Restaurants & Bars

Iron Thunder Saloon, Concord, NC

evewitch | Aug 23, 200909:01 AM

We ate here mid-afternoon yesterday. We were a bit nostalgic about the place because about 6 years ago we were working in north Charlotte and stopped in here several times, mainly for the wings. Yesterday we ordered 12 Roasted Garlic wings, 12 Medium wings, and some onion rings. They have a largish beer selection, both bottled and tap, but no local or NC beers. I settled on Sam Adams Summer Ale (the Sam Adams seasonal brews are one of their draft offerings). My husband had a draft Yuengling then switched to Red Stripe bottles. Price point was ok (it was my birthday treat so I didn't look at the bill) - I think the wings were about $8 each and the onion rings were about $5. With a hefty bar tab and tip we got out of there for about $70.
The wings were neither as tasty nor as inexpensive as I remembered. (Don't rely on my memory though.) They were good, but not what I would consider great. These are the unbreaded variety, although one of the available flavors is "Southern-Fried." I didn't much like the roasted garlic. There was actual garlic in evidence, but there was something about the flavor combo that I personally didn't like. The medium were good - the heat was spot-on for "medium" and they had good flavor also with a slightly sweet note (not just Scoville units). The wings were served with some celery and a dressing. The menu warned that extra dressing was 50 cents, but I don't see how you would need it, because there was plenty. The bleu cheese was good, the ranch was horrible. I don't know what brand they use and I don't think it was house-made. The ranch had that cloyingly sweet/chemically taste that I associate with low fat or fat free dressing.. maybe the waitress subbed it without asking. Onion rings were acceptable but probably not hand-breaded. They came with a spicy ketchup that was advertised as house-made. It seemed to be regular ketchup with some fresh jalapenos and possible sweet peppers and spices. It was actually quite good.
The service was pretty terrible. They are going for a Hooters-type wait staff; the place is trying to be a biker bar, but is a bit upscale for that. I have never had service that bad at Hooters, though. These waitresses are clearly hired for their appearance and not their skills, and not trained either. Ours was pleasant enough, but was more interested in her book and her friends than in providing service. She was sitting two tables away from us so she was easily flagged down. Good about the beer refills; but she didn't clear the spent glasses and bottles until we were almost ready to leave. Also, the first round of draft was overfilled and spilled onto the table. She never cleaned that up and I finally asked for more napkins and did it myself. Finally did ask if I wanted a take-out box but never removed the empty baskets. She was really slow on the uptake. Non-intrusive to the extreme, which some people like, but there are better ways to handle it. This seemed par for the course - one of the other waitresses took a 6-top and provided their drinks and food, then disappeared outside to the outdoor seating (where there weren't any customers). She could not possibly have seen her table to attend to them. All of the wait staff ended up sitting at that same table near us. It wasn't busy, so that in itself didn't bother me, but seemed unprofessional (especially as one had a meal prepared and ate there - no kitchen table?)
So I am not sure I would recommend this place other than a sheer anti-chain bias. Maybe get takeout? To me, the bar experience was too expensive for the biker dive they are attempting to emulate; I would prefer the real thing.

They don't appear to have a website. The address is 10023 Weddington Road Ext.; Concord, NC.

As a side note, I think I have found my verbal tic. I just removed at least 10 instances of the word "actually" before posting this. LOL

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