2011 – Best wings in (Upper) Bucks County

by guest bloggers Jack Scott and Brent Gobrecht,

This year brings upon a unique situation to me, Brent Gobrecht, and the rest of the ViperClub. The best wings I have eaten in Bucks County this year are not going to be awarded the number one spot. These wings didn’t need to be ordered in a special way. They weren’t masked with confusing, exotic flavors. They were just brilliantly prepared Buffalo style hot wings. There, as I eagerly dove into my second wing at the Wycombe Pub and Grill, it took nearly all of my military training to contain some semblance of professional composure and not scream out in poultry-induced ecstasy, fist pump to the angels spinning a wild stave in my head, force my way into the kitchen, and kiss the chef. I’ve learned that this type of reaction draws the attention of local law enforcement. Then, like a little boy presented with the only thing sought for Christmas being ripped from my hands by the likes of jolly old St. Nicolas himself cruelly, laughing all the way, I learned the devastating reality that in just five short days, the Wycombe Pub and Grill would be closing their doors indefinitely. I made the decision that night. Even though these were the best wings I’ve eaten in 2011, I would not be putting them in the number one spot given that you, the reader, would not be able to experience them for yourself (if you haven’t already).

New to our top ten list are two places just on the edge of  Bucks County, the Naceville Hotel at number three and the Jamison Publick House at number five. The Jamison Publick House is so close to the border that I don’t believe it has a Bucks County mailing address. I’ve checked the satellite image though, and the building itself is plainly in Upper Bucks County. While I was at the Naceville Hotel, I learned that the wing chef and I have met before, so to speak. Apparently, he used to work at Big Daddy’s Wagon Wheel Tavern (4th). He has brought his knowledge to Naceville with extraordinary success and got the Hotel not only on the top ten list, but into third place!

Seeking out some excellent wings in Upper Bucks County is no more convenient than getting yourself into Riegelsville. Both the Riegelsville Inn and the Riegelsville Tavern have locked up the two and eight spots respectively. Like the Wycombe Pub and Grill, the Riegelsville Inn’s wings are ordered basic, no special instructions to the chef, no confusing exotic flavors. This means that the Riegelsville Inn has a consistently delicious wing, with a near perfect crisp. Moreover, if there is only one wing aficionado in your group, it’s still safe to make your dinner reservations. Everything on the menu at the Riegelsville Inn is delicious and fairly priced. I am however, curious, as to the relationship between the Inn and the Riegelsville Tavern which sits just down the road. If there isn’t a rivalry already, I’m afraid that one is about to begin. Having two not just decent places to get wings in such close proximity, but two of the BEST places to get wings in Bucks County in such close proximity will undoubtedly develop loyal legions of devoted fans convinced that their place is the better. And that folks; spells out a recipe for a rivalry that is nothing short of Ford and Chevy, Phillies and Yankees, cats and dogs, Gibson and Fender, Pats and Geno’s, all rolled into one.

After all is said and done, this year, the ViperClub chooses (for the second year in a row!) the Old Bethlehem Road Hotel (The OBR) as the best place for wings in Upper Bucks County. Off the beaten path near Lake Nockamixon and nestled in those backwoods sits this charming little pub. Whether it is your first time there or as one of the regulars propping up the bar, Pascale (the owner) and the rest of the staff are quick to take you in and treat you as a long lost friend …with lots of catching up to do. The bottom line is the OBR continues to deliver consistently delicious wings. The sauce is the chef’s own unique blend of spices over choice wings cooked to a crispy perfection. Still (relatively) new to the area the OBR is consistently over shadowing places like Big Daddy’s Wagon Wheel Tavern. Again, two excellent places to get wings in close proximity will certainly spell out a recipe for another rivalry, one which I will be eager to judge again, next year.

 The Top Ten Wings in Upper Bucks County

  1. Old Bethlehem Road Hotel (OBR), Quakertown
  2. Riegelsville Inn, Riegelsville
  3. Naceville Hotel, Sellersville
  4. Big Daddy’s Wagon Wheel Tavern, Quakertown
  5. Jamison Publick House, Geryville
  6. Mesquito Grille, Doylestown
  7. McCooles at the Red Lion Inn, Quakertown
  8. Riegelsville Tavern, Riegelsville
  9. Beckers, Quakertown
  10. White Horse Hotel, Sellersville
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8 COMMENTS

  1. I was so happy to read your Top 10 places for great wings in Upper Bucks County. Like some people like to do wine tours, I would like to do a wing tour. Do you have a Top 10 list for Central Bucks County?

