Great News: Scarlett Johansson Is As Obsessed About Wings As I Am Meaning Courtship Has Begun

Appearing on The Late Show with Steven Colbert Scarlett Johansson, one of the stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, star of Lucy(sneaky good flick) and key player in my dreams, elevated her fastball more than I ever thought she could by explaining to Colbert that one of her favorite things to do when she visits a city is to sample their wings. Colbert also agreed with her and shared that he also is quite the fan of wings, but I completely tuned him out whenever he spoke. We’re talking about Scarlett Jo and even though he was fantastic in Strangers with Candy that still doesn’t hold a candle to Johansson being the Black Widow.

So it certainly seems that for half of your NEPA Wingmen, courtship has started and it’s only a matter of time until we’re the “It” couple walking down the red carpet for the premiere of The Infinity Wars, which I already would of watched a few times because Scarlett hooked her man up and let me watch it before the rest of you ordinary folks get too. Perks of Hollywood real and they’re fantastic. Perhaps you’re wondering just how would a seemingly, regular guy from NEPA who’s dimensions are a fierce 5’6, 190lbs(and rapidly gaining), balding(at a breakneck pace), barrel chested, 6 time Big Ball champion is going to get on the same level as one of the biggest smoke shows going? My answer to that is a little thing called compatibility. Let’s do a checklist. Scarlett and I love wings, we both use two hands to eat them, we both prefer blue cheese over ranch, and we both care deeply about hot wing eating safety(wink, nice). The other stuff like how we don’t know each other and have no conceivable reason to ever be anywhere near each other, that’s all moot once I use my can’t miss pickup line:

Setting- An upscale wing joint in LA. The megastar actress is staring at a dozen wings while she ponders why a girl like her with all the success she’s had can’t find a normal guy who just gets her. Then, as smooth as an Appalachian breeze, a well dressed out-of-towner approaches and bluntly says what no man has ever had the confidence to say to her

Me- I hear you like lemon pepper wings, I like lemon pepper wings too.

Scarlett- I’m Scarlett, hi.

The very impressed Johansson pushes out the accompanying chair with her foot signaling to the bold man that he should sit with her

Scene

 

Follow me at @mattserniak

 

 

 

Wing Prices Are Going Up And There’s Nothing Any Of Us Can Do About It

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock that was also lying underneath an ocean of other rocks, you can’t help but notice that wing prices have been going up at an alarming rate. It sucks, it’s awful and it sucks. But that’s just the world we live in. It’s a cruel world that doesn’t want people to feel terrific. So when the world decides to check the human race, it gets dirty and goes below the belt by jacking up wing prices. As your local Wingmen, we’ve been reporting for years how the average wing price on an average wing night is around 45-50 cents a wing and the response we always get is “back in my day, I remember getting wings for 25 cents or even 10 cents.” Well folks, those days are over and sadly they are never coming back. I wish there was some sort of legislation I can put into motion to make wing prices like they were. I wish I had the know how to build a time machine and transport everyone back to when wing prices were crazy low but I don’t have that club in the bag.

Unfortunately, I won’t be to surprised to see wing prices get even higher. More and more when we head out for wings we’re encountering wing nights where the wings are hovering around 60 cents a wing. If you told an old timer that their head would fly off their bodies at how absurd that sounds. But that’s the reality that we’re in. I really can’t put too much blame on the restaurants. The cost of wings is going up so naturally restaurants are going to charge more for wings. Supply and demand…. I think.

My advice for y’all is to go about your lives and not get bogged down by escalating wing prices. Continue to go living it up with your crew. Most importantly, keep going and consume as many wings as you can because full disclosure, one day you’re not going to be able to. Don’t let a few extra dollars get in the way of enjoying a wing night. I think if we can all get behind that type of mantra, there’s no telling what we can do.

