House, Bacon & Bourbon, Fiery Parm, Fire, Old Bay, PB&J, Captain Morgan, Jerk, Wasabi Ranch, Manganero, Carolina BBQ, Somewhere in the Middle, Weekly Specials
Return Visit to Ale Mary’s
Overall Rating: 83Lynch Serniak
Lynch's Rating: 42 out of 50Environment: 9
Ale Mary’s has been a part of the downtown Scranton scene for a while now, establishing itself as a great place to meet up for food and drinks. Their food menu features some unique and usually tasty dishes and their drink menu is pretty extensive with a good draft selection and big bottle list. I’ve never had a bad time at Ale Mary’s, and this visit was no different. We got there about 6:00 PM on Monday for their wing night and sat right down since it wasn’t that filled up. I was a bit bummed that they didn’t have outdoor seating like they have had in the past as it was a glorious day. I’m hoping this is just a temporary change. Don’t get me wrong though, it is plenty nice inside. They have a long bar and plenty of sit down tables. Ale Mary’s even has an extra room off to the side for some additional seating and a decent gaming area with a pool table, darts, and some arcade games. I didn’t venture over there this visit, but I assume it still exists. Our waiter was a nice dude who was willing to answer any questions we had about the wings and was always prompt on getting our drinks and taking our orders. The food came out pretty fast too, so definitely no complaints there. I wish they let you split wing orders or let you place orders of five so you can try more variety of sauces, but Serniak and I coordinated our order to make sure we got a good selection.
Wing Size: 8
On wing night, Ale Mary’s features half off wings, making an order of ten wings cost only five dollars. In case you don’t feel like doing the math, that means these babies run 50 cents a wing, which is pretty darn good in today’s standard. The wings are a slightly larger size. If you place an order of your normal amount, you should leave plenty satisfied. The wings are on the meatier side, so if you prefer crispy wings, be sure to ask for extra crispy. I can’t guarantee they will accommodate, but it’s worth a try.
Wing Flavors: 7
Ale Mary’s doesn’t have the biggest selection of flavors, but they make up for it with twists on traditional flavors and some truly unique options. If you’re more of a traditionalist, I would recommend the House, Carolina BBQ, or the Somewhere in the Middle, which was described to us as your typical Buffalo style sauce. Otherwise, go crazy with some of the options that Ale Mary’s has to offer, such as the Wasabi Ranch or Bourbon & Bacon. On top of that, they offer interesting weekly wing sauce features, which I am all about. For example, on our visit, they features Porketta Dry Rub, Citrus Mojo, and Raspberry Teriyaki.
Wing Taste (x2): 9
I was really impressed by what Ale Mary’s brought to the table this visit (pun absolutely intended). I’ve liked their wings in the past, but this visit I was really blown away. The Somewhere in the Middle was described by the waiter as a mix between their House and a traditional buffalo sauce. In my opinion, their House is OK, but this sauce was delicious. It is definitely closer aligned to a buffalo sauce than anything else. I think Serniak and I have a bit of a rift when it comes to Buffalo sauces, but I was all about this sauce. It had a classic buffalo flavor with a healthy level of spice. The Fiery Parm was also fantastic. It had a tasty hot sauce base mixed with Caesar (I think) and plenty of grated parmesan and parmesan flakes. The Wasabi Ranch was my favorite of the bunch. The wasabi, which was more likely horseradish, was perfectly balanced with the ranch so that both flavors came through without one or the other being overwhelming. I highly recommend trying these wings. Finally, the Raspberry Teriyaki were the wings I was most looking forward to. I am a sucker for a nice, salty Teriyaki sauce, not to mention I’m a huge fan of raspberries. Unfortunately, I was let down. It appeared to be a Teriyaki sauce mixed with raspberry preserves. I didn’t get much saltiness from the Teriyaki, and the raspberry preserves ended up making the sauce super sticky and thick. I think if they mixed the teriyaki with the stuff they drizzle over the PB&J wings (I believe it’s a Raspberry reduced sauce from Framboise), these wings could have been great. Even though the Raspberry Teriyaki was a letdown, I give them points for trying. Plus, the fact that all the other wings were out of this world, I’d say Ale Mary’s knocked it out of the park.
Serniak's Rating: 41 out of 50Environment: 9
There once was a time where I would go to Whistles on a Thursday night. That was about 10 years ago and it was excellent. Now, as most of you are aware or at least I hope you’re aware, Whistles is no more. Today, Ale Mary’s occupies that space and they do a great job occupying it. I love coming to this place not just for wings but for anything. I’ve never had a bad meal there. The Dumpster fries are always on point and their original sandwiches are innovative and loaded with flavor. That’s what I love most about Ale Mary’s; there never satisfied with what they put out there. They’re always thinking of new creations. It’s called caring, look into it. The place is typically always busy and is always very clean. We didn’t hit up the game room, but they have a few pool tables and other games in there. Ale Mary’s has always been a place that’s solid to watch a game at due to many others thinking the same thing. That’s always a major plus. Also, they have a very good beer selection with many solid craft brews on draft. The service was very nice. Our server was cool dude who chimed in to our banter. He picked up on the subtleties of the Wing Men and had some solid suggestions. One of the biggest reasons Ale Mary’s gets a 9 for me is because the vibe of everyone in the joint is always a hustling positive one. People are moving and shaking, which makes the atmosphere one where you think to yourself that you’re in a place with people who know what they’re doing.
