The Westchester Wing Bowl
Our editors conduct a blind taste test to rank six of the County’s wing hot spots.
Our Super Bowl Guide would be woefully incomplete without proper info on the best places to enjoy the quintessential game day indulgence—wings. And if there’s one thing the editorial staff loves here at Westchester, it’s wings. So you can imagine how quickly a typical “where to grab…” story escalated into an all-out competition, a taste-test, to discover the county’s top wings.
Eleven testers strong, we ordered about two dozen wings from six local spots with revered wing credentials: The Tavern at Croton Landing, The Rye Roadhouse (our neighbor, for full disclosure), The Lazy Boy Saloon, Memphis Mae’s, The Beechmont Tavern, and Smokehouse Chili Grill. Why limit it to six? Including too many vendors, we reasoned, would invite “wing fatigue” and gradually diminish our enthusiasm for the test, disadvantaging those wings tasted in the competition’s later stages.
Oh, and before you cry foul that the county’s long-time front-runner, Candlelight Inn, was not included, know that they declined our invitation to participate.
Here’s how it happened: Each judge assigned a rating to each vendor, anywhere from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest); 3 was considered average. The Tavern, Lazy Boy Saloon, and Memphis Mae’s gave us two flavors each, so we rated those flavors separately. Only the Digital Editors (two of us) knew which wings were from where, and we gleefully withheld that info as the rest of the staff chowed down. We averaged everyone’s ratings and came up with our top three:
154 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains
Flavor: Tequila Citrus
10 for $8; 20 for $16; 30 for $22
Lazy Boy’s “signature” flavor, these were the boldest entry of the group, but also the most polarizing. (Lazy Boy sent us a sweet bourbon flavor that was nearly as popular.) If you fancy a citrus flavor and you don’t mind branching out from the more conventional wing flavors, you can’t go wrong here: The tequila citrus were salty, had very little grease—huge bonus, and they delighted us with a crisp lime bite. Digital Imaging Specialist Lauren Golde wrote that these had “GREAT FLAVOR” with “citrus, a little spice, and a great smell.” The best part: Since they somehow lack the greasy quality of most wings, it’d be easy to down these in large quantities without much remorse.
2. Smokehouse Tailgate Grill
606 North Avenue, New Rochelle
6 for $5; 12 for $9; 18 for $12
Smokehouse’s entry epitomized what you’d expect from an order of wings—plenty of spicy sauce and a classic buffalo flavor. Most comments were positive. Editorial Assistant Deanna Cioppa backed her “5” with praise for the “complex” flavor and “good texture.” We enjoyed the deep, red sauce and its subtle hint of vinegar. But some testers were disappointed with just how spicy the wings were—too intense for many, which hurt ratings. No worries, though, we’re sure any spice overload could be easily mitigated with a “mild” request.
12 High St, Rye
8 for $9.99; 16 for $16.95
The Roadhouse’s entry snuck up on us. Their wings sat quietly at the end of the test line, arriving without claims of bold or unusual flavor, minimally sauced, and with zero visual pretense—just a golden, buttery exterior. It quickly became clear that their meaty, crispy, flavorful goodness belied the doused-in-sauce simplicity implied by the “buffalo wing” nomenclature. Golde called them “more than just fried chicken” and raved about their “really good fried color” and “great flavor.” Art Assistant Alexandra Alvarez summed it up perfectly when she wrote, “Crispy, golden, and juicy dark meat—yum.” The Roadhouse’s sophisticated, Southern-style approach to wings catapulted them into their own league.
All entries are absolutely worth a try. Keep in mind that we granted ourselves license to be as discerning as possible for this test, but the truth is there were no losers here. Here’s the info on the other participants, in no particular order:
The Beechmont Tavern
213 E Post Rd, White Plains & 750 North Ave, New Rochelle
(914) 358-4433 (White Plains) & (914) 636-9533 (New Ro)
The Tavern at Croton Landing
41 N Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson
173 S Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson