Dazed: Trying the Best Wings in Cleveland

This is the tale of trying one of the top wing places in Cleveland… a really long wait for food and getting my butt grabbed by a toddler.

Toward the end of voting, Brad and I decided to go try out one of the front runners for NEO’s Best Wings, a dive bar called Good Olde Daze, near us in Parma. *Spoiler Alert* they ended up winning NEO’s People’s Choice for Best Wings for 2015.

We went on wing night, it wasn’t an incredible deal on wings, but it also wasn’t bad, 50 cents per wing in quantities for six with a drink purchase required… and oh yes, cash only. (They do have an onsite ATM). Brad and I went on a cold Thursday night and found no parking spaces, so we parked across the street and braved the ice to make it to the door. A door which we weren’t positive was the right one, but we found ourselves inside the small, but crowded place. When I say crowded, I mean there were people at every table, but the line of arcade games and pool table that occupied 50% of the dining area were not being used.

Right next to the door

We crossed the “game” area of the bar and tried to look for seats, the only server working confirmed that there were only two of us and seated us at the end of a table where a family was sitting. We ended up sitting by the other door, which lead to the parking lot and apparently the outdoor smoking area, because every time someone left or entered, we were blasted with cold air and cigarette smoke, several patrons were taking  frequent smoke breaks.

Our server was nice, not the best service we’ve ever had, but she was serving the whole dining area and it looked like the bar as well. There were maybe two seats open at the bar and not together.

 

They had Budweiser and Miller (she might have said Lite) on tap and a decent selection of bottles, including Great Lakes Christmas Ale, which I’m not used to finding in February. I got a Christmas Ale, and Brad ordered a Budweiser, it was happy hour still.

The server asked if we’d been there before, we said it was our first time and we were interested in the wings. She gave us a great description of the sauces and we ordered three types of wings: 6 pepper, their famous garlic and homemade buffalo ranch.

It took over an hour and a half for our wings to come out. That’s more than 90 minutes. In that time, Brad and I drank our beer, chatted and grew extremely hungry. About halfway through our wait, the server and bartender carried out a folding, 6-foot table to fit a new party that had come in. They literally had to bring in more furniture for the number of people there.

A family at another table had a toddler, who was obviously very bored and was wandering the bar, made it all the way into the kitchen before a family member snagged him. Moments after he strayed into the kitchen, I felt a hand on my butt. I whirled around in my chair to find the little boy, who looked up at me and wandered away.

The Wings

Brad got a second beer before happy hour ended and I ordered a water. We waited a little longer and then the wings finally came out. We were ravenous after the 90+ minute wait.

Left to right: 6 pepper, garlic, buffalo ranch

We tried one of each wing first. The wings were crispy as described, Good Olde Daze’s signature. The 6 pepper was a dry rub and very flavorful, good but not exactly my preference since I like sauced wings. The garlic sauce was the best garlic wing sauce I’ve ever had and probably my favorite. The buffalo ranch was a contender though, it was hot but creamy and not loaded down with butter the way some sauces are. The wings definitely didn’t disappoint in flavor.

Mischief Managed

We turned down dessert and the server brought us the check along with two apple pie shots on the house. She apologized many times for the wait and explained that since the voting started they’ve been busier than ever. The shots were good, in case you were wondering. I only took a sip of mine.

Overall impressions:

  • Excellent wings
  • Reasonable prices, but only take cash
  • The bathrooms were tiny but clean
  • Not enough seating
  • Not enough parking
  • Roaming, handsy toddler (not the fault of Good Olde Daze, just a part of my experience!)
  • Server was nice, but overextended

Brad and I would go back for wings, now that we know how busy they were we would definitely go planning to wait and order wings the moment we sat down. I’m glad that they won the Best Wings because the wings were truly good, I hope that their new found fame enables them to ramp up out put and maybe increase their seating a bit.

Did you vote for NEO’s Best Wings?

What’s your favorite type of wing?

 

4 thoughts on “Dazed: Trying the Best Wings in Cleveland

  1. Well, like Rebecca said, at least they were worth the wait. I like grilled Tuscan wings best, but I also like hot sweet ones as well. And I prefer the flats to the drums….weird, I know. Maybe takeout is a better option for this place?

  2. Oh yum, now I’m craving some wings!! My favorite here in CT come from Michael Jordan’s Cafe and are sauced with a mix of barbeque and buffalo. Actually, I make barbeque / buffalo mix myself at home now. 🙂

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