Having a free kid-less night is a blessing, and when the in-laws come down to offer such a service, the wife and I don’t ask questions, we just bolt out the door. But to where? Good thing I have my handy dandy list that’s compiled from our “Suggest a Joint” section to lead the way. So, I crack it open and see that Marty, Kenny, and Katrina all think that the place to grab great wings is at their local pub called Schileens. Only one way to know for sure, so we head down to Westville to see what’s on the menu wing-wise.
Schileens offers Mild, Hot, Garlic, BBQ, Honey Mustard, or their hottest sauce: Extinguisher. They also have a Blackened version of the wings that included a Cajun spice rub and sounded delicious. But what do I do? I wanted to try the normal wings AND the Blackened to get to experience both, but I didn’t want to order two separate orders like some places make you do. Da-da-da-da!!! Enter the waitress who said it would be no trouble to split the order of ten into two fives making all my dreams come true. How awesome. So I ordered five of the normal wings tossed in Hot sauce and five of the Blackened wings along with a side of Extinguisher for good measure.
The plate came out and looked incredible. The chef even went so far as to splitting my two varieties with the celery which acted like a little vegetable barrier keeping both flavors from intermingling. I decided to start with the normal wings first to see how their classic Buffalo flavors taste. The wings came naked and were a pretty normal size. The orange glow of the meat not only reassured me that they were coated nicely, but also acted like a sparkling lure leaving me mesmerized. One bite and I could taste what appeared to be a Frank’s and butter mixture. It was a good sauce that took out the sharpness of the vinegar and left a nice smooth taste remaining. The meat was really tender, and it came out of the kitchen piping hot which is always a plus, but I didn’t get the “Wow” sensation that I’m always looking for. So, I turned to the other side of the dish to see what I could find on the west side of celery wall. The Blackened wings are essentially the regular wings which have been deep fried, rubbed in Cajun spices, tossed in sauce, and thrown in the oven for a good bake. A lot of care went into these wings and it showed. The skin was crispy and the seasoning was very visible, but my favorite part about these wings was that they were actually more tender than the previous wings that were just fried. The spices added another layer to the wings which, when coupled with me rolling it around in the Hot sauce, made the wings even more desirable. Only thing left to do was to try the side of sauce I had sitting there.
The Extinguisher sauce smelled like what I could best describe as “Horrible in a cup.” Sure it seemed hot, but it also had that Robitussin smell (that usually means an extract was used for heat) mixed with something raisin-y. “Horrible in a cup,” or not, I poured it on the last remaining wing and gave a good bite. I have to be honest when I say that I expected worse. I didn’t get a disgusting taste from the extract that I expected. Instead, I was tasting more of a raisin flavor (or apricot) mixed with peppers and heat. The heat didn’t come in all at once, either. It tended to creep up on me until my face started to sweat. Even though this sauce was more pleasant than expected, it still wasn’t my cup of tea.
When looking at the whole picture, Schileens Pub is a small bar that brings a friendly atmosphere with some pretty tasty wings. It’s the type of place where every time I said “thank you” they said “you’re welcome.” My advice on the wings would be to order them Blackened and smother them in the Hot sauce, because otherwise they tend to be a bit dry with just the rub. BUT, add the sauce and you find yourself with the perfect union of flavors. As for the people and staff… well the backs of their shirts say it all: “Always remember… there are no strangers here, just friends that have never met… yet!”
32 Delsea Dr., Westville, NJ 08093