August 09, 2011

The Library Cafe

The Library Cafe
274 Main Street
Farmingdale, NY 11735

Also located on Main Street in Farmingdale, The Library Cafe has been around for about a decade and has been serving up good food, better drinks and a city-like atmosphere for suburban Long Island.  Owned by Lessing's, the folks that catered my wedding and also run Maxwell's, The Library has a great feel to it and seems to be a hotspot for people who work in the area to come to for happy hour or nightly specials. The Library Cafe got its name from it's building, which was build as a bank and then converted to a library in the 1950s and eventually into the restaurant in 2000.

I grabbed a seat at the bar and quickly noticed that Lessing's has their own beer on tap, Lessing's Local Ale, and I had to try one.  It is brewed by Blue Point Brewing Company and is a smooth and robust beer that if  I had a few bucks more in my pocket, I'd have brought home a growler ($20).
Lessing's Local Ale
Knowing I was having dinner too, I grabbed the small order of wingshalf; hot and half teriyaki, which they don't normally do, but the bartender (Jimmy) was kind enough to ask for me.  The price was good, $8.95 for a pound and for an extra dollar, you get a half a pound more. The wings were solid with a lot of extra sauce for each flavor.  The hot had a good kick, were flavored well and got the nose a bit runny.  The bleu cheese helped.  The teriyaki were the perfect combination of salty and sweet with just the right amount of sticky.  All were crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and big.
Hot and Teriyaki Wings
What was I going to have for dinner? Shrimp po boy?  Marinated sliced steak sandwich? One of their 4 burgers? Spicy shrimp pad Thai? Blackened crab cake sandwich?  I couldn't decide. On Jimmy's suggestion, I went with the sliced steak sandwich with fries.  The sandwich was tender, cooked to perfection and stuffed with medium rare sliced steak, mozzarella cheese and fried onions.  It was the perfect ending to a long work day.  The waffle fries were also good.  Came with a pickle, which I can do without, but it is a nice gesture.

It still looks good... I want one now!
When it comes down to it, The Library Cafe has an amazing atmosphere, great drink and food specials, awesome wings, tasty food and is definitely Wingmen approved.

August 04, 2011

The Republic

The Republic
"Teach Tabhairne"
217 Main Street

Farmingdale, NY 11735

Although Main Street of Farmingdale, NY is not hurting for bars and pubs, a void did exist when Granny O'Shay's closed. Luckily for Farmingdale, the loss of the Irish pub would be short-lived. The Republic opened just about a year ago and has quickly become a local hangout.  With a solid menu, tons of beer on tap, a rotating beer menu and an outdoor patio, The Republic is a great place to hang out after work or chill for the evening.
The current line-up
I showed up one day after work craving some wings and a burger. That is why I love pubs/bars, they almost always have wings and burgers, and for the most part, they are always good.  After checking out the menu, I was astounded by how much food they offered and the interesting takes they offer on Irish and American fare. From Irish nachos to drunken shrimp, and macaroni and cheese stuffed meatloaf to shepard's pie, there will always be something interesting to try.
Hot Wings
I ordered the traditional buffalo flavored wings. They also have an Irish Whiskey BBQ flavor, but as you know from past reviews, I just don't like BBQ. A few things hit me right away when they got to my table, 1- They smelled hot. 2- they were all wings, no drumsticks.  I have never seen that before. And 3- they came with ranch dressing even though the menu says they are served with bleu cheese.  Upon trying them I noticed a few other things.  They were not very crispy and the sauce mixture was a touch off, almost as if they added too much salted clarified butter. The salty flavor was a bit overwhelming, and really made them hard to eat. I truly think it was just an off night because I could taste a hint of the hot sauce and with more of that and a bit less salted butter, I am sure they would have been much better. Fix the mixture, fry them another minute and I think they would have been great.
The Republic Burger with Sweet Potato Tater Tots
On the other hand, the burger I had was very good.  The Republic Burger has bacon, Irish cheddar, Irish whiskey BBQ sauce and onion strings loaded on top of a 1/2 lb. ground sirloin patty and is served with tater tots.  This was the highlight of the night.  The tater tots, on the other hand, were a bit disappointing to me and me alone.  I am not a fan of sweet potatoes, and these tots were sweet potato tots.  If you like sweet potatoes, then these will be awesome for you.  They did taste like mini churros, with cinnamon bursting out of every bite.  Worth a try.