Iron Horse Movie Bistro

Basic Information:

Location: 301 Lackawanna Ave, Scranton, PA 18503
Phone number: (570) 344-7328
Normal Wing Price: $9.49 an order (Boneless)
Wing Night: None
Wing flavors: Garlic Parmesan, Mango Habanero, Buffalo, Asian Chili, BBQ

Overall Rating: 44

Lynch’s Rating: 22 out of 50

Environment: 9
Iron Horse Movie Bistro is a different type of wing place, mainly because it’s not really a wing place. Located right next to the Steamtown Mall in Scranton, Iron Horse is a new movie theater in the area that allows you to watch a movie while eating some food or enjoying a drink in a super comfortable, reclining chair. As soon as you walk in, you walk up to the “Concierge” desk to order your tickets. It’s nice because they display available movie seats on a touchscreen and allow you to reserve your seat. I like that. Granted, this can be done online to save you a bit of time, but I wanted to try it in person. I believe there is a fee to do it online though. At that point, you can head right to the concession stand to order food if you wish. If you do plan on ordering food, try to get there 15 minutes before your movie to make sure you get everything in time because they won’t deliver the food to you. The website indicates there is a certain theater in Iron Horse to get at-your-seat delivery of food, but it will cost a bit extra. You can even order a cocktail or beer to take to your seat to enjoy during the movie. That’s pretty damn cool. Once you have your food and/or drinks, you make you way to your assigned seat to settle in for the movie. Trying to eat in the dark was a bit tricky, but don’t you worry, I managed. Finally, the seats were extremely comfortable. They are thick-cushioned, button-controlled reclining chairs with a small tray to place your food and a cup holder. After finishing my food, I reclined my chair, sat back, and enjoyed some Guardians of the Galaxy. I almost forgot I was in a movie theater because I was that relaxed. That’s the way to watch a movie.

Wing Size: 2
Throughout our long career as the Wing Men, we tend to only visit a place on their wing night. Iron Horse does not have a wing night, but we made an exception because it seemed too hard to pass up the opportunity to eat hot wings during a movie. Iron Horse is first and foremost a movie theater, so walk in there expecting movie theater prices on food. They have your typical giant sodas and tubs of popcorns for starting close to $5 or more. The wings seem reasonably prices for $9.49 an order of breaded, boneless wings. When you finally get them, you’ll be a bit let down, though. While they are big bits of chicken, you don’t get all that many. You’d probably need two orders to feel close to full, but $20 to fill up on wings is a bit steep in my opinion. If you want to save a couple dollars, head to Iron Horse on a Tuesday night to enjoy $6 movie tickets.

Wing Flavors: 3
Don’t head to Iron Horse Movie Bistro expecting a huge selection of wings. As we’re both probably going to say a hundred times, Iron Horse cares mainly about movies. Food is an afterthought. They’re not out there trying to make a name for themselves as a top tier purveyor of wings. With that said, it’s not like they only offer you one option of wings. They have your classic Buffalo flavor along with a couple of other mostly standard options. They mix it up enough to give some nice options to spice up your life. And yes, that’s a Spice Girls reference.

Wing Taste (x2): 4
There’s not going to be too much to say on wing taste for this review, unfortunately. I placed an order for one type of wing because, like I said, I didn’t feel like spending 20 bucks to feel full on wings. I ordered the Garlic Parmesan wing, which, in my opinion, is always a surefire hit for wing flavors. Ultimately, I was let down. Personally, I could have used more hot sauce mixed with the Garlic and Parm. Additionally, it tasted more like a butter garlic wing to me, which I always think is rather bland. Now, I did try some of Serniak’s Asian Chili because we are generous guys and always swap wings. I’ve got to say, these wings were very delicious – a great level of spice with a hint of sweetness. They also had a healthy amount of sauce on them. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose Asian Chili a million times.

