Anthracite Cafe

Anthracite 8.13.15

Basic Information:

Location: 804 Scott St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705
Phone number: (570)-822-4677
Wing Price: $8.99 for 12
Wing Night: Thursday
Wing Night Price: $0.50 each
Wing flavors: Over 50 different flavors, plus weekly special sauces. Check out the Anthracite Café website at  Anthracite Flavors for all flavors.
Wing to get: Cactus

Fourth Visit – 8/13/2015

Overall Rating: 90

Lynch’s Rating: 44

Environment: 10
Anthracite Café is the type of place you go when you want a great beer selection along with some delicious wings. In our past visits, people were lined up outside the door waiting for a table. This time around, there was no such wait. This may have been a factor of our early arrival, or the fact that they recently added a new dining area called the Coal Bin. Regardless, we walked in and found a seat at the bar instantly. It’s crazy how fast we sat down, placed our order, and got our wings. It all occurred within a span of about 10 minutes! Our bartender was always on top of our food and beverage needs. too He was one of the friendliest and coolest bartenders out there. We’ve never had a bad experience at Anthracite Café, and this visit just solidified that tradition.

Wing Size: 8
Anthracite Café offers some pretty meaty wings at fifty cents. They do require minimum orders of six wings, but then you can order any amount over that, such as an order of eight or nine wings. Trying to stick with my usual routine of 4 different flavors, I ended up with a total of 24 wings. Let me just say now that I came nowhere near that goal. The point is, if you’re usually a person who takes down 20 wings, order the 18 and you’ll be just fine.

Wing Flavors: 10
The amount of wing options at Anthracite Café is almost paralyzing. They offer around 50 different varieties! In addition to the normal selection, they even offer featured wings on their wing night. For our visit, the features were Creamy Bacon Horseradish and Slap Your Mama, which was described to us as a smoked, bleu cheese hot wing. Anthracite Café does give some crazy names to their wings, such as Cowboy or Cactus. I do wish they provided a description of the wing on the menu, but if you ask your bartender or server, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Wing Taste (x2): 8
I decided to get a little adventurous during our visit and ordered some out-of-the-box flavors. The Cactus was a southwest style sauce that reminded me very much of a cooler ranch Dorito. It wasn’t too spicy and provided a wallop of great flavor. The Porketta were a dry rub wing covered in your traditional Porketta seasoning. While I loved the idea of these wings, I wish they could have had a more of the seasoning coating the wing. It seemed to be lacking some of that flavor that I look for in Porketta. The Slap Your Mama sauce was much spicier than I expected. It did provide a small amount of smokiness with a hint of Bleu Cheese flavor, but the biggest hitter in the sauce was the spiciness. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the wing. In fact, this may have been my favorite wing in the bunch. Finally, I had the Smoking Gun. The bartender described it as a bacon-infused hot sauce. This wing had a very slight tinge of smokiness along with the hot sauce flavor. I got a bit of BBQ sauce taste from it, too. It is a very unique wing with a complex flavor. It seemed as though all the wings had sauce drizzled over top instead of being tossed in the sauce. If you’re like myself and prefer your wings smothered in sauce, look to the bottom of your basket because you may luck out with extra sauce there.

Serniak’s Rating: 46

Environment: 9
The Anthracite Café is the kind of place that caters to everyone. You could bring your whole family for dinner, you could go there with a buddy to watch a game, you could go there by yourself if everyone exiled you because either way you’re going to have a great time. The atmosphere is that good. Not an ounce of negative vibes to be had. We sat at the bar and our server/bartender was super nice, funny and informative. He checked up on us several times and gave us the lowdown on their wing flavors. This guy cared and it showed.

Wing Size: 9
Large and in charge is my take away with size of the wings. They are some of the biggest we’ve ever encountered. Big meaty, triumphant wings are what you get here and for 50 cents, they’re well worth their weight in gold teeth. Strictly gold teeth.

Wing Flavors: 10
They have so many flavors that I simply can’t name them all. There’s somewhere between 30-40 different flavors to choose from. They have your traditional styles of course but then their creativity gets put on display with flavors such as fu manchu, karate kid and cactus. They also have a few dry rubs to select from and even a new feature, where they have some special flavors that they rotate weekly that aren’t on the menu. I will note, with some of the unique names on the menu, don’t be shy about asking what they are. Trust me; they’ll have no problem letting you in to their wild minds.

