Posted on November 6, 2013
The Keeper – From the creators of Fretzy’s Unfiltered Ale, and the people that brought you…pizza.
When the Phoenix Ale Brewery and NYPD Pizza hold an event offering free beer, free pizza, and free swag, you don’t ask questions, you just go. On October 17th, they held a launch party to celebrate their new beer collaboration “The Keeper”, a beer made specifically for NYPD Pizza locations. They were nice enough to put us on the list for the small, invitation-only gathering (which we appreciate as fat, poor drunks).
NYPD Pizza CEO Rich Stark was on-hand to tell a little back-story about The Keeper; the story goes that NYPD Pizza approached the Phoenix Ale Brewery to make a beer that would pair perfectly with a meat pizza. While trying to brew a few batches to find the right combination of flavors that would go hand in hand with all that pepperoni, cheese, crust and sauce, they took a sip of one particular brew and declared, “Yup, that’s a keeper.”
Posted on October 25, 2013
Maricopa, Reviews |
Luxe Lounge – Photo Credit: http://ultrastarakchin.com/luxe_lounge.asp
Xavvi told me about a place called Luxe Lounge in Maricopa that was supposed to have a killer wing challenge. I wasn’t worried.
In fact, going in I was a bit cocky. We laughed off the wings Zipps warned us about, we handled the Donkey wings at The Reef without issue, we easily (but fucking slowly) got through the hottest wings the Hops N’ Heat contest could throw at us, and I had already experienced The Toothpick at NY Boys. How much worse could it get?
This is how I expected it to play out: Xavvi and I would strut through the door and order up the suicide challenge wings. We would smirk at their warnings and sign their death waiver without a care. After the wings arrived we would pick each of the dozen wings apart with little fanfare. When we finished, we would raise our fists in the air like victorious boxers and we would head home to watch the the highlights of the whole event on ESPN.
That isn’t exactly how it played out.
Posted on July 26, 2013
Angel Wings from Angel’s Trumpet
I went on the Mystery Meet Find Dining podcast recently to talk with Seth Resler about the food scene in Phoenix. It is live now and you can find it here: http://mysterymeet.org/find-dining-podcast/podcast-episode-51-angels-trumpet-ale-house-in-phoenix/
We talked about what makes the food culture in Phoenix unique, our well known chefs, great places to eat, and what makes a great hot wing. We went into detail about Angel’s Trumpet ale house. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.
Thanks to Seth for having me on the podcast!
Posted on April 19, 2013
Mesa, Reviews |
The folks that run Wingstock recently referred to us as the Phoenix wing experts. Pretty quick after that someone let us know they did not feel the same. Their reason being that we think Native New Yorker is one of the worst wing places (we don’t actually, we consider them pretty average) and we should have them ranked number one because they are the most popular and therefore they are the best.
While their appeal to popularity argument may be a fallacy it does bring up an interesting question: Are we out of touch with the average Phoenix wing eater?
To be fair, our own views on the best wings have changed a lot as we toured the Valley going to every dive bar, pizza joint, and wing spot we could find. Native New Yorker was actually my regular go-to place before we began all of this.
I have to believe, though, that most people would have a similar experience as I did and they are picking Native New Yorker as their favorite because they haven’t been exposed to better wings rather than because they have tried them all and they hold Native up as truly the best. Native New Yorker wings are not terrible, and if you are comparing them to Buffalo Wild Wings or a similar chain they are going to look pretty damn good. They just can’t hold their own with the best of local hot wings. You know, like how Pizza Hut would look pretty damn good when compared with a Totino’s frozen pizza but it isn’t going to fare very well if you compare it with Pizzeria Bianco.
Posted on January 14, 2013
Chandler, Reviews |
Keegan’s Grill in Chandler (Photo credit: Google +)
You don’t always get what you expect. For example, I didn’t expect to be sick for 3 weeks. I didn’t expect to miss the Phoenix Invitational Brewers Festival because I was sick. And I certainly didn’t expect it to be two and a half months since our last review that was focused mostly on wings.
These types of things tend to happen when you least expect them and sometimes there is not much you can really do about it. In this case, I had been wingless for weeks. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the doctor had told me I wasn’t sick I was just suffering with wing withdrawal. That would be if I had gone to a doctor, like a wimp. (Fine I went to the stupid doctor, shut up.)
As soon as we got a chance we picked a night we could go out and we picked a place that had a good reputation for wings. We picked another place randomly at first but the place didn’t have enough reviews saying the wings were good for us to visit it this time. We wanted something that sounded very reliable to deliver the wings we were craving. It had been long enough that we were not screwing around. So, based on some personal recommendations, and several good online reviews, we picked Keegans Grill & Taproom.
Posted on November 10, 2012
The beer list.
