Food versus Food: Wingin' it.

Few things go better with a Ravens' game than wings and a frosty beverage.

Ok, wins.  Wins are also good.  But wings are tastier. (It's all about the immediate gratification.)

Buffalo wings first became popular in the 1980s, although their (disputed) origin came a few decades earlier. The record for most wings eaten is held by a woman named Sonya Thomas, who ate 181 wings (just over five pounds) in 12 minutes. She did this at the 2010 National Buffalo Wing festival in Buffalo, New York - a festival that has been held since 2002. That's right, it happens every year.

238 days and counting.

As you might have guessed, I like wings.  They make a cheap, easy dinner when paired with salad.  I'm a drummie person, although I still enjoy the wing portion.  I'm not a huge fan of sticky, sweet sauce.  And there are few things worse than a soggy wing

For this reason, while buffalo wings are good, Old Bay wings are better.  

A couple of Sundays this season I made it out to bars to watch the Ravens play (hocoblogs@@@).  And, of course, I ordered wings.  Which brings us to our contenders....

An order of Old Bay wings from
Second Chance Saloon
Contender #1:  Old Bay wings at Second Chance Saloon.

Second Chance Saloon is a neighborhood bar in Oakland Mills.  It's the first place that comes to mind when someone asks me about a local place to grab a drink.  It's kind of dark, definitely no-frills, and overall it's comfortable.  They have a large bar and several big flat-screen televisions that make it a great spot for catching the game.

Second Chance is located at 5888 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045.  They offer reasonable specials, including $2 drafts and half price wings.  That put these babies at $4 for 8 wings.

The wings came out hot and glistening.  They were coated with just the right amount of Old Bay - not so much that I needed to chug a gallon of water, but not so little that they lacked punch. They were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and really didn't need the small container of bleu cheese dressing that came on the side.  

The celery, on the other hand, looked as if it had frostbite.  They must have realized it, because the next order for our table came sans-vegetation.

Still, the wings were a pretty hefty portion - crisp and tender, just slightly messy, and great for snacking while I watched the game.

The wings at Twist and Turn.  There were more, but
we dove in before I thought to take a picture.
(we were pretty hungry)
Contender #2: Old Bay wings at Twist and Turn Tavern.

This was my first time at the Twist and Turn, a small bar located in Highland, in Howard County (down 108 past Clarksville).  We stumbled upon the place en route to somewhere else and had the opportunity to watch the game.  I will say the Tavern was a great place to watch.  It's separated into a bar and a small dining area, and even though we sat in the dining room we had great views of several televisions.  Game viewing, no problem.

Twist and Turn opened in 2010, at 13380 Clarksville Pike, Highland MD 20777.  It's a pretty standard tavern-type place with a lot of horse decor (I think they were going for a Western motif).  Their game-day offerings include buckets of beer ($15 for domestic, $20 imported), $5 glasses of wine, $5 sliders, and $6.50 for wings or nachos.

Our Old Bay wings (8 total) came out a warm golden brown, very crunchy which was an extra bonus - they were about as crispy as they could be without being dry and overcooked.  It's a happy place.  They were rolled in a nice amount of Old Bay, not too much.  The wings were a little small, but we were ok with that because we had more food on the way.   Our order came with some celery logs and a small ramekin of bleu cheese dressing.

A Disclaimer:  In the spirit of fairness, I do want to mention that I've been to Second Chance several times before and ordered wings on many occasions.  Twist and Turn didn't have the benefit of multiple visits, so I focused my notes to the plate of wings I received on each day -- not on past visits.

The Decision:  I really enjoyed watching the game at both places, and will keep them in mind for remaining games.  It was close.  Both wings had a good balance of Old Bay and crunch.  But in addition to being tasty, the wings at Second Chance were bigger and offered at a better price, so I declare Second Chance Saloon the winner of the Wing Challenge!

Where do you like to go watch the game?  More importantly, do you have a go-to wing place?  Tell me in the comments below so I can get my next fix!


  1. I'll make the trip to Cluck-U in Laurel if I want the good stuff. The sauces are consistent and varied. Plus, I can get the really hot stuff or the so-hot-it-makes-you-cry-but-don't-touch-your-eyes-or-they'll-burn hot.

    Otherwise, Wings-to-go is good in a pinch. They're a little on the small side, but they make up for it in quantity.

    I haven't found many bars that serve decent wings. The sauces always seem to be sub par.

  2. If they aren't slathered in hot sauce, they aren't worth eating. Come over to my place, I'll make the best wings ever for you.

  3. Mo,

    An out of town friend of mine once remarked that Marylanders put Old Bay on everything. I'm with you, wings with Old Bay is the only way to go.

    T-Bonz in Ellicott City does a pretty decent job with them too.


  4. Oh, good call Chris, I haven't had Cluck-U in years. And Wings to Go is pretty good! Although thinking about takeout.. I wonder if ChickNFriends does hot wings.

    @ Brian - We will agree to disagree ;)

    @ wb - I'll have to give T Bonz a try! Hmm. Now I want Old Bay wings again. Vicious cycle. :)

  5. Hard times texas wings are my favorite by far although old bay wings are a close second. man I wish hard times was still in columbia.

  6. Old Bay Wings, sauce on the side. Dip and eat. The best of both worlds. I am infamous among my friends for always specifying "extra crispy" when I order wings. Nothing worse than an undercooked wing.

  7. @ Erik - I forgot about Hard Times since they left - yeah, it's been a while since I've had those.

    @ Robert - That's a brilliant idea!

  8. For those that remember the Hard Times in Laurel, my understanding is the owners opened Wild Buffalo Grill further up Route 1. Wings are excellent. I get Hell's Inferno grilled. Simply awesome!!

  9. I need help finding a GOOD, but reasonably priced place to get a large amount of wings along the Ellicott City Rt. 40 corridor. I am having a Super Bowl party for 20 people and have no time to go trasping all over HoCo. Anyone know if Vocelli's pizza or Solana's Subs have decent wings? I'll go up further 40 East into Catonsville if need be, or as a last result, into Columbia. Please email me at mjmisch@gmail.com

    Thank you so much for any help!