Oct 232017

This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list.

The third location of Big Shake’s Hot Chicken & Fish, and the first outside the Nashville area, opened not long ago on Martin Rd. The boys and I did a full review for Rocket City Mom.

The restaurant is fast casual, with one wing size (three whole wings, so three drums and three flats, plus a side) available for $8.71. (White bread and dill pickle chips accompany also, as is customary for Nashville hot chicken.) The hottest of five heat levels on the menu is Executioner, and that’s what I got.

Quality: 8/10. Of respectable size, these wings were uniformly breaded and retained minimal oil from frying. Serving temperature was ideal. There were no rubbery bits, and no excessive fat was in evidence.

Flavor: 6/10. There is a straightforward fried chicken vibe here, without the common foul of excessive saltiness. Most of the flavor is that of chile pepper, with perhaps a slight garlic undercurrent.

Heat: 8/10. I expected little from a restaurant that is clearly cultivating mass appeal as part of its business model. That was a miscalculation. These wings start with their foot on the floor and don’t let up. Call it top of the middle or bottom of the top, but there was enough heat here to have my full attention. Yet, clearly the heat is all peppers. There is no significant extract in these, because there is no bitterness. Good work, Big Shake’s.

I’ll be back to try some other Big Shake’s offerings soon. Pro tip: if you’re going for lunch during the week, be there by 11, or your wait may be lengthy.

 Posted by at 12:57 pm
Oct 182017

This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list.

(Original review material below that has been updated is shown in strikethrough. New material is noted as such.)

My friend Rachel and I visited Tim’s Cajun Kitchen recently for lunch. I’ve had a lot of great meals at Tim’s—they have delectable crawfish étouffée—but I’d never tried Tim’s Famous Hot Wings, which was my aim on this trip.

Tim’s Famous Hot Wings come ten for $9.76, and there is no heat level selection. (The fries in the photograph are not included in that price.) Our server offered dressing, but when I asked she said no celery would accompany, so I passed on the bleu cheese.

From the October 2017 visit.

From the February 2017 visit.

Quality: 2/10. My wings were reasonably sized, and snuck under that magical $1 barrier. Unfortunately, they had also suffered the substantial ravages of excessive temperature. They were burned, and easily the driest wings I’ve yet been served on this #HsvHotWings adventure. (Updated October 2017: 5/10. These were better, with an occasional, within-tolerance char mark. They were also juicier. Alas, they were rubbery in spots.)

Flavor: 1/10. These wings taste like smoke. There is an undercurrent of smoke. A little whisper of smoke finishes them out. There is a slight aftertaste of sweet…smoke. Really, the smokiness was absolutely overwhelming. The occasional hint of sauce I tasted seemed like it had a sweetish buffalo vibe. While well-smoked wings are delightful, these tasted about 85% of the way to a house fire. I didn’t finish them. (Updated October 2017: 4/10. The flavor is improved, but there is still nearly nothing here but smoke, and a lot of it.)

Heat: 2/10. Almost nothing here. A bit of black pepper is evident. There’s an infrequent buffalo/Louisiana red pepper wisp that vanishes so quickly, you’re left to wonder if it was a gustatory mirage.

As many fine things as I’ve eaten at Tim’s, these wings were disappointingly jarring indeed. I’m hoping this was an anomaly. I’ll put Tim’s down for a validation visit.

(Updated October 2017: On this validation visit I found a better product, but still an unambiguously mediocre one. This is just not a strong play for Tim’s. If you want smoked wings, there are much better ones a few blocks north.)

 Posted by at 1:25 pm
Jun 052017

This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list. BJ’s opened a year or two ago in Bridge Street, right in my work neighborhood. It’s a center-bar place with its own beers, and both the experience and the menu are elevated just a […]

 Posted by at 12:53 pm

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