Every once and a while, I get to eat at a place I find truly remarkable. Not only is the food great, but also the overall atmosphere is fun and exciting. My partner's boss recommended we go to Warped Wing Barrel Room & Smokery's flagship location in Dayton, Ohio, but we were tired of driving and ended up at their other, Springboro location. Our main reason for going was because we were told that they make their own root beer (soda). We aren't big beer drinkers, but we like soda and alcoholic cider.
The Environment and Overall Atmosphere
The restaurant itself is set up in an industrial building, with tons of space for many tables, a smokery, bar, and all their kitchen and dishwashing spaces. Due to the sheer size of the building, they were able to socially distance the tables very well. The bar also had plastic dividers up between every set of two seats. We felt very safe.
It was a fun atmosphere. There was loud music playing, but we could easily hear each other. The music helped tune out our neighbors. The lighting was fun and added to the hip and trendy vibe. I definitely got some strange looks for wearing heels and dressing up. Everyone else was wearing jeans and t-shirts, so if you don't want to stand out, wear some jeans.
Warped Wing also has a cute gift shop near the entrance where you can buy clothing or various glasses with the Warped Wing logo on them. We purchased a small shot glass to add to our collection.
Review: our food and drink choices
Per usual, we ordered far too much food for the two of us. We knew going in that we shouldn't order separate entrees, so we decided to split some appetizers. This method didn't work out very well in terms of trying to downsize the vast amount of food we had to take home, but it was better than it would've been.
We ordered boneless chicken wings, or as they're called here, warped chunks. They are buttermilk-fried boneless chicken chunks tossed in sauce, served with celery for $8. You receive about 8 wings. Sauce choices include BBQ, buffalo, spicy BBQ, spicy garlic, sweet chili, and Carolina mustard. We opted for spicy BBQ and a side of housemade ranch for an extra $0.50. These were great and on-par with what you would expect from a fancier bar, sans the large sports televisions.
Warped Wing's housemade sides are a great deal, with 3 sides costing only $4 total, or $1.50 per individual side if you want one or two. We chose to get their house-cut french fries, mac and cheese, and coleslaw, but they also have jalapeño cheddar grits, seasonal veggies, and BBQ beans available. The french fries were very good but could've been just a bit crispier. The coleslaw was light and airy as I like it, but I would've liked more veggies than just the cabbage in there. Maybe they were running low on carrots. The mac and cheese was outstanding; we highly recommend it.
If we had ordered only the boneless wings and the sides platters, we would have had the perfect amount of food for two people for lunch. Regrettably, we also went for the smoked pulled pork nachos. At $11, they came with smoked pork, white queso, pico de gallo, olives, jalapeños, chipotle sour cream, BBQ sauce, and a ton of tortilla chips. The smoked pork was fantastic, straight from their smokery. Next time we visit, I want to get a smoked pork or brisket sandwich as my meal.
Unfortunately, we didn't enjoy the nachos very much because of the large number of black olives. I enjoy black olives as much as the next person, but they covered everything. My boyfriend does not like them and had a hard time picking them out of all the melted nacho cheese. Besides the smoked pork, the nachos were a bust for us, but we still heated up our leftovers once we got home to pick through them for some pork.
Final thoughts & highlights
The main reason we went to Warped Wing Barrel Room & Smokery was to try their homemade root beer ($3), which we enjoyed. It's not the best root beer I've ever had, but it's certainly a contender. We also had an alcoholic cider from Mad Moon Cider called "Eat a Peach" ($6.50) and it was fantastic. They also offer their own lagers, wheat beers, IPAS, and ales, so if you're a drinker this place has plenty of options and a cozy, lively atmosphere. We had a great time and recommend it to anyone in the area.