September 29, 2009

Foster's Grille

Foster's Grille
5007-E Westone Plaza Dr.
Chantilly, VA 20151

In late September I ventured down to my brother's house in Centreville, VA to meet up with a bunch of his friends from college. We still all get together to play a version of fantasy football called Strat-O-Matic Football. It is hard to explain, but think about it this way... Dungeons and Dragons for sports nerds, but instead of Funions and Mountain Dew, we have wings, chili and beer. Yes, let the sarcastic comments commence. Are we done? Ok, now I'll review the wings.

We ordered take out from Foster's, which my brother and his wife have been to before and had enjoyed the food. The first knock on the place was the cost of the wings. They were $00.72 a piece! Fifty wings for over $36.00!!! That is way too much money. But we ordered 50 anyhow and hoped that the flavor would over-power the hole in my brother's wallet (Mikey, who is from Pittsburgh, had already left and taken my wallet with him, so I was penny-less and Jeff had to pay for the wings). Heather, Jeff's wife went to pick up the wings and brought them back. She also took the above picture, Thanks Heather!

So, Jeff, Heather, Matt, Zak and I decided that we would get 30 hot and 20 BBQ wings. When they arrived, we all sat down and started in on the hot. I don't know if they lost their crisp in the Styrofoam container, but they just had very little crunch to them and we all noticed. Things do tend to get soggy when taken "to go," so I will not say that this was their fault, but, however, they were not hot at all, and that is their fault! I was very clear that I wanted HOT wings on the phone, not mild, but they were very mild. They tasted good, but I wanted my mouth to burn a bit and to possibly break a sweat. These did neither. Overall, the hot wings were quite a disappointment.

The BBQ on the other hand, although also soggy, tasted amazing. The BBQ sauce was flavorful, tangy and really complimented the wings quite well. In fact, I think it is safe to say that the BBQ was everyone's favorites. The wings were a good size, cooked well and left you needing a wetnap.

So, to finish this mini-review, I'd go back to Foster's for the wings to try them in the restaurant. Ordering "to go" may not have been the best option. I will definitely get the BBQ again and may shy away from the Hot. Where is the fun in hot wings that are not hot? So if you are in the Chantilly area of Virginia and you have a lot of money to spend on wings, head on it to Foster's.

Oh... A Foster's just opened up in Nesconset, NY. So a follow up review may have to be put on the Wingmen Agenda!

September 15, 2009

Half Penny Pub

Half Penny Pub
220 N. Main St.
Sayville, NY 11782

I get a call from Jeremy saying that he is heading down to Sayville to meet up with some old band mates of his. Before you go thinking that Jeremy used to be in a rock band, let me explain. In high school, Jeremy played the tuba or the trombone or some other brass instrument and he was meeting up with the high school band folks. I am not sure, but Jeremy probably has been to Band Camp. Ask him about it.

We are meeting up with all of them at the Half Penny Pub and since they have a menu that includes wings, we decided to order some up and do a review. They have BBQ, Spicy BBQ and Mild, Medium and Hot wings (this was all according to the bartender, who never showed us the menu). We chose the large order of the hot wings (20 for $12) and then enjoyed some beer while we waited for them to arrive.

As we waited, I took in the atmosphere of this Irish Pub. The place was great. The bar was as long as the entire building, the patron area was wide open to allow for more people to stand around and it was littered with signs advertising the specials they offer; ladies night, wing night (which includes free wings from 8 to 10 PM on Wednesdays), beer pong night and many more. They even have an Irish skydiving team that seems to jump from planes pretty often. They have pictures on their website and on their MySpace page (Who has MySpace anymore? Really?).
The drink selection was also very good. Plenty of alcohol for those "I want a shot and I want it now" kind of nights. They seemed to have a lot of whisky and scotch in easy pour taps around the bar, which seems to me to be extremely convenient. I saw Jager Bombs being made and consumed (seems like a great combo; Jager which is a depressant and Red Bull, a stimulant. Just creating angry sad people. Awesome.), and I am sure that if I asked for one, an Irish Car Bomb would have been concocted for me. The beer list was extensive. They had a lot of different kinds of beer on tap and an even larger selection of bottled beer which included Franziskaner (the only hefeweizen they had). Places with big beer selections make me happy.

As for the wings, they were a bit of a disappointment. First of all, they were breaded. I am not sure why a place would use breaded wings, but I imagine they were store bought frozen, in a large plastic bag and then deep fried with the hot sauce added just before frying. That is how I used to have to make them when I worked for the dining hall pizza shop at college. Not the best method, but it worked. I am guessing that since the Half Penny only has an appetizer menu, that they really only have a deep fryer in the back, which limits their ability to cook.

The wings were hot, I mean, they had my nose running, which is a great heat level. I was not sweating like at Miller's, but they were hot. The hot sauce tasted really good too. Again, probably a large jug of a generic hot sauce marinade that you can find in any supermarket, but it worked.

I do feel that they could have been fried a bit longer, and one of the Wingmen faithful, Jenn, who was at the bar with us agreed that they were just not crispy enough. The meat was cooked well, there was enough on the bone and they were juicy. But, if there is not crisp to bite through, they are just soggy wings. Soggy wings are not great. Now, I am not saying that the wings were bad, I am just saying that they were not very good.

