Sunday, August 7, 2016

Perry's Place -- Omaha Wing Review

9652 Mockingbird Drive
Omaha NE 68124
402 592 3230
Here goes nothing
There's pretty much not a day that goes by where I'm not asked if I've ever have tried the wings at (fill in the blank). Sometimes I have, and sometimes I add it to my "Places I'll eventually get to when I'm not being a lazy bastard" list. That list gets longer by the day, just FYI. 

It just so happens that Perry's Place has been on that list for quite some time, and I was out that way after getting stood up for a Dr's appointment (how does that happen?) so I figured what the hell...let's give it a try.

In all fairness, I have had the wings here one other time and don't really remember walking away with the greatest of impressions of them. But...let's just say I'll never forget THIS experience.

Food comes from that barely open window. 

In case you forgot how I rate wings (because I just forgot and had to look it up) there are a total of 5 categories. And a potential to receive 10 points in each category for a grand total of 50 points.  Here's the mostly complete list of all the HitThatDive Wing Reviews.

Okay Perry's Place...you're up!

First Impressions:

First off...looking at the giant novelty over-sized menu clearly printed by Quality Brands...the wings here are listed under "Appetizers & Sides".  In my opinion, wings are neither and should have their own place on every menu. That's just me being picky.

GIANT MENU
They took about 15 minutes to come from the kitchen, so that's always a good sign in my book. They from behind a barely opened window below a sign that says "Perry's Kitchen" out they came.

Soup's on!

Ummmmm...well. Okay. I didn't see "wing soup" on that gigantic menu. But yet, here are eight oddly shaped wings in a bowl swimming in what I assume is sauce.  No celery. No extra bowl.

I can't totally write these off just yet...but we're not off to a great start.

Total: 4 out of 10
*On a side note, Perry's Place already beat out LaVista Keno

Sauce:

Well, there sure is a lot of it. Like...a ton. Like...what the hell was someone thinking? There easily was enough sauce in the bottom of that bowl for several orders of wings. I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea of wings just to keep them on the sides of the bowl and not get too soggy.

I MAY be being over-dramatic

For as much sauce as they dumped all over these things...it didn't have all that much of a taste to it. It certainly didn't really have a hot sauce taste to it all and seems more like watery red vinegar. There was the occasional hint of flavor...but on a taste to amount of sauce ratio...it was like 10,000 to 1.

I tried to save this guy from the Red Sea

Total: 3 out of 10

Size: 

Let's just cut to the chase on this one...these were some of the most oddly shaped "chicken" wings I've ever seen. These things were so ugly they could have been a modern art masterpiece! I'm not sure how wings get this deformed? The flats were decent enough size-wise and weren't all THAT deformed.

Is that a red bass?
But the drummies were huge and looked like something you use to beat on a kettle drum.  Plus the fact that last two were so huge and oddly shaped that I wasn't sure if I should even try and eat them.

But, me being me, you know that I at least gave it a go.  I attempted to eat one and quickly realized that I would have had a better chance of chewing on a super ball than I would trying to consume any part of this wing.  But I did try!

Total 4 out of 10

Crispy: 

I just knew this was going to be a losing battle based on the Red Sea of vinegar sauce so, this is going to be a hard one to give an accurate score. You know, because of the odd nature of how they were shaped, there were some crispy little bits to gnaw on...almost like the wing equivalent of burnt ends.

Crispy-ish
They weren't horribly cooked for the most part, but again, with wings this size the giant mutant pieces never are as well-cooked as the more uniform somewhat smaller pieces.

Were they crispy? I guess I can't say that they weren't...if that makes any sense at all. You know, for the most part, they were cooked fairly well...just too damn big and too much sauce to give the right amount of crunch.

Total: 7 out of 10

Extras:

I've said it before...I'll say it again. There is NEVER a reason not to get a 10 in this one. But no celery...no extra bowl....if you're a bar or restaurant that serves wings...that should be mandatory. There were enough extra napkins and blue cheese....so this one wasn't a total loss.

Have to deduct 2.5 points for each missing thing. Sorry...rules are rules.

