As the sun dropped Friday night, we enjoyed our first outdoor meal of 2011 -- and finally had a taste of the Second Chance Saloon's Old Bay wings.
To me, wings are the ideal pub food -- the fruit of deep frying that I don't want to do at home, but without the stuffed feeling that comes when you realize that the platter of nachos really was larger than your stomach.
Second Chance Saloon's wings made us happy because they were substantial and delicious. Good meat on the bone. You get eight pieces in an order. We split one order of Old Bay and one of Buffalo and left quite happy with the first night warm enough to eat on a patio.
The Old Bay wings make my list because they're interesting. Anyone can dump a breaded chicken piece in a fryer. Second Chance turns out a light crisp texture, then the salty, spicy flavor of Old Bay. This isn't the overpowering Old Bay that you can get caked on a hardshell. This is crisp without being greasy, and you taste Old Bay and meat.
I never know which of the local pubs actually serves good food. Bad nachos and burgers make me so sad (and distended) that I tend to stay close to favorites like Victoria Gastro Pub. Second Chance had gotten a plug last year from the chef at Oceanaire Seafood Room, and one of the owners said he favored the Old Bay wings.
Second Chance has a nice menu of pub food -- somehow I got a vibe that they're trying to turn out good stuff. It has a small patio out back and a few tables in front that overlook the parking lot, and they definitely had a beer list worthy to accompany the wings. Anything else people suggest from the menu? Anywhere else you'd go for wings?
Thanks to Macsmom for tweeting about Second Chance's patio on Friday night. That was the inspiration that got us there.
To me, the gold standard for local wings is Kloby's Smokehouse where you get "double" wings with each piece having both the tiny drumstick and the "two bone" upper piece. For more opinions, check out the comments on a February 2011 post where many people chimed in on their favorites.
Second Chance Saloon
5888 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045
NEAR: Second Chance is in the Oakland Mills village center. This is between Broken Land Parkway and Rte 175 just east of Rte 29. It's the same village center that hosts Bangkok Garden and the Sunday farmers market. There is a Food Lion in the shopping area.