Apr 292016

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

ez1From the beginning of this #HsvHotWings endeavor, my friend Jason mentioned the Carolina Reaper wings at The End Zone. They are only open Friday during the week for lunch, and we made it down to have those reaper wings today. Be aware that this is a bar, so you must be 21 to enter, and smoking is permitted throughout the facility.

Jason and I sat at the bar with several Friday lunch regulars, two of whom had been coming for eight years. (That tends to be testimony to a good kitchen.) The Friday lunch special, which is seven wings, fries, and a drink, is $9.81 before tip. Or, you can get wings for $.82 each. Celery and dressing accompanies. Our server Lori was prompt and personable.


Quality: 8/10. My seven flats and three drums were of pleasing size, without excess fat, and generously sauced. They were cooked perfectly, and served hot enough to necessitate separating them to cool a bit.

Flavor: 8/10. These wings are straight down the middle of a classic buffalo vibe, with the Carolina reaper peppers prominent in both the smell and taste. The finish is vinegary, but not unpleasantly so. Well done.

Heat: 7/10. The textbook progression of a Capsicum chinense cultivar is present here—that strong burn that comes on just a little too slowly for a novice to realize s/he’s in trouble until it’s too late. First, I was between a 5 and a 6. Then, I was between a 6 and a 7, and 7 is where I stayed. This is a searing ride with a nice forehead glow, and heat primarily on lips and tongue.

On my tenth #HsvHotWings outing, we have a new leader in The End Zone.

 Posted by at 12:52 pm
Apr 282016
  • We watched The Force Awakens this past weekend. Yeah, that’s a fine film indeed. No regrets giving it a 10/10.
  • I had a can of coconut water with my salad at Earth Fare once. I didn’t like it. Now Lea and the boys have tried coconut water from Aldi. They didn’t like it either. We’re all done with coconut water for the rest of our lives. We feel fine about that.
  • I lost my online relationship with one of my favorite young people last week. Best I can tell, she read a post on BoWilliams.com that she didn’t agree with and blocked me everywhere. That’s what too many of us do now, and it seems to me the younger the person, the worse the tendency. You disagree, you disappear. She’s smart, and a talented writer, too. It’s really too bad. I’ll miss her.
  • Purple Rain is not a very good movie, but it’s (of course) worth seeing for the music. It’s on the big screen in the Huntsville area through the weekend.
  • So I hear hither and yon that the next Alien movie is going to ignore 3 and Resurrection. I think that’s really the only way you can do it. I think Alien³ might have been really amazing with a more mature David Fincher directing it. As it sits, it’s one of the more splendidly illustrative examples of a squandered film. Of course, this is a chance for Newt to live—but as she’s 40 years old now and never acted again, I think she’ll need to be recast.
  • New Nintendo console coming early next year. Sounds like they know they need a big differentiator.
  • Need plans for Saturday? Come out to Straight to Ale for the 1st Sicario Heat Challenge. I’m entered. Activities begin about 3, with the challenge itself at 6.
 Posted by at 12:26 pm
Apr 252016

upaWell, everyone’s favorite lecherous pepaw has hung around long enough to get hisself his very own beer, complete with a delightfully suggestive logo! Salty Nut Brewery will offer Unimpeachable Pale Ale for a limited time, with swag available now.

(You’ll perhaps recall dear Dr. Bentley’s fondness for touching soft, round things from his phone sex recording.)

Keep putting the guber in gubernatorial, Guvnah!


 Posted by at 6:26 pm
Apr 212016

Photo by Scott Penner; license CC BY-SA 3.0

Prince died this morning at his home near Minneapolis. He was 57 years old. As I type the cause of death has not been released, but he had been battling influenza for several weeks.

Prince was one of the primary cultural architects of my beloved 1980s. He not only wrote and recorded key parts of my formative years’ soundtrack, but made films, discovered and mentored several new artists, and wrote big hits for other established stars.

He created all kinds of music, from danceable funk to heavy rock to ethereal ballads. Sometimes he took pieces we’d think shouldn’t go together and make something bigger from them. Other times he would find sophistication in starkness. (Who else ever wrote and performed a worldwide dance smash with no bass line?)

Prince was an artistic genius, blessed with nearly unimaginable talent. We were blessed to have had him. Black? White? Straight? Gay? His early hit “Controversy” invited us to consider these questions. Let’s discard them all and just go with “force of nature.”

God be with his family and friends. RIP.

 Posted by at 2:12 pm
Apr 192016

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

bh1I was probably at Baumhower’s the first time I was ever served hot wings in a restaurant (though back then it was called Wings, and I think I remember it was over across from Red Lobster instead of off Airport).

The model at Baumhower’s is to choose a heat level and a flavor. There are 6 heat levels and a whopping 16 flavors, so there are 96 different varieties of wings available. The top heat level is Bring Da’ Pain, and I chose Sweet Fire for my flavor. I ordered the 1-lb. lunch special, which comes with curly fries, dressing, and celery. That turned out to be six flats. This was $10.34 before tip. Our server Aaron did a fine job.


Quality: 6/10. Two of the six flats were a little scrawny, and one was a little done (visible in the photo). They were otherwise cooked properly, and served hot.

Flavor: 7/10. There is a lot of sugar in this sauce, but there is also a fair bit of vinegar, so there’s a bit of sweet-and-sour vibe. It melds well with the heat. When I was ordering I thought Sweet Fire sounded something like Golden Flake hot potato chips, and that’s a fair approximation. The wings were good.

Heat: 5/10. There’s a bit of “turbo lag” with Bring Da’ Pain. There was nearly no heat until the third wing, and then it came on a bit. It’s a pleasant warmth, but with no obvious specific pepper variety. A little tilt toward the chemical, but that was a by-product of vinegar, with no bitterness from extract. Heat lingered on lips and tongue for about 10 minutes. My lunch companion, who has a normal palate, dipped her finger in the sauce and said it was an 8 to her.

It was good to drop back in on what is, for me, the original wings place.

 Posted by at 1:14 pm
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