Hot, Mild, Hot Garlic, Mild Garlic, Sesame Garlic, Caesar Hot Garlic, Caesar Mild Garlic, Old Bay, BBQ, Garbage, Butter Garlic Parmesan, Hot Honey, Mild Honey, Spicy Ranch, Honey Mustard, Jamaican Jerk, Hot Italian, Mild Italian, Champions Signature Sauce, Salt & Vinegar, Sweet Chili, Porketta
First Time to Champion’s Lounge - 11/16/15
Overall Rating: 72Lynch Serniak
Lynch's Rating: 34 out of 50Environment: 5
Champion’s Lounge, located within Valley Lanes of Carbondale, is a nice bowling alley lounge filled with a long bar and a couple high tables for eating. It is separated from the lanes itself, but there is a small window that leads to the bowling section where most of the ordering occurs. We arrived a bit early with the hope that we could fit a round of bowling in either before we ate or while we waited for food. Even though the place was completely empty, it was a league night, so we were unable to bowl. We definitely could have fit a game in before the league bowlers arrived. When the doors to the lounge opened, we waited a small while for the bartender to arrive as she was running late. When she did arrive, she was quick to set up and take our order. She was a nice enough bartender and made sure we had everything we needed. The wings did take some time to come out, even though we were the first ones to order any food. It may be that they had to warm up the fryers and mix some sauces.
Wing Size: 7
The wings are quite large at Champion’s Lounge – it won’t take very many to fill you up. Aim to go on Sunday or Monday in order to enjoy the wing night price. Although it wasn’t clearly listed how much wings were on wing night, it came out to about $6.50 for 10 wings based on the total of our orders. You must place orders of ten, but you can get two sauces in an order. A word of advice: It may be better to go on Sunday if you’d like to do some bowling since Monday was league night. That may change throughout the year, so if bowling is a major priority, be sure to call beforehand.
Wing Flavors: 8
We’ve been told multiple times in the past to check out the wings at Champion’s Lounge. I would always ask if they had a lot of flavors because I found it difficult to imagine a bowling alley lounge featuring a wide array of options. Well, consider me surprised once I saw the menu. There are 22 sauces listed, ranging from traditional options to unique choices. The outside-the-box choices include Salt & Vinegar, Porketta, and Old Bay. They even offer a Garbage wing, which I’m beginning to notice is a trend in Carbondale. It is usually mashing together of flavors like Hot, BBQ, Bleu Cheese, and Honey Mustard. It’s an odd combination, but I’m always a fan.
Wing Taste (x2): 7
With the large selection of wings offered at Champion’s Lounge, I decided to stick to safe options that I know I usually enjoy. The Caesar Hot Ranch is a mixture of their base Hot sauce with Caesar and Ranch dressing. They did a good job of mixing the flavors so that one did not over power the taste. It provided a nice spice that I enjoyed. The Spicy Ranch, while similar, did provide a slightly different taste. If you want more variety though, avoid ordering these two together. The Hot were a traditional hot sauce with a hint of spiciness. They were good, but I wasn’t blown away by them. Finally, the Hot Italian, as you could probably guess, was a mixture of the base Hot sauce with Italian dressing. The Italian dressing did not overpower the Hot sauce, as it easily could have, making it a tasty way to finish out my order.
Serniak's Rating: 38 out of 50Environment: 7
Is it in Carbondale Twp. or Childs? I don’t know, but that’s not the point. The point is that Champion’s Lounge located inside Valley Lanes have terrific wings and that’s all that matters. We got there at about 5:45 knowing the kitchen wasn’t open until 6, so we decided to bowl. Unfortunately, a league was coming in at 6 and we were told that we couldn’t get a lane. It was kind of a bummer because we were down for throwing some rocks, but whatever the Dude Abides. Our server/bartender was nice and insightful about the wings when we asked about them. The atmosphere was mostly low key since we were the only ones in the lounge for the majority of it. But after 6:30 the league was all in there and it was all good.
Wing Size: 6
The wings themselves are very large. Trust me; you will leave full unless you’re one of those competitive eater type people. But for the rest of us, your standard order will suffice. They get a 6 because it’s odd that they are 6.50 for 10. In my opinion, if you go over the 50 cent mark on a wing night, even in today’s economic climate, then that isn’t much of a deal compared to any other night that you serve wings. I don’t run a business but the absolute majority don’t go over the 50 cent threshold.
Wing Flavors: 9
Who knew that Champion’s Lounge had such a robust list of flavors? Not me, but I know it now. They have 22 flavors in all that also promote uniqueness and variety. Flavors such as old bay, Jamaican jerk, hot Italian, salt and vinegar and their garbage sauce, which is a culmination of several of their sauces, it was easy to give such a good score.
Wing Taste (x2): 8
The hot were nice because they reminded me of that classic hot wing taste; just hot sauce and butter, real valley style. It worked very well and brought me back to a simpler time of wing crafting many years ago. The spicy ranch was another great flavor due to its simplicity. It had the heat of the hot sauce but then was backed up with the cooling of ranch. It didn’t out think itself, it just delivered the goods. Next , I had the Champion’s Signature sauce, which was a sweet/hot sauce. It was really good. Again, it had the heat of the hot sauce, but this time it was backed up by what I think was syrup. Finally, the garbage wings stole the show. It’s a mixture of who knows which and how many flavors. It was complex but also delicious. It was a thinker sauce so I definitely believe ranch was in there, but besides that, I cannot say. It was fantastic. You should definitely order this one, when you hit up the Lanes.