Left wing, chicken wing, it don’t make no difference to me.”
Every third Friday of the month in Downtown Schenectady is Passeggiata. The next is October 19 and the theme is International Night. The first theme, that I went to last month was Wing Walk. For $5 per person you can vote for your favorite chicken wing recipe from participating restaurants! The start is at Proctors Box Office which is where we received our programs and ballots which served as a ticket to each wing location. In order to vote, we had to visit at least 6 of the participating restaurants and then we turned our ballot in at our last location. It was a perfect night, tons of people came out to not only participate in the Wing Walk but also partake in some of the regular menus of restaurants downtown.
Though all of the restaurants were in walking distance, some were farther away from each other than others so we planned out where we would go in what order. First was DeLiteFull CrEATions on 150 Broadway, right behind Proctors. They offered their Garlic Parmesan Wing which ended up being my favorite of them all. I’ve wanted to check this place out but hadn’t until that night. It’s a great little deli especially if you work in that location. They’re also very involved on Facebook, always posting contests for gas cards or food you can win. What I loved about this wing as not only the strong garlic flavor but how the parmesan was a little crusty, that’s how I like it. They also offered samples of their garbage bread which were pepperoni, sausage and peppers & ham and swiss. We had the pepperoni and it was so DeLiteFull! If you’ve never had garbage bread, it’s pretty much tons of delicious things in pizza dough, not hard to make but when done right, it’s really good! Since it was also college night, many locations offered deals to local college students; they offered Italian quesadillas with shredded mozzarella & DeLiteFull Sauce- $1 off with ID. Can’t wait to try their food during normal hours, especially that frozen yogurt!
Next was Nico’s Pizzeria at 441 State Street, they offered Jack Daniel’s Grilled Original BBQ and Garlic Parm. At least location you were only allowed one wing so as you can tell, it was a tough choice. I originally thought Garlic Parm but I was quickly told that though they are delicious as well, I would regret my decision and wish I tried that BBQ and that’s all it took. There was a healthy amount of BBQ sauce on it which made it really delicious. I just wish the inside was cooked a little more but other than that they were spot on.
Our third stop was the Taj Mahal Restaurant on 118 Jay Street on our walk over to Union. They offered a Tandoori Style Wing. If you had a cold, that wing would sure clear the sinuses. When we had it, it was very bright orange and usually that means hot spices so I was already nervous to try it. It wasn’t the hottest wing we experienced on the walk but not something I think I would enjoy eating more than one of. The only problem, in my opinion, with something so spicy is that I’m unable to taste the actual flavor of the wing. Little did I know, if my tongue wasn’t burnt already, it was about to be.
Fourth was 20 North Broadway Tavern on 20 North Broadway and they had a Hot Chipotle BBQ Wing. This was by far the hottest wing we had that night but the difference was that even with all the spice, I could still taste the flavor. Even if it was a bit more spice than I would rather, I really enjoyed the overall flavor of the wing. I’ve only gone into 20 North for the bar but it got me interested in what kinds of foods they offer.
Next was Union Inn at 517 Union Street. I have honestly never been in that bar and had no idea that they served food. They had the Moonshine flavored wings and thought it wasn’t overall my favorite wing; they had my favorite sauce by far. The wing almost didn’t look cooked but I wouldn’t have minded a bottle of that sauce to pour on some grilled chicken or pork, even. They were the only location to offer us carrots and celery and most importantly blue cheese which was mandatory for all of those wings. Their blue cheese was homemade and delicious. I ended up taking it with me along to the final wing places.
The following location was Bier Abby at 613 Union Street with Abbey Mango IPA Wings. I’ve heard great things about Bier Abby and have yet to experience it myself but I wasn’t impressed with their wing, easily forgettable. I did appreciate that they made their wings fresh at that moment instead of having them sit in a dish for the night but my friends ended up waiting at least 45mins until we moved on to the next location. Next door was Café Nola at 617 Union Street with a Cajun Spice Wing. We tried this wing while waiting for Bier Abby. They told us that they made our flavor with a bottled Cajun spice and in my opinion; it was a little too much. I ended up dusting and blowing off most of it but the sangria they paired with it was delicious. I may go back there one night for dessert for a glass of sangria and beignets- YUM!
We made it around the corner to Katie O’Byrnes who was supposed to have a Garlic Parm wing as well but ran out before we got there, around 8:30P. I personally, was very disappointed. No problem, though, we ran across the street to The Grog Shoppe on 277 State St who had three choices, Hawaiian, tequila lime and honey garlic. Friends of mine who had the Hawaiian said that they would have enjoyed it more if the pineapples weren’t cold. I ordered the honey garlic and though I didn’t mind the honey flavor, I tasted absolutely no garlic. Also, the chicken was also not cooked as well as it could have been. I, personally, dislike wings that don’t have the bit of crunch and crisp to them. These wings were wet and the skin just slipped off, not the way I like them.
Last, with minutes to spare we went to Isopo’s Downtown Pizza on 176 Erie Boulevard who had Teriyaki Wings. We could tell by looking at them that they had sat there for a while but they were still surprisingly delicious. The wing walk ended at 9PM and we ran in at 8:55P. The teriyaki sauce was delicious, not too sweet. After sitting, the crisp of the wing during into chewiness, though. I’d never been in there to order food before so it makes me curious to see what their wings taste like fresh.
I had a lot of fun. I love events that let me try food from a lot of different locations for a cheap price. For $5 I was able to try foods from a good number of places and even if I didn’t end up liking the wing, I was able to check out the insides of restaurants I’ve yet to go to as well as a brief view of the menu for next time. Also, even if you don’t want to participate in something like a Wing Walk, even Downtown stores and restaurants that didn’t participate had plenty of specials to choose from. It’s worth it to check out what deals you can get and see the number of people who come out for something like this. I can’t wait to see what the next theme is because I’ll be there and hopefully it’s something else edible! I’ll keep you updated! Did you go to the Wing Walk? Do you agree with me? Which was your favorite?