November 30, 2009

PJ Carney's

906 7th Ave
New York, NY 10019

Friday was my last day of work on the show I was working on (I'm a freelance editor), so my bosses took me out for lunch and beers at the local dive bar, PJ Carney's.  One of them suggested getting an order of wings, the other agreed and, well hell, of course I was in.  We split an order for the table and the guy who brought it up put in the order.  PJ Carney's serves their wings two ways - with sauce or "crispy" with the sauce on the side.  We were getting the crispy.  I was a little skeptical, but certainly not disappointed.  I picked up a wing, dipped it in the sauce, chomped into that crispy goodness and immediately knew this would be an instant favorite.  

There wasn't just a little crisp to this wing, there was a solid layer of crunch.  It was great.  It almost seemed like a Korean-style chicken.  And don't get the wrong idea, it wasn't overcooked.  Not even close.  As a matter of fact, this is one of the juiciest wings I've had since we started this blog.  It was by no means a traditional wing, especially for an Irish dive bar.  But the uniqueness was appealing and makes it stand out as one of my top five wings on our mission so far.

My only criticism comes from the sauce.  It wasn't a Buffalo style sauce, which is fine.  It was more of a BBQ sauce.  But if you're going to serve the sauce on the side anyway, why not offer a large variety of sauces.  Maybe get your choice of a few different kinds.  It seems like the perfect option if you're not actually tossing the wings in the sauce.  There have been a few times where Jeremy, Steve and I have had to decide between different flavors and didn't get the opportunity to try them all since they come in orders of 10 or 20.  Imagine if you could order 30 wings with 6 different sauces to dip it in. That would be fantastic.  Maybe we'll save that idea for The Wingmen Restaurant, coming to a town near you.

If anyone is curious, I got the mexican burger as my main dish.  And although I kind of wish I just got 20 wings to myself, the burger was pretty flavorful as well.  Add to that multiple pints of Smithwick's Ale over the course of about 3 hours and it shapes up to be a pretty nice day of work.  I think this place actually inspired me to get some KFC - no, not Kentucky Fried Chicken...Korean Fried Chicken. Bon Chon for lunch tomorrow?  Maybe.

November 24, 2009

The Waterfront

Last week, I also had the opportunity to visit the Waterfront in New Rochelle, NY. This bar is located right off the water with an excellent view. This gathering happened to be a little get together with various people who work in the Bronx. Every now and then we get together and hit up wing places as well besides me being a wingman. Anyway, we ordered the BBQ and the Hot. The only other flavor that was available was the medium. Both of the orders were great. Both sets had a good amount of meat on them and the flavor was excellent. The hot actually had some kick to it while the BBQ was pretty tangy. Excellent stuff, not too mention that their jacked potato skins gave you a recharge and went in for more chomping.

Coach's Corner

Two weeks back, I had the opportunity to hit up Coram, NY and visit what used to be "Mike's Place". "Mike's Place" had great wings so why not find out whether or not Coach's Corner did the same. The wings were not breaded and seemed like they were baked not fried. They were fried, however, but they had that baked consistency. The sauce is the same from "Mike's Place". It seems as if they pour the sauce on after the wings come out. The wings were good but they needed to be more well done. They sort of reminded me when I visited Ireland and ordered a plate of wings. Holy Crap, those wings were disgusting. They broil theirs...uuggggghhh.....but the Guiness is awesome. If the Coach's Corner wings had a little crunch to them, I'd say they were really good, but for now their rating is fair.

Buffalo Wings + Pizza = Mmmmm.

I had a spicy chicken slice from VIPizza in Bayside, which I do frequently.  I don't think it warrants a review, but what a great combo.  Two of the best foods around combined into one.  Is there a better use of Buffalo sauce other than on a wing?  I'd argue no.

November 18, 2009

Hooters of Hempstead

OOOOOOOOOOOOObbabbyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! Little late on the review but definitely worth the wait. A few weeks back for Yankees/Phillies Game 6 when you knew the Yanks were going to pull it off, we were drawing a little blank on where to go. Almost to the point where we were going to do a repeat of another place just to place it safe from a mobbed bar.....and then the call came from Jody. Hooters of Hempstead, right off of route 24 near the Coliseum. Oh yeah, it was happening.