The Republic wings deserve another try before a final judgement can be made, but with their beer selection and awesome menu of Irish-American food, it won't be hard convincing the other Wingmen to join me for a final assessment.

So... if you go to their website, you'll notice a fascination with Guinness; I had to have one.
Just plain beautiful

August 02, 2011

Sapsuckers Hops & Grill

Sapsuckers Hops & Grill
287 Main Street
Huntington, NY 11743

One of the newest bars in Huntington Village, NY, Sapsuckers has quickly become a local favorite with their craft beer selection, variety of top shelf liquor options and gastro-pub style cuisine.

My wife and I found ourselves here on her suggestion.  She, being the Wingmen supporter she is, and knowing my love for craft beer, had heard about this place from a co-worker and figured I'd want to give it a try.  She was right, as always.

Two Brothers Witbier
I was initially struck by the ornitholigical theme to the place (a sapsucker being a woodpecker common to the northeast), complete with lithographs of birds on the wall and a field guide, not to the birds of the area, but to BEER!  A clever touch to a subtle theme.  The beer selection, which includes cans, bottles and the tap, is extensive and the field guide does help. I had the Two Brothers Witbier and my wife had the Steigl, which is a lager.
Very small wings, big taste
We ordered the wings, which were pricey at $8 for 6 small wings.  They were lightly breaded and were generously coated in hot sauce, served with thin strips of celery and a gorgonzola dipping sauce.  Despite their size, they were cooked well, spiced well and a great start to our meals.  The gorgonzola dipping sauce was a nice variation on the typical bleu cheese, and had a salty and sharp flavor that complimented the wing sauce.

As for our meals, she had the nachos which were loaded with goodies and I had the Sardinian Style Dog, which is wild boar sausage loaded with caramelized onions.  The meals, reasonably priced were very good and are different from anything else you'll find on Main Street in Huntington Village.
Sardinian Style Dog
With the price of the wings for what you get, it's hard to say Sapsuckers is approved for their wings alone, but as an interesting craft beer bar with unique food and great atmosphere, the Wingmen approve the restaurant as a whole.

July 28, 2011

Product Review: Michele's Buffalo Supreme Popcorn

Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn
PO Box 1662
Concord, NH 03302-1662

Jody and I were at a Yankees game a few months back when Rebecca P., one of the Wingmen faithful, contacted us about a product she wanted us to try.  Despite my stupidity about what she meant by "mail you something to try" (see our Facebook page for the comment on April 27, 2011 for what I mean), she was able to ensure that a large bag of Buffalo Supreme popcorn arrived for us to review.

That's a big bag o'popcorn!
Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn operates out of Concord, NH, and was founded by Michele and Dave Holbrook in 2007. This family-run business is not only an American phenomenon, but has been shipping globally too.  Michele's offers twenty flavors of popcorn that include Cookies-n-Cream, Peanut Butter Cup, Caramel Apple, Garlic &Rosemary, Cajun BBQ, Dark Chocolate Orange and many others.  Their fresh, sweet, savory and deluxe flavors of popcorn were selected for the Official SWAG Bags of the 37th Annual Daytime and Sports Emmy Award Shows of 2010.
The popcorn arrived with a note that says "The Wingmen, Rebecca P. wanted you to give this a try. Let us & her know what you think. Michele" so here it goes: upon opening the bag, the aroma of buffalo wings fills your nose making you think a fresh plate of wings has just arrived at your table.  As you take a bite, the flavor of hot sauce and butter fill your mouth and before you know it, your nose is running from the heat.  This popcorn is spicy!  It was everything I could do to stop myself from eating the whole bag.  The buffalo blend seasoning captures the wing flavor quite well and the canola oil seems to act like the clarified butter.  The only thing missing is a bleu cheese drizzle, which I can make happen with a quick drive to the supermarket!

Check out Michele's by heading to or by visiting them on Facebook.  Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Buffalo Supreme Popcorn is Wingmen approved!  I can't wait to try some of the other flavors... Cajun BBQ has piqued my interest.

Thanks Rebecca P. and Michele for the support!

July 26, 2011

Black Forest Brew Haus

Black Forest Brew Haus
Microbrewery & Restaurant
2015 New Highway
Farmingdale, NY 11735

Hidden, secluded, and off the beaten path are just a few ways to describe Black Forest Brew Haus. Nestled off New Highway in Farmingdale, NY, both Jeremy and I passed it two or three times before we actually found it.  Unassuming from the outside, Black Forest is one of the best kept secrets that Farmingdale has to offer.

Pub grub? Check. American fare? Check. German food? Check. In house brewery? Check! Yes, you read correctly. Black Forest is a German-American restaurant that has its own brewery.  You will only find their beer on tap and the selection is good enough for the pickiest beer drinkers. There is a Pilsner, an Amber, a Hefe-Weizen (my favorite), a Sticke and they have seasonal brews like the Summer Ale and Chocolate Doppelbock to name a few. Can't make up your mind? Order the sampler and when you find your favorite, bring home a growler ($12).

Black Forest Chocolate Doppelbock

But this is a wing site, so let's get to why you read this blog. Jeremy and I decided to split the hot wings. One plate, and before you accuse us of being panty-waists, we were getting dinner too. We ordered and as we spoke to Jamie, the bartender, he said that we should have ordered the wing sampler (Spicy hot, honey BBQ, and sweet & spicy wings). Jeremy and I looked at each other, shook our heads and then lowered them in shame. How could we miss the sampler? Jody will be very disappointed.
Not the sampler... oops.
The wings came out and the first thing we noticed was the smell of heat. You know what I am taking about, that smell that singes your nose and settles in the back of your throat letting you know something spicy comes your way. Once we got passed that initial "warning," Jeremy and I dug in to our dozen wings.

Black Forest does not stray from the tried and true method of cooking buffalo wings. Clarified butter, hot sauce and a deep fryer.  The flavor was well balanced, the wings were crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and were everyone one wants from a wing.  Spicy enough to make you reach for your beer, tasty enough to make you reach for another one and filling enough to whet your appetite for whatever you'll be having next.

Black Forest has some great specials and happy hours, so check out their website for upcoming events.  Friday nights are dueling piano nights and that starts at 9pm; you don't want to miss that. We didn't get all the details, but there is a beer stein culture here as well.  I suggest asking about it when you are enjoying your Black Forest Burger or Sauerbraten. they also have a beer garden for outside drinking and dining.

Potato Pancake with Applesauce- German staple
When it comes down to it, Black Forest Brew Haus is a great restaurant with solid food, fresh tasty beer and very good wings.  Black Forest, you're Wingmen approved!

May 18, 2011

Blackbird's in Astoria

41-19 30th Ave.
Astoria, NY 11103

This trip started with an email I got from our correspondent in the field, BJ:
"Meant to text you yesterday, but I went for a nice long walk yesterday, ended up at a place called Blackbirds, solid place, nice, laid back (at least during the weekend/day), also there was a really cute bartender, she looked like a redheaded Amy Poehler. 
Anywhoozles, she and a couple of patrons told me that they believe the wings there are the best in NY.  I said, “Best in NY?  That’s bold, are you sure you don’t mean best in NYC or Queens or Astoria?”  They assured me that they meant best in NY.  So, challenge thrown down…"
I agreed. That's a mighty bold statement. To say you not only have the best wings in NYC, but all of New York is pretty gutsy. You don't need me to tell you that Buffalo, home of the hot wing, the Mecca, falls into this jurisdiction. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the magnitude of this claim. For me, if you're saying you have the best wings in all of New York, you might as well be saying you have the best wings in the country. And if you're saying that, you might as well be saying you have the best wings in the world. Wow. Could it be possible that the best wings on the face of the planet were right under our noses in Astoria? Obviously I assembled a team to find out.

Original tipster, BJ, fellow food blogger, Lee (2plus2 NYC Review) and I met at Blackbirds on a Wednesday night. Wednesdays are great because they have half priced wings and four dollar draught beers served in mason jars. Already I liked their style. Bring on the wings. As per usual, the BBQ did nothing for me. I had to test them out though, for science. They were just your typical, sweet, slighlty tangy wing that I've never been too fond of. I will say though that there was a nice coat of sauce, so if you're into BBQ there's a good chance you'll like these.

