Wingcraft Kitchen & Beer Bar - Atlantic City, NJ
I was set to attend the Saturday night session of the Atlantic City Beer Fest and just knew that the question of "Where to eat?" on Sunday morning would come up. Originally, we were going to go somewhere else, but at the last minute pulled up the good ole Yelp app and decided to do some investigating. Very conveniently close to where I was staying, I saw reviews for Wingcraft Kitchen & Beer Bar that didn't seem to disappoint.
Located at the Tanger Outlets, Wingcraft is a must-go destination for any craft beer lover who wants to pair their beers with good food. Just fair warning, if you are walking, you're good, but if you plan on driving over and parking, you're going to want to park in the parking at Applebee's in Atlantic City. The parking is reserved specifically and validated by Wingcraft and Applebee's. Just so you know, unlike I did, you will pay $10 upfront for your spot, but once you come back with the validation and show them your receipt from Wingcraft, you get the $10 back. Unusual, I know, but worth the "nuisance" in order to go experience this restaurant and beer bar for yourself.
As soon as you walk in, to your right is the bar area with a giant board full of the 20 taps that Wingcraft has on hand. There are quite the local offerings as well as out-of-state favorites. If you come in during the day, you'll notice the heavy wood influence on the wall that runs along to the dining area. It's absolutely beautiful. It's clean, well-organized and looks like the kind of place you want to come have a beer and a burger... and maybe some wings at.
The dining area has a brick wall (as seen here) with plenty of seating for famished beer drinkers, like myself. To be honest, we were pretty impressed when we walked into the place and were hoping upon hope to not be disappointed at all with the service or the food. Since I recognized every beer on tap, I knew that at least in that department, I wouldn't be disappointed. But every restaurant review can't always be about just the beer, right?
Well, for now, I'll start with the beer anyway! Because, that's the reason why I came here in the first place. As you can see above, there were some local options like Demented Brewing and Cape May as well as some options as far out as California (Ballast Point) and Colorado (Oskar Blues). The tap list is pretty well balanced, but as you can see IPA's definitely dominate the list, a true sign of the drinking times. I did enjoy the fact that Wingcraft had Serpent Stout on tap. I very rarely see that anywhere on tap and only in bottle shops. My girlfriend nearly lost her composure when she saw that Deviant Dale's was on the taplist. I'm pretty sure I saw her knees shaking as she was ordering one.
As far as the food is concerned, we both ordered burgers. I know it's called Wingcraft and well, you should probably try the wings, but after a heavy night of Atlantic City beerfesting, we needed something good and heavy to sooth our drinking souls. I decided on the Short Rib Gravy Burger with house chips. It was pretty good, I enjoyed it. I will say this about Wingcraft, they do warn you in advance that all of their burgers are cooked at a certain temperature and our waitress, Nancy, explained to us why. We normally eat our burgers medium-rare... because flavor, but this is not the temp they cook it at here. Still, Nancy did an awesome job of convincing us to try it out and we were definitely not disappointed. We would definitely have the burgers again. And as much as I liked my burger...
...I REALLY enjoyed the bacon cheddar burger with tater tots a lot more. She ordered this, but we decided it'd be a brilliant idea to split the half of each burger for us to sample both. Everything about both burgers was great, from the toppings to the bread - but the bacon in the BCB was amazing. It was cooked to perfection in that spot right between crispy and soft. It just took that burger and complimented it perfectly. The next time we go back to Atlantic City, I definitely want to try their monster of a burger: The Manhattan Project. Nancy almost had me sold on it, but I declined at the time. This might be my one regret at Wingcraft, not listening to Nancy.
We did see some of the other patrons having some of the dishes on the menu but the one that stood out was the brunch tater tots that had shreds of short rib in it and some sunny side eggs placed on top. It looked like the perfect thing to have on a Sunday at noon. Kudos to the lady who ordered that and had it, I'm sure she enjoyed it along with the craft beer she was having.
I honestly can't make a suggestion of what to have while you are there, it just depends on what you are eating. But if you see Lost Abbey's Serpent Stout on tap there, ever... have that for dessert. I definitely enjoyed my time here at Wingcraft, from the service to the beer to how beautiful the entire place looks and finally to the burgers. If anyone asked me, I would absolutely recommend this place and I'm sure for Atlantic City's next Beer Fest, I know where I'll be going. Who knows, maybe I'll see that lady again and we'll have some tater tots together? No matter what we have, I'm sure there will be quality beer on tap, good service, and food to chase the hangover away. If you've never heard of Wingcraft Kitchen & Beer Bar right up until now, just do yourself a favor and save the destination in your GPS - you won't regret it!