July 08, 2010

Donnigan's Pub

Donnigan's Pub
"Irish Coffee Specialists"
1094 N. Long Beach Road
South Hempstead, NY 11550
(Borders Rockville Centre)

On a balmy afternoon in June, Jeff (a professor at the college I work for) and myself went out for some wings near our place of employment. We hit up a local favorite for the faculty and staff, Donnigan's Pub. This is a small, very local oriented pub in the South Hempstead/Rockville Centre area of Nassau County. Many of us wonder how Donnigan's stays open, since we have never seen it crowded, ever. But there it is, open each and every day for lunch and dinner, and advertising catering for larger events. The staff is friendly and helpful, the beer selection is decent and there are multiple TV's to catch the games.

We ordered up some wings and beer, chatted about the horrible housing market on Long Island and pondered why the taxes in New York are exceptionally high. I adjunct in the Professor's department and we have chatted about The Wingmen many times. While sitting at Donnigan's at an end of the year party, we discussed getting together and collaborating on a wing review for this small favorite of ours.

So there we were, sitting at the bar waiting, discussing properties, taxes and world peace, all while waiting for the wings to arrive. When they finally got there, I was very disappointed in what I saw. They were small fried chicken winglets on a plate. I honestly groaned a bit when I saw them because they reminded me of the wings from Chicken Holiday, which seemed to upset at least one reader of this blog (check out the comments at the end of the review).

Here is what the Professor thought:
Confession: I love Buffalo wings, hot wings, pepper wings..call’em what you will. Really: I’m not that picky.
Confession: I also love fried chicken. Lord, do I love fried chicken! Of course, I defy anyone to live in Atlanta for five years and not acquire a love of fried chicken, but that's another story.
What I don’t much like is ordering a plate of hot wings and then getting a plate of fried chicken wings and a bottle of Texas Pete Hot Sauce. Yet that’s what we got when a Wingman and I visited Donnigan’s Pub in South Hempstead.
The wings were reasonable, for Long Island fried chicken. Medium-sized, lightly breaded, nicely cooked, juicy but not underdone, crunchy but not burnt. Pete’s was Pete’s—it’s a bottle: help yourself. The celery slices were fine; the mystery white sauce (slightly browned and crusting) that accompanied the celery was a likely combo of mayonnaise and dressing scrapings. A fine compliment to Pete’s, theoretically, but not something I’d ever order on purpose. Much like the wings, really.
Now that I know Donnigan’s sells fried chicken wings, I may order them again. But until they decide to involve a middle-man who knows how to spice ‘em up nice, I’ll take a pass on anything labeled “hot” on the menu. Unless, of course, I find myself in the mood for some Texas Pete and can’t make it to the grocery store.

I agree with Jeff 100%. The wings, fried well, are not buffalo wings. They are fried chicken. They had no sauce to them, they had no spice to them... they had no... no nothing to them (sorry for the double negative, but I am emphasizing how little these wings had). The bartender served them with some Texas Pete hot sauce, which I used to douse the wings. As good as Texas Pete's hot sauce is, it is just a flavor enhancer, not something one would use to turn a fried chicken wing into a buffalo wing. It is not made for that. I mean, how hard is it to take some butter and bottled hot sauce, combine them on the stove and then cover an order of wings with the concoction? Not hard. Not hard at all.

Ultimately, I am going to say stay away from Donnigan's Pub's wings. They just are not buffalo wings. As far as fried chicken goes, you can do a lot better at Chicken Holiday, KFC and about a hundred other places. They just were not that good. I honestly do not remember how much they cost, so I can't even tell you if monetarily they were a good deal of not... but it doesn't matter, I don't recommend getting wings there anyway.


  1. Hi Jeff and Jody, thanks for the heads up on these chicken wings-wanna be buffalo wings. Not that I would ever be in the area of this pub. I wonder how the Irish coffee is.

    I enjoyed reading this review....quite an entertaining piece. I should start a blog on my calamari ratings, and chocolate martini's.
    As a matter of fact, we are going out in a few minutes to go get some.....just can't decide were to go yet. Either Blonde in Mt. Sinai or The Lobster Roll in Riverhead ( least I think it's Riverhead, on Sound Ave. )

    Happy tasting, fellows!

    ( Aunt ) Debby ; )

  2. Donnigans wings are great!! Do not listen to Jeff

  3. Get the shepherd's pie for chrissakes...you're at an Irish pub