They also offer mild, hot and Nuclear. Since BJ is a huge wuss and can't take the heat, we ended up going with mild. These were solid. The flavor was a very traditional hot sauce and butter concoction. It was a bit tangy, which I like, a tad salty, which I also like and, considering we ordered mild, there was a decent amount of heat. It was still enough to make BJ sweat, although he'd break a sweat if we replaced the sauce with ketchup so I don't know if that's saying much.

In general, the wings were cooked pretty well with a great crisp but they were a little on the skimpy side. The flavors were solid but nothing ground breaking. Would I eat them again? Absolutely. Were they the best wings ever known to mankind? Probably not. Blackbirds was a pretty cool place though with a good beer selection and friendly service. Plus I always like hanging out in that part of Astoria. I can recommend it as a good place to meet up with some friends and catch up over a cold beer and some wings while watching the game.

May 16, 2011

O'neills Is The Latest Wing Spot To Fall Victim To Fire

[Queens Courier] A 5-alarm fire engulfed O’Neill’s Restaurant in Maspeth [on May 1st] sending six fire fighters to the hospital.

The call came in just after midnight of a fire at 64-21 53rd Drive. The fifth alarm came after 3 a.m. and the fire was under control at 3:23 a.m.

One hundred and ninety-eight fire fighters responded to the scene. The six injured were taken to Elmhurst hospital.

O’Neill’s Restaurant has been a Maspeth fixture since 1933. There is no known cause of the fire. An investigation is under way.

"O'Neill's Restaurant has been a staple in Maspeth," said Conuncilmember Elizabeth Crowley. "Last night's tragic fire was a loss for the whole community."

Well, I don't know how I'm going to break this news to Jeremy. This is one of his favorite wing joints. I'm really kicking myself now for never having made it there. I can't tell you how many times I told Jeremy we should go and then one thing or another came up. Well, RIP O'neills. Hopefully you can pull through and reopen a new location in the future.

- Thanks to Joe Piscatella for the heads up.

April 13, 2011

A New Champ is Crowned!

Bell Peppers... wimps.  Jalapeños... pantie-waists.  Ghost Chiles... move over, a new champ is in town and its name is the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T Chile.  This pepper is equivalent of just about 1.5 Million SHU (scoville heat units).  To give you a sense as to what that means, well, a Bell Pepper has 0 SHU, Jalapeño ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 SHU and the Ghost Chile hits just over 1 Million SHU.  Good luck eating that bad boy.

Naga Jolokia is also known as the Ghost Chile
By the way... the growers say this pepper gets its heat from "worm juice" which is liquid runoff from a worm farm.  Yummy.

April 01, 2011

$.10 Wing Night!

I've found the Holy Grail of wings!  $.10 wing nights have all but disappeared, but they do still exist and one is in Rockville Centre, NY!!!  I was Happy Hour-ing with some work folks at Stinger's Irish Pub on Sunrise Highway and noticed this sign:

He said boneless.

I was stoked... I mean, when was the last time you saw a $.10 wing night?  Dempsey's in Bayside is now $.20, there are a lot $.25 or even $.50 wing nights and paying $1.00 a wing is far from unheard of these days.  This was a find of a lifetime, or so I thought.

A sampler platter was ordered and the wings, admittedly were small, dry and not very good, but they weren't horrible.  I'd have to go back and order the wings by themselves, but hell, for a $.10 wing night, I'll give them a real shot.

Hunter's in Glen Cove Decimated By Fire

According to Glen Cove Patch, another potential wing establishment has burned down.  Hunter's Grill in Glen Cove was located on Forest Avenue and was known for its hunting lodge atmosphere and barbecue cuisine.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

For us wing enthusiasts, Hunter's menu boasted "Smoked BBQ Wings: Flames that roast pieces of fresh cherry wood, create smoked atmosphere for our savory wings that cook to a perfect temperature with the addition of a homemade BBQ sauce (choice of Sweet, Hot and I Dare You!)."  Just reading that, I want to try them, and I have never been a fan of BBQ wings.  This is a shame, let's hope Hunter's can recover and re-open soon.

Keep checking with the Wingmen and the Glen Cove Patch for more information on this story as it develops.

March 30, 2011

The Wellington In Middle Island Is Gutted By Overnight Fire

"A longtime local tavern with deep roots in the Middle Island community, Wellington Bar and Grill is likely no more after an overnight fire gutted the inside of the watering hole early Wednesday." (North Shore Sun)
Well this is sad news for wing enthusiasts. The Wellington has been on our list for a while, but we just don't get the chance to get that far out East for wings too often. Has anyone eaten there before? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

March 28, 2011

UPDATE: South Houston

331 W. Broadway
New York, NY 10013

Wingmen favorite South Houston in SoHo has added a couple new flavors to their menu. In addition to their grilled Buffalo and Apricot-Peach BBQ wings, they now offer honey mustard and teriyaki - two of my personal favorites. Jeremy and I gave the honey mustard a try on Friday and they live up to the original flavors. I can't wait to try the teriyaki.

March 25, 2011

Genesis Bar and Restaurant

Upper East Side
Genesis Restaurant and Bar
1708 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10128

After reading through some of our reviews, lately, it seems that we are a bunch of homers that love every place we have been to.  And the truth is, we go to places that you, the Wingmen Faithful, suggest because you love those places.  So of course the wings are good.  We have not been blindly just stopping in a place and testing out their wings.  Well, Jody and I stopped at Genesis Bar and Restaurant the other night without any recommendations, without knowing what the place was like and not knowing if their wings would be any good.  This is what happened...

We were on the upper east side and decided to look for wings.  We saw the menu outisde of the restaurant and liked what Genesis promised: Genesis Jumbo Chicken Wings- Buffalo, BBQ, Bourbon Street, Korean Style and Bayou (their to-go menu has Southwestern on there as well, but the restaurant did not offer this selection).  We were stoked, starting planning what we'd try and went inside.

After sitting down and ordering our beer, we finally decised on Buffalo because we had to, Korean Style because Jody loves the Asian flavors and Bayou because I love Cajun wings.  We stayed away from BBQ and Bourbon Street because they seemed similar and too sweet. 

Here is what was GOOD about the wings: They were jumbo, they were cooked well, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Hot Wings?
Here is what was BAD about the wings:  EVERYTHING ELSE!  I mean, honestly, how do you fuck up buffalo sauce?  It is clarified butter and hot sauce.  That is it!  They were sweet and had zero heat to them.  Buffalo wings should not be sweet.  The Korean Style wings were even sweeter, sickly sweet.  Authentic chili and garlic sauce my ass!  It tasted like Karo syrup with a sweet soy sauce.  They were, in my opinion, disgusting.  The Bayou wings were fried chicken wings.  They were described as a dry rub by the waitress, but there was no rub.  They were bland fried chicken wings.  They even came with a bland sauce that did nothing to the taste excpet make them wetter.  Kentucky Fried Chicken wings are worlds better than these were.  They were also $8.00 per plate of 8 wings, so not only were they horrible, but they cost $1.00 each.


The place itself was nice and had a good beer selection, but I cannot recommend this place's wings.  Just horrid.  This place is NOT Wingmen Approved.

On a funny note, as our wings arrived, the women sitting at the table next to ours looked over and said "I think I'm going to throw up," and we are not sure if they knew the wings were bad, thought three plates of wings were just plain disgusting, or just didn't like Jody and I.  I guess we'll never know.

Something clever about bad Korean Style wings?

March 18, 2011

Kabooz's Bar and Grill

Penn Station
2nd Floor, Amtrak Terminal

Just another late night in Penn Station, looking for a place to grab a beer and some wings. Everyone knows about Tracks, and for good reason. There is a lesser known pub upstairs though called Kabooz's. I've never had the wings there so I decided to give them a shot.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. They were lightly breaded which is not a deal breaker by any means in my not-so-traditional book. The sauce was much lighter than what I'm used to seeing. It almost looked like a cream sauce that you'd find on penne al la vodka or something like that. Don't worry, the comparison is for appearance only. There was a pretty significant amount of heat, but it didn't overpower the strong flavors. They were cooked very well with a bit of crisp to the skin.

