Nominations for Tour de Electric Wings
Where’s the winter tour? Well, I’ve been waiting for winter to roll around. And now, after a bunch of bluster, it finally looks like winter has arrived. So let’s get cracking. There’s not much winter left in this winter, but I’m not complaining.
For anyone who is new around these parts, about once a quarter I lead a group of intrepid eaters into the wilderness to eat five versions of the same thing. Our goal is to separate hype from substance, and to discover which local foods are worthy of celebration.
These tours started with apple cider donuts in the fall of 2010. In winter we typically do something savory. We’ve tackled the mini hot dog, egg and cheese sandwich, mozzarella and melba, disco fries, and tavern pies. Then in the spring is another sweet tour, usually centered around ice cream. However, we’ve dipped into gelato and frozen yogurt in the past. Summer is another savory tour, and then then it’s back to apple cider donuts.
If you scroll down the page at the #518 Recos tab, you can see our findings from each past tour.
Anyway, before we even announce a tour officially, there is always a call for nominations. Even though I moved here eight years ago, I know that I am still an outlander, and I’m not so self-righteous to believe that there may not be amazing places in the region that have managed to elude me.
Our next outing is all about wings. And we’ll be heading into The Electric City to try them. Of course, there are far too many places that make wings to try them all, so narrowing it down to five is going to be a challenge.
This is where I could use your help.
A few things to keep in mind. We’re looking for Buffalo-style wings in and around Schenectady. As delicious as the hot smoked wings at The Memphis King may be, they’re not going on this tour. Maybe one day we’ll do a smoked wing showdown and put TMK against The Towne Tavern, but let’s put that aside for the time being.
As far as I can tell, 20 North Broadway Tavern is the place to beat. But sometimes hype is just hot air. Regardless, I consider this establishment a must.
While I’ve been to the Bier Abbey a few times, and really love their beer selection, I’ve yet to try their wings. This would be a great trial by fire to see how they stand up to the local standard bearers.
You may laugh, but I think Bomber’s deserves a shot at this. Matt prides himself on the Bomber’s wings. I’ve had them before at the Albany location, and the strength of the wings was great enough to redeem the restaurant’s existence, even though I strongly believe “Burritos” should be dropped from its name entirely.
Benevento Pizza Cafe is something I imagine is off most people’s radar. The advantage of being deeply involved with Yelp is that I know Frank Z. I’ve met Frank Z. I’ve had a beer with Frank Z. And if he tells me their wings are very good, I’m inclined to believe him. So I’d like to give ’em a go.
The Mohawk Taproom is also tempting. It’s another beer place that prides itself on a quality selection. Good beer often goes hand in hand with good wings. Technically, this place is in Scotia, but I won’t tell if you don’t.
That’s five right there.
What it eliminates are some of the smaller pizza shops. But it also misses Nico’s newer addition of a tavern to its downtown pizza joint. The Backstage Pub & Grill by Proctors is also omitted from the above list, but that doesn’t feel like a big loss. Clinton’s Ditch could have some promise, however — perhaps more so than Centre Street Pub or Katie O’Brien’s. Stoney’s Irish Grill could be a diamond in the rough.
Hunter’s on Jay is one of the newer players in town, and they have something to prove. That could make them hungry to make some better wings than one might expect. Jody W. had good things to say about the food, and that’s enough to pique my interest.
So once again, we’ve got far too many places. I want to eat all the wings, but I cannot eat all the wings. Even eating wings at five of these places will be a challenge. Don’t believe me? Come out. Or at least for starters, save the date of March 5. Once I get the places nailed down, we’ll put a crew together and form a plan for how to tackle this important project.
Hope you can join us. But right now, I’m looking for some thoughts on the itinerary. What say you?