August 30, 2010


380 Larkfield Road
East Northport, NY 11731

Running errands a few weekends ago, I was heading down Larkfield Road in East Northport on my way to Commack and saw Smok-a-Burger's and decided to stop for a quick lunch.  It's a small roadside burger joint with a solid menu.  Lots of burger choices and loads of sides as well as quesadillas, starters, sandwiches, wraps, salads and drinks (soft drinks and beer).  They also have desserts and milk shakes... mmmm.

The wing menu was pretty impressive too.  They offer BBQ, Buffalo, Blazin', Sweet Chili and Bourbon.  Only having appetite for one order of wings with my burger, I could only try one flavor and choosing was going to be difficult.  I wished I had a big spinning wheel with all the flavors on it so I did not have to choose, but after some real soul searching, the Sweet Chili called to me.  It was a flavor I have not seen on many menus, so I decided to give it a whirl.  My burger on the other hand was much easier to choose and dress up.  I grabbed a single patty with American cheese, tomato, jalapenos and ancho chipotle sauce.  I was stoked for both of my choices!

(tear)... they look so beautiful together!

How were the wings?  Well... They were awesome!  The sweet chili sauce was, as the name suggests, sweet and tangy with a tiny bite to it.  The wings were not very crispy, but were juicy, pretty big and delicious.  I was fascinated by the arrangement of flavors, so I asked the server how it was made and he said they buy it "pre-made," and that it is very similar to a "duck sauce."  Duck sauce is made from fruits (like apples, pears, plums) apple juice, garlic, mustard powder and a few other ingredients.  I could taste the fruit, although this seemed to have a bit more citrus to it and the chunks of chili peppers in there is what gave the wings their little bit of spiciness.  They were very tropical in flavor, in fact, they reminded me of wings I used to eat weekly when I lived in the Cayman Islands.  On Grand cayman, there is a bar called The Wreck Bar in Rum Point and their wings were amazing.  Ahhh... nostalgia. 

The Wreck Bar, Rum Point, Grand Cayman

How was the burger?  Also quite good.  Cooked well and big for a cheeseburger that cost me $3.89.  The spicy flavors of the jalapenos and ancho chipotle sauce were a perfect compliment to the sweet wings I had just devoured. 

From what I can tell from the limited menu items I sampled, Smok-a-Burger's has really good food.  It comes out fast, hot and tasty.  The Sweet Chili wings are Wingmen approved, but because there are so many other wing flavors on the menu, another trip (or 2) for the Wingmen will be necessary.  I guess I will just have to take one for the team and go back again and again.  Don't feel bad for me, it's my job.

August 27, 2010

Cross Sound Deli

Cross Sound Deli
41270 Main Road (Route 25)
Orient, NY 11957

Although the receipt had this address:
2 Ferry Street
New London, CT 06320
(I was totally on the Long Island side)

Heading up to Massachusetts for a party to celebrate my friends, Seth and Allissa's wedding, I decided to take the Cross Sound Ferry from Long Island to Connecticut. I made 2 PM reservations out of Orient Point and drove east. Hitting traffic, I showed up 20 minutes after 2 and missed my boat. So as I sat in the standby lane, I noticed two things, 1- a little deli and 2- I was hungry.

Walking in I stood on line thinking a BLT would be perfect and as I looked at the menu on the wall I saw "Buffalo Wings...... $5.95" and thought to myself, "how many times am I going to be out here, in standby and hungry? I have to order wings," and anyway, I am a Wingman, it's my job.

They came out, piping hot and in a Styrofoam container served with a package of Ken's Bleu Cheese Dressing. Frozen, breaded and a bit small, these didn't have much going for them. And then add the fact that I saw the cook take a plastic bottle, squeeze out a bunch of hot sauce on the wings and then bring them to me with no shaking, no mixing, no agitation at all and you have a recipe for poorly prepared wings.  I got a bit sad.

Hot wings, lemonade, and my Jeep's fender as a table.
Oddly enough, they were surprisingly good for what they were. The hot sauce from the bottle had a decent kick and the cook was very liberal in the application, so there was a generous pool of red goodness in the container for dipping. Again, they were small, but crispy and juicy on the inside. I really had no problem polishing off all 10 of them.
If I had been at a bar or restaurant, I would be a hell of a lot more critical of the wings, but this is a little stand at the easternmost tip of the North Fork of Long Island. This place feeds beach goers, ferry riders and people heading over to the casinos. It is not a wing place... Heck, they seem to be known more for sandwiches and ice cream.

I am not going to say that the Cross Sound Deli is Wingmen approved, but when you are waiting for a ferry (be it the 3, which just left, the 3:30, which I may or may not get on, the 4, which I have a chance for or the 5, which is guaranteed), they are good in a pinch. Honestly, if I miss the 3:30 too, I see ice cream in my future.

Yup... Missed the 3:30.  I made it onto the 4.

August 25, 2010

Wingus Dingus

"Wingus"- The Latin term for Wings.  "Dingus"- Meaning served by women in orange and white. "Wingus Dingus"- That's right, you guessed it!!!  HOOTERS! This time in Islandia.

3701 Express Drive North
Islandia, NY 11749
Map and Directions

After sitting around in the rain at the Long Island Ducks game last Wednesday, it was time to move on and hit up some wingy dingy's. you mean Western Wednesdays? Yes, I absolutely do, but to my dismay, not in Islandia... Booooooooooo. What a disappointment.

The wings are always classic at Hooters, but just better on Western Wednesdays. The hot are excellent as well as the medium and the mild. If you want to go hotter, just add the tobasco sauce and you're all set. The other flavors are not for me, I like the traditional buffalo flavors. 

The atmosphere, on the other hand, was extremely disappointing. Throughout my ventures to the various Hooters, I would have to say, the East Meadow Hooters is in the lead with Fresh Meadows, Queens a solid second. I haven't been able to visit the Farmingdale location but I'll be there soon. So overall, wings excellent, atmosphere poor. So when you go to any Hooters... Tell em The Wingmen sent ya!

August 23, 2010

Redemption Grill

1003 2nd Ave (@53rd St.)
New York, NY 10022
I was hanging out with my wife, daughter and buddy (BJ) on Saturday and we stopped at Redemption Grill for a bite, al fresco.  I've been craving wings lately and was happy to see them as part of the brunch menu, so I got an order.  

You can almost see the sweetness
in the photo.
There's really no need to go into a ton of detail on these.  They may have been the worst I've ever eaten.  If I had to choose between these and Johnny Famous wings, I'd take Johnny Famous every time.  They were just generic, probably frozen wings soaked in an unbearably sweet sauce.  It was another one of the now infamous ketchup based sauces, but sweeter than any of them I've had so far.

I ate one of these as well.  It was the
best thing I ate all day.
The bleu cheese was actually pretty good, and my wife like her sandwich (It was some kind of turkey club).  The rest of the menu looked interesting (Mexican fusion?) so I'm not going to say that you should stay clear of this place totally, but definitely skip the wings.  BJ ordered the Buffalo chicken sandwich which was made with the same sauce.  He was also not a fan.  My daughter, Gianna-Rose, had an uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwich which is always excellent, but not on the menu - we brought it from home.

On weekends they have a brunch special from 11:30am - 5pm.  You get your choice of a meal plus three cocktails for $20.  Not a bad deal considering it would normally cost close to that for the drinks alone.  The service was pleasant and people watching on 2nd Ave. is fun.  I'd go back and give it another shot, but I'm not going near the wings.

August 13, 2010


1828 Sunrise Highway
Merrick, NY 11566

The final stop on our National Buffalo Wing Day tour was a spur of the moment one, sort of.  We were en route to Longhorns from Paddy Power.  It was a gorgeous day and we were cruising down Sunrise in Steve's Jeep with the doors off and the wind blowing through --- WHOA! What hell was that place?! The neon sign called out to us like a beacon of awesome biker dive bars.  It read:  "Jugs-N-Strokers". No way we're not stopping there on the way back.

Steve, after getting beaten up by a biker
We couldn't stop talking about it the whole time we were in Longhorns - except we couldn't remember the name.  Brams-N-Stokers, Mugs-N-Jokers, Rugs-N-Pokers... whatever, we'll just follow the neon glow.  We also decided that the night would be a failure if at least one of us didn't get beaten up by a biker.  Jeremy and I were thoughtful enough to nominate Steve for this mission.  When he didn't agree, we put it to a vote.  He lost 2-1.

Smooth Jeremy... real smooth.
When we got there, it was everything we hoped it would be.  As soon as we stepped through the doors, we were transported to some other place and time... I don't know where exactly, but probably somewhere in Texas.  Unfortunately, there weren't many bikers for Steve to get assaulted by - however there were a few packs of Cougars visually assaulting us with their eyes.  Sweet.  The closest thing to a fight that happened was when the older female bartender challenged Jeremy to an arm wresting match.  He obviously had to give in on purpose (at least I hope that's what happened), but as he did, he knocked over the entire plastic trough of lemons, cherries, limes and whatnot.  They ended up all over the floor.  It was kind of awesome.

The Hog Pile Plater.  You can probably have a heart attack just 
by looking at this.
On to the food.  After eating four orders of wings from two different bars, we needed to mix it up a little.  Obviously we love wings, but still, after a while you just need some variety.  The perfect compromise is to go with a combo platter.  It allows you to mix it up while still sampling the wings.  Yes, the combo platter is a beautiful thing (I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to start a spin off blog devoted to them one day), and Jugs and Strokers had a whopper of one - "The Hog Pile Platter".  We tried asking two different bartenders what was in the HPP. They both said, "a little bit of everything." Ok, I guess we'll have one of those then. The HPP came out and I thought, be still my beating heart... no seriously, there's a good chance this thing will literally put you in cardiac arrest. It was the most epic combo platter I've ever seen, every fried food you can think of. Wings, mozzerella sticks, Philly cheesesteak croquets, fried ravioli, onion rings. Even little tacos. The bartender said it had everything except a burger. I have to wonder, why not just throw a burger in there?

This was exactly what we needed to finish off the night.  The combination of foods was like none I've ever seen before, and it was all pretty decent.  As for the wings, they kind of just got lost in the mix.  They weren't really Buffalo wings, more just fried chicken wings.  They were crispy, but a little dry and didn't come with any sauce on them.  Not the worst we've ever had, but definitely an afterthought in the whole mix of things.

Jugs-N-Strokers is never going to make our list of top wings, but it will always hold a special place in our hearts.

August 12, 2010

Longhorns Saloon and Barbecue

Longhorns Saloon & Barbecue
12 S. Park Avenue
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

National Buffalo Wing Day Week continues as our adventure at Paddy Power brought The Wingmen to Longhorn's Saloon & Barbecue. Caitlin Nicole, on our Facebook page, suggested it a few months back and we finally decided to take her up on her recommendation. Since this "saloon" seems to celebrate the Old West, please indulge me as I add in some western slang and phrases (in italics) to the post. If you would like to understand what I am saying, go to the Old West Writer's Guide.

Our posse rolled up to Longhorns in the early evening to hang around and gabbed a seat near the front of the saloon by the wide open front windows. It was a small place with huge tracks of land and western themed decorations and license plates all over the walls. A bit rich, but it worked.

Longhorn's has one of the best wing specials we have come across to date, Monday through Thursday from 5PM until 10 PM wings are just $.25 each, and is not afraid to play to the gallery. In order to get multiple flavors, you must order them in groups of 20 and you get just one bleu cheese per 20. Extra carrots and celery are $2.50 and if you add an extra $.10 per wing they will make them honey wings. "What are honey wings?" you ask, well, good question, we had to ask ourselves. The waitress told us that they take whatever sauce you want and add honey to them. Who knew it would be such a simple answer?

We ordered up 20 Buffalo Hot Wings and 20 Chipotle BBQ Wings. We knew forty wings may be a heap for us, but since we had to try at least 2 flavors, 40 was the minimum for us on this night. Although Jeremy wanted to try the honey wings, he was out voted 2-1 and we had honey-less wings. We decided to bend an elbow and then waited for our forty wings to arrive.

When the wings arrived the first thing we noticed was how large the wings were and usually being a good thing (and still is) but after eating three orders of wings at Paddy Power, these large wings were very daunting. But we are The Wingmen, damn-it, and we will persevere! I'll start with the Buffalo Hot Wings. These large wings were a bit shoddy. They were juicy on the inside, but not as crispy on the outside as we would have liked. A wing that is not crispy seems unfinished, but the buffalo sauce was exactly what you would have expected it to be. Butter, butter and more butter with tons of hot sauce added. If you ask me, it may have been a bit too much of the butter and I am not going to soft solder them too much, they were good, but could have been better. The three of us polished off about 15 of them... yes, I know, we left wounded soldiers in the field.

As for the Chipotle BBQ Wings, well, I think an explanation of what "chipotle" is in order first. I have found that not many people actually know what chipotles are, other than being a burrito place that until 2006 was pretty much owned by the McDonald's Corporation. Chipotles are smoked, dried jalapenos which are brownish in color and shriveled up (kind of like sun-dried tomatoes). They vary in variety and spiciness. Now, when it comes to barbecue sauce, I can be a real croaker but at Longhorns, the chipotle is put to good use making their BBQ sauce very unique. The Chipotle BBQ sauce has a smokey, spicy flavor with very little of that over-the-top sweetness that many of the other barbecue sauces that we've tried have had. We were very pleasantly surprised. They were hot as a whorehouse on nickel night and flavorful and meaty and juicy and crispy... Longhorns did a bang-up job. We also polished off about 15 of these guys which made us all a bit sad. We wanted more, but our bellies were full and no matter how hard we fought the Kilkenny cats, we just couldn't finish them.

Longhorns is a decent place to find wings and I highly suggest that you try the Chipotle BBQ sauce. If you like barbecue, smokey flavor and spice in your wings, you won't be disappointed. Longhorns is definitely aces high and Wingmen approved... Bully for you! Thank you, Caitlin, for the suggestion!

August 10, 2010

Paddy Power!

Totally kick-ass mullet
Totally kick-ass boom pole
Last week, on National Buffalo Wing Day, The Wingmen were all set to embark on a new feature of the blog to enhance your reading pleasure. We were going to shoot our first semi-sort of professional video review. We gathered a bunch of ragtag video equipment (including a boom pole made out of a painting pole, curtain hook, rubber bands and tape - eat that MacGyver), met up nice and early and promptly got the phone call informing us that the shoot was a bust. But we're professionals now, we improvise. With a majority of the day ahead of us, we decided to go on a 3 stop wing mission - the old fashioned way.

So, for National Buffalo Wing Day, we'll post each stop over the course of the next three days. First up for The Wingmen's National Buffalo Wing Day Week is: Paddy Power!

Paddy Power
70 Merrick Ave.
Merrick, NY

During the colonial period, Merrick became a trading center because vessels could enter Jones Inlet and sail up deep channels to docks beside what is now Merrick Road. During the War of 1812 these channels, canals and coves made Merrick a haven for buccaneers who preyed on merchants in search of wings (probably true). Pirates (one eyed Willy) in whaleboats once robbed prominent landowner George Hewlett and two friends while they were duck hunting (for wings), ripping the silver buttons from their coats (so they can play a few songs on the juke-box). At one point, residents armed with muskets captured one bandit leader and shipped him to New York in irons for trial because he would not share his wings (probably true as well).

Paddy Power is a bar located in the town of Merrick. Just along other shops and stores, Paddy Power provides a nice Irish tavern appeal that seems to bring in a local crowd. Throughout random conversations with my neighbors, they all suggested we try this place out. Bottom line....worth it. The bar set up was perfect for whatever mood you are in. If you feel like sitting at the bar, it is l-shaped and goes throughout the entire pub. In addition, there is a long bar set up in the middle of the place as well as tables for a more private option to your outing. There are an abundance of televisions as well as games available.

The Hot Wings at Paddy Power- what can I say, as good as buffalo wings get. Images of the BBQ and teriyaki can be found on our Facebook account.

Now for the wings: simple but good. Paddy Power provided you with flavors such as BBQ, teriyaki and buffalo. All excellent, especially since I'm not a teriyaki fan and they were great. My fellow wingmen were fans as well. The meat to bone ratio was just right with enough crisp on the outside as well as moistness on the inside. All in all....spectacular. This place will be my new towny spot, replacing Cassidy's. Cassidy's is great but this place offers a better variety and is just as convenient to get to. Go there and let 'em know The Wingmen sent ya!

August 05, 2010

Studio Square

35-33 36th St.
Long Island City, NY 11106

Recently, I met up with friends of The Wingmen, Lee and BJ, at Studio Square - the "new" beer garden in Astoria (actually Long Island City). We've been to Bohemian Hall, the original, a bunch of times and it's always fun, so I was excited to see how the new one would stack up.

It's tough to judge. I'm not sure if it's a beer garden or a hip bar with a really large outdoor drinking area. Although it's missing a lot of the charm that Bohemian Hall has, it's still not a bad place to grab a beer after work.

As for the wings, I was not impressed. They were meaty, and they were certainly crispy but the flavor was generic. They were breaded and coated in a basic traditional sauce and reminded me a lot of the wings at Top Bunz. They may both get their stock from the frozen food section in Costco, who knows. I'm not saying I wouldn't eat them again. Hell, I could down a plate of frozen Costco wings with no problem - they're still wings. They're just not worth going out of your way for. If they're just something to pick at while you guzzle pitchers of beer and watch the game on the gigantic screen they have set up outside, well, then they're perfect. Eat them fast though. They seemed to get rubbery as they got colder. I'd really like to compare them to the wings at Bohemian Hall.

