This week was a back and forth battle between The Kelly Hotel and Doc Holliday’s. Votes for both locations were neck and neck until the very end. The Kelly Hotel took the lead in the final minutes. Amanda and I made the stormy drive out to 10759 West Main Road in Ripley, N.Y., around 6:30 last night. My co-worker Mariah Wittmann anvd her 11-month-old son, Tristan, joined us as well.
Once seated, we met the owner and chef, Kris Kubasik, who gave us some information about the location and then left us to our menus. He returned shortly with a few cars for Tristan to play with while Mariah got his dinner ready. Monday night at The Kelly Hotel is 50-cent wing night. You can get one flavor per every five wings, so we decided to try a couple more flavors than usual. There are some oddly named wing flavors like Cadillac Ranch, Cubby and Sirrachi Kickers, so we asked Kris for some input on what we should order. When all was said and done, we ended up with six flavors: Hot, House BBQ, Hot Cubby, Garlic Parm Ranch, Sirrachi Kickers, and Rob’s Wings. We were in for a feast.
The wings took about 15 minutes to prepare, but the time went quickly while playing with and feeding Tristan. Once the food arrived, there was little room for anything else on the table. We started with the Hot. These were delicious. Heat for the sake of heat can really ruin a wing, but luckily, the flavor on these wings was the star. The hot sauce is a mixture of peppers, Frank’s and other spices. It was thick and coated the wings perfectly. The homemade bleu cheese dressing was the perfect accompaniment.
The House BBQ was just as good. The sauce had a nice rich, dark brown color and had just the right amount of sweetness. The molasses flavor mixed with a peppery bite to make a great sauce. There was a subtle heat that came after a few wings, but it just added another layer to enjoy.
After having his last name continually mispronounced, the owner took on the nickname “Cubby” and gave two different wings on the menu his namesake: Cubby and Hot Cubby. We went with the Hot, and it stumped us a bit. The combination of flavors left the taste muddled and a little bland. It had a mild sweetness of a Catalina dressing, the vinegar taste of ketchup and a hint of lasting heat from what tastes like a cayenne hot sauce. With so many flavors in it, I was surprised that it was lacking in taste.
Garlic Parm Ranch is a delicious mash-up. All of the garlic is fresh pressed, and the Parmesan is grated in house. These wings were tossed in butter and then heavily coated in the fresh cheese-garlic-ranch mixture. If you don’t like garlic, these probably aren’t for you. The ranch gave that delicious buttermilk tang at the end. The flavors are super bold and really punch you in the face, but I could eat this sauce on anything.
Asian flavors are some of my favorites. If you haven’t experienced Sriracha sauce, you are missing out. The Sirrachi Kickers sauce is a combination of Sriracha, soy, ginger and a few other ingredients. The spiciness from the Sriracha mixed with the fresh ginger really gave it a good depth of flavor. When hot, the sauce is a thick glaze that stuck to the wing. Once it got cold, it thinned out a little and started to separate, so I wouldn’t recommend these as “to-go” wings.
Finally was Rob’s Wing. It is a combination of Cattlemen’s Gold Barbecue sauce, Frank’s and the Garlic Parm Ranch sauce. The sauce was a little overpowering in flavor for our liking. Like the Hot Cubby, there were just too many flavors. In this case, however, instead of muddling each other out, they all competed to be the star, and it ended up being a bit much. The bleu cheese helped mute some of the flavors, but these were not our favorite.
All in all, it was a successful and delicious trip over the state line.
My only real issue was the cost. Without the 50-cent wing night special, the wings are about 92 cents each. The wings are definitely jumbo wings, but they are a little pricey. Each side of dressing is 75 cents, and each order of veggies is $1.75. If you aren’t paying attention, the numbers start adding up.
Thank you to Kris for the fantastic service and good food. You run a great restaurant, and I will return for sure.
Until next time,
Andrew – Beard vs. Food