We were nearing our three year anniversary since our last visit to Happy Valley Sports Bar, so we figured we were long overdue on another visit. I’m surprised this is a place we have only visited twice over the past couple years. It is a very chill place with some pretty tasty wings, which is apparent by their multiple wins for best wings at Wings at the Waterpark. This Penn State-themed bar has a number of things going on inside it. There is a Banquet hall area, a main bar section, and then an outdoor patio. I’m unsure how new the patio is, but I don’t recall it being available, or at least open, when we visited in the past. Being the suckers we are for outdoor dining, we took a seat on the patio. Even though it’s been raining for roughly the last 100 days straight, we were safe as there is plenty of covered seating. There is also large TV out there in case you want to sit outside and watch a televised sporting event. Our waitress was nice, we had quick service, and our wings didn’t take long at all. The wings only come in orders of 10, so if you want a good variety, be sure to plan splitting with a friend. Sern and I always do this to get as much variety as possible.
On wing night, Happy Valley serves their wings in orders of 10 for $6. These wings are pretty large for the most part. Plus, some of the wings come with extra toppings that are even more filling, such as the Jalapeno Popper wings and the Garlic Parm. I don’t know if it was my big lunch I had earlier in the day or the wings were just that filling, but I was well below my normal wing intake for the evening.
I was torn between a 7 and an 8 on this one. While Happy Valley doesn’t provide the biggest selection of wings around, they do give you some decent options. Plus the uniqueness of some of the flavors bumped them up to an 8 for me. You don’t see Bacon too often in a wing flavor, so that’s more than cool in my book. I like that they have a number of dry rubs available, too. Plus there’s a good variety in options with many of the flavors on the menu being pretty different from each other. On top of that, the last four flavors on the menu (indicated by asterisks in our wing flavors section of the Happy Valley page) can be ordered as mild, medium or hot.
I knew going into our Happy Valley visit we were in for some tasty wings, and I certainly was not disappointed. A common complaint we’ve had in the past for Porketta dry rubs at other places is that they were either under seasoned or over seasoned. It was difficult to find one that was just right. Well, Happy Valley is one of those places that get it right. I loved the addition of butter as I think it helped mellow out and balance the seasoning, which was on point for the wing. I really liked this flavor. The Hot Bacon Ranch was a creamy-like sauce that had an enjoyable, smoky bacon flavor up front with a hint of the ranch, followed up by a strong spice from the hot sauce. The Medium Garlic Parm had a good hot sauce based with fresh parmesan shaved on top along with minced garlic and even more shredded parmesan. The presentation was great on these wings. We decided to mix this sauce with the medium as I thought it would let the garlic and parm shine. In hindsight, it was a little milder than I wanted and I wish I got the Hot with these wings. It may have been the garlic and parm playing tricks on me, but I almost got a tomato sauce base from these wings. Maybe it was the lack of heat. In fact, I wish the heat from the Hot Bacon Ranch were scaled down just a tiny bit and the heat in the garlic parm was brought up a little. Maybe we should have reversed or medium and hot flavors. Honestly though, these were still very delicious wings that I very much enjoyed. Finally, the surprise hit of the evening, was the Jalapeno Dry Rub. This was another wing that came out looking great. The rings themselves had a dusting of dry rub, then there was a drizzle of some sort of sauce that I think was a base of sour cream mixed with some sort of spice – possibly chipotle. Finally, that was all topped with a bunch of shredded cheese (I think Monterrey Jack) and diced jalapeno. The wings weren’t really spicy, but they sure were tasty. I couldn’t really put my finger on a defining seasoning on it, although I did get hints of like a cool ranch dry rub. Either way, these wings were extremely delicious. I highly recommend.
Love being back in Happy Valley. Back to the old stomping grounds, where I used to tear up the IM building, run the tables at Sharkies and made Are You Hungry the focal point of my diet. Oh wait, this blog isn’t about life down at Penn State. This is about Happy Valley the restaurant located in Dickson City. What I did was talk about all the stuff
I never came close to ever achieving except the Are You Hungry part that I did when I was a student down in State College as if that is what I was going to talk about. Gotcha.
What I am going to discuss is my time at Happy Valley. Like I said, it’s located in Dickson City and their wing night is on Mondays. And don’t think the name of the place doesn’t pay homage to PSU. It most certainly does and then some. There’s PSU merch all over the place meaning if you dawn the colors of blue and white, this is the ideal place for you.
It’s been a bit since we’ve been here and since the last time, Happy Valley now has a very nice outdoor seating area that is equipped with a mega large TV, just in case you’re into that kind of thing. There’s TVs all over the place as well. Also, they’ve added a large dining hall, so I guess you can rent the large space out if you need it. The place is super crisp and clean and our server was spot on with everything she did. One thing she asked us before our order was placed was whether or not we wanted our wings crispy or not. Since we aren’t lunatics, we of course asked for crispy. Don’t expect to come here to play pool or darts because it’s not that kind of place. It really does cater to the athletics watching crowd which I am. But, if you just want a place with good wings and food, that is also very doable at Happy Valley as well. You can’t order wings in orders of 5, but it’s not that big of deal as long as you’re with a good time buddy and can come to a resolution of what to order.
You also get moist towelettes when your meal of wings is finished. Nice touch
Large wings is what you’re going to get at Happy Valley, which are priced at 60 cents a wing on their Monday wing night. 60 cents is right around where wings are priced for wing nights in this area, so it’s a number that anyone with even a loose grip on economics could understand. Also, it’s worth noting that they were cooked exactly to my crispy modifications that I was asked before ordering.
14 flavors is what is on the menu at Happy Valley and they get an 8 for me. Not because of the number of flavors but because of the uniqueness of the flavors. They have flavors such as jalapeno popper dry rub, honey sriracha, cool ranch dry rub, buttery porketta rub, cool bacon ranch dry rub and bacon ranch. That kind of a list shows me that they have some brains back in the kitchen and want to stand out. Well, they did just that. Is there room for more flavors? To me, there’s always room more for more. But the list they have is a fun one that covers the vast spectrum of flavors, while also touching upon the classics.
Lynch were able to come to a 40 wing consensus. First we got hot bacon ranch. With these, you definitely got the hot sauce taste in there with a little bit of ranch. I’d say there was more hot than ranch, but there wasn’t much of a bacon flavoring. They use bacon seasoning and I just think they could add more. Taste fine, I just can use more representation of each of the flavors in the wing name. Next were, the garlic parm and these wings are visually fantastic. Big old orange looking wings covered in garlic and even more covered in actual pieces of Parmesan cheese. There were enormous pieces of parm cheese caked all over these wings. Great stuff, that tasted superb. They mix these with their hot I believe and they are highly recommended. Moving on we have the jalapeno popper dry rub. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with these and let me tell you, they aren’t anything that you’d expect. They’re a dry rub seasoning on it but it’s doused in what I’ll call a Taco Bell like jalapeno ranch sauce and then covered in shredded cheese and then topped with jalapeno slices. It was an excellent display that didn’t disappoint in the flavor column. The combo of the sauce drizzled, cheese and slices of actual jalapeno made it certainly taste like you were having poppers. Excellent idea and great execution. Lastly, were the buttery porketta dry rub. I love porketta wings and butter garlic wings. This flavor brought those two worlds together and it didn’t disappoint. The amount of classic porketta seasoning coupled with the saltiness of the the butter was a dream. I’ve dreamt about this and it happened is what I’m saying. It was kind of mix of a dry rub and wet sauce. it possibly might be a new form of matter we’re not exactly sure.