With East Coast Wings opening this week, I had my first experience there Thursday night with some friends and co-workers.
My first impression was that it needs a bigger parking lot! I ate at Ham’s — which was in the spot before ECW opened — a lot and I never saw the lot as full as it was Thursday at 7:45 p.m. And that’s not just a one-time thing — it’s been that way every night it’s been opened.
But don’t let the full parking lot scare you away; even though we had to park in Greene County, we only had to wait about 5 minutes to be seated. It appears they’ve really done a great job of re-arranging seating inside the restaurant to accommodate customers.
With it being so full, though, the service was pretty bad. After being seated, we didn’t have a server for approximately 10 minutes for our waiter to come to the table. Sadly, the service really only got worse from there; the waiter we had was serving about five booths and he was overwhelmed. I did note other waiters and waitresses, though, and they didn’t seem to have the same problem, so I’m going to chalk it up to inexperience.
We were at ECW for the Celtics-Cavs game and we got the channel changed to it — and that’s when the worst part of the night happened: for some reason, they’re not able to put the volume up for the games! They have state-of-the-art HD flatscreens all over the restaurant … but you can’t hear the game? Not good.
But that was the worst part of the night, though. Remember the hand-cut chips Ham’s had? ECW has virtually the same thing — but you can order a bottomless, all-you-can-eat version of it for less than $6! It’s a great deal — especially if you’re at ECW for a while (watching a game, fantasy football draft or checking out the waitresses). The beer prices were very fair, too — a “big-boy” Yuengling (about 24 ounces) was only $3.75, which is considerably lower than at most restaurants, which charge $5 to $6.
The best part? The wings. I ordered two flavors — Kentucky bourbon wings and parmesan wings, and they were FREAKING AWESOME. I love Buffalo Wild Wings — I really do — but I’ll be damned if those ECW wings weren’t as good or better than any BWW I’ve ever had. Anyone who knows me is going to think I’ve lost my mind, but it’s true — those wings were fantastic!
So, let’s break down this review (one to five stars for each category):
Atmosphere: 3 stars (you gotta have sound for games!)
Food: 5 stars (arguably the best wings I’ve ever had)
Service: 2 stars (but I’m going to chalk that up to our waiter being REALLY busy)
Prices: 3 1/2 stars (wings are a little pricey — but worth it. Beer and bottomless soft drinks — for $2 — prices make up for the wing prices. I’m looking forward to the 1/2-price night or 30-cent wing night)
Overall: 3 1/2 stars. But this can move to 4 and even 4 1/2 stars with a little work, i.e., have sound for games, get a waiter who knows what he’s serving.
Oh, I’m going to be back, and probably at some point this weekend (I’ll give you a follow-up here on the blog)! This is a very, very good addition to Kinston and it shows that if you build something people want, it’ll get customers.