Note: Sorry for posting this late. I have not been feeling well the last couple of days and I fell behind.
We have wanted to review Four Peaks for quite a while. Xavvi and I both loved the place and we got a couple different wing recommendations for the place, specifically to try the Buffalo and Spicy Thai Peanut sauces that Xavvi reviewed in last week’s review. Given these things, Four Peaks was a natural spot to pick for our first review venturing out beyond wings into breweries and ale houses.
This isn’t to say that Four Peaks isn’t without its flaws. Sure, they make the most well known and some of the best tasting beer in Arizona, and they match that with great food and atmosphere, but parking is a bitch. They don’t have a regular parking area. You just have to find a spot somewhere along 8th Street and there are not a whole lot of spots to go around. So, when I spotted an open spot about a half a mile down the road I was quick to snag it.
Posted on September 27, 2012
Reviews, Scottsdale |
Through that door lies…glory!
We heard a lot about Rehab Burger Therapy. It didn’t take long after they opened for people to start talking about it. They had a reputation for excellent burgers and people couldn’t shut up about something on the menu called Pig Wings. When we heard that they were also owned by the same people who owned Oregano’s – another place on our list and a very popular local chain – we immediately had our expectation of great service and good food.
We decided to cheat and picked it for our next hot wing outing – instead of waiting for it to come up with the random thing picker we usually use – so we could see what the big deal is.
We met up at Rehab after work. As soon as I got out of my car I could smell the scent of burgers surrounding the place. It permeated the whole parking lot. It smelled incredible. I was excited to get inside and see this place for myself.
Posted on September 13, 2012
Reviews, Tempe |
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.
Posted on August 30, 2012
Gilbert, Reviews |
We were excited when we got to go to Wingstock in Mesa this year. For one thing, it was an all day event centered around hot wings and they were serving beer. What’s not to love about that? Secondly, we got in free with some media passes because we were running this blog which was enough of a glimpse at legitimacy to feed our egos.
More importantly, we were introduced to quite a few new hot wing places all at once. A lot of them struggled to deliver quality wings given the circumstances (its hard to attempt to recreate anything resembling your restaurant’s kitchen under an awning at Mesa Amphitheatre), some places didn’t even really try (I’m looking at you Antar’s), but some of them really came out strong. Teakwoods and Long Wong’s were good as always. Jimbo’s was a good new place we discovered. NY Boyz was killing it like they always do. Cogburn’s was right in the middle of it with the best of them.
If I remember correctly Cogburn’s was the second place we tried at Wingstock (he first being Fat Willie’s, who had some pretty mediocre wings and had us thinking we might be in for a disappointment for the day). Cogburn’s dispelled that idea. We had never heard of Cogburn’s before Wingstock but they impressed us at their booth quickly. They were very friendly, they seemed like they gave a shit about what they were doing, and they seemed genuinely happy to be serving us some wings. They also gave us some free sunscreen which was a nice touch and much needed since we didn’t bring any of our own.
Posted on August 24, 2012
Chandler, Reviews |
If it was SLCPD, we’d have been arrested on sight.
Photo Credit: gotime.com
We were called “wing snobs” very recently by someone who had read our Native New Yorker article and didn’t particularly agree with our stance on their breaded wings (our stance is “fuck breaded wings” in case you missed it). Never mind the fact that WE called ourselves wing snobs in that very article, this fellow saw it fit to demean us by saying we were pretentious about hot wings; that is, he thinks we as writers try to impress you as readers by acting like we’re better than we really are or that we act like we have more importance than we truly possess.
The thing is, just how snobby can one be while their hands and face are drenched in hot sauce and they’re ripping chicken meat from the bone with their teeth? How much could we hope to impress anyone out there when we’re basically killing ourselves with cholesterol and liquor and getting fatter by the week just to make this thing happen? While Tyler and I like to call ourselves Wing Snobs in a self-deprecating manner, the fact is that we’re still just average shitheads who like wings and beer, as I would imagine you all do…at least, I hope you like wings and beer. Otherwise, why are you reading this? Are you stalking me? Are you that guy that keeps taking pictures outside my window while I’m changing and mailing me the Polaroids with a lock of your hair and a note that says “Let’s have a tea party”? …I’m sorry, it’s been a weird week.
My point is that we’re not being pretentious, because that would indicate that we’re trying to impress you and it’s quite the opposite. It’s not that we’ve gotten the equivalent of a Harvard education in Buffalo Wings and we’re trying to talk down to you all while we teach you about them. It’s that we’ve trekked to the Hot Wing Nepal to seek Buffalo-enlightenment and come back spiritually awakened, and now we’re out to spread the good word about how much better your wing-life could be if you too followed the ways of the Spicy Chicken Buddha.