We pulled into the lot, opened the doors and walked into the light. That night happened to be Western Wednesday. Holy crap! Yeah, its a great idea to get together with the buds eat wings and watch NY world series baseball, but Western Wednesdays...Heaven.....I think so (I'm going to get punched in the face for that one). Oh yeah and our waitress was the cougar....just in case you're into that.

Anyway, back to business. Diesel selection of wings. You had crazy hot, medium, mild, bbq, honey mustard and maybe some others. Too many distractions between the game and stifler's mom. You had the option of 5's, 10's, 20's and 50's. In addition, you were allowed to split the 50's into two different groups of 25. We happened to order 25 diesel hot, 25 mild (our guest that night can't handle the hot) and 10 of the honey mustard......naked. No, not me naked, the wings...dirty minds. The prices were reasonable but I forgot to write them down. I guess this disqualifies the review and we'll have to go back and do it again. Palabra es tu madre!

The wings were awesome!!!! Regardless of the prices, you couldn't get any better than this. The hot were making you sweat, the mild gave you a break in between and the honey mustard naked wings were flavorful. The wings here are excellent.

November 17, 2009


1472 Broadway
New York, NY 10036

I met up with a couple of friends last week at ESPN Zone in Times Square. I admit, the meet-up had nothing to do with wings...but why not kill two birds with one stone, right? So I ordered up a plate of the Buffalo wings. Let's be honest, not many of us are going to ESPN Zone for wings. We're going for thousands of wide screen TV's covering every square inch of the building, showing every sports feed imaginable. There are even TV's conveniently installed in the walls in front of each urinal - genius. The food is just something to keep you busy between innings, quarters, periods and swigs of the huge drafts that they offer at the bar. So, being that my expectations were low to begin with, my expectations were met. Not that they were bad wings (if there is such a thing), they actually had a decent heat to them. They were just kind of generic. Something you would expect to get at an Applebee's or TGiF's. They were probably taken out of a pre-packaged bag, dropped in the deep fryer, and tossed in a store bought sauce. Again, I'm not knocking them. The original Buffalo wings were made using a combination of Frank's hot sauce and butter, so there's nothing wrong with using sauce from a jar. It's just not going to win them Buffalo Wing of The Year anytime soon.

For those of you heading to ESPN Zone anytime soon, they also offer their wings in Barbeque, Jerk and Asian sauces.

November 15, 2009

Garden City Hotel

45 Seventh Street
Garden City, NY 11530

I attended a work fund-raiser last night at the Garden City Hotel and although wings were not on the menu, I figured I would post a small review of one of the passed appetizers.

Being a black tie affair, I was all decked out in my $90 tuxedo and ready to schmooze with the really rich people at the party. By schmooze I mean stand off to the side by myself and wait for the waitress to come around with coconut shrimp. I love me some coconut shrimp.

They started with sliced salmon on pumpernickel bread, I was not having it. Then salmon wrapped around asparagus, again, although probably good, I wanted the coconut shrimp. Then potato pancakes, spring rolls and shrimp scampi... I was getting frustrated! Low and behold, I caught sight of another cocktail hour waitress and what did she have? Skewered buffalo chicken!

The buffalo chicken was skewered on a wooden stick and served with bleu cheese dipping sauce. Being one of the The Wingmen, my hunt for coconut shrimp was put on hold and my responsibilities took precedent. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the buffalo sauce had the perfect hint of spiciness. It was not a buffalo wing by any stretch of the imagination, but to try a gourmet version of a pub favorite was a real treat. I enjoyed their version quite a bit and suggest to anyone that if you throw a party at the Garden City Hotel, add the skewered buffalo chicken to the cocktail hour.

After eating the buffalo chicken, I finally found the coconut shrimp and it did not disappoint at all! I am not sure that there is anything better than coconut shrimp... except wings that is.

