A week ago I went for a magical four mile walk and every time I went into a bar they gave me free wings. Yes, I was one of the celebrity judges at this year's Pillars Wing Crawl. Last month I was asked to be one of the celebrity judges and asked for an interview for the Cleveland Scene. 4000 hits on my blog and 26 wings later has lead you to read this blog and me to have indigestion.
I met Lakewood Patch.com's Colin McEwen at Around the Corner. We planned to make a straight line down Detroit catching all the bars as we go. The only curves on a trip were to pick up the random things Colin left behind at most of the bars. Around the Corner had real good wings, especially their black pepper wings that stood out ahead of most of the wings of the day. They were also able to keep table service going at a reasonable rate too.
Next we made our way to the Harry Buffalo. The service was fast even though the bar was packed. I really liked their wings. They weren't the best or the most original, but I they stood out as wings I'd want to eat again. Their buffalo wings made my top 3.
After our first back track for Colin's voting sheet we went to the Riverwood Cafe. The wings and service were good. We also stole the booth from the principal of Lakewood Highschool. Luckily, we were able to finish our wings before they got theirs and quickly departed. We then quickly came back and picked up Colin's glasses.
Our next stop was Guys Pizza. The service was slow, we didn't get napkins and the batch of wings we got were almost too freezer burnt to eat. I hope, normally the wings and service are good but we were there at the wrong time.
The Booth has been one of my favorite bars that I've gone to during my blog so far. My expectations were high and I had no complaints about their wings. I especially enjoyed their Sriracha wings but I try and put cock (rooster) sauce on any food I can. Service wise the bartender was friendly and helpful and this was the only bar that trusted us to get our own wings (as a good thing.)
Next I went to the Local. I enjoyed both wings and gave them a solid score. I was disappointed that the kickin BBQ wasn't hotter but you can lose points with some people for being too spicy. I did like that my wing experience was enhanced with a fog machine!
Another one of my blogged bars was the Plank Road Tavern. Their moroccan dry rub wing was my favorite taste of the crawl and I will be back for more later. They also had the smallest wings of the crawl, which goes to show that good things can come in small packages.
This was my first time inside of Eddy & Iggy's. We spent an intermission here playing foosball. Word of advise the slim side has a gravity advantage. Also, I'm no good at foosball and lost both matches. We had real good service. The bartender took time to talk to me about their beer even though they were being hammered with crawlers. I really liked their buffalo wing, it held to a much more classic style instead of going for fancy and they hit a home run with it.
Merry Arts' wings tasted good, but their service didn't keep up. It took us a couple minutes to figure out how to get the wings (from the cook.) But since the cook was busy cooking, by the time I got the wings that were sitting out they were cold. I wasn't allowed to grab them on my own because I was informed that “You don't steal from a pimp.” The citric taste of their second wing complemented its cool temperature, honestly.
Jammy Buggers had the best actual wing meat of any of the bars we went to. I gave their buffalo wing my highest rating for that genre. They put a ton of work into their Top Secret Recipe #6 wings and it was really good but it was also a bit nutty and I don't like nutty. It was definitely an improvement over their Top Secret Recipe #5 wings that were a bit squirrelly and mildly triangle.
Last but not least was Deagans as the reigning champs (and as I am late on getting this blog done, the still reigning champs) my expectations were high. They were great. The wings were a high quality, though my batch was a little over cooked. The buffalo wings were the hottest wings of the day, I really liked them. But, even though we were sitting to the right of the taps behind the register we couldn't get anything to drink. After watching 5 different people walk in and immediately get service I decided I would raise my hand because that's what I was taught in school. Colin said he could get someone to wait on us instead. So, he tried his talking to people way and I tried mine. I won. Deagan's second specialty was real good as well.
We then trekked all the way back to our cars at Around the Corner. We wanted to hand our votes to the Pillar people because we didn't feel comfortable giving our votes directly to the bars. We stopped at the Root Cafe on the way back across town. Everybody knew Colin there and they probably have the nicest bathroom in town.
I'd like to thank the 11 bars that made wings for us and the Lakewood Pillars that put all their hard work into making a great Lakewood event. Also, thanks to Shawn Juris who invited me as a celebrity judge! It was a great day and I ate a lot of good wings.