Wing Size: 8
In 2014, we came here and I gave Ale Mary’s a 7 for wing size/price. We live in a new era and wing prices are at an all time high and their wing size and price hasn’t changed. For that, they get a boost. On their wing night, wings are half off making them 50 cents a wing. That’s really good in today’s wing climate. They also have a decent size to them. There’s bigger ones out there but these wings have a size that you won’t be pouty about as long as you have a soul. A very solid crispiness to these wings is something you will find. One thing I don’t love is that they don’t let you get orders of wings in denominations of 5 on wing night. I wish they did so that I can get my own 20 with 4 different sauces. I’d like that a whole heck of a lot.
Wing Flavors: 8
So, Ale Mary’s does things a little bit different than most. They have 11 flavors on their menu that never really change but they also have a few different flavors every week that aren’t on the menu. This week they had raspberry teriyaki, porketta, and citrus moto(possibly spelling this wrong). There’s a chalkboard when you walk near the dinning area that tells you which new flavors they have. I love the idea of new flavors every week. Gives the wing sauce creators a chance to try new things that may lead to a sauce becoming a permanent fixture on the main roster.
Wing Taste (x2): 8
Lynch and I split 40 wings since we couldn’t get them in orders of 5. I will say that I was battling a stomach ache, but I understand what my job is so I put my head down and went out there and performed. Some say my performance is up there with Jordan’s flu game. I think that’s a fair comparison. The first flavor we got was Some Where In The Middle. This sauce is almost like a traditional buffalo wing. It was tasty and was very similar to old school type buffalo sauces that you would always get back in the day. Nothing remarkable about it, but it did it’s job of representing old school buffalo. Next was one of the special sauces, which was the raspberry teriyaki. It was just alright. Not very raspberry nor was it very teriyaki. Kinda weak on overall flavor. I like the idea of the sweet and salty, but for me, it just didn’t happen. Moving on to the fiery ranch. These wings were fantastic. They had a beautiful orangish color to them and were loaded with flavor. This tag team had the coolness of the ranch backed up by the heat of fiery part. The fiery aspect of this sauce I think was there buffalo type sauce from the Some Where In The Middle sauce, but it easily could of been from their house sauce. Either way, it made for a great sauce. Lastly and the wing I believe both myself and Lynch thought was the best was the wasabi ranch. It’s no secret that we’re suckers for anything ranch. Ranch can’t be stopped and that’s just life. But the added sinus clearing powers of wasabi brought a whole different type of heat as compared to the fiery ranch. Wasabi ranch are slowly but surely on the rise. There’s a few places in the area where you can get it and every time I’ve had it was always a top contender for best wing of the night. These wasabi ranch wings at Ale Mary’s had the ranch and the wasabi but also had a a few streaks of their hot sauce drizzled on them. They were aesthetically pleasing while also wildly tasty. A must have when you’re looking for wings at Ale Mary’s.
Ale Mary’s Podcast - 12/22/14
Our Ale Mary’s Podcast Review is now up for your ears to hear. Check it out at the bottom of this post!
This is our second visit to Ale Mary’s and we enjoyed their award-winning Peanut Butter and Jelly wings. For those who may have forgot, they won craziest wing at the Wings at the Waterpark event last summer. We talk about this very unique wing in the podcast.
To read about our previous visit, head over to the Ale Mary’s Review Page. Also, if you want to see all our podcasts that we have recorded so far, click on the Wingcast Link in the navigation bar. Even better, you can subscribe to The Wing Men podcast in iTunes so you always download the latest one.
Ale Mary’s - 12/22/14
First Time to Ale Mary’s
Overall Rating: 79Lynch Serniak
Lynch's Rating: 39 out of 50Environment: 9
Operating out of the building that used to be Whistles, Ale Mary’s is a new kid on the block in the city of Scranton. It is a nicer establishment with a good selection of food and beer. The place has a big bar and lots of tables for seating. It is well-kept and the service was stellar. Our bartender/server was very attentive and knowledgeable about the food and drinks on the menu. We sat outside, and I feel like it is easy to forget about the people out there, but our dude was always checking on us, even though he was manning the bar. It wasn’t super busy, so it may have been a different story if it was more packed. Either way, the guy was great at his job. There aren’t many tables outside, but on a nice day or night, it is always a nice treat to enjoy some outdoor dining if you can grab a table. After ordering, we didn’t have to wait long for the wings at all. They were served in what looked like fryer baskets on top of cutting boards. It was a unique touch that added a bit of charm to something simple like wings. Ale Mary’s does not allow you to get orders of less than ten, which is a slight let down since I wanted to try more of the flavors they offered. Be sure to check the specials board to see if they have any wing sauces not on the menu.
