1401 Burnet Ave.
Syracuse, N.Y. 13206
On a road trip, I like to try and find somewhere to stop that is a couple steps better than the standard chain crap. See my last time doing so here. It is a major plus if I can grab a beer with my food, because nothing eases the stress of not driving like a slight buzz. Shifty's is a staple in Syracuse, and I have been a number of times when my travel takes me through the area. Their motto is "cold beer, hot wings, live music". Done.
At its heart, this place is a venue. As I was lunching, the band for the evening was bringing in a never-ending stream of equipment.
The menu is bar food, but the real specialty are the wings.
Of course, that didn't mean I wouldn't order a burger as well . . .
On the left are the "Godzilla" wings, basically a teriyaki/Asian with some heat and couple secret ingredients, and on the right are the "red hot and blue," which have blue cheese mixed in with the wing sauce.
The Godzilla wings were perfectly cooked, crispy, and nicely coated in the sticky flavorful sauce. These are damn good wings. The soy/hoisin flavor translated well, and I greedily scarfed them down.
The red hot and blue wings were the winner of the day. Nothing too fancy, but the salty, pungent chunks of blue were delicious, and ALMOST negated the need for additional blue cheese dipping. Just the right amount of heat, and a perfectly crispy skin, what more can you ask of the chicken gods?
The "Upstate" burger boasted sharp cheddar, horsey mayo, bacon, and maple glazed onions.
This was not for the pure of heart. Mostly because your heart was under direct attack while eating this.
The bacon was crispy and salty, the cheddar had some bite, and the onions added some significant sweetness to the burger. This was a good burger, but I still favor diner style. Shifty's is a very cool place to stop in for some wings and beer, and it's not too far off 81 if you are up that way.