Wing Taste (x2): 9
Fu Manchu, which is their blend of ranch and soy sauce really was great. The saltiness of the soy sauce mixed with the cooling effect of the ranch is different from most sauces. Old bay butter garlic is a style that the Anthracite knocks out of the park. And the reason why is that they use big chunks of real garlic. They’re sufficiently buttered and the old bay seasoning is a solid choice to add to this classic flavor. Next, I got the bacon ranch dry rub and it was good combination of flavors but like a lot of dry rubs I get, I needed just a bit more seasoning. Finally, I went off menu and ordered from their special flavors that they rotate weekly and went with creamy bacon horseradish. I’ve only seen this flavor one other time and the Anthracite represents it very well. The creaminess and sinus clearing sting of the horseradish is great on its own. But then adding the bacon to it and well, it’s just the tops.

Third Visit

8.14.14 – The Anthracite Cafe Review Podcast

Second Visit

Overall Rating: 89

Lynch’s Rating:

Environment: 9
Wing Flavors: 10
Wing Size: 8
Wing Taste: 9
I’m not quite sure why I rated this so low the first time around. The wings I got this time were fantastic. The Fumanchu were tasty as always. The Cactus are very similar to the Fumanchu with the coloring and taste of the sauce. They were both like a Hot Ranch flavor and creamy, red sauce. I do think the Cactus are better than the Fumanchu with more seasoning and a stronger taste. They were very reminiscent of a Dorito taste. They were awesome.  The Hot Wasasbi was interesting because I was expecting a creamy sauce, but it came out as a traditional Hot sauce with what seemed to be a Wasabi seasoning to them. They are super spicy, so just be prepared. It was a good spice though. The Sweet Thai Chili was fantastic as always.

Individual Score: 45

Serniak’s Rating:

Environment: 9
 
Wing Flavors: 10
Wing Size: 9
Wing Taste: 8
Returning to the Anthracite Café was a great choice by Lynch, so many flavors to choose from. This time I ordered Cajun bleu cheese, smoking gun, mango jalapeno and old bay butter and garlic. The Cajun bleu cheese was a tremendous of spice and zest with the refreshing and cooling taste of the bleu cheese. The balance was powerful one. The smoking gun flavor was not the mid 90’s tag team consisting of Billy and Bart Gunn. Instead it was a sauce that consisted of their hot sauce mixed with some kind of sweet sauce. Again, it was real good balance of flavors. Now the mango jalapeno was a bit lacking. The mango flavor was fully represented but the idea of cutting up actual pieces of jalapeno, which I think is a great idea, was not used enough. There simply weren’t enough jalapenos on the wings. If there were, it would have been much better. Finally, the old bay butter and garlic wings were the best I had this evening. Normally, you can get butter and garlic wings and sometimes you can get old bay as a dry rub but you won’t find many places at all that combine both styles. The best part about this flavor is the amount they give of each. Unlike the mango jalapeno where there weren’t many jalapenos, this wing had plenty of both old bay seasoning and very large chunks of real hand cut garlic. This combination works because the butter holds everything together. I wish more places did that.
Individual Score: 44

First Visit

Overall Rating: 79

Lynch’s Rating:

