Feb 062013

This restaurant is no longer in business.

Madison, you have a new place for chicken wings.  Jefferson’s is in the shopping center on the southwest corner of University and Slaughter, with standard sports bar ambience.

jeff1It’s a regional chain.  I didn’t know that eating lunch today.  I thought it was a one-off.  Most locations are in northern and central Alabama; a few are in Tennessee; and they’re splashing into Illinois and Kansas.  Interesting geography.

Now I went with a favorite group of colleagues today by design, because they had accidentally discovered on an earlier visit that wings have special pricing on Wednesday.  Ten wings are normally $7.50.  On Wednesday, they are $6.00.

jeff2Note that wings come with tortilla chips at the standard price.  French fries—crinkles or curlies are available—are an additional charge.

My friends had told me the wings were large at Jefferson’s.  I was withholding my enthusiasm, because all too often, “large” means “excessively fatty.”  Happily, these were large and relatively lean.  They were cooked well and served at perfect temperature, with equal distribution of drums and flats.

It’s no secret to regular BoWilliams.com readers that I like it very hot.  I asked our server what the hottest variety was, and she said Turbo.  So those are Turbo wings in the above photo, with the exception of the solo flat adjacent to the celery, which is a Double Dipped wing for which I traded from one of my friends.  The Double Dipped wings have the Turbo sauce, but go back in the fryer for a bit afterwards, so they’re a bit milder.

The Turbo wings have a cumulative effect about them, but I’d only put the overall heat at a third up the scale or so.  I had a little forehead glow at about the eighth wing, but I was never desperate for a drink.  The 9-1-1 wings at Baumhower’s are considerably more formidable, and the habanero wings at Beauregard’s may be three or four times hotter.

There are other flavors available.  Here’s a shot of lemon pepper wings:

jeff3My service was fine, but it was a little sporadic in our party of six.  One of our group ordered 15 wings but received 11.  She brought five more, and relatively quickly.  But he then waited 10 minutes for the extra bleu cheese dressing he had ordered.  Even so, I’m not inclined to beat this drum too hard.  It’s a single visit, and it was two mistakes at a table of six.

Lunch was an excellent value today.  I gave our server a ten and a one, which covered my ten wings, several Diet Cokes, and 26.3% for her.  (On non-Wednesdays, add $1.62 to this total.)

It’s worthy.  I’ll be back for a couple of the other varieties, and to increase my sample size on the service assessment.


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 Posted by at 8:19 pm

  8 Responses to “Review: Jefferson’s Restaurant”

  1. The original Jefferson’s…the hole-in-the-wall in Jacksonville, has the best wings. I know the recipe is supposed to be the same…and I LIKE the wings at the Oxford location, but there’s something about the original location. In 1995, my sister and I were both pregnant, and our craving for the Jefferson’s hot wings usually hit at the same time. I lost count of the number of visits where we waddled into that dive and ordered 10 wings a piece, with extra hot sauce, extra ranch, and chips.
    I know that you like things really hot, Bo…but I would like to make a suggestion. Their BEST wings are their hot. I like hot things too…but their Turbo are not my favorite. The flavor of their hot wings is just perfect. The turbo adds some kind of peppery taste that kind of ruins it for me. Their hot wings just have a delicious taste…but they aren’t super hot.

  2. Oh, and the fried dill pickles are delish.
    I should also mention a variation on the wings…you can get the lemon pepper/hot, which the kiddo likes as a combo. I don’t think it’s on the menu, but they’ll do it. That’s her favorite…and if we’re there together I usually swap her one or two for my plain “hot” ones…they are good, but I’ve never craved a whole plate of ’em.

  3. I didn’t realize the chain started in Jacksonville. That’s an interesting tidbit.

    I’ll try hot next time on your recommendation. The taste you’re talking about is chili pepper extract, and you’re right–it can mess things up if misused.

  4. I only lack trying Sweet and Sassy, and apparently Lemon-Pepper-Hot. The Lemon-Pepper wings pictured were mine (whoot!). I’m with Bo in that there’s not much heat in there hottest wings. I usually don’t go the buffalo flavors anyway, but I do think they should put a little more effort into their heat offerings. The Cajun and Lemon-Pepper are my favorite so far. I think it’s because they’re “double dipped” style, where they’re fried after the flavor is applied. Least favorite is terriyaki. It’s way too salty, and almost no sweet to it.

  5. I called my sister and told her they’d opened a location in Huntsville (Madison, whatever). She’s TICKELED. Like I said, the hot wings were my “craving” during pregnancy (also? guacamole and tartar sauce. not together.) Christy was right there with me (our girls are 6 weeks apart). And back then, the only location was J’ville…and it is much more bar than resturant. I heard so many variations of Jeff’s, “So, two pregnant women walk into a bar…” that I quit letting him come with us.

  6. I’m excited to hear about the fried dill pickles!!! Now I’ve got to go!

  7. Alas, service appears to be a consistent bugaboo here. We had another C to C- experience in a group of eight this past Wednesday. Friendly enough; just mistakes.

  8. My regular lunch bunch fired Jefferson’s today. The service is just not reliable enough. Everyone is nice; there’s just something severe and systemic wrong, because they cannot deliver a consistent experience. I can’t go during the week if my best guess as to how long it will take is “40 to 90 minutes.”

    Work on it, folks—a lot. Consistent reports of improvement might bring us back. Otherwise, we’re done.

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