQ Tap Room is the first tenant to move into a row of over 30 arches and our welcome felt even warmer by the choice of 16 draught beer lines and the same number again in can and bottle.
The food offer takes inspiration from Kansas BBQ joints and we particularly enjoyed the Nachos that had enough heat on the sauce to slightly scare my children, The Cow Town barbecue sandwich that comprised brisket, beer cheese sauce and an onion ring, and the classic dog.
Less successful was the Moving Mountains plant-based burger, which seemed like a bit of an uncertain aspect on the menu, which very much focuses on the meat not surprisingly. Invariably there is at least one member of every party who prefers not to eat meat nowadays so such plant-based dishes need to be included on all menus but they require great thought too.
What is so enjoyable today though is that the beer lists in restaurants and eating venues has improved so dramatically. Prairie Fire typifies the trend and the food was complemented by my choices of Lupulus X from Buxton Brewery – that comes packing a chunk of Simcoe – Bigmouth session IPA from Yeastie Boys, and the ever-refreshing Chicha Sour from Hammerton Brewery.
After downing my beers and been warmed by both the friendly service from the team and the mix of hot sauces on the various dishes we found it had even stopped raining when we ventured back outside.
Glynn Davis, editor, Beer Insider