When we first came up with the idea of writing a wing blog we really didn’t know shit about wings. Sure, we loved hot wings but we didn’t know what makes a really great wing. It’s like drinking the boxed wine before you develop a taste for the real stuff or drinking Coor’s Light before you can appreciate quality craft beers. Basically, we enjoyed wings but we weren’t the wing snobs that our hot wing journey would eventually create. It is as bad as it sounds.
Before the blog we visited the more well known spots like Long Wong’s and even ventured into the ugly corporate hot wing world that is Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings occasionally but we each had our regular spots we would hit up for wings. As we discussed in last week’s review The Vine was where Xavvi usually found himself when looking for a night of wings, and I was no stranger to the place myself, but Native New Yorker was my go-to place. This was based on my impressions at the time that they had solid wings and there always ends up being a location not too far away from where I lived.
Post-wing-blog our expectations from Phoenix area wing joints had changed dramatically. We had experienced many highs and lows in our exploration of the many hot wings places and we had definitely broadened our horizons. Coming back to some of our old stomping grounds was a good way to measure how these expectations have changed over time. The Vine lived up to its reputation with good, if somewhat small, wings with great sauce (and its reputation for being a dive bar with cheap beer). The very next week we found ourselves back at another old favorite when we visited Native New Yorker.
We went to what we assumed was the oldest of the several Phoenix-area Native New Yorker locations: the one on Broadway in Tempe. We grabbed a table on the patio because it was still decent enough out at the end of March that we could still hang out outside unlike in the summer when most restaurant patios are too fucking hot to even consider.
We ordered a couple of beers and asked them to turn on the Suns game for us on the TV nearby because we were the only ones watching and we didn’t want to sit through Nascar or synchronized diving or whatever awful pseudo-sport happened to be on at the time. We also placed our order for wings. We got a dozen hot and a dozen suicide. We asked that they not be breaded. Normally we like to get the wings how they come so we can get the typical experience of any other regular patron but we didn’t want to put ourselves through nasty breaded wings and the only way Native New Yorker had any shot of a positive review was if we skipped those breaded piles of shit. They call them ‘naked’ wings when you order them this way; I call them ‘edible’.
We didn’t have super high expectations going in despite how much I used to enjoy the place because the fact that they bread their wings normally is a huge warning sign. I don’t know if I just didn’t notice that before we started the wing blog or if was just so ignorant and unfamiliar with good wings that it just didn’t bother me. In case you missed it in the Wingstock writeup here is how we feel about breading your wings: YOU DO NOT BREAD HOT WINGS! Seriously, it should just never be done. Luckily, Native New Yorker does have that option to have the wings unbreaded, it is just not the default option.
It took quite awhile to get the TV turned to the right channel but that was through no fault of our server’s effort. They just couldn’t seem to track down the remote or find the channel we were looking for for quite awhile. They got it figured out eventually so we got to watch the Suns and drink our beer while we waited for our wings.
Things were just starting to pick up on the patio when our wings came out. The wings came out served on the same metal plates that I remembered from my frequent visits before the blog. The wings were a little on the small side, although far bigger than the ones we got at The Vine the previous week, and somewhat inconsistent in size (I think I had one super tiny wing) but they weren’t too far from average. They were well tossed in their respective sauces so all of the wings were evenly coated.
The wings could have been a little crispier for my tastes but they were cooked well enough. The Hot flavor sauce was a pretty traditional hot sauce that worked very well with the wings. The Suicide flavor ran up against the typical problem that Suicide flavors have in that they sacrificed flavor for heat. Problem was they didn’t execute on the heat either. You ended up with a not-so-great flavor and nothing that was going to burn your taste buds. That was about what I remember the Suicide being from my previous visits which is why I generally stuck with the Hot flavor. They have many other flavors on the menu but I can’t speak for any others.
Overall they were a somewhat below average wing but still solid enough for a visit if you are in need of some hot wings. If we hadn’t just had the chance to get some very good wings from Zipps and The Vine in the couple of weeks prior to this visit I would likely be much more negative just due to frustration but as it was our drought had ended and some pretty decent wings were good enough to get us by for the week.
I do think it is important to mention that when we were at Wingstock the guys from the Native New Yorker booth were the only ones that asked about our media badges and asked what we had thought of their place. We were honest with them and instead of trying to make excuses the guy running the booth invited us back to another location so we could give them another try. We appreciate when places take an interest and show they are open to some criticism and looking to improve upon that experience. That second location is on our list and we will be hitting them up again at some point in the future.
I must have had more beers than I remember or my memory is slipping already because although I remember us ending up at Boulders on Broadway after we left Native New Yorker I am missing quite a few of the details. We picked the place because my sister works there and we thought we would bug her at work. Turns out she had the night off so we just annoyed her coworkers instead. We enjoyed several more beers while we were there including some good recommendations from the staff.
We got to talking with them about their wings at one point after we let them know we were out for wing night for the blog. They were able to give us a solid “eh” regarding the quality of their wings. Suffice to say we didn’t order any at the time.
For some reason I had a pad of post-it notes and a pen to draw with while we were there. I have no idea where that came from or what I originally intended to do with it but I do know I ended up using it to make a flipbook of the most plot-heavy scene of several of Michael Bay’s movies. I am pretty sure the original ended up in the trash but I recreated it as a gif so you all can enjoy it.
We finished up the night at Casey Moore’s which I remember even less of. I do know that I told the bartender that his beard looked like James Harden’s and that he was not as pleased with that compliment as I thought he should be. He said he gets that he looked like Zack Galifianakis a lot too.
This post was written by Tyler