What’s a Wing Bash? It’s an event with chicken wings, live music, and several beers at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap.
Eight different kinds of chicken wings. How are there eight kinds of wings? When the folks at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap are involved, there are Buffalo, Chipotle BBQ … as well as Fire Cracked, Captain ’n Coke, PB&J, Sticky Bun, Poncho’s, and XXX wings.
The Buffalo and Chipotle BBQ are the most traditional. For anyone afraid to try something new, these are the wings to have. The wings are very meaty and absolutely covered in their respective sauces. To keep with tradition, bleu cheese and ranch dressings and celery sticks are available.
Many of the wings walk the sweet/savory line. The Fire Cracked wings have sweet Thai chili and Sriracha. They bring to mind the sweet, tangy sauce for Thai spring roll dipping. Fire Cracked are good, but given the name I expected them to be spicier – even the spice-averse could eat Fire Cracked with abandon.
Captain ’n Coke wings were made with rum, spices, lime, and Coca-Cola so they are somewhat sweet. Those “spices” not of the spicy hot variety. Captain ’n Coke wings are good for the unadventurous because they are tasty but nothing anyone would consider weird.
The weird label might be put on the PB&J wings, but that wouldn’t be completely accurate. The sauce on the wings is a Thai peanut sauce, or satay for you Thai food fans. The accompanying dipping sauce is raspberry jam with chipotles. The sweetness with a little heat of the dipping sauce works well with the peanut sauce on the wings. Jake’s newest wing flavor tastes like childhood on a wing.
The sweetest chicken wing Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap has on offer is the Sticky Bun. These dessert chicken wings have cinnamon, sugar, three-pepper frosting, bacon, and pecans. Breakfast wings.
By far my favorite wings were Poncho’s. They’re wood-grilled with garlic and cayenne and served with lemon wedges. A squeeze of lemon is a great compliment to the smoky, slightly spicy wings. If you prefer saucy wings, these aren’t for you, but I like the savory tang of Poncho’s wings.
Finally, there are the XXX wings. The sauce is a combination of habanero, ghost, and scorpion peppers. Habaneros were once thought to be the world’s hottest peppers, but they were supplanted by ghost peppers, which were out-spiced by scorpion peppers. Don’t tell the folks at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, but scorpion peppers are now considered only the second-hottest pepper in the world – after the Carolina Reaper. Don’t tell them because they already changed the sauce’s formulation when the scorpion pepper surpassed the ghost pepper. Knowing about the Carolina Reaper could make the wings even hotter.
How hot are they? I like spicy food. Most store-bought salsas are too wimpy for me. I put a significant amount of hot sauce on my burritos. I tell Thai restaurants I want my dishes spicy. Knowing that, but also being aware of the power of the chilies involved, I proceeded semi-cautiously. I picked up a wing in thumb and forefinger of each hand and brought the wing to my mouth where I gingerly touched tongue tip to wing surface. Oh, hot. Put wing down, licked four digits clean of XXX sauce.
And suffered for the next ten minutes. XXX wings are no joke. Extreme caution required. Every person I saw bite into a XXX wing said, “That is hot,” in a squeaky voice of obvious suffering.
The Wing Bash offered several beers from Allagash, Evil Twin, Lagunitas, Left Hand, Metropolitan, Two Brothers, Upland, and Vivant. There were even a couple of cider options and some basic wine selections for those of us who don’t drink beer.
Live music was provided by local Irish drinking music band Finger on the Trigger.
Wings, beer, live music, and a nice outdoor seating area made the inaugural Wing Bash a fun time. I had the pleasure of meeting a group of school teachers letting loose during their short break between regular and summer school.
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap general manager Tony Bisciglia says he wants to do more Wing Bash events. Great idea.