Not too shabby for an uncrowded pub tucked in the corner of the second floor of Penn Station. They certainly blow Tracks' wings out of the water. While I can't crown them the best wings in NYC, I am willing to crown them the best wings in Penn Station. For now at least.

March 16, 2011

The Mermaid Oyster Bar

79 MacDougal St.
New York, NY 10012

Last weekend was date night for me and the Mrs., so we headed into The Village to one of our favorite little restaurants, The Mermaid Oyster Bar. It's not an overly stuffy establishment but certainly a little classier than the bars and pubs we usually write about. It was voted "Best New Seafood Restaurant" by Time Out New York Magazine last year after all. However, they do have excellent happy hour specials and the staff is not afraid to promote them. Oysters, lobster sliders, shrimp corndogs, fish tacos and, of course, lollipop chicken wings. We were in the mood to pick at a bunch of finger foods, so I did my civic duty and asked for the wings.

These were by far the "fanciest" wings I've had so far. The meat is pulled mostly off the bone towards the shoulder of the wing, giving it the appearance of a lollipop. As you can see, they were served meat down and bone up, not unlike the way you typically see lamb chops served. In the center of the plate was a celery and cucumber salad, which I thought was an interesting take on the common celery side. There was also chunks of bleu cheese distributed around the plate. Bonus points for presentation.

The bunched up meat made the wing super neat and extremely easy to eat (no Trongs necessary for these guys). The sauce was based off the traditional blend but had a really nice amount of sneaky heat. I'd go so far as to call it a creeper sauce. I really loved the bleu cheese. It added a great burst of flavor that was a little more concentrated than what you get from dipping in dressing. The only real problem I had was, due to the meat being all bunched up, they were a tad undercooked. I don't know if it was a one time thing or if that's the norm but all the other food is cooked perfectly so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. We're dealing with chicken here though and most people are smart enough to avoid pushing your luck with undercooked poultry. I, however, am not one of those people and I decided to forge ahead... stay the course. It's due in part to my unbridled love of food, part due to my extreme hatred for wasting food but mostly due to the vow I took to uphold the code of The Wingmen. I have a duty to carry out. An obligation to the people. So, I finished the entire plate and I'm happy to report that my stomach did just fine.

We've been here a couple times now and absolutely love the place. It's cozy, has great food, super friendly service and incredible happy hour specials 7 days a week. Plus, they finish off each meal with a little sweet surprise. I can highly recommend it... even the lollipop wings. Just order extra oysters as a backup, just incase.

[Side note: while writing this review and poking around online, looking for the address and whatnot, I found out that Zach Braff is an investor in Mermaid Oyster Bar. The Chef, Laurence Edelman, is his high school friend.]

March 11, 2011

Old Fields Restaurant

Old Fields Restaurant
81 Broadway
Greenlawn, NY 11740
(631) 754-9868

Old Fields, established in 1956, had been closed for the majority of the time that I lived near there, but reopened recently and has been an overwhelming hit.  My wife and I have been there a few times and she has gone multiple times with her mom and dad as well.  We have ordered the skirt steak, lots of burgers, Guinness stew and even the desserts, but never the wings.  Finally, on our 1 year anniversary, we went back and I suggested that we try the wings.  My wife, being, as I have said, a huge Wingmen supporter, was game.

We had some champaign at the bar as we waited for our table to be ready.  Since reopening, Friday and Saturday nights have been packed.  This was the Sunday before President's Day and it was still mobbed.  We did not expect the 20 minute wait for our table, but didn't mind since we knew how good the food we were waiting for would be.

We ordered the hot wings and my wife ordered the filet mignon skewers and I had a burger.  The wings came out on the plate with celery, carrots and a cup of bleu cheese.  The sauce was a traditional buffalo sauce; a perfect combination of hot sauce and clarified butter generously coated over crispy, well cooked wings.  They were spicy, tasty and some of the best wings my wife and I have ever had.  They ran $8.95 for the plate of about 8-10 wings (I didn't count), so they were pricey, but worth the money.  They only have the one flavor and they come in just one temperature, but who cares when they taste that good.

