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.