  2. No, unfortunately I don’t, Kelly, other than the Mesquito Grill mentioned by Jack Scott in the article. I’m afraid this isn’t a specialty of mine – wings, that is. Which is why I publish Jack’s article every year. I don’t think my waistline could handle the research! As Jack said in the article, the best WERE at the Wycombe Pub and Grill which was just around the corner from our house. Alas, they’ve closed. If you come across any good wings, let me know. Maybe I can convince Jack to do one focusing on Central Bucks.

  3. Hello Kelly!

    I’m always scanning the Internet for wing places (and information, opinions, etc.) in our area. I must say, I’m amazed to see my article published so soon! To answer your question; when I started rating wings I focused on all of Bucks County. However, I didn’t feel like I was being fair to readers or restaurants that had just begun to take my opinion seriously. The reason being is, there are so many places that make great wings it wasn’t fair (in my mind) to judge them, knowing that I didn’t visit every single one. I decided that the better places tended to be in Upper Bucks, so I focused my search there. Now, what everyone asks me every year is where is the cutoff? Where is that line separating Upper and Lower Bucks? Quite frankly, there isn’t a definitive line. Everyone can look on a map and see where about the center of Bucks County is located and I do the same thing. If someone suggests something around Doylestown or Newtown or even Langhorne, I’ll visit …but Feasterville, Trevose, Croydon …a little too far south.

    I mentioned to Lynne in the past how I would like to get an Upper vs Lower Bucks County Wing-off rivalry going or something …write an article comparing the two …I may still try something like that. If you have a few suggestions of places for me to go, I’ll be happy to give them a try.

    …as for MY waistline, (something else I’m asked about quite often) I’m actually kind of a health nut! I run 5 to 10 miles every day. I’m ex-military and have never lost the need for a training regiment …so lots of push-ups and sit-ups too. Wings are one of my only vices and I can burn a plate off pretty quick!

    Thanks for reading! Have a great holiday!

    JCS

  4. i think j.t. bankers in sellersville should be on the list. their sweet revenge flavor is the best. and i do consider myself a bit of an expert, bc i craved nothing but wings the entire last month of my pregnancy and we tried almost all of the places on your list. none of them beat J.T. Bankers

  5. I have tried wings at several of the places mentioned on your list. You should try the wings at Apple Jacks in Point Pleasant. I think you’ll find they are better than any on your list. The service can be a little slow, but I have had slower service at some of the others. thanks, ellen

  6. Thanks Michelle and Ellen! I personally visited both Bankers and Apple Jacks this year. Unfortunately, they didn’t make our top 10 for 2011, but I’m glad to hear you liked them. I am definitely looking forward to going back to both places in 2012 …you simply can’t walk out of Apple Jacks without a story.

  7. Thanks for the effort that went into producing this list. I have tried most, but yet I am new to some. I must criticize the following:

    #10 The Horse- nothing to write home about at all, very similar to what you would get from a pizza joint. Meaty but under cooked with slimy skin and too much red hot sauce. Easy to make better at home.

    #9 Beckers- Large and overly BBQ, a matter of taste, but not on my favorites list

    I’m going to skip ahead a bit here and cut to the chase….the Wagon Wheel has great wings. So does Apple Jack’s, like a poster has stated. Stick with the old and wise places and you can’t go wrong. A few of the newer establishments have done very well, I would focus on the top 5 (no duh though). Happy wingin!!

  8. Thanks Kevin! All of the top 10 listed have great wings. The best wings in Upper Bucks don’t stop there either. Places that didn’t make the top 10 have great wings too! The Farmhouse, The Heart of the Oak Pub, Fran’s, The Pineville Tavern, Dublin Inn …all have been on my top 10 list and all (I’m sure ) will be back.

    The “old and wise” places have an opportunity to compete with new chefs with new ideas. Some step it up and answer back, making the points closer and making it harder for me to judge each year. McCoole’s at the Red Lion Inn is a perfect example of a place that went back to the drawing board and TOTALLY revamped their wing recipe to what I would consider WAY better than their original. Other places don’t seem to care.

    As for the White Horse Hotel in Sellersville, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like them. I had been there before and wasn’t thrilled with them either. However, when I went to rate them in 2011, they took me by surprise. I appreciate the importance of consistency and moving forward, I will make it a point to return to any place that has the potential to be in my top 10 (for the first time) for a second score.

    Apple Jacks! Apple Jacks!! APPLE JACKS!!! Holy cow! If there were criteria for popularity on my score card, Apple Jacks will get full points (…second, Mesquito Grille!). Rest assured, I go to Apple Jacks every year and have plans to return with score card in hand (er, actually in glove compartment) in the next few months.

    Thanks again …as I said before, I am scanning the Internet for local’s favorites, hidden gems, and forgotten places. Keep the suggestions coming!

    JCS

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