Serniak’s Rating: 22 out of 50

Environment: 10
The talk in the square community is not just that America has come to the conclusion that the environment just simply isn’t worth our time. It’s that if there was one movie theater that had wings to go to it would have to be the newly installed Iron Horse Movie Bistro theater mainly because they are the only movie theater to serve wings. Innovation at it’s finest. And it doesn’t stop there with the rad accommodations. The whole setup at the Iron Horse, which definitely has nothing to do with Russia, probably, is really something to experience. Never to pass up a wicked nice deal, we went on Tuesday, which is $6 movie night. First thing right off the bat is that everyone there seemed to really care about their job. Everyone was dressed nice, active and legit had looks on their faces that they were proud to be at work. Typically, you generally get a pack of high school students who barely care that that they have a job who couldn’t care less what happens who want to slack off as much as humanly possible, which I’m all for and understand completely. But, I’m also for a group of folks who want to leave a solid impression on the people they come in contact with. There’s room for both types of approaches. Buying your ticket is more specific at the Iron Horse. Here, you can select which seat in the theater you want. Gone are the days of walking into the theater, turning the corner and feeling that sense of dread when you see all the people in seats that you want. Now you can mentally prepare yourself for what you’re getting into by seeing what seats are available. This also leads into the fact that you don’t actually get a movie ticket that looks like a classic ticket. You get a slip of paper that mostly resembles a receipt that you’d get from an ATM. I know that there will probably be some small sector of intense movie theater crowd who are appalled that you don’t get that classic rectangular ticket. To them I say, go stand and wait in line at the $1.50. Because we’re not noobs, we naturally chose the seats at the very back of the theater. Now, maybe because I’ve been behind on my updates on movie theater seating, but I was blown away that our seats had electronic recliners built into them, with a food tray attached. Forget flying cars, forget entire meals that come in pill form, recliners in movie theaters is peak age of enlightenment.

Wing Size: 2
Again, if you’re going to a movie theater for an excellent wing deal then you’re some kind of lunatic. No different here at the Iron Horse. They don’t have bone-in wings but they have wing bites and they’re $9.49 an order. Pretty steep I know. Also, ask for a sailboat type plate(have no idea what you actually call it, so we’ll go with sailboat)  instead of a regular paper plate. It seemed like I got more with the sailboat. The bites were pretty decent size and were nice cuts of meat. I’d love if there was a scenario where the Iron Horse would have a wing night and get more flavors but as Donnell would always say from the hit 90s Nickelodeon show My Brother And Me “don’t hold your breath.”

Wing Flavors: 4
You’re going to start seeing a theme here and that’s that I’m not surprised at all that a movie theater doesn’t make wings their number 1 priority. Makes perfect sense that they concentrate on cleanliness, hospitality and quality food/drink items. But, if you’re going to Wingmen, you need to Wingmen with a no holds barred approach. They only had 5 flavors which were buffalo mango habanero, garlic parm, bbq and Asian chili. Would I very much enjoy a plethora of unique and different flavors, of course I would. But I also know that entertainment and new school tactics are there calling card.

Wing Taste (x2): 3

At $9.49 for an order of wing bites, I only got 1 flavor and that was the Asian chili, thus why I can only give them a rating of a 3. They actually held their own out there. They could of been from any prestigious wing joint in the area and you wouldn’t know that they were from a movie theater until you looked out ahead and saw a massive movie screen in front of you. Then you’d know. Like most Asian sauces, it was thin and had a sweetness that was solid. What made this flavor pop for me was the heat portion of it. The chili definitely makes itself known after a couple of seconds.

 

PS-If anyone can actually tell me any memories they have from the show My Brother And Me message me and I’ll buy you wings, a beer, something, I don’t know. I’ll get you something.

Penalty Box Podcast Review (Revisited)

It’s been over three years since we have last been to Penalty Box! That’s crazy because it is one of our favorite places to enjoy delicious sauces. Hear all about our newest adventure to Penalty Box in our latest podcast located at the bottom of the post.

Since our last visit, they added a couple of new flavors to the menu, which we give a shout out to in the podcast. In typical Wing Men fashion, we go a little off the rails and talk about what we believe to be an undiscovered element and possibly a new way to present elements altogether. You know what they say: Nothing goes better with hot wings than noble gases.

Oh, don’t forget about the awesome event coming up in Scranton called Over the Edge Scranton: A Rappelling Adventure. If you check them out on Facebook, you can register to be provided all the tools necessary to help raise money for a great cause. If you raise enough money, you will get to rappel from the tallest building in Scranton!

Finally, if you want to check out all our past visits to Penalty Box, head over to the Penalty Box Review Page.

Penalty Box Wingcast

Benny’s Podcast Review

We went to Benny’s only a couple months ago, but we were such huge fans we decided to make another quick visit to enjoy their delicious wings. Since this is our second visit to Benny’s, we have a podcast review for you. Head to the bottom of the post to give a listen!

Benny’s takes the place of the old Duke’s in Peckville, PA. They updated the place a bit and added a ton of fantastic wing flavors to the menu that you need to try for yourself. In this podcast, we talk all about Benny’s and have a bit of an argument about what street it is on (Confirmed: It’s on Main St). Oh, we also made up a couple of new words that are bound to take the world by storm. Definitely.

If somehow you’re on this site and you don’t even like wings, give this podcast a listen because we talk about an awesome event coming up in Scranton called Over the Edge Scranton: A Rappelling Adventure. If you check them out on Facebook, you can register to be provided all the tools necessary to help raise money for a great cause. If you raise enough money, you will get to rappel from the tallest building in Scranton!

Finally, if you want to check out our past review of Benny’s, head over to the Benny’s Review Page.

Benny’s Wingcast

Rivals Tap N Kitchen

Rivals 4.12.17

Basic Information:

Location: 912 S Main St, Old Forge, PA 18518
Phone number: (570) 471-3530
Normal Wing Price: $8 an order (Boneless and Bone-in)
Wing Night: Tuesday
Wing Night Price: $6 an order of boneless
Wing flavors: Mild, Medium, Hot, Rivals Sauce, Honey Mustard, Sweet & Spicy, Rodeo, Sweet Rodeo, Buffalo Ranch, Teriyaki, Teriyaki Ginger, Wok, Old Bay, Salt & Vinegar, Sriracha, Honey Garlic, Cajun, Garlic Parmesan, Sun Devil Sauce, Ranch Parmesan, Blue Devil Sauce
*Mild, Medium, or Hot can be added to any flavor

Overall Rating: 73

Lynch’s Rating: 36 out of 50

Environment: 7
Rivals Tap N Kitchen is a new restaurant that opened in February 2017 in Old Forge. In fact, it currently resides in the now defunct Old Forge Chicken Coop location. The place itself is very nice with plenty of areas to hang out. They have a small dining section with a bunch of booths with a door off to the right that brings you to more dining seating. The door to the left takes you to the bar area, which includes a large square bar with plenty of TVS where you could hang out with a drink and watch your favorite game. Finally, there’s a cool, wide-open room dedicated to hanging out. Well, at least that was my take on it. I feel like it’d be great for an adult party room. It contained a dart board, two pool tables, and smaller table-top games on some of the tables around the room. Finally, there’s even an outdoor seating area if you want to enjoy your food while breathing in that great NEPA air. We had free reign on where to sit as there was no one else in the bar outside of the staff. I attribute this to two different things. For some reason, the hours Google are way off and showed them only open from 4:30 AM to 11:00 AM. I had to call to be sure, but others may have seen that they were closed and not even attempted to go. I hope that gets updated soon. The other reason is because the parking isn’t the greatest. There are about two spots on the side of the building to park. Everywhere else we tried to go had No parking signs. I don’t believe there was street parking in front, but I could be wrong. Regardless, we go there and ordered our food with no issues. The bartender was friendly and talked to us while we waited for out food. I will say it was pretty queit while we waited. I wished they played a couple tunes to get a little noise in there. Heck, I would have even been OK with country music. Either way, as expected with being the only customers, the food did not take long to come out. Overall, I was really happy with the place. I hope they figure out a way to get more people in there as it is a large place that I feel could make a killing if the good word spreads.

Wing Size: 7
The Wing Men hardly do a boneless wing night, as we are mainly bone-in guys, but we decided to give Rivals a try based on a recommendation from a friend. When I asked, it didn’t seem that they had a Bone-In wing night, or even had one planned. That could change in the future. For their Boneless night, Rivals offers orders of Boneless wings for $6. I’ll be honest; we are not very scientific when it comes to Wing Size rating. If we were really hardcore, we would bring a scale, weigh each wing, determine an average weight, and then compare that against the wing price. Well, we don’t do that. I judge it based on how full I feel from my full order. Using this judging criterion, I was able to pretty much finish both my orders with no issue. I certainly felt full, but not overly stuffed like I would feel if I ordered 20. They were big chunks of chicken though, and I liked that they allow you to split the order with different sauces, which is rare for boneless.

