2036 Swamp Pike
Our Place is not in Philly. Nor is it fine dining, by any stretch of the imagination. What it is, however, is the place that holds the crown of "Best Wings" in my book, and has been atop the throne for most of my effective eating life. I used to go to this place in high school, and I always knew it was a gem. I haven't been here in about a year, and I planned a trip to the area with the specific intent of getting down on some wings in the process. I am happy to report, they are still on the top of my list. I have found a couple of pretty good spots in Philly, but none can hold a candle to Our Place. Seriously.
A basket has 12-15 and a bucket has about 50. On Wednesday nights, buckets contain about 30 and are only $11.95. So good. What most places around the city seem to be missing is the simplicity that makes an order of wings good. #1. Fry them hard. I mean super crispy. People do not want soggy or chewy wings. #2. Put some love in the sauces, but don't get too fancy. This is, after all, bar food at its most basic. They were (allegedly) invented because a bar owner had left-over chicken scraps, and fried them up for hungry and intoxicated patrons one night. So let's get off of our brining, marinating, pressure cooking high horse. Deep fry them, period. #3. Chunky, indulgent, delicious blue cheese. No watery, "is that a piece of blue cheese?" cheap dipping sauce. #4. Fry the wings hard.
Our Place uses fresh, never frozen wings, and fries them hard. They are ALWAYS crispy, and that is the single most important factor in making wings. Bar none. Above are the original hot wings. The sauce is a perfect consistency, perfectly coating the wings. A winner. I also like the dry spiced Chesapeake wings. They are basically just shaken with an Old Bay spice mixture, but they really hit the spot and are super crispy. The dry spicy exterior really soaks up the perfectly chunky rich blue cheese dressing, and maximizes the calorie intake.
The real surprise for me, however, was that I might just have liked the oriental sesame sauce the best. I can't remember having it there before, and I was beyond surprised at the complexity of the sauce, it was thick and sweet and perfectly complemented the wings. Dipping the original hot wings in the remaining Asian sauce produced a spicy, sweet, sticky wing that was more than I had hoped for. Our Place, you win again. I can't wait to go back, and really sink my teeth into another twenty to fifty wings.
The other big surprise was the crab fries. I was skeptical when I saw them on the menu, but once again, I was wrong. They were FAR superior to the lifeless cold Chickie and Pete's crab fries I have come to expect around the city. These were perfectly fried (no surprise) and the seasoning went great with the ranch dressing served on the side.
The Special, a homemade roast beef sandwich on rye with special sauce (a Thousand Island interpretation) and Swiss was delicious as always. The beef is perfectly tender and this is really a great indulgence with the gooey cheese and messy sauce held together by the slightly bitter rye.
The Southwest wrap, as can be expected, was nothing to write home about. A solid wrap with blackened chicken, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, and cheese. It was just what I had expected. I was so full I had to take the other half home.
The loaded baked potato topped with homemade chili was more than one man could be expected to finish. It was comfort food at its finest, which is what Our Place does best. It is the standard by which I measure all other traditional bar food. I wish it was closer to Philly.