The Ale House – Troy, NY
If you talk to people about where the great wings in the area are, I have no doubts that people will lead you to Troy, which has a few legendary wing spots, one being The Ale House (680 River Street). It’s definitely what most people would classify as a neighborhood bar, and some may even consider it a dive. One Friday, I took the day off, so I decided I wanted some wings.
The menu is one page, front and back, and is really focused on your standard pub appetizers and sandwiches. Like I said, getting wings was the mission, so I ordered 10 wings. The young man indicated I could split an order, so I got 5 of them hot and 5 with their 2004 Award Winning recipe (which was 50 cents extra).
The regular hot wings were excellent. They’re nicely fried perfectly crisp with juicy meat. Then they’re tossed in a reasonably hot “Frank’s style” sauce. There are some additional seasonings in there, too. I wouldn’t say they were terribly hot; they definitely stimulated the tastebuds, that’s for sure.
The 2004 Award Winning Hot Wings were pretty damn hot, borderline ridiculous! They’re a little more heavily sauced, and the sauce is predominantly habanero peppers. There’s a little sweetness to it too and some additional spices, but really all you’ll get is a bunch of heat and the flavor of habaneros (no Chrome spell-check; I do not want to change this word to “headbangers”). If you’re a heat freak like me, they’re awesome!
I got the roast beef super sandwich (on a hard roll with cheddar, bacon, and horseradish mayo – $8.99).
The sandwich wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t supposed to be. The roast beef tasted like roast beef and, like roast beef usually does, benefited from some extra salt and pepper. The bacon and cheddar on it was great, and the horseradish mayo wasn’t at all heavy. It came with chips and a pickle, so it was a great lunch portion.
The bill came as a bit of a surprise. The beer was I had $6 and the sandwich was $9, so from deducting from the $27 total, that means my wings costed $12. I was ready for them costing $9.50 ($9 for the order of 10 and $0.50 for getting the award winning hot). So it looks like I got charged $1.25 twice to split the order. I wish the server would have told me, because that’s a little ridiculous. My experience, overall, was positive, though.
I arrived around 11:45am, and by 12:15pm, the place was packed for lunch. Most of the people were dressed professionally, which makes lots of sense since there are a bunch of offices in that vicinity.