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

Dyer’s Burgers

Dyer’s Burgers
205 Beale St
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 527-3937

Dyer’s Burgers is Memphis institution that is famous for (of course) burgers.  Legend has it the burgers served here are cooked in 100 year old grease.  People tend to have strong opinions as to weather or not the burgers are actually good, probably because the patties are very thin and the standard commercially produced bun used becomes a greasy mess.  Personally, I love the Dyer’s burger!  I don’t eat bread so I always get mine without the bun.  I like the triple triple; three patties, and three slices of cheese. I eat with a fork. Yes, it’s greasy, but that’s what makes it so good!

A while back, during one of my many visits to Dyer’s, I sat next to a uniformed cop who ordered wings for his dinner.  His basket full of whole wings looked and smelled great.  He told me that Dyer’s had some of the best wings in town and that I should give them a try.  As a general rule, I feel that cops always know where to go for good food.  If I see cop cars parked at a restaurant on a regular basis, I treat it as an indication that food and service are both good.  My mother taught me this a long time ago and over the years I have been disappointed by the cops exactly once.  This weekend I got the opportunity to see if this cop knew what he was talking about.

I went to Dyer’s late Friday afternoon on a solo wing-eating mission.  I took a seat at the bar and looked at the menu.  At Dyer’s you can order 5 wings for $7.99 or 10 wings for 14.99.  Combos with fries are also available. The wings are served hot or mild with dressing and a roll, no celery.  I ordered 5 wings, hot, with blue cheese.  Interestingly, the menu lists honey mustard as a dressing option.  Really?  Honey mustard on a hot wing?

One of the things I like about Dyer’s is being able to watch as your order is prepared.  The entire kitchen is directly on the other side of the bar, much like a Waffle House.  Just in case you were wondering, the wings are not cooked in the 100 year old burger grease.  They are cooked in a standard industrial grease hopper and then tossed with sauce in a giant Tupperware-type container.

I was a little disappointed when I realized that I wasn’t getting whole wings.  I guess they were out of whole wings because I was served 10 wing sections instead.  My disappointment quickly faded.  Whole or not, the sauce was great!  I could tell that it was a custom blend and not just some sauce out of a bottle.  I asked what was in the sauce and this is what I was told, “Franks, chipotle, honey, jalapenos, and Italian dressing.”  The combination of flavors was pretty outstanding.  The heat took a while to build intensity and hours later my lips where still burning a bit.  Normally, I would balk at honey (sugar) in hot wings sauce, but in this case there was just enough honey cut the heat without making the sauce sticky or sweet.  The cop was right, I really enjoyed these wings.

Rating: ****

Wings at Dyer's Burgers

Loved these wings from Dyer’s Burgers on Beale St.

Billy’s Oyster Bar

Billy’s Oyster Bar
3000 Thomas Dr
Panama City, FL 32408
(850) 235-2349

I can’t even remember why we decided to have lunch at this place but it turned out to be a pretty decent choice.  We arrived during happy hour early on a Tuesday afternoon.  We grabbed a booth on the mostly empty patio.  There are a lot of places in Panama City Beach that have water-view dining, Billy’s Oyster Bar is not one of them.  The patio area is large and comfortable but since the restaurant is located on Thomas Dr you’re getting a view of the street.

Our server went over the happy hour specials which made it easy to decide what to order. Two for one well drinks and draft beer, and half price wings.  Bingo!!  Billy’s Oyster Bar offers three flavor choices; BBQ, Caribbean-style, and Pepper Crusted.  I went with the Pepper Crusted based on the server’s recommendation.  I received twelve flats and drummies with blue cheese dressing and celery.  I’m not sure what the “pepper crusted” thing was all about because I couldn’t pick out any pepper or crust, but they were pretty darn good.  They were mild in spice and impressive in size.  No joke… these wings were huge!!   I could only eat about four of the twelve wings before I was full.  I had a little help with a couple of them and took four wings home.  I ended up with two meals for around 5 dollars (happy hour price).  What a deal!  The size of the wings alone bumps these wings from three to four stars.

Rating: ****

Pepper Crusted WIngs at Billy's Oyster Bar

Pepper Crusted wings at Billy’s Oyster Bar. These suckers were HUGE!

Broadway Brewhouse

Broadway Brewhouse
317 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37201-2005
(615) 271-2838
Broadway Brewhouse is a small chain of restaurants in the Nashville area.  They have five locations, including the one I visited in the very touristy area of downtown Nashville.  I’m sure that some visitors may have a hard time picking something to eat from the huge menu.  For me it was a no-brainer… I had to get the wings.
The menu offers three wing flavors to chose from, all of them with unconventional names accompanied by descriptions.  Gringo, described as a dry seasoned wing, is the mild option.  The next step up in heat is the Chipotle BBQ; a tangy, smoky sauce with medium heat.  The hot option is called Panama; a jalapeno, molasses glaze.  Mojo is the hottest and it’s decsribed as a sticky, sweet, hot habanero sauce.  Well, three out of four of these flavors obviously contain sugar, and I’m not a fan of sugar on my wings, so I went with the Gringo wings.  A half order is five wings which I figured was plenty for me since I wasn’t all that hungry at.  
All five wings were pieces were drummies served with a spicy ranch sauce and celery.  The seasoning on the wings was indeed mild and much different than I expected. I thought that the seasoning would be similar to a spicy bbq rub, but there was strong herbal flavor in the mix…. rosemary perhaps.  Whatever was in the seasoning worked for me and the spicy ranch was the perfect compliment.  The skin of the chicken was crunchy and the meat was tender and juicy… just they way I like ‘em.  Honesty, I was surprised I enjoyed these wings as much as I did.  I usually go for a classic hot wing sauce, but in the absence of that option, the Mojo wings were a good choice.  The combination of flavors and texture won me over.  These wings my not have been classic buffalo style, but I was more than satisfied.
Rating: ****
Mojo Wings at Broadway Brewhouse

Mojo Wings at Broadway Brewhouse. The picture really does not do these wings justice. Blame the photographer.

 

Double J Smokehouse and Saloon

Double J Smokehouse and Saloon
124 G E Patterson Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 347-2648

The Double J Smokehouse and Saloon is a relatively new restaurant in the South Main district of downtown Memphis.  It has been open less than a year and already has a loyal following.

It may come as no surprise, given the name, that this is a BBQ and steak joint.  Wings were not a part of the original menu when Double J first opened it’s doors.  I was there on opening night and I ordered the pork steak (no longer on the menu) and I feel in love with the strong smokey flavor and aroma.  I visited several times over the next few weeks and tried just about everything on the menu.  I officially declared myself The Double J’s biggest fan.  Then something fabulous happened.  They added hot wings to the menu, and you can bet I was first in line to try them out.

The wings at the Double J Smokehouse and Saloon are smoked, flash fried, and tossed in a mild habenero wing sauce that is made in house.  Although these hot wings are not classic-style wings, I can’t help but enjoy them. The combination of smoke and habenero make for a very pleasing experience that is a welcome deviation from classic wings, at least for this chicky.

Rating: ****

Smoked hot wings from Double J

Smoked hot wings at the Double J Smokehouse and Saloon. Not classic wings, but I certainly approve.

The Green Beetle

The Green Beetle is a downtown restaurant and bar that has been around since the late 1930′s.  The current menu includes burgers, sandwiches, salads and home-style entrees.  Of course they also have wings.

The wings at The Green Beetle are served whole and they can be ordered hot, mild, or bay style.  I have tried all three and hot is my favorite.  In case you were wondering, the bay style wings are dry wings tossed bay seasoning.  The hot and mild wings are coated in just the right amount of sauce to add flavor with out drowning the chicken. This allowed the skin of the wings to remain crisp rather than soggy.  I like my wings crispy and I can’t tell you how many times I have been served soggy or slimy wings. Truth be told, these wings are some of the best I’ve had in Memphis and they don’t get the recognition or mention they deserve.

Rating: ****

How Wings at The Green Beetle

How Wings at The Green Beetle

Bay-style Wings at the Green Beetle

Bay-style Wings at the Green Beetle