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


Champions Sports Bar (Springfield)

Oh Springfield, how we have missed you… In today’s review, we will go into our first restaurant chain, Champions Sports Bar, which is the sports bar owned by Marriott Hotels. From the appearance of the restaurant, it is definitely one of the better sports bars in Springfield. There were a lot of TVs in sight and this would be a great place to watch a big game. So naturally being that it was a typical sports bar, wings would be the solid way to go. On the menu, Champions provides two types of wings: Fire and BBQ wings. We decided to go with the “Singing” (medium) fire wings for review purposes. On a “side” note (get it?), the wings came with a butt load of celery and carrot sticks for those of you that are into that healthy stuff!

Flavor: It’s understood that these are only advertised on the menu as “Fire Wings,” but from the flavor, it could be assumed that they were buffalo wings. However, from the initial looks of them, they seemed to have lacked sauce. After consulting with the waiter and being told that the wings were pretty spicy, we played it safe and went with medium. The buffalo flavor on the wings was not bad and had a nice kick to them, but was nowhere near where what we had expected in terms of spiciness.

Size/Texture: The wings were small to medium sized and moist for the most part. However, this is where we must discuss the important issue of wing discrimination. As our wings were brought out, our faces dropped in disappointment as the whole plate only consisted of drummettes.

For those of you who are not educated in wing anatomy, the two main sections of the wing are the drummette and the wingette (see diagram on left). Now, there has always been debate over which section is better, but one thing is for sure: an order of wings is not complete without both sections. So restaurants be warned!

Value: At $8.95 per dozen, this is a price you would expect at a hotel owned restaurant. On a positive note, the service was very good.

Overall: Not having both wing sections hindered the wing eating experience. Not to mention, it was obvious that the wings came from a bag of frozen Tyson chicken wings (or similar) you would find at your local wholesale club. Despite these criticisms, the wings had decent flavor and were appropriately cooked. However, we recommend going with the other items on the menu.

Final Score: 4/10

– CT

JT’s Sports Pub (Springfield)

Today we come to you with a double feature special. Recently on a business trip, my colleague and I wandered into downtown Springfield looking to find a decent spot to catch the Celtics game. Now those of you who are familiar with the area know of this barren wasteland. After scouring the streets, we were finally able to locate an establishment open for business called JT’s Sports Pub on Main St. We were pleasantly surprised to find an affordable and diverse wing selection and decided on the Oriental and Cajun BBQ favored wings that came served with the typical side of bleu cheese and celery.

Flavor: Leading off were the Oriental wings. For a typical Asian-style wing, one would expect a sweet sauce with a dash of spicy. However, these wings actually had a very decent kick to them, which if you love spice (as I do) will thoroughly enjoy. As for the Cajun BBQ, I felt as though it was your typical slightly sweet BBQ sauce which was enjoyable but didn’t really stand out. In terms of texture, there were times when I ran into dry wings which I guess is better than undercooked wings.

Size/Looks: The wings were on the small to average end which could explain why a couple of the wings were dry. Other than that, the wings looked appealing and were decently presented, so I have no real complaints about it.

Value: At $6.99 for 10 wings, this is a good value. The great thing about JT’s is their awesome Happy Hour deal where all appetizers (including wings) are 1/2 off between 4 PM – 7 PM M-F! On the service end of things, there weren’t many customers when we came in, so the service was very good as well.

Overall: For an area where you will find at least half the stores were closed down, we found a solid sports bar. The wings were very flavorful, but were slightly small and sometimes dry. Still, with the value ranging from good to great, I wouldn’t mind grabbing wings here from time to time.

Final Score: 6/10

– CT