They looked similar to these except they were a bit bigger and didn't have the celery and tomatoes:

November 06, 2009

The Black Rock Tavern

The Black Rock Tavern
450 Main St.
Yaphank, NY 11980

My cousins were in town from Florida last weekend, so I was in the old neighborhood again.  We hit the local tavern, Black Rock, to grab a few drinks and catch up.  My cousin, Jenn, and I were getting a little hungry, so we put in an order for some wings.  When they came out, we both thought they were pretty damn good.  As a matter of fact, it only took us a few minutes to devour the plate and put in an order for round 2.  As we waited for the next round, I was talking to the bartender, Pat, who I know very well (he's my sister's boyfriend).  He was saying that the cooks will take requests on how to cook your wings.  What?  Wings, made to order?  I like that.  Plate #2 came out shortly and we dug in.  As I was mid bite, Adam, one of the owners, came over to me to talk about his wings.  I guess he got word that we review them and wanted to give me the scoop.  He told me something happened with his meat vendor and they couldn't get their usual stock of wings.  He seemed disappointed in the wings they served us and assured me that if I came back they would be better.  Really?  I thought they were pretty good anyway.  So, you're telling me that next time they'll be better AND I can have them made to order?  Not to mention that after looking at their website I discovered they also serve Honey Buffalo, BBQ, Backwards, Jamaican and Honey Mustard wings.  If you're a frequent reader, you know I love the honey mustard...and what in the world is a "backwards" wing?  There's no question I'll be back to find out, and I'll have the rest of the team with me to make this place official.

Barefoot Peddler

Barefoot Peddler
37 Glen Cove Road
Greenvale, NY 11548

The crew got together for Game 1 of the World Series and to review some wings. We checked out the Barefoot Peddler because it had a good number of televisions to watch Cliff Lee dominate the powerful Yankees lineup. Being a Mets fan, I am not sure I enjoyed a single minute of the game, but I watched anyway. Having lived near Greenvale for a brief period in my life, I was familiar with the Peddler, but Jody and Jeremy were newbies, so we ordered some beer and wings.

They have 3 flavors of wings at the Barefoot Peddler which posed a bit of an issue since we were sure that three orders would not be enough, but what do you double up on? Hot? Kung Pao (their version of Teriyaki)? Honey BBQ? Ah, the dilemmas of life. We went with 2 orders of Hot and one each of the Kung Pao and Honey BBQ. They all came with celery, bleu cheese and carrots.

I'll start with the Hot. Jeremy loved them. They were his favorite. At first bite, they were not very hot and did not have that smell that clears your sinuses like a lot of really hot wings have. But this was deceptive because the more wings you ate, the more the kick kicked. After 3 or 4 wings in a row, your mouth was burning and that beer was your very best friend. We all agreed that they were very good hot wings.

Kung Pao (or as Jeremy like to call them, Kung Fu). Jody loved them. They were his favorite. They were sweet, but had just enough salt to stop the sweetness from overpowering the flavor. They were drenched in the Kung Pao dressing so you had plenty of extra sauce to dip the wings into to make them sloppy. The sauce also had toasted sesame seeds for that added flavor and presentation. They were well worth trying and Jody and I were tempted to order a second plate. Jeremy was not as much of a fan.

Honey BBQ... well, nobody liked these. They were pretty bad... almost Johnny Famous bad. They were way too sweet and had a ketchup taste that none of us liked. BBQ sauce is sweet enough, the honey just brought it over the top and they didn't have the salt cutter like the Kung Pao wings. We agreed that we would never order them again at the Peddler.

The other factors that we considered as we discussed these wings were price, size of the wings, specials and atmosphere. They were expensive. Each order had about 8 wings. Now these were 8 enormous wings, but there were just 8 in each order. The wings cost $8.99 per order! If my math is correct (and lets face it, I have not taken a math class in well over a decade, so it may not be), that is over $1.00 per wing! That is crazy expensive. Now, Wingmen faithful Sue, who now lives in the area, commented on our Facebook page that they have $.25 wings on Mondays. According to the bartender, They run that special on Sundays as well. I would like to get there to see if the wings are the same size and if they are drenched in sauce like they were off the appetizer menu. If they are, then going on a Sunday and/or Monday will be very much worth it.

Atmosphere-wise, the Peddler is a great bar. It had a cool crowd mixed with young and old patrons either from the colleges down the road or stopping for dinner on their way home from work. The beer selection was solid with a good number of beers on tap. The bartender was very attentive and even asked if we were enjoying the wings, which is a first for The Wingmen.

As far as the Barefoot Peddler goes, it is a cool pub that has very good wings (as long as you stay away from the Honey BBQ), good beer selection, a cool crowd (complete with a couple of young women making out at the far end of the bar [when we were there, I can't guarantee they'll be there when you go, sorry]), and most importantly, the stamp of approval from The Wingmen! Check this place out, it is worth it.