Otter’s Chicken Tenders

Otter’s Chicken Tenders
1528 Demonbreun St
Nashville, TN 37203

Whenever people find out about my hot wing obsession, it is not uncommon for me to be asked, “So, where are the best wings in town?” or, “What are the best wings you have ever had?”  Never, am I asked about the WORST wings I ever had.  And why would they?  Who wants to know where to find horrible wings?  Unless they have some sort of irrational fear of bad wings and want “expert” advice on places to avoid.  Well folks, here you go… the nicest review for the worst wings I have ever eaten.  Ever.

I was taking a trip to Nashville and that this place was within walking distance of my hotel.  There are two locations; both in Nashville, none in Memphis.  No surprise, I hotfooted myself over there as soon as I set my bag down.

This being a blog about wings, I usually don’t write much about the space, or the non-food related experience in general.  I save all of that stuff for my Yelp reviews.  In this case, I will only say that the restaurant was plastic and boring with walk-up ordering and self-service drinks.   The staff were obviously paid very little, and cared even less.  Still, I pressed on and ordered classic-style hot wings with blue cheese.  It took forever, and yet the wings were puny and under-cooked.  The sauce was awful.  Awful!  It was very thick and not very spicy.  There was a strange flavor that didn’t belong, and curiosity is the only reason I ate more than one bite.  It was oddly familiar, but…. wait…. I know!  It’s refrigerator stank!  If you have ever tasted butter that has been lurking around someone’s fringe for way too long, or eaten freezer-burnt ice cream, you probably know what I’m talking about.  That is exactly what the mystery flavor was, and after pining that down, I was satisfied to throw the rest of the wings in the trash.

Rating: *

Fox & Hound

Fox & Hound
6565 Towne Center Lp
Southaven, MS 38671
(662) 536-2200

One doesn’t go to Fox & Hound to eat; one goes to watch sports and drink beer with the dudes. Or chicks.  But if one happens to be hungry while watching sports and drinking beer, why not have some wings?

There are three Fox & Hound locations in or near Memphis.  None of them are anywhere near where I live, but they are all within twenty miles or so.  That being said, my visits to Fox & Hound are few and far between.  When a couple of my friends asked if I would meet them at the Southaven location I thought, “Why not? At least they have wings.”  I made the half-hour drive with rumble in my stomach.  I was hungry!

The wings are listed on the menu as “Grand Champion Wings,” which is a nod to the sports theme and not an indication of quality.  There are nine, yes nine, flavor options: Mild, Medium, Hot, Honey Hot, Spicy Garlic, BBQ, Spicy BBQ, Honey Mustard BBQ, and Sweet Chilli Garlic.  Phew!  We ordered twenty wings; half Hot, and half Spicy Garlic.

We didn’t have to wait long before our server brought the wings to the table.  The two flavors looked so much alike that she stuck one of the spicy garlic wings with a toothpick so that we would know which was which.  The first thing I noticed was the black pepper in the sauce.  It’s not often that you see black pepper in wing sauce and I wouldn’t have expected to see pepper in a garlic sauce at all.  The next think I noted was the smell.  These wings smelled great, and I knew they would be very hot!  They were on the small side but not the smallest wings I’ve seen.

I tried the hot flavor first.  They were quite hot, and I detected Worcestershire sauce in the mix.  Worcestershire is common ingredient in classic wing sauce that is usually added in small amounts.  This time it was a bit too much and it made the sauce way too salty.  Surprisingly, the spicy garlic flavor tasted almost exactly the same as the hot flavor.  In fact, I really couldn’t taste much of a difference at all, other than the fact that the spicy garlic didn’t pack quite as much heat.  Sadly, these less than stellar wings were overcooked.  They might have been redeemed with proper cooking, but the kitchen used oil that was way too hot.  How can I tell?  Cracked and shattered chicken bones, that’s how.  The meat was tough and the broken up bones where difficult to navigate. Yay!

Rating: *

Fox & Hound Southaven wings. Hot (left), Spicy Garlic (right)

Max’s Sports Bar

Max’s Sports Bar
115 E GE Patterson Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 528-8600

I got a text last Saturday from a friend that read, “Wings for lunch at Double J @11:30.  You better be there.”  Well, this situation presents a wing blogger’s dilemma.  Do I join my friend for wings at a place I love, for a lunch of wings that I have already tasted, enjoyed, and reviewed?  Or, do I decline the invite and seek out untried wings for the sake of blogging material?  Max’s Sports Bar was the perfect resolve!  It’s located across the street from the Double J Smokehouse and Saloon and I had not yet tried the wings.

I met my friend on the Double J patio and called Max’s to place a wing order to go.  The girl who answered the phone unenthusiastically rattled off my options.  The sauce options included buffalo, BBQ, and honey habanero.   I ordered eight wings, hot, with blue cheese dressing.  The girl told me it would be about 30 minuets.  Yikes!  They didn’t look that busy from across the street!  Then again, it was a Saturday afternoon during football season.

After about twenty minuets passed I walked across the street to Max’s and inquired about my to-go order.  I was told it wasn’t quite ready so I took a seat at the bar to wait.  Had I not shown up early, I might never have known that these wings are broiled, rather than fried. Yes, broiled!  Apparently, Max’s Sports Bar is not equipped with a fryer.

I took the opportunity to ask about the sauce which I learned is nothing but Frank’s Hot Sauce.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Frank’s Hot Sauce.  I have an open bottle in my fridge and two back-up bottles in the pantry at all times.  But, that is exactly my point.  I can broil wings in the oven and toss them in Frank’s at home, and ofter do.  So far, I was not impressed but I was willing to give Max’s the benefit of the doubt.

Back across the street at the Double J I opened my to-go container and was smacked in the face with the unmistakeable aroma of Frank’s Hot Sauce.  Unfortunately, the smell was the height of the Max’s wing experience.  Burnt spots on the skin of the wings was not an indication of crispness.  In fact, these wings were not crisp at all and the longer I sat eating the wings, the soggier and softer they got.  Yuck.  I ate about half of them.  When I broil wings at home they turn out crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside.  These wings were more like toaster oven wings.  Initially, I thought I would take the rest with me and put them under my own broiler for a snack later, but I changed my mind and threw them away on the way home.

Rating: *

Hot Wings at Max's Sports Bar

Broiled “hot wings” at Max’s Sports Bar in Memphis. Never again.

 

Young Avenue Deli

Young Avenue Deli
2119 Young Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-0034

Young Avenue Deli is known for creative sandwiches and awesome french fries.  I have eaten a Young Avenue Deli many times but I never took the opportunity to try the wings.  Turns out I wasn’t missing much.

The menu stated, “Hot Wings (BBQ or Deli Style Habanero)”  I had no idea what they meant by deli style, but I sure as heck didn’t want BBQ sauce so I ordered the Habanero.  When the wings showed up a few moments later I was immediately disappointed.  I could tell they were going to be sweet. Very sweet. The sauce was a barbeque sauce mixed with a pepper sauce that had a faint habanero flavor.  I wondered if perhaps I was served the bbq wings by mistake, so I asked my server…. Nope, my order was correct.  Basically, these wings were as far removed from classic wings as you can get.  They might have been redeemable had there been a decent amount of heat to counter the sweetness but that was not the case.

Rating: *

Hot wings from Young Ave Deli

Look at all that sugar! Yuck!