Wing Size: 8
They aren’t the cheapest around at $0.50, but you definitely get your money’s worth with these wings. The wings are nice and crispy, all while being pretty massive. I was struggling near the 12 mark, and I normally take down 15 without a problem. You will leave more than full.
Wing Flavors: 8
The menu itself is pretty bare when it comes to wing choices, but on their wing night, Ale Mary’s usually makes some interesting specials. For example, on this night, they had a Chicken Parm wing and a Bacon Cheddar Ranch wing. It’s great to see some creativity out there. It was a bit upsetting to not see the Peanut Butter and Jelly wing on the menu or as a special since it was the wing that won craziest at the Wings at the Waterpark event. Either way, you’re bound to find some flavor that catches your eye. For reference, the flavors that are always on the menu are House, Porketta, Capt Morgan Jerk, and Bourbon+Bacon.
Wing Taste (x2): 7
On this trip, we ordered Bacon Cheddar Ranch, House, Porketta, and Bourbon+Bacon. The Bacon Cheddar Ranch was a special sauce for the day and it did not disappoint. The wing was covered in melted, shredded cheddar cheese and topped with pieces of bacon. Then, what looked like a ranch dressing mixed with hot sauce was drizzled over all the wings. I am a huge sucker for a bacon, cheddar, ranch combination, and I loved the taste here. They do serve the wings with a side of extra ranch for dipping if you’d like. Also, they use real bacon on the wings, which is a nice touch. They also use real bacon on the Bourbon+Bacon. The bourbon sauce was like a thick, bourbon/molasses sauce. It was sticky and sweet. With the bacon on top, it added a saltiness to it that enhanced the flavor. The Porketta were a bit of a let down. All the Porketta seasoning was there, but it seemed to be lacking a bit in the flavor department. It is difficult to make a good dry rub, and I think Ale Mary’s needs to work on their formula here a bit. Finally, the House sauce was another hit. The sauce itself is not your traditional hot sauce. It sort of reminds me of sweet and sour sauce that you would get at a Chinese restaurant, but with a lot more flavor to it. These wings were great. The slight spice at the end of the wing really brought it up a notch in my book.
Serniak's Rating: 40 out of 50Environment: 9
Formerly Whistle’s, a place I enjoyed immensely, when I was 21, has been transformed into Ale Mary’s at the Bittenbender. Located on Franklin St. in Scranton, Ale Mary’s is a new establishment that has already made a name for themselves with a popular happy hour on Friday and also by placing first at the Wings at the Waterpark wing festival for craziest wing flavor. The inside is classy but not snobbish in any way. When you walk in, you know that the place isn’t a dive bar but you also can tell by the feel of the place that you can go in there with friends from all walks of life and have a fun time. Our server was also one of the bartenders and he was really nice and had a good personality for the trade. He also had a killer beard. The weather was still nice so we took the opportunity to eat outside. The inside has 2 separate bars stocked full including a good selection of craft beer. There are tables throughout the place that can seat any number of people. For whatever reason, I just really enjoyed the atmosphere. It’s just has a real positive vibe to it. It wasn’t boring, it wasn’t over the top with stuff to do, it didn’t have 200 tvs, it was just right. A great balance of everything.
Wing Size: 7
These wings were very large and at 50 cents a wing, you will walk away full. They also had a crispiness to them that you don’t always get with larger wings. The only thing I would of liked to do would have been to get wings in orders of 5 instead of orders of 10. I feel like most people prefer that option but if you have enough flavors and there are 2 of you, it’s not a big deal. We split 40 and it worked out great.
Wing Flavors: 8
On their menu, it shows that they only have a few flavors such as house, bourbon bacon, porketta and Captain Morgan Jerk, which just by itself, is an interesting and unique selection. But at Ale Mary’s they switch out new sauces every week or so, to keep things fresh. This week they had cheesy bacon ranch and Korean BBQ. I wish they had the flavor that came in first at the wing festival, which was a peanut butter and jelly sauce.
Wing Taste (x2): 8
All the wings were lovely. We got house, which was their hot, porketta, cheesy bacon ranch and bourbon bacon. The house were very tasty. They weren’t overly hot but maybe that’s why they call them their house wing. Either way, it was very flavorful with tame spices and a buttery taste you’ll enjoy. The porketta were solid. I don’t think we ever had a porketta wing that we disliked. The only thing that would have made it better would have been more seasoning. But I can say that for just about every wing I have had. I always want more sauce or seasoning of whatever flavor it is. The cheesy bacon ranch might have been my favorite. What’s not to like out of that trio? The cheese sauce was a nice heavy layer of cheddar cheese that you would get with cheese fries and topped with actual pieces of bacon. Then covered in ranch sauce. It was everything I ever needed. Finally, the bourbon bacon was an excellent choice to have on the menu and in my belly. Again, it had actual pieces of bacon added with the sweetness of the bourbon BBQ sauce and I think molasses syrup was in there as well. It all came together to make a flavorful wing that will make you crave the morning.