Sep 242016
 

For a few months in 2016, every week or two I’m going to have the hottest wings available at a different area restaurant and give you my thoughts.

gyrouno1Gyro Uno, across from the liquor store on Madison Boulevard, has good gyros and burgers. They also advertise hot wings that check in at a claimed 2,000,000 Scoville heat units. Yes, please.

Wings are listed in four sizes, with twelve different flavors and a heat level of either Mild or Hot. The top heat level is Double Dog Dare, and those are six wings for $10.99 plus tax. Ouch. Now, to do their Chicken Champ Challenge (for the T-shirt and a spot on the wall), you have to eat the wings without a drink, waiting two minutes between each one. Lunch was mostly about a pleasant visit with my friend Paul, so I didn’t do the challenge. I got three drums (actually four; a little throw-in runt tagged along) and three flats. Double Dog Dare wings are prepared when you order them, so you’ll wait about 12 minutes.

gyrouno2

Quality: 4/10. My wings were fresh, appealingly sized, and served at ideal temperature. But when they’re $2 each, the value proposition is badly damaged. These are pretty wings, but they’re really high in the name of novelty. If you’re getting a bunch of Gyro Uno wings for the game, you’ll want to get Hot, which are down to 87¢ apiece if you get 25 of them.

Flavor: 8/10. This is a fine job delivering heat without abandoning flavor. These are tasty buffalo wings—good for a challenge, but good for lunch too, with all of the correct attendant spice and flavor notes. I appreciate hot food that is still something I want to eat for its own sake.

Heat: 8/10. Double Dog Dare wings are heavy on ghost and scorpion peppers, with characteristic C. chinense turbo lag. Wing number one is your happy little friend, with a bit of a snap. Wing number five is gloriously painful, and cackling at you every bite as sweat drips from your hairline to your neck. Are they 2,000,000 Scoville units? Hmm. Though they may contain ingredients at that level, I’d estimate the actual experience at maybe slightly more than half that. That means they’re still quite formidable. This is not an experience for novices.

 Posted by at 2:33 pm
Sep 162016
 

For a few months in 2016, every week or two I’m going to have the hottest wings available at a different area restaurant and give you my thoughts.

3bg1I’d been to 3rd Base Grill before, in a different location, and had good things to say about the wings then. Seemed logical they’d rate a #HsvHotWings review. This 3rd Base Grill is a casual, vaguely sports-barry place just this side of Shields Rd. over Chapman Mountain on 72. Jason and I partook for lunch.

Wings are listed in three or four different sizes on the menu, with a few different flavors and heat levels. The lunch special, with eight wings, fries, and a drink, is $8.56. Slam-dunk. The top heat level/flavor is called Insane, for $1 extra. My four Insane drums and four Insane flats arrived with three pieces of celery and a cup of bleu cheese. Lora did a fine job with our service.

3bg2

Quality: 8/10. My wings were freshly-fried and satisfyingly meaty, with very little fattiness. I separated them upon arrival to cool a bit. The sauce presentation is a little bit gloppy, but manageable.

Flavor: 5/10. I think 3rd Base Grill has regressed since my last visit. These fell within a reasonable buffalo wing scaffolding, with attendant vinegar and onion notes. Unfortunately, there is also a great deal of bitterness, likely from the use of pepper extract to bolster the heat level. I’m confident they got there much more with actual peppers a few years ago. With so many other places delivering genuine heat without sacrificing taste, there is room for improvement here.

Heat: 9/10. These are the hottest wings I’ve had in Huntsville so far. There is a two-wing warming-up period, but then these things stand on the accelerator. Blazing lips, tongue, and throat, with attendant sweating and endorphin rush. Wing number three is pleasingly roasting; wing number seven glares up at you and says “let’s go, big boy. This was your call.” As much as two hours later, though the burn in my mouth was long-gone, I still had slight perspiration on my forehead and neck that, upon my wiping it off, would renew itself.

This is a solid experience. With a little attention to the flavor profile, the 3rd Base Grill wings could be among the best in the area.

 Posted by at 8:09 am
Sep 132016
 

Being a generally conservative sort, I’m not a big fan of the endless rush of neologisms our hyperconnectivity has wrought upon our beautiful language. My seething hatred of melty is well-documented, for example, and I’m on record on ginormous as well. I think most of the time, it’s lack of necessity and/or insufficient novelty that […]

 Posted by at 11:37 am

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