Free Wings at The Ruck and Red Front COB Pizza

Well hello, Troy! Get ready for visiting two of Troy’s institutions!

After my initial visit to The Ruck, The Fuj mentioned some of their daily specials. I saw “Free Wings 5 – 7 pm Fridays” and I was in like sin.

We got there near the end of happy hour. Here’s how the free wings work. They come out every so often at the food bar. That’s pictured above – you can see the fryers and grill behind it, and the dude working furiously at makin’ wings for the masses.

If you are imagining a plethora of free wings, well, you’d be wrong. They are free, but my no means all you can eat. Timid folks may miss out on wings, as a crowd will start to form near the food bar before the wings come out. The crowd itself was polite – no one was grabbing a dozen or anything. Most people took a few, but just enough to fill the small paper boats left on the side with the blue cheese dressing.

I was getting us drinks when the wings came out, as I have a natural talent for incorrect timing. Albany John took four wings.
I got a double/pint of stoli raz and club, and got Albany John a pint of Rare Vos from the tap. I think the Rare Vos was only like $2-3 dollars. Cheap!

Thankfully, these weren’t as spicy as the first ‘hot’ (aka: really hot) wings I ordered. Probably medium. Still tasted great – they didn’t pull them too early to give to the waiting crowd. These are wings they do well with longer fry times and they were still crispy-skinned delights. Woo hoo – no sogginess! These are wings of integrity.

There was one last free wing serving, but I didn’t get up quickly enough to take advantage of it. I think I will next try one of their discount wing nights – I definitely could have eaten more than two wings. Does The Ruck in Troy, NY do take out? The Fuj?

AAaannnnd, our other Troy, NY institution is Red Front! It’s located at 71 Division St, Troy, NY. I always drive one or two streets too many in that area, but it’s easy to find. It’s closer to downtown than Flavor Cafe, if that gives you an idea. I’ll still forget this next time, but maybe it’ll help you.

I have been hearing about this mystical COB pizza. Red Front lists COB as “cheese under sauce” pizza, which I guess is more descriptive than Cheese On Bottom, but… it’s what the acronym stands for! At any rate, by now you’ve gleaned that COB pizza is an upside down pizza, where the cheese is on the bottom where the sauce would be, and the sauce is on the top like the cheese would be.

A 10-cut was $12 flat. I’ve heard that the cheese melts in the crust, kind of. That it’s the same but different. That I NEED TO TRY IT. So I did.

And I don’t like it.
Sorry COB fans, but I won’t be joining your ranks any time soon. I much prefer their regular style pizzas.

I thought there wasn’t enough cheese, and the cheese that was there was in the form of slices. A few spare slices of cheese. I think it was mozzarella, but it also reminded me of provalone. You can see a few lighter rectangles under the sauce, and those spots are where the cheese was. I added more mozzarella when I got home, and let it bake in the oven until it looked more like regular pizza.
I just wasn’t a fan of the flavor overall. I value the cheese over sauce in my pizzas, and this put the sauce front and center with the cheese as a crappy backnote (Sorry – can you tell the skimpy cheese slices rubbed me the wrong way?). I want my cheese riding on a horse wearing armor, ready to charge my taste buds with flavor. If you like subtle cheese, this is for you. It also threw the texture off for me, too.

Albany John wasn’t as crazy about the COB pizza either, mainly for the lack of cheese and because “When you drop a slice, it stains EVERYTHING!”. I’d argue that maybe certain people should use plates when they eat pizza, but really, we’re both wildly uncoordinated so it’s more of an accomplishment when something doesn’t land on the floor during a meal. The short of it is that the design, the very nature of COB pizza, just boggled him.

I think it’s just a personal thing. For me pizzas = cheese. When I was a kid I’d ask for my Dad to order pizzas with “Extra, extra, extra, extra…extra^n” pies until I was blue in the face. I like sauce, and a good sauce is key, but I don’t like it to be the main flavor.

What do you think of COB pizza? I’m glad I tried something so renown, but I’ll stick to ordering their classic cheese on top pizzas from here on out. Mmmm, Red Front pizza… Hey Albany John, can we go get a 24-slicer? With pepperoni? Mmmm, Red Front! Red Front!

7 comments
  1. the fuj said:

    The Ruck definitely does take out. Plenty of times I've stumbled into The Ruck, ordered food I was in NO shape (soberness) to eat, and had to take it to go.

    As for the free wings, get there early, keep an eagle eye on the food counter and you'll end up with 3-4 orders of those 4 wing boats. Get a wingburger on the side and you won't even need that many.
    —–

    Can't say I agree with ya on the COB. Love the stuff! Also, fried ravioli's are a must for any Red Front trip.

  2. Sorry to hear you didn't like the COB. From what I remember of my last visit (and it's been a while since I had it last), I loved it.

    For me, I actually like the fact that more emphasis is placed on the dough and sauce. The minimal amount of cheese is enough to get the gooey strings that you associate with cheese on pizza, but not enough to make you (well me) sick. Not saying I'm a cheese hater, but cheese doesn't really like me.

  3. The most important thing I got out of this is the desire to try a Stoli raz and club soda the next time I need a cocktail. And for that I thank you!

  4. awesomness! i'm going to the Red Front next time i get my meat order from the food pantry. not sure if i'll be cobbing it though 😀

  5. Anonymous said:

    I always order pizza from Defazio's, but I decided to try the famous COB at red front one weekend. You're not alone. I thought it sucked. How could they be famous for that crap?

  6. grace said:

    cob pizza is an interesting concept, but i don't think i'd go for it either. the browning of the cheese is one of my favorite parts! better luck next time, red front. 🙂

  7. MattW said:

    Is it possible your not too into the deep dish style? ie more dough to cheese ratio than the cob?

    What other places in the cap district have square/deep dish pizza? I grew up in detroit and miss this style ALOT!!

    PS and I enjoy the stoli raz n 7

    PSS The salty caramel is great, though next time I think I will reduce the caramel

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