Overall, the atmosphere of the Half Penny Pub overshadows their less-than-stellar wings. I would go back there and I would eat the wings again. Unlike Kelly's, which is a bar that is also a restaurant, and they still make mediocre wings, Half Penny is a bar that makes pretty good pub grub. They set out to do different things, and Half Penny is better at doing what they set out to do. Head on out to Sayville and check this place out, even if you don't order the wings.

September 13, 2009

O'Neills Pub

O'Neill's Restaurant
6421 53RD Dr
Maspeth, NY 11378-1621

O'Neills Pub in Maspeth, Queens was one of the first places the Wingmen decided to go with guest reviewers. Diane (my wife), Mary and Chris joined me (Jeremy) two Mondays ago to chomp down on some serious wings and maybe catch a couple of plays from the Minnesota Vikings game. Needless to say, nobody paid attention to the game but everyone paid attention to the wings.

O'Neills offered the following variety: Honey Mustard, Garlic Butter, Jack Daniels, Regular, Medium, Hot, BBQ and Terriyaki. The plates consisted of 10 wings for $4. Our group decided to order the Jack Daniels, Garlic Butter, Hot, BBQ and Honey Mustard. Diane and Mary (Queens Natives) stated that this place normally packs out with a younger audience because O'Neills will serve food to all regardless of being under 21. This night, however, was not packed. It was just the right amount of people and noise to have a conversation and eat some serious wings.

The wings were serious. The Jack Daniels Wings were simply my favorite. I actually had the opportunity to eat the Jack Daniels wings in Tennessee a few years ago and these were just as good. Next, without a doubt, was the Honey Mustard. They were dripping with sauce. The Terriyaki and the Hot were no different than any other establishment. The Garlic Butter, on the other hand, were dry but packed a lot of flavor. They were a little misleading at first, but you grew to like to them. The wings were thick. They possessed a lot of meat. You definitely got a good bang for your buck with their wing special. Overall, all of us agreed that O'Neills was a place you would return to. In addition, the wait staff and bartenders were extra hospitable. Two thumbs up in my book and I know my guests agreed.

September 12, 2009


Maxwell's, American Bar and Grille
501 Main St
Islip, NY 11751-3520
(631) 210-0011

My fiancee and I had just finished meeting with a wedding vendor on Tuesday night and the prospect of making dinner after working and traveling and viewing photos was a bit too much for us, so we decided to grab a bite to eat at Maxwell's (a Lessing's restaurant).

We were looking for dinner, so Wings were not going to be the main course, but a small appetizer seemed like a great idea. They have multiple flavors of wings from Ginger Teriyaki to Chipotle BBQ. I figured that the Wingmen should make a trip here, so I just ordered them hot. They did not disappoint.

They were really good wings. Cooked perfectly, crispy and juicy and came out piping hot. The hot sauce tasted great and was quite spicy. They also came out with celery and bleu cheese dressing. I suggest going there, but I suggest that the Wingmen head there soon. It is also across the street from Lily Flannigans in Islip, which was suggested by one of our fans on our facebook page.

A more in depth review will be made when the Wingmen make it out to Islip.


8211 Eliot Ave
Flushing, NY 11379-1436
(718) 476-8444‎

There are many ways to rate hot wings, and as far as taste goes, Kelly's has pretty good wings. They were cooked well, spiced ok and tasted good. Here is the problem, the review does not end just there. But before I go any further, let me tell you a bit more about Kelly's.

When Jeremy lived in Middle Village, we used to go there quite often. We would go after baseball games, meet up for a drink or head there for dinner. Up until last week, I had never tried the wings. The place is a local hangout and I have never seen it too packed, but always has a nice crowd. The people who work there have always been pleasant and helpful.

Jeremy moved a while ago and I had not been back since. The place was completely different. They renovated, created an outdoor patio in the back and made the bar area much larger. They updated the jukebox and added darts, which turned into a long game of Assassins, Jody can explain the rules to you, since, for the life of me, I can't remember them.

Now that you have an idea of what Kelly's is like, let's begin the review. Kelly's has $.20 wing night on Wednesdays, so we ordered 40 and the three of us began eating. The wings were cooked well. They were pretty crispy, cooked all the way through and juicy on the inside. Kelly's has Mild, Medium and Hot wings. As we were discussing the heat level, the bartender chimed in with "the hot is not very hot," so we ordered them all hot and he was right. They had a nice flavor and were a bit spicy, but I was disappointed with the heat level. I do fear that if they made them hotter, they would have tasted a lot worse, but that is just me.

The bad part of the review. I don't know if they were bad wings, or if they were cooked with way too much butter, but a few hours after consumption of these wings, they turned on me. Without getting graphic, I'll just say that the after affects of the wings were not what I would have wanted and I need to warn all of you about it. That, combined with the weakness of the spice and the mediocre taste makes these wings quite pedestrian.

I definitely do not suggest heading to Kelly's for the wings. I do, however, suggest going there to grab a beer and eat a burger. Sorry Kelly's, I suggest rethinking your wing recipe.