Total: 5 out of 10

Final Score: 23 out of 50


Had to tap out.
I hate to sound like a total dick when I write these things so here's a few suggestions. One: EASY ON THE SAUCE. You just want the wings coated with a little extra and then tossed in a bowl. Not dump pints of sauce on top with a soup ladle.

Two: To the best that you can...see about smaller wings. It will make the cook's job that much easier to send quality wings out of the window.

Three: Zip that sauce up with some Frank's!

Four: Pay attention to the extras.

These weren't the worst ever...so that's good I suppose. Will I ever order them again? No. But, I know a lot of people that swear by the wings here...so always keep in mind this is always just one kuncklehead's opinion.

Scuba Steve



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hello There...Again

Well, that was only five-ish months since my last HitThatDive post. It's not that I got lazy (but I am), I just didn't seem to have the same internal fire to yammer on as I did at one point.

July 22nd was the six-year "anniversary" of HitThatDive, and reading back through some of the old reviews today...they made me laugh a lot.  Something I need to do more of these days.

Make new friends!

I guess that's my way of saying that HitThatDive should carry on and remain THE resource for out-of-the-way bars and places with the best wings all around Omaha.

So here's my thought. I need help with this. Because quite frankly, I miss being able to help...in my own way...promote some of the great locally owned businesses all over the area.

Can you:


  • Write Reviews?
  • Help Design a New Website?
  • Advertise? 
  • Help Design a New Website?
  • Sponsor Events?
  • Help Design a New Website? 
If so...I NEED YOUR HELP to help rethink how HTD looks, sounds and reads. 

Raise tons of money!

This silly old blog has been responsible for raising tens of thousands of dollars for local families in need...and generating new customers to bars that would never have the budget to market why they're a great place to stop by for a drink or two. 

And most importantly...you'll meet some of the nicest people you will have have the benefit of calling friends. 

So...if this sounds like something you want to take a crack at....LET ME KNOW. I'm easy to track down at HitThatDive@gmail.com. On Twitter at @HitThatDive1. Or through the HTD Facebook page

Thank you...it's good to be back! 

"Scuba" Steve

Wear cool shirts! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It's Groundhog Day! Are The Bars Open?

Remember when you were a kid, you would sit by the radio on a snowy day praying that school was cancelled? Now that you're an adult, you do just the opposite and pray that the BAR is OPEN!



So with that in mind, I was able to compile a quick list of bars that will be open all day today...snow or no snow....

Jake's Cigars

The Village Bar at 3:00

The Lighthouse at 3:00

Addy's Sports Bar and Grill

Sneaky Pete's Saloon

The Elbow Room at 3:00

Aussies Pub at 2:00

Jerry's Bar

The Rogue Bar with Voodoo Taco

Crossbones at 3:00

Caddy Shack and Caddy Shack West

The Library Pub

Big Red Sports Bar

The Good Life Sports Bar and Grill

The Twisted Post

The Hideout Lounge



Friday, December 25, 2015

The Bar is OPEN! -- Christmas Day Edition

There's nothing like spending the day with family from near and far watching a Christmas Story for the 11th time... and stuffing your face with home-cooked food. But let's face it, by about 5ish (or so) all that togetherness can get a little...well...let's just say you're ready for a break from your grumpy old uncle.

Some are even open right now!

He had a LONG day

So, with that in mind, we have yet again compiled a list of HitThatDive "Certified" bars that will be more than happy to sling some drinks on Christmas...let the fun begin!

Crossbones Bar: Christmas Day at 7pm - 2am. Christmas Day starting at 9 we have Gman as your DJ to an escape to the 80s!! Merry Christmas everyone!

Happy Hour 3PM to 7PM - $4 35oz draws, $2 bottles, pints & wells, 10 jumbo wings for $6, one topping personal pizzas for $5.
Kitchen open 4PM-9PM.

D.U. Sleigh? 


Sneaky Pete's Saloon: Happy Hour 6am-6pm open until 2am 365 days a year

Blind Dave's Bar: is open until 2:00 am Christmas Eve and noon to 2:00 am Christmas.

The Village Bar: Christmas 7pm to 2am.

NOT Scuba Steve

Andy's Place: Open 1:00 X-Mass with Tug Boat presiding

Addy's Bar and Grill: 6 Xmas and kitchen is open too!


