Open Until: 2:00 am, Sun-Thu; 3:00am, Fri-Sat
Drinking Until: close, 7 days
Food Until: close, 7 days
All expats living in NYC need a place that feels like home, and for those who are (west) Philadelphia born-and-raised, Wogies is as good as it gets. But while the soul of the place lies south of New Jersey, the rib-sticking, balls-to-the-wall comfort food that Wogies specializes in is universally appealing. This is late-night stoner food at its finest.
On a Tuesday night at 1:00 am, the pint-sized sports bar buzzed with an ample cross-section of the city's young people: beanie-wearing hipster couples making out near the bathrooms, several men in team logo-emblazoned sweatshirts, and well-dressed fellas chowing down on cheesesteaks at the bar, their eyes glued to a basketball game on one of Wogies' four flat screen TVs. During our meal, a band entered and took up the center bay of tables, propping up their instruments to sit like dining companions.
Of course we ordered the Fat Jimmy ($9.25), a sloppy jumble of steak, cheez whiz, hot peppers, french fries, and bean-laden chili. It is a late-night marvel. The fries soak up all that deep chili flavor and the pepper-spiked whiz provides needed lubrication. Wogies' steak is already one of the best in town, but the extra toppings make this an absolutely unforgettable sandwich (whether or not that's a good thing). Any further and Guy Fieri might crash his '67 Camaro through the window crowing about taking a bus to flavor town.
Wogies recently tied our city-wide Buffalo wings competition, so an order of 20 ($16) was a no-brainer. The sauce is that classic combination of Frank's Red Hot and butter, and the "hot"-level wings gave off an appropriate capsaicin tingle. But what to do if you're a fancy lad or lady and don't want to sully your precious mitts? Therein lies the beauty of the Buffalo chicken cheese steak ($8.25). Tender chopped chicken breast mixed with hot peppers, topped with wing sauce and slathered in blue cheese, it's everything that's great about wings nestled into a compact hoagie package. Toss in a rogue piece of celery for a pleasing crunch of freshness.
There are salads, but ordering one is missing the point. If you guilt yourself into ordering something with vegetables, try some of Nan & Pop's Garbage Bread ($7.75 for a half loaf). The doughy mound usually comes with "three different kinds of Italian meats and cheese," but I'm watching my figure, so instead opted for the vegetarian version with broccoli, garlic, lemon and herbs. The bread was pliant enough and the filling stood up well to a sweet marinara for dipping.
When does a drink special cease to be a special? Wogies offers three dollar drafts "all day, every day" says our waitress. Of the beers on offer that night, a Sly Fox IPA was the most adventurous. Wogies is like that—underneath the sports bar atmosphere are little flourishes that set it apart.
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