When Serniak picked Charlie’s Café in Ashley for our wing visit, I figured we’d have to leave pretty early to make it there at a reasonable time due to the distance. In my mind, Ashley was just as far, if not farther, than Nanticoke. Surprisingly though, Charlie’s Café is only a little over 20 minutes away from our humble homes in Scranton (that’s without 81 traffic, of course). Once we arrived, we struggled to find some parking as there wasn’t any allowed out front and the side streets were pretty packed. A sign in Charlie’s indicated there is a parking lot behind it, but it’s not super easy to find. Be sure to take the alleyway on one of the side streets around Charlie’s to get there for easier parking. Charlie’s Café is an established place with a long bar with roughly 20 seats and a number of high bar tables for dining. It was decently packed at the tables, but there were plenty of seats at the bar, so we took a spot close to the end. Our bartender seems like she’s been there a while as she was familiar with many of the patron, She was friendly and conversation, even humoring us when we were torn on the jingle for Kneobels (I was right with “Fun, Food, and Fantasy”, by the way). Just a warning though, it seems this place is well known for taking a long time on their food orders, at least on wing night. A friend told us as much, and we even had people in the bar with us who called their orders ahead to make sure it was ready closer to when they got there. We waited a bit over 45 minutes for our wings, so if you are able to call ahead, I would suggest doing that, unless you’re cool waiting. At least we were able to get Wheel of Fortune on while we waited.
I did a little research before our visit and found a post on Facebook about Charlie’s stating the wings were 40 cents each. It was an older post, so I assumed that price must have changed. Well, I was wrong. It was a pleasant surprise to still find a place only charging 40 cents for their wings. Not only that, but the wings were a pretty good size as well. You’ll definitely fill up with your usual order. Plus, they allow for orders of 5, so you’re able to get a good variety of options, which there were a lot of.
The flavors list on the Charlie’s Café menu is pretty large. When you take a closer look though, you’ll see that a lot of the flavors are just variations on the same base. Don’t get me wrong I love big mixtures of sauces, but just don’t expect anything earth shattering. Most sauces are a combination of Hot, Blue Cheese, Ranch, Butter Garlic, Cajun, or Garlic. I do like that there are some combinations put together that I haven’t really seen before. The Butter Garlic Creamy Ranch was definitely appealing, and that Hot Maple Garlic was very intriguing, but there were so many combinations to choose from that I had to save some for another trip.
I love places that allow orders of five because that really allows me to spread my wings (yes, that’s a wing pun) and try a whole bunch of flavors. I got two Blue-based sauces and two Ranch-based sauces. The Hot Blue was a mixture of their Hot sauce and Blue cheese. This seems to be a big seller at Charlie’s and I can see why. It was a good balance of the traditional cayenne based hot sauce with the right amount of blue cheese dressing. It is definitely a crowd pleaser. I also ordered the Cajun Blue, which I actually preferred over the Hot Blue. The Cajun Blue had a similar taste and combo of the Hot Blue that was amped up with the addition of Cajun seasoning. I’m a sucker for Cajun and I really liked the extra spice it brought to the Hot Blue sauce. The Butter Garlic Creamy Ranch was a bit of a letdown for me. It definitely lived up to its name with a butter garlic sauce base and Ranch dressing drizzled over the top. It was just kind of bland to me. I have a feeling the Butter Garlic Ranch (not Creamy) is probably the same Butter Garlic wing with a Ranch dry rub, which now that I think about it, I would definitely prefer. I guess hindsight is 20/20. Finally, I ordered the Spicy Ranch. This wing looked like the traditional Hot with Ranch dressing drizzled over it. The Hot sauce base was tasty, and even though it was served similar to the Butter Garlic Creamy Ranch, the Ranch just tasted better on these wings. Hot and Ranch are just a great combination. I do wish the Ranch and Hot sauce were mixed together, similar to the Hot Blue, because there were some wings that were lacking the ranch that I was looking for. Overall, the wings were cooked quite nicely. They were a good size, meaty, with a slight crispiness that I enjoy. I think your experience with the sauces will really be driven by what you order. For a traditional hot though, they seemed to get it right, which you can probably read more on in Serniak’s review.
This is a first for your NEPA Wingmen because this is the first time we were ever in Ashley… to review wings. I’m happy to report that I’m glad we decided to enter Ashley to go to Charlie’s Cafe. Charlie’s has that townie/corner bar feel to it though it’s not located on a corner. It’s a long bar that has plenty of seating all over the place. It’s definitely a place that caters to sports’ fans, but if you ask they’ll put the Wheel on. We sat at the bar and our bartender/server was super nice and informative. There was a moment where a person called the bar and asked her if they can bring their kids. Her response was ” well you could, but it’s still a bar so you’re still going to here things that you would normally here in a bar.” I thought that was a great answer. Also, she gave us the WiFi password, which was nice.You’re able to split orders in orders of 5 if you so desire.
Not a place that has a pool table, but I believe they do have darts. Good selection of craft brew is also able to be had. Our wings took a little bit of time, but the place was so chill that it didn’t matter at all. Charlie’s isn’t a smoking bar, so you don’t have to worry about that aspect, if that bothers you. Nice people were there especially the guy who sat next to me and advised me to order the wings with extra sauce. Whoever you are, thanks.
A funny thing that happened was that some guy walked past me and said “no one outs baby in the corner.” I have to agree.
Charlie’s Cafe is like the Neo of the wings world, because the price and size of their wings is an anomaly. Very big wings is what you get here, and on their wing night, which is Tuesday, they are only 40 cents a wing. That’s just something that doesn’t happen anymore, but I’m glad that Charlie’s blazes their own path and doesn’t concede to high wing prices.
24 flavors is what Charlie’s Cafe offers. That’s an excellent amount of flavors. They have a pretty good spectrum of flavors to choose from. Flavors from blue heat, Cajun blue, Hawaiian sweet heat, old bay butter garlic and several more.
Though they were large wings, I still had my standard 20. I got hot, old bay butter garlic, blue Cajun and Hawaiian sweet heat. First, the hot were good. They were your classic Frank’s Red Hot style cut with butter. It’s a good tasting sauce, but it’s one we’eve all had many times. Next were the blue Cajun. It’s their Cajun sauce mixed with blue cheese. These were very good and they looked lovely. The heat and spice of the Cajun sauce balanced with the blue cheese was a excellent union. Neither one of the flavors was more dominant over the other. Moving on to the Hawaiian sweet heat, they were not what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be a thinner, stickier sauce sort of like an Asian sauce. That’s not what they were. These were an orangy sauce that pieces of pineapple in it. I thought these were lacking both heat and had more sweetness. They weren’t bad, but I could have used more heat in there. Lastly, the old bay butter garlic, were the best I had. They had a very good amount of old bay seasoning and that coupled with the butter garlic was fantastic. It helped that they had a ton of garlic on it. I’m a big fan of tons of garlic, and these wings didn’t disappoint in that department.