Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hit That Dive -- Fine Dining?

Thanks to folks at OmahaFineDining.com for adding HitThatDive to their list of Omaha restaurant reviews.  Dive bars and fine dining?  See, I told you wings were more than just an appetizer!

My idea of fine dining...nachos
at a Storm Chasers game.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tanner's -- Omaha Wing Challenge

Let's eat!
15505 Ruggles St # 106
Omaha, NE
(402) 884-5100


My quest to find Omaha’s best wings first took me to a place called Tanner’s.  Why this place?  A former drinking buddy used to swear by the wings here, but I had never walked through the doors of this bar until tonight.  At some point, I guess I will do a bar review here too, but for the purposes of the Omaha Wing Challenge…I will review only the matter at hand.  WINGS.

For those keeping score at home, the best HitThatDive wing score is a total of 50 points based on scores from five separate categories.  But, enough of me babbling…let’s eat some wings!

First Impression:  A plate of 12 piping hot wings showed up at my table, I could smell authentic Buffalo sauce in the air and they had the orange-ish tint every good wing should have.  They seemed well-coated in the great smelling sauce, but not swimming in it.  So far…A-OK. 

Score: 10

So far...so good!
Sauce:  Good….make that very good authentic Buffalo-style sauce.  Spicy, but not too hot.  If you're a fan of real Buffalo wings, this sauce is exactly what you are looking for. Is it East Coast great? No.  But this is Nebraska and not Rochester, New York.  It’s as good as you will find in a 500 mile radius. 

Score: 9

Crispy:  Our first problem.  The smaller wings were just barely crispy enough.  However, some of the larger “drummie” pieces were not quite cooked enough…let alone crispy.  Up until this point, everything was as good as I could have hoped, so I was a bit bummed that as soon of as these bad boys cooled off a bit they became more than a bit soggy.  It’s chicken…it’s hard to overcook…leave it in the fryer just a bit longer.

Score: 6


Mutant wing
Size:  To me, here is the real problem. Half of the wings were the right size, meaty but not too huge.  But, at least five of the “drummies” were HUGE…like HGH-induced bionic chicken wings.  And when you fry smaller pieces with those mutant wings, the problem is that the smaller wings are cooked just fine...but the larger ones usually have some sort of vein that is bound to snap back and smack you in the forehead just as you take a bite.  A more uniformed size would do the wings at Tanner’s many favors.

Score: 4

Extras:  No celery…are you shitting me??  Look if I order spaghetti and meatballs, I already assume that you’re going to give me sauce with my order.  Celery and wings is like peanut butter and jelly for crying outloud!  No celery with wings is inexcusable!  The blue cheese was OK, but had a hint of diet after taste.  Are you giving me low-fat blue cheese as I eat one of the most fat-laden meals in the free world?  Come on…just give me all the calories I want…I can take it!  On the upside, there were more than enough napkins on the table and two extra plates for all the bones.  Oh, and for the first time in my life, an order of wings showed up with it’s own steak knife. Odd.  This number would be higher, but you easily lose five points for the lack of celery.  What are you thinking Tanner’s???

The right size
Score: 5

These could be some of the best, if not THE best wings in town.  But a few oversights on seemingly easy steps to making great wings has helped to make this score far lower than it should be.  Make no mistake, these were good wings…a few minor fixes and they would have been great wings.

Side Note:  All of my beers were flat.  Fix that before I show up for my bar review, would ya’?

Final Score: 34 out of 50.

Good..could have been better.
Tanners Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon