September 3, 2014

Copperhead Grille

After a long day of hearing the combined sound of children laughing and screaming at the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA (which is not worth it, by the way), the family was hungry for some good food. And seeing how one of my readers, Mike S., called me out for not posting a review since May, I figured it was a good time to jump back in and see what kind of wings they had up there in the Lehigh Valley. So we planned our route to an elevated sports bar called Copperhead Grille, that apparently have been doing so well they opened up a second location in Allentown. So that’s where we decided to kick back and relax for dinner.

Right off the bat we were greeted with pleasant service and a smile as we made our way to the booth in this large bar restaurant. They have kids menus which is not only great for letting you know that this is a safe bar to bring your kids, but also for allowing me to get wings whilst having plenty of options for my family as well. The friendliness continued as the waitress, who has just recently started serving in the restaurant took our order.

You can order 5, 10, or 20 wings complete with blue cheese. However, if you are looking for celery, you need to make sure you request them otherwise they will not make it on the plate. Out of the 8 signature sauces, I ordered my 10 wings tossed in their Hot & Bothered sauce with sides of the following: Venom, Garlic Habanero, Chimmi Venom, and Sweet & Sweaty. They also carry a BBQ sauce and Sweet & Spicy Thai Glaze for those who don’t prefer the high heat.

The wings arrived on a square plate tilted slightly like a diamond with the chicken neatly stacked to give it a clean fancy look. This adds to the upscale look that Copperhead is going for with their sports bar. The wings were very nicely covered by the sauce which showed that the sauce wasn’t paste-like or watered down (both bad sauce qualities). But this excitement was immediately extinguished when I looked closer at the size… or lack thereof. These things were so incredibly small, that I was amazed that some of them could even be counted as part of my 10. So, I dug in to see if the flavors were larger than what the size had to offer.

When I rate wings, I look to see if the chicken has its own flavor without taking the sauce into consideration. And in this case, it did by having a crispy skin from the deep fryer but also a slow-baked taste as if they treated it prior to dropping it in the oil. The sauce however, is why any wing eater goes miles to have their cravings subsided.

So let’s break it down:  The Hot & Bothered sauce, which is what I had my wings tossed in, was by far my favorite. It had a comfortable heat that sizzled my lips and yet left me still tasting the peppers and Tabasco base that these sauces seem to stem from. The Venom, which came complete with a fiery symbol on the menu, made me think that I would be dying of heat… and though the fire crept up a bit, it was very tolerable and not what the name, or symbol, implied. The Chimmi Venom, though, took that Venom sauce to a whole new awesome level. Chimmi, which basically consists of garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and citrus infused olive oil spread, brought an earthiness to the sauce that its predecessor was missing all while keeping the heat, making it a much more enjoyable alternative. Moving on now to the Garlic Habanero which was so overloaded with garlic that it looked more like a paste than a sauce. After I slathered this on a wing, I noticed that you get hit with the pasty garlic first and hard, but slightly thereafter the heat creeps up from the Habanero. This is pretty much the hottest sauce that Copperhead’s has in it’s arsenal. Lastly for the faint of heart, there is the Sweet & Sweaty which takes their Mild sauce and mixes in some honey for the sweet aspect. This is the perfect sauce for the people who don’t like things too spicy but still enjoy the flavor of a good wing.

Overall, my wing experience at the Copperhead Grille was a pleasant one. If you are looking for heat, I would suggest the Chimmi Venom as it offers a slew of more flavors than just the Venom and more manageable garlic than the Garlic Habanero. The sauces, though very flavorful, still need a bit more pepper punch and acidity to bring it to more of the Buffalo style that I love. But, needless to say I would grab them again and again. One tip of advice would be that because of the super small size of these guys, make sure you go on Wing Wednesday so you can get your money’s worth. And if you feel like taking a stab at your own review, they include a survey to see how every aspect of the experience was with each bill. Taking a sports bar to an elevated level is not an easy task, but with a great staff, clean environment, and great wings, they are definitely on the right path.

Copperhead Grille
1731 Airport Rd., Allentown, PA
(610) 403-4600