For the win

Field House American Sports Pub

Field House American Sports Pub

1310 Fulton Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95825

(916) 487-1045

I’ll admit that I’m not one to fit in at a sports bar. I arrived at this one, dressed in a salmon-colored sailing shirt, chinos and boat shoes—an outfit that doesn’t generally mesh with any crowd watching a basketball match screaming “Bro!” when the team gets a field goal or whatever.

Still, when I hear a place has good wings, then I’ll muster up and yell with the rest of ’em.

Field House American Sports Pub recently opened in the Arden Arcade area, a space where few grid devotees dare to tread. Launched by the same team that raised Shady Lady Saloon, it brings a bit more culinary hope to an often forgotten part of Sacramento—not that Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant (3516 Fair Oaks Boulevard) and Plan B Restaurant (555 La Sierra Drive) haven’t also done well in the area.

The Vietnamese wings here glisten in an ocher sauce made with a brazen amount of fish sauce. Topped with serrano peppers, mint and roasted slivers of garlic, these wings tingle with flavor. The Carolina BBQ wings are painted with a thick but vinegary sauce that delights for days.

The al pastor wings, tossed with oregano and pineapple, have appeal, but taste bland. Similarly, if ennui had a flavor, then the pepperoni-chicken sandwich made with crispy pepperoni is—somehow—it.

On the other side of things, the whiskey burger is a mighty sammich of perfection. The smoked Gouda cheese and bacon are excellent counterpoints to the achingly sweet maple-bourbon glazed red onions. In addition, the burger we had was perfectly cooked: a skill that most restaurants in Sac seem to have trouble with.

Onion rings and the fish from a fish-and-chips plate tasted close to perfection in that they were expertly cooked. I say “close” as the fry batter lacked salt, and so the dish sagged more than my grandmother’s eyelid that stopped working after her stroke. Still, once they soaked up tartar sauce and malt vinegar, these transgressions were forgiven (just not forgotten).

Fries-slash-chips arrived pencil-thin and fiercely crispy. Huzzah for that.

During Sunday brunch, a tender chicken-fried steak, slathered in a perky fennel-and-sausage gravy, massaged the week’s troubles away. (Though the biscuit, while buttery, featured the density of a hockey puck. Perhaps to go with the sports-bar theme?)

Eggs Benedict here are served with a hollandaise that reinvigorates the brunch staple. The addition of sliced tomato and wilted spinach transformed my dining companion and me into zealous acolytes of the Church of Benedict.

Of course, if you’re at brunch, you’re likely there for the signature bloody mary. The trend of bloody marys being garnished with not just pickled veggies but anything and everything including nachos, fries, burgers and eggs over easy has spread like wildfire through major cities. It’s like getting some ostentatious dessert at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants, but with booze instead of ice cream.

And Field House delivers: A 32-ounce bloody mary that doesn’t skimp on the horseradish is served with skewers of beet-pickled egg, sausage and bacon, tiger prawn, pickled veggies, and the most amazing slider I have ever eaten. While normally I tend to roll my eyes at gimmicky food, this one I get.

Field House is an excellent sports bar with an excellent vibe, keen staff and a solid menu that, with time, will fix its flaws. My one concern is for its location, but I urge those living on the grid: Go to Field House, order a beer and some wings, and watch a game. Maybe drown yourself in a pitcher of bloody mary.

It’s worth the trip.