For the third consecutive year, St. Francis Church, 308 Jefferson Street, has held a foodie event in town for a good cause. For the second year, that food has been chicken wings. Last Saturday, St. Francis Helpers raised over $16,000 for families impacted by the typhoon in the Philippines, at the Hoboken Elks Lodge. The pastor, Father Chris Panillo is originally from the Philippines so the typhoon really hit home. Last year, A Wing and A Prayer filled up the Elks Lodge for Hurricane Sandy victims.
So how does A Wing & A Prayer work? Hoboken restaurants went head to head in a spicy, sweet and sometimes sour competition. Attendees were given a coin when they checked in for candid voting purposes. Wing-filled trays lined the room and you were free to scoop up whichever you were feeling brave enough to taste test. For example: Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings with Bacon Fluff Dipping Sauce was a Village Pourhouse contender!
(I was not brave enough to try them)
The event was completely sold out and packed with wing lovers everywhere. Fresh celery and carrot sticks dotted the tables as accompaniments - but of course most people's favorite accompaniment was behind the bar. There's nothing like great wings and ice cold beer! Crowds lined up for Yuengling and Coors in the adjacent bar room and of course, there were wings bar-top too!
There were various raffles simultaneously being sold - a traditional 50/50 as well as local goodies for grabs like massages, dinner gift certificates to favorites such as Bin 14, designer handbags and paintings. Judging by the full necklaces of raffle tickets that attendees wore, the raffles were received very well -- the crowd was full of great sports. Good sports or not, all voting is done completely anonymously. You simply put your chip in your favorite wing maker and voila! The competitors included: 1 Republik, Carpe Diem, City Bistro, Clinton Social, Green Rock, Hotel Victor, Johnny Pepperoni, Little Town NJ, The Madison, Mikie Squared, San Giuseppe, Trinity and Village Pourhouse - all for one (literal) wing-stuffed trophy.
In the end, only one restaurant could be crowned the king of the wing - which was Carpe Diem, 1405 Grand Street. Their wings were crispy, flavorful and had just the right temperature for a wing connoisseur. Clinton Social, 700 Clinton St., and San Giuseppe, 1320 Adams St., took first and second runner(s) up respectively. Congrats to our chicken champions.
Winner winner, chicken dinner! Literally.