February 18, 2011

Keg and Lantern

37 Greenpoint Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11222
This past Saturday, Red Star - a bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn - was hosting an event to crown the best wings in Brooklyn.  It seemed like the perfect event for The Wingmen to check out.  Not only would we finally put Brooklyn on the Wingmen map but three of the nine competitors have been recommended by readers on our Facebook page.  Unfortunately, Steve and Jeremy were busy with life and it looked like a bust.  However, at the very last minute I decided:  what the hell.  I grabbed my camera, sent Wingmen Field Taster* BJ a text and told him to meet me at the G train in LIC.

*I just made up that title, but BJ has been on a lot of wing missions with me now and is a little sensitive about not getting any credit.

BJ and I got off the train at Greenpoint Ave. and started hoofing it to Red Star.  We were stopped in our tracks when we turned the corner and saw the line to get in.  There were easily 400 people and the wait was at about 2 hours.  Yeah, I like you guys and all but I don't like you that much.  I looked at BJ and said, "shortest review ever".

This is what the line looked like.  No chance.  Sorry.

Luckily for us, our loss was our gain (or something like that).  While all of Brooklyn was waiting on line to get into Red Star, we decided to find a participating bar and taste their wings on their own turf.  I pulled up the flyer on my phone.  There was one competing bar (other than Red Star) in Greenpoint:  Keg and Lantern.  We were off.

95 Nassau Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11222

The place was cool.  It had a welcoming atmosphere and a friendly staff.  We found a couple of stools at the bar, ordered a couple of Brooklyn Lagers (what else?) and a plate of wings.  They were pretty good wings.  I'd file them under "traditional" with the hot sauce/butter combo.  They were a bit on the small side, but the flavor was great and they had a nice amount of heat.  It wasn't so hot that it was overwhelming, but the heat definitely made its presence known.  It seemed like a pretty average wing excursion, until Sous Chef Katie came out.  We had no idea what we were in for.

Katie was holding down the fort while the Chef was serving wings at the Red Star event.  She seemed indifferent when we started talking to her about the wings she made for us.  She let us know that her real specialty was her stuffed wings.  Wait... what?  Stuffed wings?  Yes please.  Katie seemed a little excited that she was able to peak our interest.  She told us that all of their stuffed wings were sent to Red Star and it would take her about a half hour to make a new batch from scratch.  We let her know we weren't going anywhere, and off she went to the kitchen.

About a beer later, Katie emerged with a small white plate with two chicken wings sitting on it.  At first I was a little confused.  Is this just a sample?  Are they that good that an order is only two wings?  She set the plate on the bar and just said "chicken cordon bleu".  Sure enough, one bite would reveal a wing stuffed with bacon and swiss cheese.  It was amazing.  Just the fact that we were eating wings stuffed with other food was great enough... but when that food is bacon... I was pretty sure we were going to have to retire the site.  I don't know how you top that.

On the menu, Keg and Lantern lists only one type of stuffed wing:  "Sin Filled Thai Wings", stuffed with Thai sausage and topped with sweet chili sauce.  But you know what they say... When the Chef is away, the Sous Chef will play.  Katie continued to treat us with her own concoctions and her special take on stuffed wings.  She brought out a few rounds, two at a time. It was like a Chef's tasting but with chicken wings.  It's definitely the classiest I've ever felt while eating pub grub, that's for sure.  Here was the lineup:

Course One:  Chicken Cordon Bleu (Bacon and Swiss)
Course Two:  Sauteed Onions and American Cheese
Course Three:  Bleu Cheese
Course Four:  Mac and Cheese with Hot Sauce
Course Five:  Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce

They were all so good.  None of them were overstuffed to the point of being overwhelming either.  There was just enough stuffing to give you a taste - a nice little burst of flavor when you bit into the wing.  I can't decide if I liked the bacon or the mac and cheese better.  One thing I do know though, these wings are very unique and unlike any I've ever eaten.  If you get a chance, definitely check them out.  I know BJ and I will definitely be back and we'll be bringing Jeremy and Steve with us.  Thanks Katie!

1 comment:

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