The Good Life Sports Bar and Grill: We are fully open from 3am to 2am, kitchen and all. Great specials, awesome staff, and good basketball!

Doghouse Saloon: OPEN!

Maloney's Irish Pub: Open at 7:00pm

Alderman's: Open at 3:00

Elbow Room: Open at 6:00

Piccolo's in Millard: Open

Jerry's Bar: Opens at 6:00pm.

Moe and Curly's: Karaoke starts at 9:00. 

And to all a good night from HitThatDive!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Nick's, Pottersville, New York -- REVIEW

Main Street
Pottersville, New York

Much like a moldy old fruitcake, or that sweater vest from your long lost relative, it's time for the annual retelling of my long strange trip to Pottersville, New York a few years ago on Christmas Eve.  

Merry Christmas 2015! 

Scuba Steve

Let's get hammered!
My travels take me to some pretty out-of-the-way places, so it's not unusual that I find myself spending a night in a small town like Pottersville. I couldn't find the place on Google maps, so I had no idea what to expect when I got there.

But, what to my wandering eyes did appear (once I got there), nothing short of one kick-ass party town! Pottersville is nothing but night clubs, bars, liquor stores and pool halls…did I just die and go to heaven? It was a snowy night, so I ducked into the first crowded bar I saw, a place called Nick's.

PROS: Cheap. Hot Dames.  Hard-Drinking Regulars.

CONS: Goon Bouncers.  A Few Odd Balls Showed Up.

First Impressions: Holy crap…considering it's Christmas Eve…this place is ROCKING and loud. It was hard to find a place to belly up at the bar, but I found a seat at the end and was amazed at how many people were throwing back shots of bourbon, drinking gin and generally getting hammered.

My kind of place for sure! And, oddly enough, most of the people are wearing hats (not baseball caps) but honest-to-goodness hats. As usual, I am under dressed.

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em
The Bar: Small and bare bones. The bar, I'm guessing, seats about 12 people…but not all that comfortably. There are a handful of tables, and they too are all filled. The walls have pictures of boxers and race horses, and a look behind the bar didn't seem to reveal a ton of choices. No beer on tap, but they did have enough bourbon and gin to drown W.C. Fields, as well as several bottles of Italian wine (aka Dago Red) which seemed a bit out of place. Maybe a holdover from the previous owner?

The Crowd: A hard-drinking mix of men and women all dressed up in suits and skirts…it is Christmas Eve I guess…definitely NOT a Harley T-shirt place. Most people seemed nice enough and all seemed like they knew one another…the typical regulars kind of crowd.

A few odd balls showed up at one point and quickly had their asses thrown out the door…And STAY out! HA!! Who goes to a dive bar and orders a flaming rum punch? What the hell is that anyway? Some old panhandler also showed up and got his ass kicked out too. I overheard someone say that he spent time in jail for killing a kid. Why the hell isn't he still in jail!

A few hot dames
Service: Nick is my kind of bartender, not the most friendly guy in the world, but is ready to pour you another shot the second you thrown one back. I had no problems with the guy the entire time I was in there, but I would not want to get on his bad side, at all. As "don't f### with me" as he seemed, I could not help but to think that if his life had taken a different path, that he might actually be a nice and upstanding citizen. On the other hand, who cares, I'm here to drink. Nick, another bourbon!

Prices: There were no signs for specials on the walls, and I did not want to piss off Nick by asking for about happy hour prices. Nick's will let you drink on a tab, but they do not take credit cards. I'm guessing they charge you roughly .60 cents for a pint and .80 cents for a shot. Again, I was not about to ask, and much like everyone else in the place I was there to get drunk…so I didn't care.

He takes no shit
Food: No menus anywhere that I could see. I am under the impression that this is NOT the place to go if you are hungry. But, having been in a place like this once or twice, I am sure you can find some pickled eggs behind the bar if you look hard enough. Not that I would actually eat one, but it's nice to know there is some type of protein in case the rotgut booze starts to have a really bad effect on me and make me think I was talking to an angel.

Way better than an Internet jukebox
Entertainment: Not a place to come to watch a football game. Why? They don't have any TVs…not even a radio. But, they did have a dude at the piano playing some down-and dirty jazz. That's a new one to me in a dive (other than New Orleans or Memphis) but who cares…this dude can play!

I didn't see a jukebox either, so I'm not sure what you do for fun at Nick's when the "piano man" takes a break. My guess is you just order another shot and hope his goon bouncers throw-out some other poor slob for the amusement of others. I have to say, when it's not me being the one thrown out, it's pretty entertaining to watch. 

Restrooms: I can only assume the worst, but I was not about to abandon my barstool just to have someone steal it. My best advice in a place like this is to drink until you're hammered (and can't hold it anymore), pay your tab, walk quickly out the door, and pee in the alley behind the building. If nothing else, I'm sure it is a way more sanitary approach.

Cash Only
Bartender Chat: This is NOT a place to make small talk with the staff. Let me put it this way, I overheard Nick telling one of the two "pixies" not too long before he had them thrown out the door, "Hey, look mister, we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast. And we don't need any characters around to give the joint atmosphere. Is that clear? Or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?"

Hell yes! My motto too…drink up or hit the road! Nick rules!!

How Far Did My $20 Go: At roughly .80 cents a shot, 20 bucks can get you HAMMERED. I'm sure I didn't drink nearly my twenty bucks worth, but threw it on the bar anyway on my way out the door. God knows I didn't want one of the goons at Nick's bar to "show me the door" for being a cheap tipper.

Final Impressions: I dig this place. They don't take shit from the customers, are intent on getting their customers wasted, and apparently "hand out wings" by ringing the cash register over and over again when they feel like it. I'd come back here in a heartbeat.

There is a feeling in the place that it could be much more friendly under different circumstances, but as cheap as the drinks are, how can you not love coming here on Christmas Eve to tie one on with a bunch of people dressed up for church. This is a one of a kind dive!

Dive-O-Meter
8


HIT THIS DIVE!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

25th Annual BlackOUT Friday -- Thanksgiving Tradition


Being completely allergic to stores, and the people in them, BlackOUT Friday started as a way to NOT go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.

This year I am proud to announce that the tradition of not shopping, and sitting in a (strip) mall bar instead, will continue at The Good Life Bar and Grill  (TGL) promptly at 11:00 AM on Friday.

Here's what I had to say about TGL in my column earlier this year in the Omaha World-Herald...The Good Life Sports Bar and Grill. 

Come get your free HitThatDive shirt tomorrow. While supplies last!

Show up with a pack of Camel (non-filters) or wearing a cowboy hat and I, Scuba Steve, will buy your first drink and give you a HitThatDive t-shirt to proudly add to your collection!

But, what exactly are the origins of BlackOUT Friday? And, how does someone properly celebrate it...let me explain.  

Origins:  Thanksgiving of 1991, my college roommate (Smitty) and I (one year removed from college graduation) remained woefully unemployed.  To kill time over that year, we would meet every Friday at 11:00 a.m. at various bars and order the same thing…beer and wings.  (Keep in mind that this weekly habit led to the end of Smitty’s 10 month marriage to his high school girlfriend.)  

I too had recently ended a four year relationship with my college girlfriend…which meant that neither Smitty or I (being newly single and hopefully unemployed) were feeling very festive for the upcoming holidays. 

We decided that even though it was the Friday after Thanksgiving we should stick with our routine at the local “mall bar” The Ground Round…they had pretty good wings and 22 ounce draft beers.  

And we thought, “what the hell”, let’s see if we can find some Christmas spirit and hit the mall after a few beers and see what all the crazy people were up to.  In order to not look like complete degenerates, we enlisted one of our more upstanding friends (Chic) to join us.  To this day, Chic IS still married to his high school sweetheart.

Not the original
We had some wings, a few too many beers, walked around the mall, made fun of people that we knew there and eventually went home.  It was an amusing way to kill an afternoon and all agreed to do it again the following year.

1992:  I had moved out of the Pittsburgh-area, as had Chic,  so word got around town that we would all be at our same bar stools as the year before at The Ground Round the day after Thanksgiving.  A few more friends decided to join us, so it turned into more of a reunion than anything else, ultimately we decided to skip the mall and spend the afternoon drinking with friends.   

Smokes anyone?
1993-1996:  The new “rule” for the day after Thanksgiving was that you were not allowed to coordinate meeting at the mall bar.  It was a word-of-mouth invitation and either you showed up or you didn’t.  During these next five years, a few things happened:

  • We seemed to get progressively drunker every year;
  • More people started to “attend” our yearly ritual;
  • Shots became part of the tradition;
  • They put a bar IN the mall
Up until the opening of the mall bar (Ruby Tuesday), we would get fairly buzzed throughout the afternoon and call it a day.  But, the draw of a bar in the mall just seemed to be too much for the group to pass up.  Oh, we still drank the same amount at the first bar, which meant our decision-making once we took seats at the bar IN the mall were more than slightly impaired. 

1997:  We all took our same spots in the Ground Round, at this point the bartender already was expecting us, but there seemed to be an extra ounce of tomfoolery in the air.  By the time we hit the mall bar, we were all pretty ripped and hell-bent on shots once we got to the mall.  

Being their busiest day of the year, I have to assume that the management of Ruby Tuesday were not very thrilled to have a bunch of drunk rowdies in the place chasing off the customers that were there for a quiet lunch.  

How do I know that?  I believe we were asked to leave several times…which we promptly ignored.  Somehow we befriended an honest-to-goodness cowboy that we referred, oddly enough, only as “Cowboy”. 

3-2-1 RUN!
We decided that, since it was the start of the holiday season, we should join in the spirit of giving.  Not wanting to actually go shopping, we decided to buy a few packs of Camel (non-filters) from the vending machine and hand them out to all the mothers and daughters that were eating lunch. 

Who would have guessed that not a single one of them thanked us? It was evident that we would be forcibly removed from a Ruby Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.on a Friday (has that ever happened before?) so we promised the bartender we would leave after a few more rounds (and this time we mean it).  

As we get ready to leave, Cowboy asks us “where to next?”  To say Cowboy was a bit creepy is an understatement. 

It was then that a group of us huddled up and decided we had to “lose” Cowboy.  Those in attendance might remember it differently, but what I recall is on the count of three we all scattered as fast as we could in different directions throughout the mall.  

Things get a little fuzzy from there, but I do remember Cowboy being much harder to lose than my drunken brain had anticipated.  All I really remember about the rest of the day:

  • Not sure how I got home
  • Stopping at someone’s house because they had a beermeister
  • Smitty out cold in a car
  • “Falling asleep” and coming to just in time to watch Pete Gonzalez of Pitt beat West Virginia in the “Backyard Brawl”. Of note...this game is no longer even played. 
The gift that keeps giving
1998:  Mrs. HitThatDive caught wind of a few of the stories from the year before and implemented a new system.  Everyone who attended this year was given 6 drink coupons for a program that she would administer.  One coupon handed to her allowed you to purchase one beer, and handing her two coupons allowed you to purchase a shot.  

They were non-transferable, and once the coupons were all gone, she would drive us home.  Safe to say, the day did not end with a group of us drunkenly sprinting through a crowded mall to escape from Cowboy. 


1999-present:  I haven’t been in the Pittsburgh-area for Thanksgiving since 1998, but to this day the tradition of BlackOUT Friday proudly has continued in Northern Virginia and now for more than decade right here in Nebraska!

Whether in Pizzeria Uno inVirginia, the now defunct Draft House in Omaha, or even  Jerry's Bar in Benson...I have lived up to my word more than two decades ago that no matter where I am, I’ll be seated in a bar at 11:00 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving to have a beer(s) and toast all the friends from over the years that I wish were sitting there with me. 

Now...who wants some shots at The Good Life Bar and Grill. I'm buying! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Bar is OPEN -- Thanksgiving 2015 Edition

There's nothing like spending the day with family from near and far watching football and stuffing your face with home-cooked food. But let's face it, by about 5ish (or so) all that togetherness can get a little...well...let's just say you're ready for a break from your grumpy old uncle.

And this year, we have TWO bars on our list that get the fun started right at 6:00am!

So, with that in mind, we have yet again compiled a list of HitThatDive "Certified" bars that will be more than happy to sling some drinks on Thanksgiving...after everyone's food coma wears off, of course.

