This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this stretch of NYC on 8th Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway. More and more interesting eateries keep popping up like the Persian coffee shop Cafe Nadery and the upscale date night destination Greenwich Project.
Nestled amongst the many restaurants on this burgeoning food mecca is Sticky’s Finger Joint. This small shop has been open for well over a year, but I finally got around to stopping in. I don’t know what held me back all this time. Maybe it was the less than friendly and downright befuddling behavior I had read online about the owner.
Despite all of the oddities surrounding Sticky’s management, I had still heard great things about the food and figured it was worth a shot myself. The shop is small and narrow and feels more suited to takeout than dining-in, though there are a couple seats in the space if you do choose to eat in like I did. It has a very psychedelic, stoner, punk-rock vibe. Everything from the decor to the dish names to the recipes reek of it. It’s almost as if the entire place had been concepted in a pot-smoke filled haze. And the vibe works for them.
The menu is almost completely limited to chicken fingers, though within that restraint there are many options and variations. Outside of classic fingers, there’s a ton of bizarro fusion fingers with all sorts of wild ethnic influences. You can get Mexican inspired Fiesta Fingers, Japanese inspired Wasabi Fingers, Italian inspired Bada Bing! Fingers, Chinese inspired General Sticky Tso Fingers or a variety of other wacky options. And that’s before we even start talking about the multitude of dipping sauces. Not since my visit to Los Perros Locos have I founda place serving food so over-the-top that it just begs to be eaten while shit-faced.
Like I was saying, in addition to your finger flavor selection, you’ll be asked to choose a sauce to pair. Amongst the astonishing selection of 19 choices there are some pretty crazy options and I’d recommend running wild with one of their more unique creations like Chocolate Chip BBQ, Wasabi Aioli, Carlos Sauce, Sticky’s Sauce, Jalapeño Mac Sauce, Cray Sauce, or Mango Death Sauce. I’ll let you use your imagination to figure out what each of those actually taste like. On this visit I followed my cashier’s advise and got some Sticky’s Sauce and Buttermilk Baby Ranch to pair with my finger selections.
For our meal, we decided to order two of their exciting flavored fingers, starting with the Salted Caramel Fingers. These were a super sticky-icky mess to eat, but damn were they good. And huge too. I mean massive. These meaty, crispy chicken tenders pretty much put all other tenders to shame with their hefty crust and moist meat inside. The only other place I’ve had chicken fingers that can even compare is Dirty Bird To Go.
Each gigantic piece of these Salted Caramel Fingers was coated in a thick, protective, seriously crispy layer of crushed pretzels. They were then deep fried to a golden brown perfection and topped with even more pretzel sticks before being sprinkled with pretzel salt and getting absolutely smothered in homemade salted caramel sauce. They were absurdly delicious, to say the least, and the sweet and salty combination is always a big hit with me.
Along with those sweet and salty caramel coated fingers, we also took a stab at another warped American classic flavor combo with their Buffalo Balsamic Maple Fingers. Piping hot and absolutely dripping in buffalo sauce, these super-sized chicken fingers were also really awesome. I’m not sure I could specifically taste the balsamic or maple flavor through the spicy buffalo sauce, especially after experiencing the bold sweetness of the caramel on the previous batch. But that doesn’t prevent these from being some of the most impressive boneless buffalo wings around. Next time I’m in the mood for wings, I know where I’m coming.
In conclusion, though it feels like the kind of place where someone would go after a night of heavy boozing or a bong-rip or seven – you’d also probably enjoy coming to Sticky’s sober. Though I was skeptical of the menu and the shop as a whole, they actually proved to me that they’re the real deal. So what are you waiting for? Get over there already and get a little messy and a lot sticky.
Got another place designed to quench the munchies in NYC? Let me know in the comments below.
Sticky’s Finger Joint
31 W. 8th St. New York, NY 10011