BBQ

Hangar Pub and Grill (Amherst)

This week, we headed out to the wild west to the famed restaurant that is Hangar Pub and Grill aka the original Wings Over (Amherst). The Hangar is an addition to the typical Wings Over takeout/delivery store. As you step inside, it seemingly appears to be your typical UMass restaurant/bar with college kids coming in and out on the regular. With almIMG_1545ost 30 stores nationally, we had to see what the hype was all about.

With over 20 flavors to choose from and both traditional wings and boneless tenders (i.e. faux wings), there’s surely something here for even the pickiest of eaters. Wings Over uniquely names their different wing portions as different types of aircraft and since we are hardcore puddle jumper enthusiasts, we ordered the “Puddle Jumper” in Cajun BBQ and Buffalo (Level 3 – “Red Alert”) with a side of onion rings.

Being a joint that is dedicated to chicken wings, the bar was set high and the wings did not disappoint. Overall, these guys make a good all-around wing. Although, we can’t claim that these are the best wings we’ve ever had, we could not find any weaknesses. The wing is crispy, the sauce is flavorful, and the chicken is fresh – delicious.

If you’re looking for a solid, dependable wing, look no further. Our only disclaimer is that we are reviewing based on the eat-in location and are not reviewing the takeout/delivery service.

Rating: 5/5

MOW

MOWMOWMOWMOW

Fibber McGee’s Bar and Grill (Beverly)

ImageFibber McGee’s Bar and Grill in downtown Beverly is a local Irish themed watering hole known far and wide for night wing Tuesdays, and with 10 different wing flavors on the menu, you know they’re serious about their chicken wings.

After hemming and hawing over which flavor to order (Carolina gold, or maybe kamikaze — or what’s that PB&J flavor taste like?), we settled on the Kansas City BBQ — and a pile of wings coated in that thick, sweet, smoky sauce were on its way to our table.

The wings, served with the typical carrots and celery with blue cheese for dipping, were tender, and the sauce lip smacking delicious – but we couldn’t help but notice that the meat itself wasn’t all that flavorful or juicy. Overall we thought the Kansas City BBQ flavored wings from Fibber McGee’s were good, but failed to earn that elusive five-cock rating.

 

Rating: 3/5

MOWMOW

MOW

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

Kings (Back Bay)

Hey folks, after a short hiatus, we’re finally back! Sorry for the delay. Anyways, let’s get to it.

It is a well known fact that wings are one of the most versatile foods in the world. You can eat wings for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, afternoon snack, midnight snack…we could go on. Besides from the fact that you can eat wings anytime and anywhere, wings complement all aspects of life. A few popular wing combinations include: wings and pizza, wings and beer, wings and football. Wings and…karaoke? Hell yeah.

So naturally, we hit up Kings on a Saturday, where for one night, American Idol wannabes can perform in front of random strangers that don’t care if you think you can sing. If singing is not your thing or if your ears start to bleed, Kings also offers bowling and billiards. We decided to stick to the entertainment for the night and of course, ordered honey BBQ wings on the side.

Flavor: Based on appearance, these look phenomenal and after the first few wings, they did not disappoint. The honey BBQ sauce had a great balance between the sweet honey and BBQ flavor with a sticky texture that you wouldn’t mind licking off your fingers.

Size/Texture: These wings were a medium size and felt solid in our hands as we ate them. Kings actually does something quite unique where they will remove the smaller of the two bones of the wingettes and they end up looking very similar to drummettes (look carefully). This was a nice touch as it made it a little bit easier to eat the wings without making a huge mess. Texture-wise, the skin was crispy and the inside was adequately moist and tender.

Value: A small order which contains 8 wings is $9 flat. There is a slight discount for larger orders (negligible). Nonetheless, for the quality of wing that you are getting, this is not a bad deal at all. They even throw in a few carrot sticks and scallions, which are nice touch.

Overall: We highly recommended you enhance your Kings experience by complementing karaoke with these sweet and delicious wings, but maybe not for bowling (who’s fingers have been in those balls? yikes).

Final Score: 8.5/10

– CT

Theodores’ Booze Blues & BBQ (Springfield)

After asking for some good dinner recommendations in the Springfield area, we settled on Theodores’ Booze Blues & BBQ. Theodores’ is known for having some of the best BBQ in the area as well as great blues music on the weekends. Though our main objective was to experience the typical BBQ here, we decided to also put the wings to the test as our appetizer. There was a wide variety of flavors to choose from: buffalo, bourbon BBQ, blackened, jerk, carolina mustard, chipotle BBQ, dry rub, & teriyaki BBQ. We were in a BBQ mood and went with the bourbon BBQ.