Wing Flavors: 8
I really like what Rivals is doing when it comes to wing sauce selection. They have a good mix that includes your classic flavors and more interesting flavors that they are trying to make their own. I feel like every place should market a signature sauce, which Rivals does with their Rivals Sauce. Additionally, I like when there are unique wing sauce names that jump out at you like the Sun Devil and Blue Devil sauce that Rivals offers. You’re bound to find something you like in the mix, including some unique sauces if you feel like living life on the wild side.

Wing Taste (x2): 7
I had to try the Rivals Sauce as the bartender said it is the top seller at Rivals Tap N Kitchen. The sauce had a tomato-based hot sauce taste to it with a slight sweetness. I’m usually not a fan of the tomato-based sauces, but I did enjoy these wings. I’m sure I have said this a hundred times before and I will most likely say it a hundred times more: Buffalo Ranch is a classic combination that always works. Rivals does it right with a great balance of a subtle taste of ranch with a good Buffalo sauce base. I also ordered the Garlic Parmesan with Hot sauce mixed in. The wings had plenty of minced garlic on them and a nice bite from the hot sauce, but I personally could have gone with a little more parmesan cheese. I still did enjoy the flavor of these wings, though. Finally, I had the Sun Devil Sauce. I had a hard time picking out the flavors in this one. The sauce itself was tasty with a nice orange buffalo sauce and a slight sweetness, which I am guessing came from honey. The chicken for all the wing bites was juicy and crispy with a slight breading on it that I enjoyed. I’m definitely interesting in making a return trip to try some of the other unique sauces and/or dry rubs.

Serniak’s Rating: 37 out of 50

Environment: 8
We’re dealing with a new fish, some fresh meat, the new kid on the block. And we’re done with the being new expressions. But we are dealing with a newcomer to world of Nepa wings with Old Forge’s Rivals. The place is located in the same building that housed the second location for the Chicken Coop and has only been in existence for a few months. But, even though they’ve only been in the wing racket for a short while, Rivals already has brought the game to the competition because this place knew what it was doing when it came to wings. The place has I feel 3 distinct areas to sit. You have the initial dinning area followed by the bar area, which gives way to the game room. You’ll probably find an observatory somewhere on the grounds as well if you just keep walking around. The game room is real solid. Equipped with multiple pool tables, darts and they even have those smaller, table sized versions of the games I mentioned. All parts of the place were super clean and ready to go. When we got there however, we were the only ones there. I think they just opened for the day and also since it’s so new I think most folks don’t even know about it. The parking for the place didn’t seem to be that large, unless there’s another place to park besides the the grounds from which the place is on. Perhaps, you can park on the sides of the road. We sat at the bar and our bartender was a real good guy. Talked with us the whole time, joked around with us and gave us the lowdown on all their flavors. Call it a hunch, but I feel that Rivals would be a great place to watch a game. I say this because the place is loaded with tvs. It doesn’t take a real man of genius to know Sundays with the NFL ticket will be a great atmosphere to scream wildly at a tv with strangers around because some millionaire dropped the ball.

Wing Size: 7
Because we’re big investigative journalists, we went assuming it was their bone in wing night. But, it turned out that it was their boneless night. Fortunately, we’re monsters of men and just went with the flow and got wing bites. It was $6 for an order of bites. At first I thought that was a a lot for bites but when they came out I was pleases to see they were real big pieces of meat. I mean there were some pieces that were the size of Detroit in there. They also let us split our so half could be one flavor and the other half be another flavor. Always better when that can happen. Also, because we’re all about diligence we found out when there bone-in wing night is except that we didn’t do any of that. So let us know when that is.

Wing Flavors: 8
Not saying that Rivals are big Jordan fans but they have 23 flavors to choose from. I guess if they’re real Jordan fans they’ll try and get to 45 flavors and raise the ceiling to the roof. But not only do they have 23 flavors they have several unique flavors. Flavors such as rodeo, sweet rodeo, old bay, salt and vinegar, wok, sriracha, sun devil and blue devil sauce are ones that you don’t normally see on your average wing menu. It’s good knowing that they aren’t satisfied with just putting out the regulars. I like how they incorporated their area into their sauces with the blue devil sauce and sun devil sauce. I’m assuming the sun devil sauce is in contrast to the blue devil sauce but I probably shouldn’t assume that because one of the guys who work there might be a real big Jake Plummer fan. Really hope they’re determined to put out even more because they have the creativity to pull off some real wild ones.

Wing Taste (x2): 7

First up, we have the sweet rodeo. I ordered this because I’m a sucker for rodeo burgers from the BK. One of the greatest inventions of modern man was deciding to put onion rings on burgers. Fact. This wing was like I thought it would be. Had a real nice, thorough sweet bbq sauce. But it wasn’t to sweet and wasn’t to BBQy if that makes sense. meaning , it wasn’t ultra thick with BBQ sauce. I find too much BBQ to be a detriment. This sauce found of a nice balance of sweet and zest. Just had a thought, I’d love if they coated this sauce with onion straws. I’d be all over that. Next, were the sriracha. I thought these would have something else going on with them besides just straight sriracha. Nope, it was pure sriracha and I’m a major sriracha guy. I think it’s the condiment of the new world. They were tasty but it brought fierce heat. You’ve been warned. Moving on to the Cajun. This wasn’t a dry rub but it came off as a dry rub to me. They were really moist, which was good, but I could’ve used more seasoning to them. The flavor was there but I’m greedy and I wanted more. Lastly, I got the sun devil sauce, which is their mild mixed with blue cheese. They made the choice of using real pieces of blue cheese instead of blue cheese from a bottle. I’m always in favor of using the purest form of any ingredient and their decision to go that route with this flavor was a great one. The mild sauce and blue cheese is a can’t miss combination that delivered on every bite.

John’s Italian Restaurant

John's Italian Restaurant 3.28.17

Basic Information:

Location: 570 PA-590 Hamlin, PA 18427
Phone number: (570) 689-2659
Normal Wing Price: 10 for $8.95
Wing Night: Tuesday
Wing Night Price: $0.40 to $0.50 cents a wing, depending on wing sauce
Wing flavors: Mild, Medium, Hot, Mild Garlic, Medium Garlic, Hot Garlic, Garlic Parmesan, BBQ, Roasted Garlic Parmesan, Mango Habanero, Spicy Asian

Overall Rating: 71

Lynch’s Rating: 35 out of 50

Environment: 8
The Wing Men had a real classic mix-up on our visit to John’s Italian Restaurant. Usually, we’ll meet up first in order to drive together to a new wing place because we believe solidarity is key when it comes to wing reviews. For this trip, due to prior engagements, we had to take separate cars. Well, we ended up at two different restaurants named John’s Italian Restaurant in pretty close vicinity. After we both arrived at the correct John’s Italian Restaurant in Hamlin, we got to reviewing. The place is first and foremost a classic Italian Restaurant, which is not only apparent by the name but also obvious after looking at the large number of traditional Italian meals offered on their menu. There’s a very small bar area and an extremely large dining area for traditional family dining. John’s also has a small section up front to pay your bill and pick up and take-out you may have ordered. There were only a small number of people in the restaurant on our visit, but I did see a good amount of people arrive for take-out. Our waitress was very nice and our food arrived in a timely manner. There were no issues there. On top of that, we received some moist towelettes after our meal was complete, so that’s obviously a plus in our books.

Wing Size: 9
John’s Italian Restaurant has an interesting pricing strategy for their wings. The first set of wings cost 40 cents on wing night. This includes classic flavors such Mild, Hot, and Hot Garlic. The next tier, priced at 45 cents each, consisted of BBQ, Roasted Garlic Parmesan, and Mango Habanero. Finally, in a class of its own, the Spicy Asian wings were priced at 50 cents each. Regardless of your thoughts on this pricing strategy, which I’m sure Serniak will have some thoughts in his review, the wings were very large, even at the highest price. Honestly, 50 cents a wing is becoming the norm on wing night, and these Spicy Asian wings were massive at that price. They do require minimum orders of 10 on their wing night, and will not split orders with two different sauces.