Go home grandma...you're hammered. 
The Good Life Sports Bar and Grill: Open from noon to 2am. Home of tomorrow's 25th annual HitThatDive BlackOUT Friday.

Blind Dave'sBar: 11:00 a.m. til 2:00 a.m.

Elbow Room: Ready to roll at 6 p.m. $2.50 domestic bottles/tap, $3.50 premium/import bottles/tap $3.50 shots/bombs.

The VillageBar:  HitThatDive's "Bar of the Year" is open from 7:00-2:00. $3 "You Call It" shots.

Sneaky Pete's Saloon: 6am -2am ALL DAMN DAY!! 38th L street

Addy's Sports Bar and Grillopen 6 pm to 2 am with full kitchen.

Hit That Dive!
Leavenworth Bar: Say hey to Kirk and the gang anytime after 8 p.m.

Maloney's Pub:  Opens at 7 and will have $3 Fireball shots all night. 

Buck's Bar and Grill:  6pm no kitchen. "If you need food that day, you're doing it wrong. No kitchen on Thanksgiving. Nikki, however, will be offering free family counseling at the bar.

Observatory Lounge : Opens at 7pm.

Lookout Lounge: will be open 7pm-2am with FREE COMEDY

Lighthouse Bar & Grill:  Thursday - 3PM to 2AM; Happy Hour 4PM to 7PM - $4 35oz domestic draws, $2 domestic bottles & pints, $2 wells. No Kitchen.
  • Friday - opening at Noon for the game - Happy Hour 4PM to 7PM - $4 35oz domestic draws, $2 domestic bottles & pints, $2 wells, 10 Jumbo wings for $6, one topping personal pizzas for $5.$3 Long Islands, Margaritas & Hurricanes - All Day, Every Day!


The White House Bar: Will be open at 5pm

Crossbones Bar: Will be open at 7pm with the lovely Cherie!

Happy Thanksgiving Uncle Larry...I'll be right back after 10 beers at the bar. 

Dundee Dell: Will be open at 5 pm.

The 108: Opens at 6am

Pheasant Bar and Grill: Open at 6 pm and the kitchen will be open too

Underwood Bar: Opens at 5 pm

The Sydney: Opens at 7pm.

Don't forget to read HitThatDive tomorrow as we name the location for our 25th annual BlackOUT Friday! A tradition so great, it's celebrated the same way in several US time zones.  



Nap time.




Monday, November 23, 2015

Omaha Wing Challenge -- Dudley's Pizza and Tavern

2110 South 67th Street
Omaha NE 68106
402-933-7511

Trust me on this, I don't make it a point to seek out bad wings...they just always seem to find me. Case in point, my first (and maybe only) trip to Dudley's in Aksarben Village. (Note to self...stop ordering wings when in this outdoor mall-like thingy-area as evidenced by last week's DJ's Dugout Wing Review).

Dudley's is a French word that means "bad wings"

Now, over the past year I've had more than a few people say to me that Dudley's has some great wings, but being a person that operates by the old Russian phrase "Doveryai, no proveryai" (Trust but verify) made famous by Ronald Reagan...the lovely Mrs. HitThatDive and I were off to the the shopping area named after Nebraska spelled backwards...



Scuba Steve's Rules: I rate wings in five categories for a total potential perfect score of 50. The current reigning champion (by virtue of a committee vote) is The Pheasant with a total score of 48. 

But, for those that recall, the real reigning HitThatDive "King of the Wing" for 2015 is Ray's Original Buffalo Wings by virtue of our roving band of wing judges earlier this year.  Read it all right here...HitThatDive King of the Wing 2015

And, for shits and giggles (mostly to get the shits) the worst score has been the severed toe wings at LaVista Keno which flatlined at a 2. Just click right here to get the complete list of HitThatDive wings reviews. Even the ones that I'd rather not remember. 

Ummmmmmmm

First Impressions: Before we get to the wings, let me just say that our server was great! (It always makes me feel better to say something positive before everything else I write is completely negative.) Now, for the rest of it. As is the standard, I ordered my wings with traditional Buffalo sauce....from this point on it all gets a little strange. 

Now, quoting directly from their menu, "Golden fried wings tossed in one of our many signature sauces, char-grilled and then sauced again. Available boneless. Choose from 7 sauces created with an award winning BBQ chef we call Dad:" 

Looking for that extra plate

Not only were these wings not fried, char-grilled or even tossed in anything...they were served up on a fancy plate at room temperature after being hosed-down with a few squirts of what surely was Sriracha.  And hey Dudley's, I would highly suggest that you shop for your celery somewhere other than Goodwill.  

Score: 1 out of 10 

Sauce: "Signature sauces"?  Squirting some Sriracha on wings and then dumping some black pepper on for good measure does not even qualify for being called a sauce.  

For the first time in my life, I may need to take a break from wings AND Sriracha after belching these things up for most of the afternoon.  Not sure I even need to waste anymore time on this part. But the question always remains...why did I just keep eating? 

Does this appeal to anyone?

Score: 0 out of 10

Crispy: The only thing less crispy than the wings was the celery at Dudley's...not sure that's ever been accomplished before...bravo! As I've said, there was no evidence whatsoever that these things ever saw a fryer or a grill as stated in their menu.  I'm not even sure these were cooked the day I was there. I could be wrong on this one, but these wings seemed to be reheated from the night before. 

Now, if this section was called "Luke-warm and Chewy" this would have received a perfect 10! As it stands...not so much. 

How old is that thing?

Score: 1 out of 10 

Size: All but one seemed to be wing-like size. But one oversized bad boy, while having the good fortune of being on the bottom of the pile and missing the Sriracha shower...seemed to have the misfortune of getting an extra dose of black pepper, caraway seeds, or ants....I'm still not sure which it was?

And one sad little guy was the right size, but was so withered it looked like the skin of a 90 year old man who just spent the better part of two-hours soaking his toes in epson salts.  Other than that...80% of the wings at least looked the part! (My form of a compliment)

What exactly is that?


Score: 4 out of 10

Extras:   See, this is where simple attention to detail really shows. If you're a bar or restaurant that has wings on the menu, several things should be fundamental.  One: Extra napkins. Two: An extra plate. Three: Serving celery from this decade. 

Throw in that the blue cheese that I ordered seemed to be some sort of chunky Ranch...as verified by Mrs. HitThat Dive...and they couldn't even get that right.  

Ultimately, I'm throwing five points to Dudley's for simply including celery...but immediately deducting three points because it was old and withered.  But at least it did make it to the plate. Yay!

Older than Dick Clark! 


Score: 2 out of 10 

Final Score: 8 out of 50

Scuba's Final Thoughts: Unlike a few places this year that actually served me still-frozen-on-the-inside wings...these were just a sad attempt to grab $9 out of my wallet without putting in an ounce of effort whatsoever.  

How lukewarm wings can make it from a kitchen to a customer's table is just mind boggling to me. Here's a tip...if you don't see steam coming off of chicken wings you're getting ready to throw in front of someone...you're doing it wrong! 

Chunky Ranch! It's all the rage. 

Now, Mrs. HitThatDive ordered some kind of wrap that she said was pretty good, and some of the other things in the place smelled fine enough to me.  But, at the end of the day, I can only write about what I was served...and these were a total failure from the second I saw them.  And yet, I ate most of them in the name of entertainment...what is wrong with me? 

PASS THE TUMS!








Friday, November 20, 2015

Omaha Wing Challenge -- DJ's Dugout (Aksarben Village)

2102 S. 67th Street
Omaha NE 68106
402-933-3533

I almost forget how to do this. Oh, but I bet I can get back into the groove of making snarky comments in written form as easily as sliding a LaVista Keno wing off a dirty plate and into the dumpster from which it came. (See...it IS easy to get back into the groove!)

Yep....it's a sports bar. 
Why haven't I done a lot of dive bar or wing reviews lately? I have no idea. At some point this year I just seemed to have lost my creative "mojo", so instead of  mindlessly cranking out reviews that I wasn't happy with...I just walked away from the whole thing for a while.

BUT...to the delight of some...and the dismay of others (I'm looking at you Finnegan's Pub and Grill) I'm back at it!

For those that might forget how this all works, and as a reminder to myself, here's how this whole shebang goes.

That's why I'm here. 

Scuba Steve's Rules: I rate wings in five categories for a total potential perfect score of 50. The current reigning champion (by virtue of a committee vote) is The Pheasant with a total score of 48. 