Environment: 9
I have never heard of Anthracite before a couple weeks ago, but I’m happy I went here. It’s a large building that looks like it was made out of an old fire hall. The bar is to the left as soon as you enter. Straight ahead of the entrance is the cavernous dining room. I’m not sure how it is any other night, but the place was packed for their wing night. The group of two in front of us was told it would be 30 minutes, which had me worried a bit. When I told the hostess there were five of us, I was surprised when she said it would only be two minutes. In fact, my one friend was going to the restaurant between shifts so he called ahead to place an order. When he arrived, they had his wings ready for him and a seat at the bar with his name on it. That’s just awesome service.  The place just had an awesome atmosphere overall. They also have a great craft beer selection if you’re into that kind of thing. The server was nice and was able to get all our wings to us in a fairly timely manner. It did take a bit long to get out check when we were done, but, overall, it was a great experience. Also, you can only place orders of six.
Wing Flavors: 10
This is one of the best selections of wing flavors you will find anywhere. The amount of options is ridiculous. The amount of flavors I have never heard of or tried before was outrageous. I have been to a lot of different wing places, but they had some choices you won’t ever see anywhere else.
Wing Size: 8
The wings were a bit pricey at $0.45, but they were very large. There were so many flavors to choose from that I had to place four orders to get as many flavors as possible. I was nowhere near close to eating all 24. I don’t think I could have even eaten three orders worth.
Wing Taste: 6
I don’t even know where to start with the amount of wings I tried. I wanted to go as a large group so we can try as many flavors as possible. I ordered Mango Jalapeno, Cajun Ranch, Ginger Teriyaki, and Sweet Thai Chili. Mango Jalapeno had a nice sweet flavor from the mango, but not much spice from the jalapeno. I wish they mixed the mango with habanero to give it more of a kick. The Cajun Ranch came out much different than I expected. I was expecting a wet ranch sauce mixed with Cajun seasoning. This was a dry Cajun rub with ranch dressing powdered sprinkled over it. It was interesting and reminded me of a cooler ranch Dorito. It had a pretty decent taste. I was really let down by the Ginger Teriyaki. Teriyaki is by far one of my favorite wing flavors. I also like the taste of ginger. This had zero teriyaki taste. It could easily be considered just a ginger wing, and not even a good ginger wing at that. My favorite of the wings I had was the Sweet Thai Chili. These were awesome – A perfect mixture of sweet and spicy. I highly suggest getting these wings. I also tried the Garlic Parm. I never really had a bad Garlic Parm in my life. These fit the mold pretty good. Fu-manchu were amazing. These wings were similar to a chipotle ranch taste, with a great spice to it.  I have never seen anything like the southwestern chili. These were wings with chili sauce right on them. The chili was delicious. I wish they found a way to make it more of a sauce, though. The regular hot were slightly above average. A good spicy taste with a hint of butter.

Individual Score: 39

Serniak’s Rating:

Environment: 9
As soon as we entered the Anthracite, I was instantly in a good mood because the vibe that I felt from the atmosphere was one of a welcoming and fun. You walk in to the Anthracite and immediately you are in the bar area. There are tvs to watch whatever games you want and people were yelling and laughing having a good time. We ate in the dinning area and when we walked into there the atmosphere did not change much from the bar area. That was cool. It just felt like a good time anywhere in the place. Our waiter was kind and attentive to us. We had extra people in our group so there were a lot of different wings he had to get and he got them all.
Wing Flavors: 10
An absolute plethora of flavors. Typical flavors like hot garlic, cajun, bbq but then some that we had to ask about like fu man chu, karate kid and cactus. All in all, there were around 45 different flavors. There is something for anyone. Great selection.
Wing Size: 9
I feel that the wings at the Anthracite were the biggest that I have EVER had. They were ginormous. Huge pieces of meat. One thing to note however, they come in orders of 6, not 5. I thought that was interesting. At 45 cents a wing that wasn’t too bad considering that the size of them was incredible. I swear to you, you will not leave hungry.
Wing Taste: 6
Here’s where the Anthracite came back to Earth. Though they were huge and I had so many different choices, where it really matters the taste was just alright. Not bad but also not great, which was what I thought would occur. I got hot, karate kid, cajun bbq and southwest chili. The hot were actually pretty good, real good spice with those. Cajun bbq was not as spicy as I wanted them to be. The bbq portion of the cajun I think diluted them to much. The karate kid, which were their sweet thai flavor mixed with other flavors, which I don’t know which ones, were pretty good. They had a nice sweet taste mixed zesty spice. The best I had were southwest chili. These wings were quite interesting because they had a southwest taste to them but then they had actual chili on them. Like real pieces of beef. A real cool idea and an even better taste.
Individual Score: 40
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4 thoughts on “Anthracite Cafe

  1. Pingback: Wing Facts | The Wing Men

  2. Pingback: Anthracite (Second Visit) | The Wing Men

  3. Pingback: Anthracite Cafe Podcast | The Wing Men

  4. Pingback: Anthracite Cafe – Fourth Visit | The Wing Men

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