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.

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