This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list.
(This review was originally published May 3, 2016. I paid an additional visit and made revisions below January 9, 2020.)
This review breaks my heart. (Updated January 2020: I had a considerably better experience.)
You have to know that up front. That is the case because for most of my adult life, Cricket’s in southern Madison has been a standard for hot wings.
I went with my friend Dan yesterday. Dan purchased my lunch for my birthday. (My review should not be perceived whatsoever as a commentary on Dan’s gift. I appreciate it, my brother.) (Updated January 2020: I went with several colleagues, including one who holds Cricket’s in particularly high regard. I had been promising him a Cricket’s validation visit for a while.)
Cricket’s is a block north of the intersection of Madison Boulevard and Sullivan St. It does a brisk business. For lunch, you need to be there by 11 sharp, or you’ll wait. The 8-piece lunch special features 8 wings, fries, and tea, for $9.80 before tip. That’s what I had, at habanero strength (the hottest). Comes with one piece of celery (maybe; Dan had it, I didn’t) and dressing. That ended up being three drums and six flats for me, and our service was fine.
Quality: 2/10. Ridiculous!
That’s the only word for it. I can’t believe they served me these things with a straight face. These are easily the smallest wings I’ve ever seen in my entire life, handily “besting” the Beauregard’s experience I had a few weeks back. Did these come from quail? Robins? If I’m getting only two small bites from a drum, you have a serious problem. The only reason I’m saying 2 instead of 1 is that I ordered an 8-piece, and I (prophylactically? repentantly?) got 9. That’s some minor compensation, I suppose. But understand: these wings are so small, they’re mostly charring the bones frying them all the way through. (Updated January 2020: Quality 6/10. These still aren’t particularly large, but they’re definitely better, and they’ve held the line on price.)
Flavor: 6/10. This is a mainstream buffalo wing flavor. The supplemented heat is habanero, and it mostly works. For the tiny bit of food that is there, it’s fine.
Heat: 4/10. Didn’t need a drink. Habanero present, but not nearly enough to hurt. (Updated January 2020: Heat 6/10. Noticeably more of a ride than the earlier visit, with a little attendant sweat.)
I can remember when Cricket’s was a destination for hot wings. In my experience: no longer. Huntsville-area wing connoisseurs: you can do so much better than this. If you haven’t had wings anywhere else in a long time, then branch out. Broaden your horizons. (Updated January 2020: There are still stronger wings around, but this was definitely a better lunch than earlier.)