Wing Night at Michael’s Tavern
This post has been a bit delayed, but alas! Time for another wing night summary. A few weeks back (ok, almost a month), I was visiting my parents at their home in McDonald after a long day of work. My mom and I had just finished an impromptu tie dye session and I was pretty hungry and craving wings. Therefore, I convinced my mom to go with me to a local bar/restaurant called Michael’s Tavern. I’ve been there before and they usually have some pretty tasty options. I always looked longingly at their wing menu, but never took the bait as my family aren’t big wing eaters and wouldn’t share with me. But that day I finally took the plunge!
Michael’s is pretty much just one of the many local dive bars in the McDonald area. There is actually a bar and a separate restaurant area, but both serve food and drinks. Wing night at Michael’s is held on Thursdays, and wings are priced at $.50 each. Normally a dozen of wings are $8.50, so you end up saving $2.50, which isn’t bad. You are also allowed to order flavors in batches of six, which is another common wing night trope.
Ok, ok, I feel as though I should start this with a disclaimer that may change everything. We didn’t actually eat the wings there. We ordered them to go so we could eat them at home, which was about a 10 minute drive. I don’t think this affected the quality of the food that much, but it should perhaps be taken into consideration. With that in mind…
I was a little overwhelmed at first with all the flavor choices! It was great to actually have many different flavors that I wanted to try, as usually there’s only one or two I’m really into. In the end, I decided to get six garlic parm wings and six butter garlic ranch wings. My mom, who doesn’t really do the wing thing, ended up going with six of the honey BBQ (which of course I sampled).
Well… I’ll start with the positives. The butter garlic ranch was absolutely delicious! The wings were floating in a pile of creamy and rich butter garlic sauce that had a warm and savory taste. Drizzled on top was just a hint of ranch dressing to complete the flavor. These wings were crispy, but had absorbed some of the butter mixture, so had that yummy consistency of juicy goodness. I would definitely eat this flavor again, happily.
Now on to the bad. The really bad. I hate to say it, because I like Michael’s, but… their garlic parm wings were the worst I ever had. By far. They were completely overcooked and dried out, to start. Unlike the butter garlic ranch, they had no sauce – nothing to absorb into the chicken to keep it moisturized. Most garlic parm wings come with a buttery garlic sauce. These were just completely dry, almost like a dry rub. Except in this case, the dry rub was minced garlic. It seriously looked like they just took an entire jar of minced garlic and dumped it on top. It was so gross I could barely eat them. The only way I could cope was by dipping them in the extra sauce from the butter garlic ranch wings. In fact, I didn’t even finish – I just left them at my parent’s house when I left the next day. Oops 🙂
The honey BBQ wings my mom got ended up being ok. They were sweet and had a typical barbecue flavor, which I found good to the taste. But they were nothing earth-shattering. At least they were covered in sauce, which again helped to moisturize the chicken and make it a little better.
Another positive for Michael’s Tavern is their fries and ranch dressing. As usual, I had an order of both, since it’s kind of my thing. Their fries are fresh cut and usually quite crisp. Admittedly, they were a bit soggy this time, but that’s probably our fault for getting them to go. Still, the flavor was tasty. Their ranch is also homemade, so it is the perfect pairing. In fact, we got two sides of ranch because we like it so much.
- Good selection of sauces
- Good fries and ranch
- Butter garlic ranch
- Sauce distribution was plentiful
- Garlic parm was disgusting
- Wings were overcooked and dried out
- Some wings were really tiny
- There was no sauce on the garlic parm 🙁
This is hard, because I really like the butter garlic ranch. In fact, I might give them a 4.5. However, the garlic parm were terrible – really terrible. I’d give them a 1 I think. My mom’s honey BBQ wings were just ok, so I would give them a 3. Averaging all of these scores out, that comes out to about 2.5, so I’ll go with that. In the end, I would like to try a few more flavors of Michael’s wings again, just to see how they turn out.
P.S. Check out my Pittsburgh Wing Night calendar for up to date information on wing nights in the area! It runs on Google Calendar, so you can easily add it to your own schedule to keep track of wing nights.