In the end there can be only one.
There can be only one true champion of the inaugural WRNL Hot Wing Challenge. Well, actually there can be three – but only three ... and a couple honorable mentions - but that is absolutely it.
10 days ago we took on the best that the Des Moines metro had to offer in hot wing creation. Check out an account of the day's activities here
Did we fear fullness or death by overconsumption of chicken? No.
Did we shrink back when one flavor was named "Angry"? No.
Were we concerned about what 12 hrs of wings and beer would do to our insides? No.
Did we cry later that night trying to stop the shivering while rocking gently back and forth naked on a toilet seat? Maybe.
It was a long, grinding, chicken and cheap-beer filled day, but it was worth it. In all we toured 7 area establishments consumed 376 hot wings. At each stop we ordered a round of "traditional hot" wings and an order of the "house specialty" wings. At several places they were one and the same so we just ordered a double batch.
Ladies and Gentleman - your winners:
Best Overall Wing
Jethro's Garlic Parmesan link
Jethro’s wings dominated the "size" category. There is simply no equal to the amount of chicken you get with a Jethro’s wing - it’s like they make ‘em from turkeys. The Parmesan Garlic is fantastic, the real melted cheese on every wing had our testers commenting that they "could eat these all night" – which is impressive as we’d been eating nothing but wings for nearly 9 hrs at that point.
Best Traditional Wing
Court Ave Brewery link
We were definitely the "riff-raff" while in CABco. It’s a little fancier place than the rest of the stops. We inadvertently offended our waitress twice in the first 5 minutes we were there (it was mostly Normans fault). Thankfully the wings showed up quickly and shut us up. And what a wing they are – CABco only has one flavor and it is delicious. Parmesan is sprinkled atop of each wing as Jesus himself touched each one with angel dust… err poor choice of words ... more like angel crack.
Best Specialty Wing
Trophy’s Jalapeno link
Yes, we know Jethro’s took the Specialty crown – but we had to find room to highlight this wing. Trophy’s newly introduced Jalapeno specialty wing really wowed us. It’s not a looker. At first glance it appears your wings have been coated with some sort of chunky tar – but trust us, close your eyes and take a nibble (whoa … prison déjà vu). It’s a sweet Jalapeno and definately worth the price of admission. We’d also like to single out the Trophy’s staff at the time of our visit that went above and beyond to make sure we had great time.
Gerri’s Traditional link
Chicken Coop Garlic Jalapeno link
Thanks to all the establishments who participated. We didn’t have a bad wing all day and we’ll be back for more as soon as everyone’s fully recovered.