Wing Flavors: 4
While John’s Italian Restaurant offers some unique sauces that could be harder to find at some other places, the overall wing menu is a bit lacking. In total, John’s lists 11 different sauces, but in reality, the majority of the sauces are just variations on the same sauce. I think they can really benefit by potentially adding Ranch, Caesar, or even some sort of Italian seasoning into the sauces generation. I understand that john’s Italian restaurant may not be known specifically for their wings, but I would love to see what they can do with other sauces, especially after trying some of the flavors that are outside of the norm.

Wing Taste (x2): 7
Since John’s only allows orders of ten, we split a couple orders to ensure we got the most band for our buck. The Hot was your standard, run-of-the-mill buffalo sauce. It succeeded in being a good representation of a classic Hot, but didn’t shine in any way. The Roasted Parmesan was a very thick, almost gravy-like whitish cream sauce, so I was definitely intrigued. It did a good job representing the roasted garlic flavor, but I think it could have benefited with more parmesan cheese, salt, or some other seasoning to really amplify the taste. Thinking back on it, I bet this sauce would be good if added to the traditional hot. The Mango Habanero was done right at John’s Italian Restaurant. The sauce was very much like a sweet and sour sauce with the right amount of habanero spice added. When I order a sauce with habanero in the wing, I want that great, spicy habanero taste, which John’s really brought to the table. Finally, the real shining star of the bunch was the Spicy Asian. These wings were fantastic. The wings were coated in a slight breading that was well seasoned and not over the top like breaded wings I have experienced in the past. The sauce was a tasty, sticky Teriyaki-like sauce with a great spice and flavor to it. Finally, the wings were sprinkled with Sesame seeds adding to the whole aesthetic appeal of these wings. These wings were awesome. I find it interesting that the best wings I had at John’s Italian Restaurant were those unique ones like Mango Habanero and Spicy Asian. I think that just goes to show that thinking outside the box and trying new things can result in some positive outcomes. That’s why I hope John’s Italian Restaurant continues trying new sauces and expands their wing menu.

Serniak’s Rating: 36 out of 50

Environment: 7
My experience at John’s Italian Restaurant in Hamlin starts at a very different location, at a place located around 10 miles away. At a place called John’s Italian Restaurant, in Greentown. Yep, that’s right. There are two John’s Italian Restaurants named John’s Italian Restaurant within 10ish miles apart in NEPA. As you could imagine, I was not at all thrilled with the idea that when I typed John’s Italian Restaurant into Google, that I was sent to a Johns Italian Restaurant that wasn’t the correct John’s Italian Restaurant. I felt duped and thought that once again the Universe decided to stop my momentum. But do you think I let a little anomaly like two restaurants being named the same exact name stop me from continuing my quest to eat wings? Gimme a Hello No! We did what we always do, we fought back and made the trek across the county/counties/continents and made it to Hamlin. As I approached the John’s Italian Restaurant in Hamlin, I immediately noticed how big it was. It was a real deal, fully sized for any situation restuarant. It had a bar area and huge dining area, so all ages and creeds can get involved. We were seated in the dining area. It was extremely clean and had the feeling of a place you bring your family on a friday night after a game. Probably a lot of pizza parties happen here. Also, gotta say it’s a bit of ballsy move for a place to specialize in Italian food be a place that touts their wings. This place has entered wing competitions and have won awards for their wings. So hats off to them for being versatile. I should’ve requested to sit at the bar area because at that time, there was only one other group of people in there and I’m starting to think that I’m more of a sit at the bar guy when it’s just me and one other person. Sitting at the bar opens the door for more interesting things to happen and be said and I’m a guy who likes to laugh at funny things strangers say. Our server, who I’m told is a hell of a frisbee thrower, was nice and diligent with us. She even gave us what might of been the royal treatment by giving us moist towelettes. I say it was a royal treatment but chances are everyone gets offered those. Either way, it made me feel good thinking that I was getting something that not everyone gets. Rule #36; appreciate the little things.

