40-09 Bell Blvd.
Bayside, NY 11361
Ok... so I guess I pick up where Steve left off in the last post. If you haven't read about the first half of the night, click here and read up. I'll wait.
So by now you know we had a pretty rocky start but were able to salvage the night by visiting Bourbon Street. I really liked these wings because of the cajun spice that was dusted on top of them. It really gave them a unique flavor and set them apart from the rest of the pack. It's not that they were necessarily better, just more memorable than the dozens upon dozens of traditional Buffalo wings we've had. I guess we could have stopped there, but we instead decided to push our luck. With such a tough start to this wing expedition, we wanted to finish strong and get another location in. So we settled up and headed directly across Bell Blvd. to Brews Brothers, right next door to the infamous Johnny Famous.
Sadly, Brews Bros and Johnny Famous shared more than just an adjoining wall. There were actually a lot of similarities between the two bars. First, they are probably the only two bars on Bell Blvd. with ropes out front and bouncers checking ID's. Like I said in the Johnny Famous review, this isn't the Meatpacking District... it's Bayside. There are no lines to get into these bars. Lose the ropes. No need. They even stamped our hand on the way in. Really? There were like 6 people in the bar. What's the stamp for? Now, in their defense, I did read an article that says they were shut down for a little while for serving alcohol to minors. So I guess we need to give them the benefit of the doubt here. They're probably just abiding by the ol' CYA rule. Whatever. We made fun of it for a second and got over it. We made our way over to the bar, checked out their extensive beer selection (they don't have a shelf of bottles displaying their beers, they have a whole wall) and ordered some wings. This is where the similarities continued.
I haven't had my hand stamped since college.
The wings came out and we got down to business. They were breaded, which isn't traditional but I have to say, it's growing on me. But the flavor, not unlike Johnny's, was another one of these ketchup based sauces. Booooo. What is with this? This is like the third or fourth place we've been where the sauce tastes ketchup based. I just don't get it. Are there people out there that like it this way? Seriously, if any of you know the taste I'm talking about... have had it on wings... and like it, let me know. I'm honestly curious. I mean, it's pretty straight forward right? We're not talking about a complicated recipe... just mix some hot sauce with some butter and you're off to a great start. You can improve on it from there, but the hot sauce and butter alone is a totally acceptable recipe. At this point, Buffalo wings are so mainstream that I'm sure you can just buy it by the jug at any restaurant supply store. There's no need to go with this sweet ketchup nonsense. I wonder if they asked Johnny Famous for advice. Hey Brews Bros., I'll give you some advice: Ask someone else. Go across the street to Bourbon Street, or down the block to Dempsey's or any of the other myriad bars within a 5 block radius.
They looked promising...
It wasn't all bad though, there were a few redeeming qualities. They were pretty meaty and nice and plump. They were crispy on the outside and, even though we ordered mild (they come in hot, mild and BBQ), they had a nice amount of heat to them.
Maybe the highlight of the night though, was when Steve dropped a wing on his freshly pressed slacks. It was one of those things that seemed to happen in slow motion. He raises the wing to his mouth to take a bite, bobbles... bobbles... tries to recover... it slips... rotates in the air... bounces off his crotch (leaving a nice stain)... and finally lands on the floor. Always sad to waste a wing.
Click the pic for a larger view.
It's been an up and down kind of night up until this point - a real roller coaster of emotions - so we couldn't end on these wings. We wanted to finish off strong. Being so close to Dempsey's, which was our regular wing spot up until we started this blog, it was tough to fight the urge to go back. We hadn't been there since we started blogging about wings, you know, for variety's sake. What a perfect way to end the night. Bartender: check please.
By the time we got to Dempsey's, we were already getting pretty full. But we needed to rid our palates of that sweet, ketchup-y excuse of a sauce. We needed an order of teriyaki wings. They did the trick. What better to get a sweet taste out of your mouth than an overload of salt? And Dempsey's does it right every time. There's a nice reservoir of sauce at the bottom of the bowl to roll your wings around in, making sure they get a nice, full coat. Always nice to head back to the ol' standby... we missed you.
So, overall, it was a pretty good wing adventure. We got a little lost and ate a few bad wings, but we also had some really good ones too. Most importantly though, we had a bunch of laughs and a good time. And that's what it's all about, right?