When it comes to lunch in downtown Schenectady on Saturday, you can't go wrong if you wing it.
With the sixth annual Wing Walk, there will be plenty of varieties to choose from.
Organized by the Schenectady Downtown Business Improvement Corp., as well as Proctors and Schenectady County, the Wing Walk brings together 20 restaurants to compete in a people’s choice wing tasting contest. Three guest judges will also declare winners in several categories.
Before the sampling starts at noon, attendees can pick up their ballots at Proctors’ Box Office (432 State Street). Samplers may cast their votes for their favorite wing recipe by placing completed ballots in the Wing Walk drop boxes at each participating restaurant or at Proctors by 5 p.m.
Tickets are capped at 1,500, and according to the BID, they will run out. When the Walk started out several years ago, it was slated for a few hours on a Thursday evening and the cap was 600 people. It’s quickly outgrown that count and it’s consistently driven more than a thousand people to downtown Schenectady year after year.
The number of participating restaurants has grown over the years as well, often bringing out the more creative side of local chefs. One restaurant is going all out with “Game of Thrones” inspired flavor, and others are spicing up a few classics.
Slidin’ Dirty, a newcomer to the Wing Walk, will be cooking up a sesame ginger wing dish.
RARE Craft Steak and Cocktail House, another newcomer which opened earlier this year in downtown Schenectady, will be serving sweet and savory maple bacon bbq wings.
“Although we are known as a destination for steak, we want to show the public that we aren’t chicken to spread our culinary wings,” said Josh Mackenburg is a release.
Mad Jack Brewing Pub at the Van Dyck is slated to release a seasonal ale they’re calling the Upstate Harvest Ale. Every ingredient is made in or from upstate New York, including hops from Indian Ladder Farm, honey from Double A’s Bee Farm in Round Lake, and ingredients from the Mabee Farm. They’re using the ale as inspiration (and ingredient) for their Upstate Harvest Wings, for a flavor that’s fresh and sweet.
Thomaura O’Sullivan, the owner of Canvas, Corks, and Forks on Union Street, will be coming back with a unique smoke gouda, honey pecan barbeque wings with a red onion relish.
“We won third place for it last year,” O’Sullivan said. No doubt she’s setting her sights on first this time around.
The guest judges will be Samantha Legere, the coordinator of development at Schenectady County Community College, Jasmine Nakkab, the president of the Union College Student Forum, and David Howard King, the editor/associate publisher of The Alt Weekly. The trio will be judging for the following categories: judge’s top pick, the most creative, the best sauce or dry rub, the best texture and the best appearance/presentation.
This year, there will also be childcare for children ages six weeks to 12 years offered by the Capital District YMCA Schenectady Branch. Kids can play gym games or work on crafts throughout the Wing Walk. Space is limited and children must be registered by Friday, October 6. Childcare is $5 per hour per child.
WHEN: Noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7
WHAT: Sample wings from 20 restaurants and vote for your favorite.
WHERE: Downtown Schenectady
COST: $12 for adults, $7 for students (with I.D.). To purchase, visit Proctors at 432 State Street, call 518-346-6204 or visit proctors.org
Participants & Wing Flavors
- 20 North Broadway: 20NB Wing
- 151 Bar & Restaurant: Game of Bones — Wing Walker Sauce
- Aperitivo Bistro: When Pigs Fly Wing
- Apostrophe Café: Maple Siracha Wing
- Backstage Pub & Grill: Garlic Parm Wing
- Bombers Burrito Bar: Bombers x Stacks Coffee Collaboration Wing
- Canvas, Corks & Forks: Smoked Gouda & Honey Pecan BBQ Boneless Wing
- Centre Street: A Public House & Garden: Peruvian Dry Rub Wing w/Green Goddess Sauce
- Cornells in Little Italy: Spicy Tuscan Grilled Chicken Wing
- The Horses Lounge at Clinton Street Pub: Sweet-N-Sassy Wing
- Hunter’s on Jay: Hunter’s House Sauce Wing
- Katie O’Byrne’s: Holy Trinity Sauce Wing
- Mad Jack Brew Pub at The Van Dyck: Upstate Harvest Wing Infused w/Mad Jack Beer
- Manhattan Exchange: Zippy Honey Garlic Wing
- Nico’s Rooftop Tavern: Jack Daniels BBQ Wing
- Pho Queen: Siamese Wing
- Pinhead Susan’s: The Mad Jameson BBQ Wing
- RARE Craft Steak & Cocktail House: Maple Bacon BBQ Wing
- Slidin’ Dirty (Schenectady): Sesame Ginger Wing
- Taj Mahal Restaurant: Taj Mahal Spicy Wing