Xavvi and I first met when we were in the same training class at work. The training class lasted six weeks and the very last day happened to be on our company’s holiday party. We were working that night so we missed most of the party but a bunch of us wanted to do something to celebrate our last day of training anyway and decided to meet up at Casey Moore’s Oyster House instead. I actually swung by the holiday party anyway to snag a couple drinks with my free drink tickets (my wife let me have her drink tickets too) and then we were on our way to the bar.
I don’t ever remember going to Casey Moore’s before that night. I was always aware of it and it seems odd to me that I had never been there since I had hung out in that area many times before. If I had ever been to Casey Moore’s before that night, I don’t have any memory of it. Really, given how things can go at Casey Moore’s I suppose it is entirely possible that I just don’t remember a previous visit.
That last night of training was a great introduction to the place. We drank a LOT of drinks and generally made fools of ourselves. Eventually my wife had had enough and we headed home with me puking out the window of the car the whole way, presumably. It was a damn fun night though and I have liked the place a lot ever since.
Really, what’s not to like? Yeah, there will be the occasional douche bag, but it is downtown Tempe so you kind of have to take the good with the bad. Sure, it might be haunted by the ghost of some chick who was strangled upstairs but what place isn’t nowadays, you know what I mean? Still, the place has a decent selection of beers (there is always some IPA on tap that is good enough for me), the bartenders are usually really cool and they know their shit, they have probably the best bar patio I have been to, and you can pee on the Blarney Stone.
The Blarney Stone is probably the most well known (and revered) aspect of Casey Moore’s. Basically, it is an outdoor wall with water cascading down it, situated behind a rickety wooden fence, and you can pee on. it That might sound ridiculous but it is great fun when you are drunk.
Since we enjoyed the place so much we had made the trip out to Casey Moore’s several times after grabbing some wings at some nearby establishment but we had never thought to try the wings AT the place (or even realized they had wings) until we saw it recommended somewhere. Well, no shit. Maybe we need to learn to check the fucking menu when we are out for wing night. It turns out the wings were getting pretty decent reviews on Yelp and Foursquare and we had never been steered wrong by those reviews before (cough-Flancers-cough).
To be completely honest, I have been stalling because it took me awhile to really remember much about Casey Moore’s wings. I remembered thinking they were pretty good at the time. I remember us talking to a couple of bartenders about where they ranked in comparison to some of the other places on the list. Note to self: Bartenders are only going to feign interest for about five or so places. I just couldn’t remember much specifically about the wings.
I think the problem is that they were pretty solid, but not great and not terrible. They were not good enough that they left me with a clear memory of a great wing experience and they weren’t bad enough to burn itself into my memory. Great wings and terrible wings have a way of sticking out but mediocre and pretty solid wings sometimes do not. Luckily, I was able to jog my memory when I was going over the pictures of the wings so this isn’t going to be a totally wasted wing review.
We ordered the Chipotle flavored wings based on some recommendations online and we got the standard Buffalo hot wings. We were enjoying beers on the patio when they wings came out. They were decently sized, maybe slightly above average but not overly big. We dived right into the Buffalo wings first. They were cooked well enough but didn’t have that perfect crispy texture. The Buffalo sauce was a pretty standard, no-frills hot wing sauce and it worked well on the wings.
The Chipotle flavor was actually more of a sweet flavor – like a Chipotle-Honey. It was a pretty good flavor but, as usual, we had a natural bias towards the typical Hot flavor. [Editor's Note: They tasted an awful lot like Teriyaki sauce. We wondered if maybe they mixed up our order, but either way they were ok.] If you like sweeter wings, though, these are worth a try.
Overall, the wings were very solid. They were not some really stand out wings that you can’t forget but they will definitely satisfy a wing craving and it is nice to know that you can get some wings when you are drinking at Casey Moore’s without being disappointed.
After we finished our wings we moved inside to have several more beers at the bar. We ended up having the same James-Harden-bearded bartender we had before. We enjoyed many more beers including some Grand Marnier floated on top of some Blue Moon which I had had once at the Big Bang but it wasn’t as good as I remembered. I think I might just not like Blue Moon as much as I once had [Editor's Note Again: Beer snob].
We wound down the night with Xavvi and the bartender talking about obscure movie references (or maybe I am just an uncultured swine) and boring people with stories of our wing blog [Another Editor's Note: I was wearing my awesome Porkchop Express shirt and we discussed the amazingness of Big Trouble In Little China and ol' Jack Burton].
Ultimately, it was yet another good night at Casey Moore’s and I got to leave happy knowing I didn’t need to write a negative hot wing review of the place.
Casey Moore’s Oyster House
850 S Ash Ave
Tempe, AZ 85281
Sampled April 12th, 2012