But, for those that recall, the real reigning HitThatDive "King of the Wing" for 2015 is Ray's Original Buffalo Wings by virtue of our roving band of wing judges earlier this year.  Read it all right here...HitThatDive King of the Wing 2015

And, for shits and giggles (mostly to get the shits) the worst score has been the severed toe wings at LaVista Keno which flatlined at a 2. Just click right here to get the complete list of HitThatDive wings reviews. Even the ones that I'd rather not remember. 

Now...onto DJ's Dugout...why I picked this place...I have no earthly idea. But be that as it may...here we go!

First Impressions: Usually this starts when the wings come out of the kitchen. But on this occasion, I could not help but make a note of the front of the menu...because nothing says "Welcome to our all- male sausage-fest" more than three AXE-wearing douchebags on the front. Now THAT'S a great first impression! 

These guys! Don't bro me if you don't know me!

Why are we here again? Oh wings...that's right. And after about a 10 minute wait, the bartender (who also must double as a mime in his spare time) plopped down my order.  Ummmm...DJ's here's my first tip. Why not toss the wings in your sauce instead of just sort of splattering it over them like a like a four-year old with a paint brush? Just a thought. 

First bite and I could clearly taste a rubber chicken baked quality to these things.  My guess here is that they bake up a batch for the day and then toss them in a fryer for exactly 59 seconds to "crisp them up" and off they go.  Not awful...not great. 

Unoffensive so far
Score: 5 out of 10 

Sauce: As is my standard, I went with the "Buffalo" sauce to keep things consistent.  And, you know what, every now and then it seemed like that sauce was trying to play the hero and make these wings halfway decent. But alas, the overpowering baked taste, combined with the splattered nature of the sauce itself...just ultimately couldn't save the day. 

To their credit...the wings that DJ's splattered with more sauce (than less) did have a decent zip to them...and really wasn't half bad.  My biggest beef with the sauce wasn't so much the taste of it...but more with the lackadaisical application of it to the wings themselves.  Cest la vie. 

Splattered paint?

Score: 7 out of 10

Crispy:  Oh, you know, they were crispy-like. It's impossible to get an authentic crispy chicken wing if it's mostly baked. They weren't totally soggy or anything, but, they were overly chewy. 

It was almost like there was some type of film surrounding each wing that provided the impression that they were slightly crispy with each bite...which they weren't. But again...not the most awful wings in Omaha. 

Half baked? 

Score: 4 out of 10

Size: They were all fairly uniform in size and on the smallish side, which I actually have no problems with. Out of the six I ordered, there was really only one "outlier" big boy which was just slightly undercooked and more chewy then a fistful of Double Bubble from the bottom of last month's Halloween candy bag.  But other than that, not awful.

Double Bubble

Score: 5 out of 10

Extras: The mime behind the bar didn't ask me if I wanted blue cheese (because he didn't talk) so I ended up with Ranch...which was equally as unremarkable as trying to have a political discussion with the mime.

You know, to their credit here, there were plenty of extra napkins, an extra bowl, celery and not one but TWO wetnaps!

And remember kids, the real beauty of the wetnap is that the corner of the packaging can double as a toothpick to dislodge any wings that may have become stuck between your front teeth.

Score: 7 out of 10

RANCH?????

Final Score: 28 out of 50 -- Middle of the Road! 

Scuba's Final Thoughts: Overall, they really weren't awful, but definitely not the place to make a special trip to for the true wing connoisseur.  They were not messy in the least and if this is a compliment...they weren't offensive either. They were just sort of there.

These wings reminded me of the scene in Animal House where the member of Delta House are voting on new members and they get to Larry Kroger and halfheartedly basically say "sure why not" and someone says "We need the dues." That's exactly how I feel about these wings!



Look, a place like this only really wants to do one thing...make money on overpriced beer ($4 for a pint of domestic beer) and mediocre food from dudes that just HAVE to be in a "sports "bar with a zillion TV's as they look at their phones to see how they're doing that day on FanDuel.

The real appeal of this place was summed up perfectly with a conversation I was having on Twitter as I sat at the bar...




Dudes come here for this...not the food or overpriced swill beer