By the time we visited Teakwoods we had been working on this blog for eight months. Eight months of clogging our arteries with deep-fried chicken wings covered in a combination of Buffalo sauce and butter and gradually drowning our livers with countless beers. Actually, that’s not even true. We had been to Teakwoods much earlier for a review but it hadn’t been written up and we chose Teakwoods for our final destination before we took a hiatus from the wing blog so and this Teakwoods trip was by far the better story of the two and Teakwoods has wings so consistent that we can judge the wings by any visit and get the same result.
You will most likely be surprised and heartbroken to find out that we have occasionally skipped a week in the past for some reason or another. But never anything like this. This time there was no definite end in sight and it was a far longer break than we had ever taken before. My wife was pregnant and getting very close to popping out that kid so it was time to take it easy on the drinking so I could, you know, drive her to the hospital and stuff.
We figured we could use this time off to get caught up on our backlog of wing reviews (which of course we didn’t and instead squandered the time with some expert procrastinating) and we would reconvene once the baby was settled in enough that my wife could watch her by herself while Xavvi and I drank ourselves stupid.
We chose Teakwoods for the final night because we wanted to go out with a place we knew we could count on to get great wings. Better to just pick an old standby instead of risking saying goodbye to wing night and going out on a sour note. I mean, that might have left us unmotivated to get through our reviews while on our break (oh, wait).
We met up at the Chandler location, by far my favorite Teakwoods I have been to. (The previous review visit was to the Gilbert location which has the same great wings but seems more family oriented.)
We sat and we watched the first round of the NFL draft, optimistic about our pick, which is an odd feeling for Cardinals fans. We ordered the usual: a dozen hot and a dozen suicide. We ordered some good local beers for dirt cheap, which is pretty much always the price at Teakwoods. They also have peanuts on the table you can eat and throw the shells on the ground which is pretty satisfying because my wife always yells at me when I throw food on the ground at home.
The wings came out looking excellent, as always. They were very large wings that looked perfectly cooked and well-tossed in delicious looking Buffalo sauce. The hot flavored wings looked like what the chicken wings you see when you dream about them (wait, everyone else dreams about hot wings too right?) The suicide were a slightly darker shade of red and you could see the chili pepper seeds.
We wasted no time attacking these hot wings. They had that ultimate hot wing texture you only get from places that really know to take their time and cook the wings properly. Xavvi and I have discussed it before and cooking the wing correctly is pretty much the most important aspect of how we judge a hot wing. The huge wings had a ton of juicy meat on them as well. The sauce is some of the best sauce around too. The hot is an excellent traditional Buffalo sauce that you crave when you order wings. However, the Suicide wings are where they really stand out.
Most places we visit are content to just make the Suicide wings as spicy as possible while just completely disregarding the flavor. The end result is usually shitty tasting wings that generally aren’t all that hot anyway. Teakwoods crushes the competition in both flavor and heat. Not only are they some of the spiciest Suicide wings you will find (they had a controversial win for spiciest wings at Wingstock this year – we had them as second spiciest) but the flavor is amazing. Not amazing-for-suicide-flavor amazing but, like, better than most places standard Hot flavor and stands toe-to-toe with their own traditional Buffalo flavor on taste.
So, what is the secret behind these unbelievable wings? Well, supposedly they bought their wing recipe from the original Long Wong’s back when they kicked ass. That and giving enough of a shit to buy good quality wings and cook them properly.
So, suffice to say that I would recommend these wings.
It being our final night out for awhile, we set out for a night of excess. Once and awhile you need a night like that. A night of drinking and bad decisions that makes you forget about all your stresses and worries and purifies your fucking soul. At least, that’s the idea. In practice we just went from bar to bar drinking beer and getting shit-your-pants drunk until we were ready to fight some South Africans under the parking lot lights. But we’ll get to that.
After Teakwoods we headed to downtown Chandler, which is like a half mile from my house but I never spend any time there. I am not sure why because it turned out there were quite a few good places to drink down there by the historic San Tan Hotel (where I worked for like three nights as a bartender/server/room service guy until it turned out my aunt, who was the manager, wasn’t allowed to hire me.)
Our first stop was Irish Republic Public House. This place seemed like they were trying desperately to look like some kind Irish pub/neighborhood bar combination except nothing about it really came off as that Irish and all the neighborhood bar-type vibe seemed forced rather than occurring naturally. They had decent selection of beers though and the bartender was friendly enough. We had a few beers while watching some kind of retarded high school Powerpoint slideshow of internet memes and inspirational quotes that was on the bar TVs for some reason. That was odd.
Xavvi got to geek out with the bartender about some wrestling documentary for a bit and then mocked the guy next to us for his giant man-crush on ASU’s Burfict, who, this dude felt, was being robbed of his destiny when he didn’t get selected in the first round of the NFL draft (he went on to be entirely undrafted, so destiny got fucked).
Other than that there wasn’t a whole lot that was memorable about this place but it got us off to a good enough start in our quest for intoxication.
Next up, we decided to make our way across Arizona Avenue to check out Coach & Willie’s. We had been there once before after some wing night but I can’t remember when it was and I don’t remember much of it. I may have been a little intoxicated when we went before. I was going to replicate that experience this time.
I’m not sure why I don’t visit Coach & Willie’s more often, it being so close to my house and all. They have awesome prices for beers, a really good selection of quality beers and beers from local breweries, and a staff that knows their shit (read: they are beer snobs). We spent quite awhile at Coach & Willie’s mostly just talking beer with the bar back that I am pretty sure we were keeping from doing his job. Meanwhile we drank our way through quite a few of the Arizona beers they had on tap.
It was pretty uneventful but I enjoyed Coach & Willie’s quite a bit. That was probably my favorite part of the night from a just hanging out perspective.
After we left Coach & Willie’s, we entered the most interesting portion of the night. A lot of this part is a bit hazy because we were quite a few beers in already so Xavvi may need to elaborate on some of it in his response. The final stop of the night was San Tan Brewery. By the time we got there the place was practically deserted – it was getting semi-close to closing time and downtown Chandler really doesn’t get much of a crowd when it isn’t the weekend. There were a few people bunched up around the bar and a handful outside on patio, which is actually just across the bar.
We took a seat at the bar and grabbed a couple more beers. We talked to the bar back for awhile. I’m not sure how we ended up talking to so many bar backs during this trip. Maybe they were the only ones who were willing to put up with our drunk asses since the bartenders had more important shit to do or maybe the bartenders are just more practiced in blowing off the really drunk people. He wasn’t yet 21 and I asked if he was going to spend his 21st birthday at the San Tan Brewery and he told us he was definitely not which doesn’t seem to bode entirely well from the Brewery itself. I don’t know what his problem is though, I think the beer is pretty decent.
Eventually we walked around and mingled with the different people hanging out. We made it outside to the patio where the previously mentioned South African guys were hanging out with some women.
Now, this part is pretty hazy but I know one of the women got really pissed that either Xavvi or I called her ma’am, which seems to me to be a pretty minor slight to me. I also stormed off inside at some point for some reason and then glared at everyone outside from across the bar. I know I did find myself back outside because Xavvi and I were going back and forth with those South African dudes because they were apparently worldly Renaissance men on a trek around the globe and we were lowly Phoenicians. This didn’t sit well with us.
Look, it is cool if you’ve been a lot of places but that doesn’t make you impressive on its own, alright? Don’t walk around my city looking down on people because you just finished up three days in Nogales. I am sure traveling the world like that allows you to have a lot of interesting experiences but wisdom comes from being intelligent enough to learn from those experiences and these guys didn’t strike me as particularly intelligent.
In the end we just bullshitted back and forth for awhile and Xavvi told them he learned everything he needed to know about South Africa by watching Lethal Weapon 2 before we left. I think he may have called that woman ma’am one more time for good measure before we left too but he will have to confirm that.
We finished up the night with me throwing up in my front lawn while Xavvi took pictures because he thought it was hilarious.
Teakwoods Tavern & Grill
5965 W Ray Rd, Ste 20, Chandler, AZ 85226
Sampled May, 2012