Catch this article in last week’s Bucks County Herald about the best wings in Bucks County. Talk about professional jealousy! I admit it!! Granted, wings are, how shall I put it…a specialty all in themselves. Just read their descriptions of what makes a great wing. These guys are pros. My jealousy is mixed with awe.
I can’t vouch for all these places, but I’m certainly filing the piece for future reference. I’ll give you some excerpts from the ViperClub’s annual review of the hot wings to be found in their “beloved Upper Bucks County,” along with the list of the “top ten.”
(Note: I like to excerpt pieces from the Herald not only to support local journalism, but also because the Herald only archives two weeks of their issues online. The content will “disappear” from the Web soon, so this way we “save” it.)
Jack Scott and Brent Gobrecht, the two founding members of the ViperClub, take the responsibility upon themselves to inconspicuously frequent local establishments and rate them on the quality of their hot wings. Their rating criteria consist of a point system that critiques everything from the quality of the chicken, how it’s prepared and presented, the amount of “heat,” the flavor of the sauce – to even the value and price of the plate of wings.
“The sauce should have some heat,” says Brent. “Your lips should feel the spice for a few minutes after you’ve finished. They should wake you up a bit not just with the heat, but flavor too… The wing itself should be moist on the inside with a gentle crispiness to the outside.”
With so many establishments, it is a wonder how these two can try them all. “Well, we don’t go to places that don’t have a bar,” explains Jack. “There are really good local pizza places that make amazing wings, but there are simply too many. It would be impossible to hit every one. We needed to draw a line somewhere so having a bar is mandatory. In fact, we had to limit our geography from all of Bucks County to Upper Bucks, which is where we think the best wings can be found.”
“It was really hard this year” adds Jack. “Our points were all over the place and Brent and I didn’t agree at places where we usually do. We both agreed that places like McCoole’s in Quakertown (who are consistently in the top 10) should be up in the ‘Big Four,’ but I thought they could be the best of ’09 and Brent likes the new places, like The OBR.”
There is no doubt the economy has had an impact on everyone and price has become more of an issue this year as well. “You see?” Brent points out “The Heart of the Oak Pub has amazing wings, but who wants to pay $7 or $8 or even $9 for five or six wings? Wings are a blue collar food. You can fancy them up all you want, but I don’t think people want to spend that much.”
All of these places make some extraordinary wings and all of them are neat places to visit. Check them out and talk to the owners. They all have a story. Get out there and experience Upper Bucks County. Who knows? You might run into Jack and Brent.”
ViperClub’s Hot Wings Winners
- Big Daddy’s Wagon Wheel Tavern (Quakertown)
- McCoole’s Red Lion Inn (Quakertown)
- Old Bethlehem Road Pub (Haycock)
- Pineville Tavern (Pineville)
- Heart of the Oak Pub (Buckingham)
- Hart’s Tavern (Lahaska)
- Fran’s Pub (New Hope)
- The Farmhouse Tavern (Doylestown)
- Gardenville Hotel (Gardenville)
- Isaac Newton’s Pub (Newtown)
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