Central BBQ (Downtown)

Central BBQ
147 E. Butler Ave.
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 672-7760

Dear Central BBQ,
I am so excited that you have joined the downtown dining scene.  Your new restaurant is just gorgeous with it’s polished concrete floors, sparkling open-view kitchen, and self-serve sauce station.  However, I can’t help but wonder what happened to the smoked wings. They shrunk!  I mean seriously, a standard dinner roll should not be larger than a whole chicken wing (see picture bellow).  I sure hope your chicken vendor is not charging you full price for these wings, because otherwise you have been robbed my friend.  Also, I have to tell you… the wings at your Central Ave location are consistently great, but these downtown wings were a little dry.  Maybe it’s the size of the wing that caused the dry-out, because I would be willing to bet they were prepared with the same amount of cooking time as a regular-sized whole wing would require.  Thus, it would make sense that they may have been unintentionally overcooked.  This is just a suggestion, but please don’t be so stingy with the sauce.  I ordered the hot wings and I felt the need to ask for extra sauce since there was hardly any sauce on my wings at all.  The smokey flavor was there but no heat.  Kudos to the employee who offered to take the wings back to the kitchen so that they could be sauced again.  I declined because I didn’t really see that as necessary seeing as how I could easily dip my wings in the side of sauce she gave me.

Regrettably, this introduction to your downtown location left me disappointed.  Chances are good that if I ever visit again I will order something else for fear of a repeat experience.  I sincerely hope that your Central Avenue location is producing the same great wings they have always served.  I’ll have to check on that soon.

Hot Sauce

P.S.  The ribs were awesome!

Rating: **

Smoked Hot Wings from Central BBQ Downtown Memphis

Disappointing smoked hot wings from the new Central BBQ downtown location. Look how small they are! They were also dry and needed more sauce.


The Dublin House

The Dublin House
2012 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-0048

The Dublin House is a little Irish bar less than a mile from my house and I didn’t even know they were serving wings until I received a text about it from a friend last Wednesday night.  She had heard the wings were good and that Dublin was offering them up at 50 cents a piece that night.  Seeing as how Wednesday marks the end of my work week, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to kick off the weekend.

Dublin House has three flavor options for wings; regular (not sure what that means), BBQ, and hot.  There were four of us eating so we ordered a few dozen hot wings.  It didn’t take long before the wings were in front of us, still steaming from the fryer.  I could tell immediately that these wings were going to be good.  The aroma of the sauce was intoxicating and it looked as though the skin would be crispy.

So, did my senses mislead me?  No way!  These wings were much hotter than most wings I’ve tried around town, but the sauce was flavorful at the same time.  The heat is felt immediately, but it stays at a tolerable level and it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the peppers and other seasonings in the sauce.  The texture was almost perfect.  I look for tender meat and crispy skin.  Dublin house has the crisp skin part down, but the meat could have been a bit more tender.  This is a minor objection because I’m being picky for the sake of this review and this blog.  I really enjoyed these wings and I’m already making plans to eat them again later this week.  It’s a well deserved four-star rating for Dublin House hot wings.  Those who prefer mild hot wing sauce you will probably disagree with me because these babies definitely deliver a kick in the mouth… followed by a kick in the gut!

NOTE: Dublin House is a BAR, and a smoky one at that.  If you are bothered by cigarette smoke you might want to get your wings to go.  The quick dash inside will be worth it though.  Trust me!

Rating: ****

Dublin House Hot Wings

Hot wings from Dublin House in midtown Memphis.

Local Overton Square

Local Overton Square
2126 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 725-1845

Local Gastropub opened downtown on South Main a few years ago. My friends and I have really grown to like the place; some of us may even be considered regulars.  I’ve never had a bad meal at Local.  I’ve had the hot wings at Local many, many times and they are good.  Not my favorite wing option downtown, but good.

Local is pretty proud of their wings; even calling them “award winning.”  So when Local announced that they would open a second location in midtown, I knew hot wings would be on the menu, and I made it my mission to see how the wings would compare to the wings I’ve enjoyed at the Local downtown.  I had anticipated on opening in late August, as I had been told, but here we are in the first week of November and they are just now up and running.

Last Thursday I got my chance to check out the new Local Overton Square on the corner of Madison and Cooper, which was once home to a dive bar called Yosemite Sam’s.  I must say the transformation of the space is impressive, but I’m not here to discuss the decor.

At the downtown location you have a choice between a half or a full order of wings.  In midtown there is no choice; it’s 10 wings and dressing for $11.  Local wings are served one way: no fries, no celery; just wing sections fried and tossed in a signature sauce.  There are no flavor options. That’s okay with me though because the sauce they create is excellent.  It’s a very buttery blend of peppers and herbs.  Yes, herbs.  If that sounds weird, trust me, it works.  The herbal flavor is not overwhelming at all, in fact, it mingles with the heat and butter quite nicely.  Some people might not even notice it.  It’s kinda hard to miss the little green flakes in the sauce, however.

So the question was… Would the midtown Local wings standup to the downtown Local wings?  The answer is an enthusiastic YES!  Actually, the wings I had were BETTER than the wings I’ve eaten downtown.  There are two reasons for this; they were bigger and crispier in midtown.  That’s two major judging points right there!  I loved these wings and I’m looking forward to my next opportunity to eat them again.  I just hope it wasn’t an opening week fluke!

Rating: ****

Wings at the new Local in Midtown