Eh. I'd eat them again if I end up there. I'm not going out of my way though.

I've heard a lot of negative comments on the overall atmosphere of this place. Apparently it gets pretty Bro'd out. Like Jersey Shore Bros. We showed up around 7 on a Wednesday and it didn't seem too bad. There was plenty of open space (the place is HUGE), the Yankees game was on the 1,000 foot (give or take) screen and there was absolutely no line for beer or food. So I guess if you want to avoid the hair gel and wife beaters (as well as tight white tank tops), it's probably best to go during the week and earlier in the evening. If you're a Bro, well, go whenever and have at it.

Ok, maybe it's not quite 1,000 feet but it was pretty big.

This has nothing to do with wings, but check out this space-aged, laser sighted hand dryer. I think it took a couple of layers of skin off.

August 02, 2010


Churchill's Restaurant and Bar
18 South Park Avenue
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Lunchtime today came about 3 hours later than I wanted it to and without eating breakfast, which is my favorite meal of the day, I was starving. So I jumped in my Jeep and headed to Downtown Rockville Centre for some wings. Park Avenue, the same road where Croxley's and Cabo are located, has tons of bars (all of which we will get to at some point), and I ended up at Churchill's.

I walked in and felt a bit out of place. Churchill's has a very local feel and there was no room at the bar so I grabbed a seat in the dining room and took a look at the menu. Churchill's has three flavors of wings, Buffalo (mild, medium and hot), BBQ and Peking. I asked the waitress how many wings were in an order and if I could split one order in half and have multiple flavors. She said there were 10 in the order and I could do whatever I wanted. That was an awesome answer, so I ordered half Hot Buffalo and Half Peking. I am sorry BBQ, but, unlike Jody, I am not about to make up with you, we are still not friends.

I looked around the bar as I waited for the wings and noticed a couple things. 1- They have a Major League Menu that boasts $3.50 Miller Lite Aluminum Bottles, $5.95 for an order of wings, $5.95 for 3 sliders, $5.95 for twin Boar's Head hot dogs, $6.95 for thin crust pizza, $2.50 stadium pretzels, and "The Grand Slam Combo" of 2 sliders and 6 wings for $7.95 if you sit at the bar during any Mets or Yankees game during the baseball season. And 2- Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 4PM until 7PM and they have a slew of drink specials as well as hot and cold hors d'oeuvres. Those two things along will bring me back to Churchill's.

The wings arrived and although the waitress was wrong about the number of wings in the order, she was wrong in a good way for me... there were 12 wings! Six hot and six Peking! It's like playing Monopoly... Bank Error in MY Favor! They were accompanied by carrots, celery and a bleu cheese dressing. I dug into the hot wings first.

The hot wings were exactly what you would expect from hot buffalo wings. They were spicy, they were crispy and they tasted good. It was your traditional butter and hot sauce tossed over chicken wings and served to bar goers. I can't fault a bar for making them, but there is no originality to them and I got exactly what I expected. I was very happy about their flavor since many bars still mess up the traditional sauce. The only issue was that they were a bit small and some lacked in the meat department. They were scrawny.

As for the Peking wings, since they were not your typical teriyaki that you will find in most bars, I figure I should explain what Peking flavor is. Peking was the American work for Beijing and why we used to call it Peking and now call it Beijing is beyond me, but the word has not disappeared even after we have corrected our dictionaries. Peking flavor is known for being salty, sweet and spicy. Chilies, garlic, soybean paste, vinegar, sugar and many other ingredients go into making a Peking sauce and the actual taste varies from chef to chef. Hoisin Sauce and Tian Mian Jiang are both considered Peking sauces.

Churchill's Peking sauce is more on the sweet side of the spectrum and did not have much spice or saltiness to it. It was applied as a glaze and the sweetness, hint of citrus and tangy flavor was what I picked up as I devoured the wings. The sauce/glaze was very think in consistency (much thinker than the saltier teriyaki you normally find at bars) and was heavily applied, which is a huge plus. These wings were larger and juicier than their hot wing plate-mates (which is odd since they probably came from the same package), and were the better of the two flavors I tried that day. I am very glad I left these guys for last.

Churchill's is a solid place with solid wings and what seems like an even more solid menu. There is an outside dining area out back and has a lot of seating at the bar and in the dining room. It has a very towny feel at lunch time, but I am sure that changes at night and on the weekends. I would definitely go back and it is safe to say that Churchill's is Wingmen approved! Check them out soon!