If you listen to the radio at any time on any given day, you’ll notice two things: One, you’ll notice that it’s awful. Two, you’ll hear a Maroon 5 song. It’s inescapable, you ARE going to hear one. If you ever turn on the radio and flip around and don’t hear one, you can take it as a sign of the impending apocalypse. One can recognize them by the incredibly shitty falsetto of the lead singer and the completely dull and unmemorable nature of the song. For some reason, people love this lifeless crap and for the life of me I can’t understand why.
After leaving Half Moon, I realized that this phenomenon of people loving dull things is not limited to music alone.
I went once and was not impressed, but that was years ago. It could have been the prices, or it could have been the coiffed-hair touting mid-30s fellows lounging in there (not quite Affliction bros,they were more of the 401K and stocks-talk variety ) which doesn’t really jive with my style, because I am fat and eat hot wings. Plus, I didn’t even go into the bar that night, I went to the sit-down restaurant portion of Half Moon which seemed to be half sports bar, half contemporary ski lodge. Read more
We headed down to Arcadia for a second time to check out another wing joint that happens to be almost right next door to the last Arcadia place we visited, JT’s Bar & Grill. This is almost unfair to Arcadia Tavern because it just invites the comparison between the two and JT’s happens to be one of our favorite spots so far, currently ranking third behind only NY Boyz and Angie & Jimmy’s. We didn’t set out to just compare the two places though so we tried to be objective (sort of).
Arcardia Tavern lives up to its namesake neighborhood. The place looks nice and is situated in the prime corner spot. Parking was a little tricky which seems to be the norm around there. Really just not enough parking for all of their patrons. We lucked into a spot as someone was leaving so it didn’t turn out too bad.
We grabbed a couple spots on the patio to enjoy the decent weather outside (in February – suck it, cold states) and watch the Suns take on Dragic and the Rockets. Little did we know there was an awful University of Arizona flag looming over our heads at this table. That has to be some kind of bad luck. Now, the logical part of me has always argued that U of A is not so bad because more higher education and better educated people in general are good for our state but on the other hand, fuck U of A. I’m from the Valley of the Sun, go ASU!
Until a wonderful new storage technology comes along to save us all, delivery wings will always be at a fundamental disadvantage.
We learned a lot at Wingstock this year. We learned that sometimes it’s not how good your wings are but how many people will vote for you based on name-recognition alone. We learned that the ability to discern between “really hot” and “Death rode in on his pale horse over my lips and through my gums to burn the fear of God into my throat” is something that some judges may not possess. We learned that people just really, truly love their hot wings and love them big and crispy and saucy in a variety of flavors.
The most valuable lesson we learned that day? KNOW HOW TO STORE YOUR GODFLANCE WINGS.
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.
Sometimes work just grabs you by the white shirt collar and marches you directly to the teetering edge of modern insanity. It’s not “hard” and it’s not “tough” but I’m at least 12% certain that we as humans were never intended to sit at 90-degree angles and type bullshit into a computer for 8 hours a day in a repetitive cycle that moves us no closer to any sort of self-satisfaction whatsoever.
I am also certain, and I’m talking like 100% certain, that this is why God invented happy hour at Zipps.
Long Wong’s is legendary in the Phoenix hot wing scene. Seriously, ask anyone around the Valley about where to get wings and about half of the conversations are going to end featuring some incarnation of Long Wong’s or another. When we initially set out to do a hot wing review blog I didn’t think we would ever find anything that could touch Long Wong’s. (Ha, the end of that sentence is kind of funny taken out of context.) As far as I was concerned Long Wong’s was the epitome of Phoenix hot wings.
The original that started it all was the Mill Avenue location in downtown Tempe. This dingy club was the heart of the local Tempe music scene in the 90’s. This was the place where the Gin Blossoms started to make a name for themselves and a shitload of other local bands got their 15 minutes of fame. At the time this was the ultimate place to go enjoy a show. The fact that you could get shitfaced and enjoy some of the best wings Phoenix has ever produced just solidified this place as the transcendent wing spot that every other place in town aims to be.
Take note of my surroundings, I tell myself. Remember any names that are mentioned. Remember the layout of the place, I tell myself. Remember the sounds of the street outside. Try to preserve as many details as possible so you can describe it to the police when you’re rescued from this kidnapping, I tell myself. Where am I? Is this a Jigsaw trap? Why do I find myself glued to this chair in this crappy restaurant being force-fed these absolute abominations of hot wings? Oh sweet merciful Gilbert Christ of Latter Day Wings, deliver me from this pile of shitbones covered in crap! M. Night Shyamalan twist ending: We came to Flancer’s by choice.
We normally start these posts by giving you a chronological story about our night of wing-eating, starting as we walk up to the place and ending at some bar trying to master the fine art of assholery. I can’t do that with this post, because it would be a disservice to you and to anyone who ever thought about possibly contemplating the idea of starting to think about eating a wing, ever.
Look, I don’t know Mr. Flancer. I don’t even know if there IS a Mr. Flancer or if some corporate shitstains just decided that they’d name a small chain of restaurants something kind of kitschy and catchy. I don’t care. I know I might hurt some feelings here, so I should state for the record that we only tried the wings here. Nothing else. People have told me that their sandwiches are quite good and that they enjoy their time at Flancer’s. I don’t fucking care. I hope their deepfryer accidentally gets caught in an unfortunate smelting accident.
In 2011, the good folks from the City of Mesa along with a few notable wing restaurants got together and made the first annual Wingstock event, combining hot wings, live music, beer and the great outdoors into one buffalo wing lover’s wet dream. While we didn’t get to attend the first one, we realized that the fellows of whydidieatthis.com needed desperately to get to Wingstock 2012 and see what all the fuss was about. It should be mentioned that we first learned of the existence of Wingstock from visiting NY Boyz Subz & Wingz, where we viewed the trophy they won for being King of Wings 2011, a title we absolutely could not dispute.
We took our spouses and made the trek to the Mesa Amphitheater, grabbed our media passes (thanks again to the City of Mesa for allowing us the access) and went in pursuit of wingly goodness. Here are our impressions of Wingstock 2012. Enjoy!
This week’s wing adventure took us to Arcadia to check out JT’s Bar & Grill. JT’s had an excellent reputation going in. It was the winner of New Times Best Of Phoenix for the Best Bar Food in 2011 and Best Neighborhood Bar, Central Phoenix in 2010. They also had a shitload of raving reviews online. So, it was time to put their hot wings to the test. We were of course skeptical because most people don’t know shit about wings.
This place is in a run down strip mall that looks like it has weathered one too many Arizona summers. In picturesque Arcadia this place stuck out like a pimple on a model’s ass. Being that we had had excellent wings at some pretty bad dives before, things were looking good for us so far.
Parking was a little tight. We found a spot easily enough but I could definitely could see it becoming a problem if it got too busy at JT’s or if the citizens of Arcadia ever start campaigning in the parking lot to tear down this blight on the community of a strip mall.