If you went to UCONN in Storrs, you are probably familiar with The Bidwell Tavern in Coventry, the old (really old) building and the never-enough parking. Rocks and Wings on Wednesday nights (a tavern of wings and a bucket of Rolling Rock ponies) was a staple for me and my roommates, even a couple of years past graduation.
However, it had been a long time since I had been there until recently. The boyfriend wanted to go up there and watch the Sox game and get a tavern. Being a big fan of the greasy and fried (and beer), I was ready and willing.
The wings were just as good as I remembered them…maybe even better since I didn’t even get the Hot Honey BBQ that I used to inhale during my UCONN days, but tried some different flavors like Santa Fe, which was a spicy dry rub that left your lips with that nice lasting burning sensation. We also did sesame garlic pepper and mustard horseradish…both of which were fantastic and not too saucy. While some wings you get are puny and sad looking, or incredibly greasy, these were neither. Now, don’t mistake me, they are still messy as hell…because that’s what wings are supposed to be.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have the Sox game on since there was hockey, basketball and maybe some NASCAR happening (this is Coventry after all). Although, to be honest, I’m not sure they did a thorough search for it…on the other hand, since Charter Communications sucks so much, I’m not entirely surprised they didn’t see fit to at least broadcast it on some random company station like Cox does.
The selection of beer was good (we weren’t there on a Wednesday, so no Rolling Rock ponies) and the waitress was pretty decent too. The live music wasn’t bad, and even through I asked who it was, the most info I got was “His name’s Billy” (but there were two guys…). They played a nice mix of covers and some well-hydrated customers were up and “dancing” at several points.
The clientele was an interesting mix of students and rednecks with mullets and 80s mustaches. No, I’m not bashing rednecks…I bartended at the now-gone Schmedley’s in Eagleville for three years, so I’m perfectly comfortable around them, and appreciate them for paying my bills for a few years . It was nice to see that even years later, some things don’t change (like their Friday night t-shirts…the ones without holes).
So, if you’re looking for good wings, decent beer and a little trip down memory lane (for you UCONN grads, anyway), head to Bidwell. It’s also a nice taste of country in CT…although I can’t promise you won’t see a confederate flag on one of the pick-ups in the parking lot–just in case that sort of thing bothers you (I’m looking at you Anti-Couric).
Two salt shakers, for the obvious reasons.