It’s a good idea to have bad ideas.
The idea of going to all the most unloved, unheralded or deservedly unvisited wing spots in greater Phoenix hasn’t yet been proven to be a bad idea, but two grown men, married men at that, dedicating one night per week minimum to purposely try to light their assholes on fire with the best wings they can find and pushing themselves toward an early grave in a casket lined with buttery hot sauce, cholesterol-laden chicken wings and empty beer bottles surely can’t be mentioned in the “Good Idea” category with any sort of honesty.
And I’ve been known to be a moron from time to time, constantly. Ok, I’m constantly a fucking moron.
As I pulled into the dull-looking tan stripmall that also housed a Rosita’s, a Cheba Hut, a Cornish Pasty Co. and a convenience store, I contemplated the certain death I was damning myself to, contemplating just not even going in and instead going next door for a pasty and a beer and crying uncontrollably into my sleeve for thinking a wing blog would be cool. I knew that Tyler was already in the wing-spot waiting for me though, so as the only other person dumb enough to go halfers on this blog with me, I couldn’t leave him hanging. I went in to meet up with him and discuss our possible man-cry pasty feast, but I saw him in there drinking a Moose Drool beer and grinning like a man that doesn’t quite know what to do when someone is looking at him. How could I resist?
So on to the spot itself. Mister G’s isn’t going to win any trophies for interior decorating. Loads of Broncos memorabilia adorn the walls, from flags and signs to a picture of a shirtless Tim Tebow hugging a group of goddamn bunnies in a spring meadow with Febreze mists floating around and rainbows shooting out of a narwhal in a pond [Note: One of those things may not be true] with several flatscreens and even an Xbox360 and a Wii you can play.
The place was mostly empty save for a couple of regulars at the tiny bar, so the server was nice enough to give Tyler the remote to the satellite before I got there so we could tune in to watch Rutgers and Florida Atlantic or two equally pointless schools get pounded or pound or whatever the fuck it is that smaller schools do, and we turned our attention to the menu.
We’d read that Mister G himself thinks very highly of his wings (no shit), and indeed of the heat he can bring with his homemade sauces (possible shit?). Tyler was unphased. Tyler is a bit of a heat freak. Tyler is that guy. Tyler has a closet full of those weird smallish bottles of hot sauce from companies you’ve never heard of with names like The Source and DeathSauceFuckOwnIntestineRape and Tyler eats them with glee. Hot isn’t hot to this guy (Tyler), Hot is mild to him (Tyler again), and Hellfire Lava Anti-Christ Magma spewings are somewhere around “hot” for him (“him” being Tyler) (also, Tyler. Am I annoying you yet?).
I, being the resident beaner with a wiener (read: Mexi-man, Sexican, et al.) can handle my own with heat. I usually think Hot isn’t really that hot and Suicide rarely makes me want to attempt suicide), but I’m the pussier amongst us by far. Seeing that Mister G had a Hot and a Fire sauce, we elected to get a dozen of each, then drank a beer while waiting for our poultry-pops to arrive.
Two dozen modest-sized and delicious smelling wings showed up on our table not too long after, with ranch as the accoutrement of choice, plus the standard celery and carrots. The wings had an intense smell, but we noticed that they were rather dry. I’m not sure if this is how the wings usually come or if they just lacked a little sauce this time, but they were definitely not what I’d call “saucy”. It almost looked like they sauced the wings and then baked them, the wings had the tack and color of a sauced wing, but there was no wetness to them. Fuck, it honestly looked like these wings came from red chickens and that was just their natural color. That being said, the Hot wings did have a good flavor. They weren’t very vinegary, and left a slight tingle on the tongue after eating a handful. The texture was slightly crispy on the outside but tender inside. I would have preferred a little more crunch to the skin, but I also prefer to pop a Viagra and get my tranny-porn on every Thursday, so who’s complaining?
We were wary to taste the Fire, not for fear of it being too hot (again, Tyler, heat, not a pussy), but because it seems like every place that creates a sauce above Hot ends up forsaking flavor for heat and it becomes a mess of spicy hot garbage coating your wings. While the spice on these Fire wings didn’t terrify or intimidate me, after eating a half dozen I definitely felt some burn on the lips. but it was still a good flavor, hints of garlic in there, and none of that weird “gotta mix up the chili peppers so the taste gets all funky” taste or texture in there. It was enough heat that the next morning my asshole was somewhat aflame and I found myself singing “Ring of Fire” in the shitter while my wife screamed “You’re a disgusting Mexican bastard. RAVAGE ME!” through the bathroom door, so there’s that. [NOTE: She may not have said part of that]
The server was apparently Mister G’s daughter and she was very inviting, though the staff seemed to think we were nuts to be trying the Fire and eating them so easily. I guess being so cavalier about waving the empty Fire bones around is not something that happens around here too much. She informed us that Mister G does a Fire wing challenge – 25 Fire wings in 15 minutes nets you…something. I honestly don’t think we asked the prize, we were too busy debating whether or not we could do it. They had a picture wall of winners and losers, and the ratio was definitely not in favor of the winners. Be warned, Mister G apparently makes the Fire wings a bit hotter during the challenge. We were also told he can make it hotter for a regular order if you ask, using ghost chilis even. I suspect even if the heat may not be a problem for you in the competition, the sheer amount of wings might get you.
The pricing didn’t gouge my admittedly empty wallet at Mister G’s. A pint of beer ranges from $3.50 to $4.50, with pitchers ranging from $6.99 to $9.99 and a dozen wings is $8.99, a bit high, but you can get 10 wings for $6 and beers for a dollar off at happy hour from 4PM to Midnight, Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday, so unless you’re coming to Mister G’s for lunch during the week, you’re paying a fairly decent rate for your libations and chickensicles.
Overall, a pretty positive experience. We want to go back and try the challenge, and just go back and meet Mister G to see what kind of heat he can bring for Captain I-Dare-You-To-Try-To-Burn-My-Rectum (Tyler) and myself. Hopefully the wings are a little (a lot) more wet, and hopefully more of a crowd finds their way to Mister G’s because it’s precisely the cozy little neighborhood spot I would like to be able to visit after work.
So that’s the first one. We’re going all over the Valley looking for the best wings, and we won’t stop until we find them or we have serious heart attacks (murmurs and weaker ones probably won’t stop us). STAY TUNED, WINGNUTS.
Update 2/29/2012: We have heard that Mister G’s is now closed. No answer on the phone to verify that but no answer on the phone might be verification itself. It was a good place and it is sad that it is gone.
Mister G’s Pizzeria
960 W. University
Tempe, AZ 85281
11:00am-12:00am Monday -Thursday
11:00am-2:00am Friday & Saturday
Sampled September 29th, 2011