The One Way Inn, a contender from the first week’s poll, slid past the other three locations this week. Brandon Sease and Katie Winterhoff joined me again to help with my wing review. The One Way Inn is located at 4344 Peach Street in Erie and serves food, but still allows smoking inside. Brandon and Katie sat down and I headed to the bar to get menus and some wing recommendations. The bartender, Tina, as well as a few other patrons at the bar, gave me some flavor suggestions that I took back to the table. After talking things over, we decided on some flavors. This week, our choices had a spicy theme; Hot BBQ, Hot Country Ranch, Hot Pepper Parm, 24 Karat, and Dry Parmesan Ranch.
We got through one game of pool while we waited and the wings arrived just after we started the second. The wings came out quicker than we expected and I started with the Hot BBQ. The sauce was a rich, dark brown and rather thick. I’m not sure if it was the BBQ sauce that was vinegary or the hot sauce it was mixed with, but Carolina-style vinegar-based BBQ is my favorite so this sauce struck a fantastic chord. The heat came a little late in the wing, but it was just right. The sauce was tangy with a hint of sweet and was really a good choice.
The Hot Country Ranch and Hot Pepper Parm were similar. The hot sauce they used had a similar taste, but the dry ranch in the Hot Country Ranch gave it a little zip. Though both had some heat, neither was overbearing. Flavor was the main focus. The Hot Pepper Parm had some really great flavor combinations. The parm absorbed some of the sauce and gave it great umami. For those of you who don’t know, umami is a type of flavor, like sweetness, saltiness or bitterness, it describes a savory-type flavor. The richness of the cheese combined with the heat of the hot sauce and pepper was delicious. I liked these more than the Hot Country Ranch.
Though I prefer wet wings, I always like to give dry wings a try. The Dry Parmesan Ranch were pretty much as dry as they come. The flavors weren’t quite strong enough and the fried chicken taste came through more than the toppings. They are just begging for some ranch or bleu cheese dressing. They taste good for a fried chicken wing, but not enough like their said flavor.
Finally, on to the 24 Karat. Anything with “gold” or a reference to gold in the name should be a dead giveaway. That just means that it is going to be a Cattlemen’s Gold Barbecue sauce based wing. Though I love it and I know it is popular, they wings don’t change much from place to place. The 24 Karat here are Cattlemen’s Gold Barbecue sauce mixed with some Frank’s Red Hot. All I could taste was the Cattlemen’s. Frank’s would be a great addition to these, but I couldn’t taste any if it was even there. Like I said, I really do love this BBQ sauce, but it is hard to make it taste original.
At 45-cents a wing all the time, the price is very reasonable and worth every penny. The cigarette smoke is a little bothersome, so if it’s something you feel strongly about, get the wings to go. Thank you to Tina for the flavor suggestions and the good service. The wings were cooked perfectly and tasted great.
Until next time,
Andrew – Beard vs. Food