WING-OFF 24: Sunday, January 25, 2015
– Chubby’s Pub vs. Dew Drop Inn
AKA 1st Ever Connecticut Wing-Off and Pizza Run
3488 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
Dew Drop Inn
25 North Avenue
Derby, CT 06418
The story goes like this; Brendan Hayes, food fanatic & customer service progressional sends us a tweet. In that message is a link to a story from a Connecticut based Food blog, OmNomCT. That story boasts about a restaurant named Dew Drop Inn in Derby, CT that asks the question; “Could Dew Drop Inn Have the Biggest (and Best) Variety of Wings in the World?” In that blog post, the husband and wife team share a menu with 100 different hot wings.
It doesn’t take long before a series of emails and tweets start up with the Wing-Off crew and before you know it, a road trip is in the works to eat Wings. In a fun twist of coincidence, one-half of the team behind OmNomCT happened to be childhood friends with a member of the Wing-Off team! An invite is sent to him to join us.
Since the Wing-Off is meant to be a vs. situation, we not only asked Brendan to join us but also to pick a second location. As this was Brendan’s first Wing-Off, there was a lot of pressure to choose wisely. We think he nailed it.
Chubby’s Pub is a local Bar & Grille. It’s a place to blow off steam after a long day at work and somewhere to comfortably sit for hours and watch a football game. It’s the kind of place locals gather to catch up, unwind and take a load off their shoulders. Every town has one … but not like this.
What set’s Chubby’s apart is the Food. You’ll find a lot of standard Pub Grub on the menu like Burgers, Nachos and Pizza but along with that is a carefully curated menu with Italian specialities, Seafood dishes and Ribs that are supposedly going to blow your mind. It all comes together because of a man named Chubby.
Chubby has a long history in the CT dining space having worked at a number of different local iconic spots until he opened up his own place. Chubby’s main concerns are good Food, good times and great customer service. It certainly shows. On the day we arrived he showed up just to carefully curate our Hot Wing experience. Brendan said these were good but we had no idea until they hit the table.
Chubby’s Wings can be ordered either naked or breaded. They also have a list of rotating sauces so you never quite know what you will get. Here’s some of the Wings we got to eat.
It must be a Connecticut thing.
When you pull up in front of Dew Drop Inn you won’t be expecting much (unless you read this blog first!) It’s an unassuming house-like structure built into the side of a rocky hill on a side road in Derby, CT. Take a look:
But then you walk in and the place is ram packed from wall to wall with not a seat available in the place. The energy is high and the place is filled with people eating, drinking and having what seems to be an awesome time. Apparently Dan from OmNomCT has some serious Wing status because the Dew Drop Inn held us a table.
Hot Wings might be the beacon that draws you to Derby, CT to visit the Dew Drop Inn but that’s not all they do. Craft Beer fans, you’re in luck. Dew Drop maintains a list of national and local rotating taps with a beer menu selection that would please even the most avid Craft Beer snob.
Not a Hot Wing fan? First of all, what’s wrong with you, but secondly, they apparently have a Steak night every Thursday that is guaranteed to have a line out the door that might be more your style. All the Food is done fresh and as we were told by owner Jason Carlucci, if it doesn’t pass the “That’s awesome, I would eat it” test, it doesn’t get served.
Jason went on to tell us the story of how he moved from a 9-5 working in The Bronx to taking over the biker bar that used to be the Dew Drop Inn. Jason has poured his heart and soul into the place since, never quite resting on any winning dish, especially the wings. In fact, sometimes they close the bar just so they can work on and taste new Wing recipes. This man cars about every bite of food that comes out of the kitchen, every drop of beer that gets poured in a glass and every single person that walks through the door.
So with Dan as our Wing guide and the Incredible Hulk as our Wing Master, we set out to explore one of the biggest selections of Hot Wings on the planet. But where to start?
Yes, Drew Drop Inn has a massive selection of Hot Wings. It’s enough to make even the most intense Wing eater not know what to order. We all agreed that each person would get to pick 1 selection and then if we were still hungry for more, we would vote on ordering extras. Our safety net: we gave veto power to our server. No comments would be necessary, just a simple shake of the head.
WING-OFF 24 OFFICIAL WINNER – DRAW!
That’s kind of a misleading. What really happened is that we never came to a decision. We discussed, we talked, we argued. There were definitely favorites at each location and surprises as well.
We all agreed that the Wasabi Cream at Chubby’s was amazing and that we preferred naked to breaded but then again, we also agreed that all the Wings were delicious. The Black Truffle Cream kind of took the creative cake at Chubby’s.
Dew Drop Inn most certainly had the craziest and most diverse list of Hot Wings any of us had ever laid on. The Peanut Butter and Jelly, a hotly debated Sauce one the drive up was a much bigger people pleaser than anticipated. The Cream Cheese Jalapeño was a total sleeper and had us talking for days. If we had to pick one fave, it was probably the Cajun Taco Butter but then again, the standard Hot Wings were great too.
The real winner is you, or us, if you also get to eat at both of these places in the same day!
WING-OFF BONUS: PIZZA!
172 Myrtle Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
If you like Food or specifically Pizza, then you need to eat at the Colony Grill. It doesn’t matter what style of Pizza you are like or where it’s located, you need to eat this.
Colony Grill is famous for something called a Bar Pie. It’s a thin crust pizza that cooks up pretty fast and is slightly larger than one should eat by themselves … but you will. What makes the Bar Pies at Colony Grill really stand out is something called Hot Oil. It’s an Olive Oil infused with hot chiles. There a number of theories on how to cook it but the truth is, no one makes it like Colony.
Colony only uses the freshest and best ingredients on their pizza. The sausage they use is made by a local purveyor. The Mushrooms are fresh only, never from a can. If you like it hot, order your pizza with Stingers. The heat on these peppers are never the same so prepare yourself for a Russian Roulette game of how hot is my pie? Also recommended; bacon and onions.
Pie with Fresh Mushrooms.
Bacon and Onion.
Hot Oil, Onions, Sausage & Stingers.
Bottom line, if you are driving any where near any location, especially the original Colony Grill in Stamford, you need stop in and order a pizza. Be sure to ask for Brendan or tweet at him on your way in.