That is a plate of perfection

My wife's filet skewers were AMAZING.  Medium rare and cooked to perfection, juicy and served with french fries.  My burger, and I know what you are thinking, "why would he get a burger when his wife orders filet?" and the truth is, until you have tasted one of their burgers, you just won't understand, was just plain awesome.  I don't know what they do to them, but they are like biting into heaven.  I had "The Greenlawn" burger which normally has cheddar, bacon and fried onions, but I switched out the cheddar for pepper jack cheese. If I wanted to, I could have added a fried egg to the burger too, but I was not that adventurous that night.  They have a long list of things that can be added and subtracted to the burgers, so you can make it your own.  I also had a side of onion rings, which were more like onion strings and delicious.  I love their burgers.

Old Fields Restaurant is Wingmen Approved.  Beyond that, if you find yourself on the north shore of Long Island in western Suffolk County, stop by and give the menu at Old Fields serious consideration.  The owners of Old Fields have opened a lot of successful restaurants, and they have done a fine job with the rebirth of this old Greenlawn favorite.  Enjoy.

Happy 1st year baby!

March 09, 2011

Elijah Churchill's Public House

Elijah Churchill's Public House
1031 Route 25A
Fort Salonga, NY 11768
(631) 261-9678

Elijah Churchill was a sergeant in the American Revolution who was one of three soldiers to receive the "Badge of Military Merit," or Purple Heart of the American Revolution.  Sergeant Churchill, who served in Connecticut, was in charge of a few raids that had him cross the LI Sound.  He and his company stormed both Fort St. George at Mastic and Fort Slongo near Northport.  He lead both these raids, fighting along side his men.  He was the only American soldier wounded in the raid on Fort Slongo. For his bravery, honor and injury, the 26 year old sergeant was the first American in history to receive the purple heart.

Elijah Churchill's Public House in Fort Salonga honors an American Hero by telling his story on their menu and website, and uses the original "Badge of Military Merit" as their logo.  Churchill's is a cozy, friendly and homey restaurant and bar.  They have live music, develop specials around various holidays, have a catering menu and are even allowing St. Baldrick's shavees to get 10% off their meal on a specific night (see their website for details).

Living near Elijah Churchill's, I had been meaning to get in there and review their wings for a while.  Jeremy decided to join me, so we met there and quickly ordered up some hot wings.  As we waited, a basket of soft hot pretzel rods were placed on the table.  Not knowing why and wondering if they were delivered to the wrong table, we looked at each other and I said, "I'm going for it."  Jeremy was very nervous, "Don't," he said, "I always get in trouble."  I grabbed one anyway, dipped it in the mustard cup and enjoyed.  They were well cooked, hot and the mustard was very spicy.  It was a very nice starter and a refreshing change from the normal bread one usually gets.
The pretzels that didn't get us in trouble

Then the wings arrived.  They came in a metal bucket, garnished with bleu cheese and celery, and were piping hot.  Jeremy and I dug in and were quickly pleased with the flavor.  They were crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and cooked to perfection.  The hot sauce was as traditional as it gets; hot sauce butter and hints of cayenne pepper.  They had a good kick, but weren't overpowering.  The spicy flavor after the salty pretzels got us ready for our meals.  They serve mild, hot, hotter, nuclear, teriyaki and BBQ style.  They are a bit pricey, at $8.99 for 8 wings, $12.99 for 12 and 20 wings for $17.99.  Trust me, worth the buck a wing price.
What a pretty bucket of wings

Jeremy ordered a burger and I grabbed a Skirt Steak Walla-Walla Sandy.  Both were well prepared and tasted great.  Jeremy thoroughly enjoyed his burger and fries.  I ordered the steak sandwich medium rare and it was great.  The fries and onion rings also did not disappoint.  I'd suggest it to anyone who asked.  They also have a decent beer selection and a very large menu that consists of burgers, salads, and lots of comfort food options.  Meatloaf, sauerbraten,  pot roast, turkey dinner, salmon and lobster ravioli; Elijah Churchill's will have a dish for any palate.  I feel like I have to mention "The Northporter" burger.  It is a pub creation that makes my mouth water and arteries clog at the same time.  It is a 1/2 lb. burger sandwiched between two bacon and tomato grilled cheese sandwiches and topped with sauteed onions.  Oh, and it comes with french fries.  Yeah... exactly.

Jeremy's Burger
Steve's Skirt Steak Sandwich

So head on down to Elijah Churchill's PublicHouse for some wings and and whatever else you are in the mood for, it is Wingmen approved.

March 07, 2011

Wings To Go

Wings To Go
400 Newark Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(201) 459-6070

This review has been a long time coming, and I apologize for that, but I am back with a review from September.  This review started on the drive up to the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York.  Jody and I took off from Manhattan, through the Lincoln Tunnel and into Jersey.  Despite a couple of wrong turns, which is inevitable in New Jersey (I swear that the state of New Jersey turns while you drive in it.  Heading north?  Gotcha... you're going south!  Too far south and you hit the Jersey Shore, but no cheap shots about it being t-shirt time, GTL or grenade whistles... on to the review) we found Wings To Go.

The last time Jody and I ate at Wings to Go was close to a decade ago in York, PA.  We had gone down to play paintball with my brother and his friends.  Among them are Matt and Zak from the Our List Podcast.  I remember ordering buckets of wings... Honey Mustard, Hot Buffalo and Teriyaki I think. We were hooked then, but living in New York, we had no way to have them again without going back to York... or so we thought. Jody found one in Hoboken, NJ!

We started strong with a smörgåsbord of flavors that included Chesapeake Bay, Caribbean Jerk, Honey Mustard, and Parmesan Garlic.  Here's what we thought:

Chesapeake Bay:  Chesapeake Bay spice is typically used with sea food and the salty, peppery flavors really enhance crab and other seafood flavors.  At Wings To Go, we found a combination of salt, cayenne pepper, ground celery seed and sweet Hungarian paprika, mixed with clarified butter and tossed over wings.  We expected a bit more of a kick and it reminded us of a wet Cajun sauce.  All in all, the weakest of the flavors, but still worth a try, especially if you are a fan of sea food.
Chesapeake Bay

Caribbean Jerk: Caribbean Jerk is probably the most robust and ingredient filled recipe we tried that day.  Jerk flavoring is primarily pimento (or allspice)  and Scottish bonnet peppers (100,000-350,000 on the Scoville scale, just below the habanero chili) with a mixture of cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.  At Wings To Go, this sauce was missing the heat of a mixture that contains Scottish bonnet peppers.  These wings were good, despite missing that kick.  Is it the best jerk chicken you'll ever have?  No.  Are they solid wings when you want something different?  Absolutely. 
Caribbean Jerk

Honey Mustard:  These were nostalgia on a plate.  Exactly what we remembered from York, PA and lived up to our fond memories.  The biggest problem with many honey mustard sauces is that they use too much honey and too little mustard.  The honey allows the sauce to stick to the wing better, but gives the sauce a sickly sweet edge.  I don't know how they do it, but Wings To Go has the recipe down.  They weren't too sweet, did not have an overpowering mustard flavor and yet, the sauce clung to the wings perfectly.  Although the wings were coated in sauce, their only knock was that there was no extra reservoir to dip into.  Get these wings, they are awesome.
Honey Mustard

Parmesan Garlic:  If there is an overall winner of this stop, it was easily the Parmesan Garlic.  These wings were saturated with butter and oil, heavily dusted with Parmesan cheese and slapped you in the face with their flavor.  It is well known that Parmesan Garlic is Jody's favorite, and it is safe to say that these passed his flavor test.  The generous amount of ingredients in this version helped to make these easily the best flavor of the day and well worth ordering.  One warning, if you are going to share a car with someone like Jody for the next 7 hours, be warned.  His Parmesan Garlic burbs could make a dead man open the door and jump out of a moving vehicle at 65 MPH.  Unbearable. 
Garlic Parmesan

The fear with going to Wings To Go was ruining our memory of their wings from about a decade ago.  Restaurant chains can vary significantly from one location to another.  This experience was a pleasant reminder that we liked Wings To Go for a reason.  Their vast menu of flavors, crispy (maybe double fried) wings, and multiple locations makes Wings To Go a great option when on the run and looking for more than just a hot wing.  Like Atomic Wings, Hurricane Grille and Wings, and WingZone, Wings To Go is a solid place and should be located in every college town.  

Check out any of their locations because Wings To Go is Wingmen approved.