I've heard about Drover's Inn for years now. It's a very unique old inn and restaurant but the reason it intrigued me was their reputation for wings. I've had wings in a million places including a couple of stops at the birthplace of Buffalo Wings, the Anchor Inn up in Buffalo (yuk, not my favorite). The reason I haven't make it to Drover's is that it's a bit out of the way, located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia in Wellsburg. I happened to be staying close to there in Steubenville last week and decided now's my chance!
Drover's doesn't open until 5:00, and that's when I arrived. I'm glad that I got their early, because the cars started piling in as soon as the doors opened. The Inn serves dinners in dining rooms on the first floor and their is a tavern in the basement. The entrance to the tavern is through an old style basement door, the kind that lift up walk down a few steps and then enter the basement. I had read that the basement is the place to go, so that's where I was headed. It's unique, kind of like eating in a hundred year old basement...But the crowd was fun and the bartenders were great.
My thing with wings is simple. I like them crispy. Sauces are important, but secondary...No sauce can make up for mushy wings. They offer six levels of heat from Mild to Hurt-Me, and you can also choose from Honey BBQ, Sweet and Hot Oriental, or Buffalo Garlic. They will also add Cajun seasoning to any selection. Orders are small which is one pound and is 7 to 9 wings. A large order is two pounds. I decided to go for an order of the Buffalo Garlic. They came out with just the right amount of sauce but more importantly, crispy! The sauce was spicy with a hint of garlic and the wings were cooked to a crisp which held up well under the sauce.
Check out this view of the basement Tavern: