Fall is here! I love the changing leaves, hot apple ciders, and cold autumn nights that require bonfires and s’mores. But along with these great things, it’s also football season. Whether you’re a Pats fan or just a football lover, this is your time of year. For everyone else that gets dragged along to watch these games on Monday’s, Thursday’s and Sunday’s, there’s a really great excuse to drink beer and eat wings. If you’re going to watch sports in a bar or restaurant, you may as well enjoy what you’re eating! My fellow wings fans, this one’s for you.
Binga’s Stadium: Beer, TVs and Wings
So I really think it goes without saying, but Binga’s is my favorite place to go for wings, hands down. Throughout the three years I’ve been dating my boyfriend, Binga’s is just about the only place we can ever agree on. Wings, beer, easy. He can watch a game on one of the many TVs surrounding us either at the bar or seated in a booth, and I can tear into my wings like the true animal that I am. When I’m eating my wings, I want them to have flavor, and Binga’s always has a sauce that fits the mood I’m in.
Spice wise, I like things on the medium-high heat side. Hot enough that there’s heat, but not too hot that I can’t actually taste the flavor of the sauce I’ve chosen. Favorites include Diesel Garlic, Buffalo Bacon Nacho and Spice Girl. I know that this isn’t exactly the best thing in the world for anyone’s diet, but sometimes, your day just calls for wings.
Gritty’s: Best Heart of the Old Port Option For Wings
If you can’t make it to Binga’s and you need wings in the Old Port, Gritty’s is another solid spot. Some people love the fact that they only sell their own beer and others avoid it for just that reason, so keep that in mind if beer is more your scene. I’ve only recently become a Gritty’s fan, simply because there are so many choices for great food in Portland.
But when I want wings, I want something like Gritty’s, which are a little bit crispy, but bursting with flavor. So far, I’ve only tried the Chili glazed wings, which were a perfect accompaniment to a night on the town filled with drinking beforehand. Sadly, you can only get Blanch (blue cheese and ranch dressing combined) at Binga’s, but the wings at Gritty’s are definitely worth stopping by for. There’s only a few TVs right by the bar, so it’s smart to plan and come early if your goal is catching the game.
Little Tap House: The Craft Beer Options You’re Craving To Go With Your Wings
Living in Portland, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get into the craft beer scene, at least in my opinion. Whether you’re a Bissell Brothers fan, can’t get enough of Oxbow Brewing or know that Allagash White is the best beer you’ve ever tasted, you’re definitely not alone. Not only is the food consistently good at Little Tap House, but the beer selection is always rotating, giving you the opportunity to try local beers you’ve never even heard of.
And of course, when you have craft beer, you want wings. Little Tap House has wings that are perfect for a starter to dinner, or just a little plate to nosh on as you watch the game at the bar, beer in hand. Last winter, while researching this guide, my friend and I got the wings, and grilled cheese for a lunch that would warm us up enough to walk the mile back to my apartment in the snow. They are a little crunchy, moist, tender, and most importantly, delectable.
Ruski’s: A West End Institution
Living in the West End, I’ve found it’s pretty easy to basically roll out of bed and go anywhere I want. Best part is, at Ruski’s you could come in with your pajamas still on, hair unbrushed, and nobody would say a thing to you. After all, dive bars are great like that, and Ruski’s is even better because the food always leaves me coming back for more. Add wings to the list of things they do well, because I’ve never had a bad meal there.
The wings are worth coming for, but it’s not a place to come and watch the game. They have exactly one TV behind the bar, which may not be on the channel you want. No, Ruski’s is a good place to come when you want to attack your wings like the animal you are. If you’re sensing a trend here, I happen to enjoy their Thai wings, which have a good amount of heat that could leave your eyes watering, but there’s enough restraint to make sure you’re not burning your whole mouth.