Jan 132020

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

crick1(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.


May 2016. (Click for larger.)

January 2020. (Click for larger.)

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.)

 Posted by at 11:30 am
Nov 182019

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

Touchdown Wings is a fast casual eatery down on Redstone Road—more down south than I ever habitually go in Huntsville. I found myself down there today on other business, and decided to give them a go. It’s a pleasant and clean place with a menu that also includes tenders, salads, and a few seafood selections.

My lunch special contained seven drums, three flats, fries, and a drink for $9.80. There are numerous sauces available, with the heat scale apparently confined to the buffalo wings. Crazy Hot is the hottest. The menu said celery would accompany so I got some dressing, but then there was no celery. Presumably I could have asked for it. Service was prompt and friendly.

Touchdown Wings’ Crazy Hot. (Click for a closer look.)

Quality: 8/10. Reasonably sized with little extraneous fat, and served at dig-in temperature. They were heavily sauced and fried effectively, with one just very slightly undercooked. There is excellent value here, with these sliding under the $1/each threshold even with fries and a drink.

Flavor: 7/10. These are particularly pungent buffalo wings, with a vinegary bite and maybe even a little mustard in the recipe. There’s not a lot of flair or pizzazz here, but I found them plenty tasty enough to make a happy plate. (I ate the fries that were soaked in the sauce too.)

Heat: 6/10. You can smell that you didn’t get mild when you first encounter these. There’s a nice red pepper burn by about halfway through the second wing, eventually building to a decent rush. Not a drenching sweat, but definitely a few drops happening by the end.

This is an eminently defensible stop for wings in most-of-the-way-to-the-river south Huntsville.

 Posted by at 2:30 pm
Sep 272019

This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list. Vinny’s Greek and Indian Grill is on the south side of the square in downtown Huntsville, and it’s exactly what it says it is, with numerous selections from each cuisine (as opposed to fusion). […]

 Posted by at 1:27 pm
Jul 232019

This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list. Champy’s Chicken is a small chain whose newest location is in southern Madison, near Shelton & Madison Boulevard in a location that used to be Bison’s and Buffaloes. It is a full-service restaurant, and […]

 Posted by at 11:50 am
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