Wing Size: 7
I wrestled with this decision for this rating because the prices for wings on their wing night is a bit different than most. You can get mild,medium,hot,mild garlic,medium garlic,hot garlic for 40 cents. You can get garlic parm,bbq,roasted garlic parm,mango habanero for 45 cents and spicy asian for 50 cents. That’s pretty jumbled to me. Also, you have to order them in quantities of 10, not 5. I always prefer to get orders of 5 because that means I can get more flavors. I mean it’s not hard to read on a menu but I just want flavors to be all the same price. Essentially, I want life to be as easy as possible. Now like I’ve said in the past, I’ve never operated my own restaurant so I really have no idea what it takes to create mass amounts of sauces. But, I have been to many places for wings and the absolute majority don’t set up their sauces like this. I’m also a firm believer if ain’t broke don’t fix it. So if this has been working and generating more of that green, keep on keepin on. Now, the reason why I didn’t give them a 6 for this setup is because the wings are huge. Like Steel Force big. And getting all these wings for under 50 cents is a really good deal. I powered through my standard 20 NBD unlike some other Wingmen who only finished 13(not that I’m counting or mentioning any names) but trust me, if you get your typical order whatever that is, you’ll be full.

Wing Flavors: 6
John’s Italian Restaurant does a solid job of dishing out the essential wing flavors that you need to see on any wing list. They have your mild, medium and hot. They have garlic parm, bbq, mango habanero and even one called roasted garlic parm. They even have their award winning sauce, which is a spicy asian. There are 11 total flavors. But to me, these are mostly standard flavors that the majority of places have. And honestly, I know I’m giving them a rating of a 6, but I’m pretty sure this place’s specialty is Italian food. I would have been shocked if they were stocked with a huge variety of flavors. It be like going to a steakhouse and finding out that they have 45 different kinds of shrimp. Maybe John’s goes and creates more flavors? That be great. But I think they’re in a comfortable spot with the amount of flavors they have. Maybe add some ranch and sriracha into some flavors. Those are can’t miss.

Wing Taste (x2): 8

The wings were all cooked very well. A very nice crispness was what John’s brought with every wing. First off, we got the hot. Nothing out of the ordinary here, just a very tasty wing that was much more than just putting Frank’s Red Hot on wings. Though we weren’t in the valley, they had a buttery valley like flavor to them. I could’ve used more spice but flavor the sauce is what stuck out. Next were the mango habanero. I’d say there was more sweetness from the mango than heat from the habanero but it was still balanced pretty damn well. It started with an initial sweetness but then was backed up quickly with the heat. Wonderful stuff. It’s nice to see mango habanero becoming more of a staple in today’s society. Who said we weren’t progressing as a people? Then comes the roasted garlic parm. Such a lovely display these were. Had a real cream colored creamy garlic sauce. It wasn’t what I expected. It was a real thick sauce pure garlic sauce. Not just garlic and parm sprinkled on them. It was a legit sauce and man was there a ton of it. These guys don’t skimp on sauce. Fact. If you’re a garlic freak, like myself, then you need to order this. Lastly, we got the reason why we were brought here and that was the award winning spicy asian. Now, these wings were even larger than the other and I think I know why. I also think I know why this particular flavor won an award. I feel like Tom Hanks cracking the Da Vinci Code with this revelation. Not saying that there’s devine intervention in this flavor but I’m also not not saying that either. These wings have a breading coating them and it’s excellent. It’s excellent because they’re cooked so well. So crispy. The sauce is also on point. It emcompasses everythnig that a spicy asian sauce should have. It’s got the sweetness from a sesame sauce but the bite from all the spices you’d expect from a General Tso sauce. It also walked a real tightrope between a thick and thin sauce that it might of invented a whole new state of matter.

 

PS- There has to be a story why there are 2 John’s Italian Restaurants. There just has to be. I can’t live in a world where this just happened by accident. I’ll eat my arms if this is just a coincidence. Maybe it takes a guy like me who thinks he might be Tom Hanks from the Da Vinci Code to crack this mystery. Or, maybe it just takes someone who actually knows the backstory to explain this to me. Either way is fine.