Your right hand men for decoding wing nights around Northeastern Pennsylvania visited Ale Mary’s recently. They rated the environment of the establishment, size of the wings, diversification of the flavor selection and taste of the product.
LYNCH’S REVIEW: 41
Located in the heart of downtown Scranton, Ale Mary’s is a relative newcomer to the NEPA wing scene. Ale Mary’s is remodeled from the old Whistle’s Pub in the Bittenbender building, providing a certain charm not found in many places across the city. It’s a great place to go to get a bite to eat with a group of friends and partake in a drink from their large selection of craft beers. We’ve always had a good experience at Ale Mary’s, from their fast service to their friendly servers and bartenders. I guarantee you’ll leave with a positive experience after visiting Ale Mary’s.
The wings at Ale Mary’s are a mixed bag of sizes. You’ll get a variety of very large, meaty wings to a couple of smaller, crispy wings. On their wing night, they offer half off the traditional price of $9.50. They do allow you to split your order of 10 with two sauce options, which is always a plus in my book. You’ll be plenty full if you order your normal amount of wings.
Ale Mary’s makes up for their lack of sauce options with some of the most unique flavors around. In addition to the six flavors on the menu, Ale Mary’s offers different feature sauces every week on their wing night. We lucked out on our visit with three fantastic offerings: Cheddar Bacon Ranch, Honey Sriracha, and Fajita Dry Rub.
I’ve never been let down by a flavor that I’ve tried at Ale Mary’s. The House sauce is a sweeter, almost sticky sauce with a pleasant flavor and very slight spice. If you don’t like to venture too far off the beaten path, this is the wing to get. A tip for any restaurant: if you put Cheddar Bacon Ranch on anything, I’m bound to order it. This wing was covered with Ranch dressing, chunks of bacon, melted cheddar cheese, and what appeared to be sliced scallions. It had a lot of flavors that work well together. The PB&J, winner of the 2014 craziest wing from Wings at the Waterpark, is the wing to get if you’re feeling adventurous. Almost a dessert wing, it has a peanut-based sauce with Framboise jelly and topped with cayenne-roasted peanuts. It sounds overwhelming, but the flavor is something you need to try to truly understand how tasty it is. I highly recommend dipping it in the toasted marshmallow sauce served on the side. Honey Sriracha, one of the feature flavors of the week, may have been my favorite out of the bunch. The spicy Sriracha was the dominant flavor with a tinge of sweetness from the honey. This is how you make a Honey Sriracha wing.
SERNIAK’S RATING: 42
What Ale Mary’s brings to the table that separates itself from many others is something you can’t see, and that is a great and energetic atmosphere. As soon as I walked in I felt an extremely welcoming vibe that promotes good times. All the staff are working hard but they all seem to be in a good mood. And you could tell they care because the place is spotless. What’s great about the place is that Ale Mary’s caters to all walks of life and to any age. Young, old or in between, you’ll catch that good vibe here.
Wing Size: 7
The wings are big at Ale Mary’s. Big enough that it if you order your standard amount, I’d bet you’d be full. Now, their pricing system is half off their original price, which comes out to $4.25 for 10 wings. That’s pretty good for our area. They also let you get two sauces for your 10 wings, so you can get two of them. This is very key. I won’t say they are the crispiest wings I’ve ever had, but they are crispy enough to the point that you’ll enjoy them.
Wing Flavors: 8
Variety is what Ale Mary’s does so well with their sauces. On their menu you can get their house sauce, porketta, Sriracha honey mustard and others. But what Ale Mary’s does is rotate a few different ones every week. This week they had honey Sriracha, bacon ranch whiz and a dry rub called fajita. Their uniqueness and creativity is what makes their selection so good.
Wing Taste(x2): 9
This place puts a lot of craftsmanship into each of their flavors. Each flavor I got was way different from the other, but they all packed a Rhonda Rousey punch of flavor. Sriracha honey mustard, something you’d think would be to much, was spot on. All the heat from the mustard and the Sriracha, with just a twang of sweet really was tremendous. The porketta dry rub had a very efficient amount of seasoning on them along with the fajita ones. Also a dry rub, the fajita seasoning was caked all over the wings. Every bite brought out that south of the border taste. Finally, the bacon ranch whiz brought it all including scallions, which I in turn, subtly wiped off. The real chunks of bacon is what puts this wing to a different level compared to the others.
Matt Lynch and Matt Serniak are revered in the local wing scene. Their blog, http://NEPAWingMen.com, has featured almost 100 reviews of wing nights throughout Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. Check their reviews in Weekender every other week.