Flavor: All of the wings on the menu are slow smoked in tradtional hickory wood and as the wings came out, you could definitely tell from the strong smoky aroma. These wings had a great BBQ flavor that tended to be more smoky than a typical sweet. This was definitely a unique experience as most of the wings we review are deep fried as opposed to slow cooked.

Size/Texture: The wings ranged from small to average sized wings. Due to the slow cook, most of the wings were very tender and came off the bone pretty easily. However, what we found was that some of the smaller wings suffered from being overcooked and were sometimes dry.

Value: For $7.99, you can get 10 wings. The one thing that hinders the value of the wings is the size of some of the wings. Otherwise, this is not a bad deal, considering the extra effort that was put into them. Overall, Theodores’ provides very good and friendly service.

Overall: We would say that although the wings were solid, it is certainly not the restaurant’s strong suit (try the pulled pork or brisket). Though, if you are looking for some smoky deliciousness for your wings, come to Theodores’ and enjoy some blues while you’re there as well.

Final Score: 7/10

– CT

Hurricane O’Reilly’s (West End)

Located just steps away from The Garden on Canal St., Hurricane O’Reilly’s is a large sports bar that offers huge TV screens, loud music, and plenty of beer to eager Boston sports fans who flock to the area during game nights.

We stopped in one night to drink our faces off and sample the chicken wings during the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. We showed up to the game, but the Celtics didn’t, so we ordered a massive amount of chicken wings to help with the pain. Were the wings good enough to make us forget the loss?

Hurricane O’Reilly’s offers several different flavors of wings which include Buffalo, Buffalo bleu, hot & sweet, Asian sesame, and BBQ. Without much hesitation, we quickly went to town on both the BBQ and Asian sesame flavors. Each order came served with celery and carrot sticks, while only the BBQ came with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Flavor: Our wings came fried to a crispy golden color, with a thick coating of sauce crammed into each crevice. The Asian sesame wings magically blended sweet and savory flavor elements into a blissful ecstasy, while the BBQ wings tasted smoky, tangy, and sugary, leaving my taste buds wanting more.

Size/Texture: The wings were decently sized with some of the leg pieces being downright enormous. Most if not all of them were cooked perfectly, moist in the middle, crispy on the outside.

Value: There are two different size options available, a standard order for $7 or a jumbo size for $12. The jumbo size is truly gigantic, and unless you’re eating for three, stick with the standard order. Just make sure you specify which size you want when placing your order.

Overall: These wings had it all, flavor, value, texture, the works. If you’re on Canal St. and find yourself looking for a chicken wing feast, march yourself into Hurricane O’Reilly’s.

Final Score: 9/10

-JC

The Farm Bar and Grille (Essex)

For three summers now, The Farm Bar and Grille in Essex has been bringing Cape Ann fresh comfort food with a barbeque twist. With a large outdoor patio and a backyard equipped with a volleyball net, horseshoes, other games, summer dining has never been more fun. But can this purveyor of lazy summer afternoons produce wings worth driving to?

The Farm offers all natural, hormone free chicken wings with ah-s0, sweet chili, BBQ, and honey mustard rounding out the four flavor options. We ordered the BBQ and honey mustard wings, which came served six to an order in a shallow bowl bereft of celery, carrots, or dressing for dipping.

Flavor: The wings are fried and and are liberally drenched in the sauce of your choice. We thought the chicken quality was good, with much of the meat being tender and juicy. The honey mustard sauce had a nice balance of mustard and honey without being too sweet,  and the bbq sauce had a nice tang and spice to it without being too thick or sticky.

Size/Looks: The wings were ideally sized, many being quite plump and appealing to look at. They weren’t too big as to dry out in the cooking process, but also not too small as to leave you feeling unsatisfied.

Value: At $6 for six wings, the value could be better. We agreed that the size of the wings were decent, and the service was good, but at $1 per wing, we felt that was a bit expensive. We’ll have to come back Thursday nights when wings are offered at 35 cents each.

Overall: We liked these wings, as the flavor and quality was quite decent. While 35 cent wing night on Thursdays are great, we’d like to see the menu price be a bit lower during the rest of the week. Also, the lack of the typical wing accompaniments of celery, carrot sticks, and blue cheese dressing was a bit mystifying, as it made the plate look unfinished.

Final Score: 7.5/10

 

-JC