Month: September 2012

Kowloon (Saugus)

The 1200-seat premier Asian dining complex known as the Kowloon Restaurant on Rt. 1 in Saugus is one of the largest, highest grossing Asian restaurants in the United States. Since opening in 1959, the Wong family has built their empire from a 24 seat Chinese restaurant into the kitschy, extravagant landmark that it is today.

The walls are lined with decades’ worth of autographed photos of visiting celebrities and the menu reads like a phone book, with page after page of Polynesian, Thai, Japanese, Szechuan and Cantonese fare from which to choose.

But there’s one item on the menu that interested us most, an item that pays homage to the town where Kowloon has called home for over 50 years: the Kowloon Special Saugus Wing.

Saugus Wings are known far and wide as being some of the most delicious Asian-style wings available today- so naturally we had to stop by to see for ourselves.

Flavor: Kowloon’s Saugus Wings are very liberally doused in a dark, thick, sweet, soy based sauce with large chunks of garlic visible on each wing. Forget that slogan from KFC – the Saugus Wings are the original finger lickin’ good wings – as they effortlessly blend sweet and savory flavors into each blissful bite.

Size/Texture: The wings were medium to large in size, and were cooked perfectly. They had a delicious crispy skin on the outside and tender, juicy meat on the inside.

Value: An order of Saugus Wings costs a paltry $8.75 for 10 deliciously addictive wings. We think this is a great deal considering their flavor, quality, and overall eatability factor. You really cannot find a better wing at this price point.

Overall: We very much recommend Saugus Wings for anyone who loves sweet, Asian style chicken wings. The garlic-packed sticky sauce truly turns these wings into a flavor heaven that you must experience. As far as Asian chicken wings go, these are some of the best we’ve ever had.

Final Score: 9/10

-JC

Biddy Early’s (Financial District)

Let’s get one thing out of the way. I really like dive bars. You know, a hole in the wall type place where the beer is dirt cheap, the bartenders are friendly, there’s no dress code, no cover charge, and using the bathroom calls for a disease scare or two.

But there’s something about the collective atmosphere of a place where people of all different walks of life can come together for a game of darts or to awkwardly dance to throwback jams that really gets my juices flowing.

A place like this does exist in our fair city of Boston, and it’s called Biddy Early’s. Located on Pearl Street just off of Purchase Street in the Financial District, Biddy’s is unassuming in the fact that its exterior is neither inviting nor dismissive, yet once inside you immediately feel like you’re at your best friend’s house.

On the menu are two choices of wings – BBQ and Buffalo, both cost $6.95 and are served 10 to a plate. You might love going over your best friend’s house, but can your best friend make you chicken wings fit for the Men of Wings? Let’s find out.

Flavor:  Biddy’s wings came coated in a thick but tangy BBQ sauce with traces of smoke and minimal spice. I believe the phrase “finger lickin’ sweet” was tossed around as we tried not to eat our own fingers while gorging. They were not the most flavorful wings we’ve ever had, but the sauce was good and there was little if any gristle.

Size/Texture:  The wings were medium sized and cooked appropriately, providing for tender, juicy mouthfuls of delicious dark meat in each bite.

Value: $6.95 for 10 wings is a decent deal, though we wonder if the wings come precooked to the bar and then are heated for service. Quality was standard, but not out of this world.

Overall: We liked the wings at Biddy Early’s, though they fell short of being great. We can’t fault a dive bar for not having the best wings in the world, and to be honest, it would be weird if a dive bar did. We wholeheartedly recommend stopping in to Biddy Early’s for a pint of your favorite brew, and after knocking back few of them, dive into a plate of wings. You won’t be disappointed.

Score: 7/10

-JC