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Friday, November 1, 2013

The Mill Bar & Grill -- Omaha Wing Challenge

13806 P Street
Omaha NE 68137
402 933 6612

A few weeks ago, World-Herald corespondent (and HitThatDive Facebook commenter) Jeff Peterson posted a review he wrote of the food at The Mill Bar & Grill in Millard...including the wings.  For those that don't know where The Mill is located, it's in the spot where the original Addy's was located until this time last year. To quickly sum-up the review...Jeff really liked the wings.

Fellow wing enthusiast, and host of the Worlds of Wayne podcast, Wayne Brekke joined me at The Mill this week for a fine afternoon of wings, pizza, beer and sneezing...a whole lot of sneezing.

For a complete list of HitThatDive wing reviews, click right here.  For those wondering how this works, wings are rated in 5 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.  And, for shits and giggles (mostly to get the shits) the worst score has been the gallbladder-seizing wings at the Buffalo Company which clocked in at a pathetic 16.

Let the sneezing begin!
First Impressions:  As has become normal routine, I ordered mine with "Hot" wing sauce to keep the reviews as consistent as possible.  In a nearly empty restaurant, the wings came out in less than 10 minutes...which was 10 minutes faster than Wayne's pizza.  At first glance they didn't have the classic orangeish Buffalo wing sauce and had black specks of what turned out to be pepper all over them. They looked a little light on the sauce and didn't really give off the spicy aroma of soon-to-be heartburn that a lot of orders of wings usually do. And, no celery?  I know there are those that disagree...but celery is as much a part of wings as sauerkraut is to a Ruben.

Score: 6

Sauce: In a word..pepper.  Actually, pepper bordering on being Mace.  The sauce contained enough pepper to make any montreal steak in town feel completely inadequate.   When I equate "Hot" with wings I think in terms of Scoville Units not anti-riot pepper spray.  Several bites in, and as Wayne can attest, I could not stop my nose from running, my eyes from watering, or control my sneezing for the rest of lunch.  These are reactions I have never encountered from eating something supposedly "spicy". As a general rule, the only reactions I have when I hit around 200,000 on the Scoville scale are the hiccups and an occasional itchy scalp.   If it were me, I'd lay off the pepper shaker and add some more "heat" to the sauce...but that's just me.  Of note, my "symptoms" completely cleared up in less than 5 minutes of leaving.

Score: 4

Decent size
Crispy:  No complains here.  My fear in the wings showing up at the table in less than 10 minutes is that they were pre-cooked. And, maybe they were, but they were still the right amount of crispy and not slimy in the least. A few bites here and there were on the chewy side, but that seemed to be the exception and not the rule.

Score: 9

Size: Again, no real complaints here.  I would say out of 12 wings, 10 were what I would consider to be the perfect wing size...not too HUGE but still good and meaty.  However, the two wings in question were of the gigantic variety and closely resemble what I assume Lou Ferrigno's infected big toe might look like...and that's not a pretty image.

Score 8

Infected toe?
Extras: This is, by far, the easiest category to gain a nearly perfect score every time if you just do a few basic things.  The bleu cheese wasn't half bad and the waitress did bring a decent amount of extra napkins.  But, the no celery thing combined with the no extra plate for the bones just always leaves me shaking my head.  For the pennies it would take to cut up one stalk of celery and throw it into the basket, why not serve your wings with it's longtime sidekick and a tradition that dates back to the first wings served at the Anchor Bar nearly half a century ago?

Score 4

Final Score 31

Ummmm..well there you have it.  Nice enough looking place and the beers were only $2.75 a pint, but not sure I'm heading back here anytime soon for wings.  Don't get me wrong, if enough black pepper to stun a sea of rioting Justin Bieber fans is your thing, this place will not disappoint, but it's just not really what I have in mind when I want wings.

**Side Note**  I will be reviewing wings at Addy's this coming Monday (November 4th) around 6:00 PM.  If you want to take part in the review process just shoot me a note or stop on by...I'd love the company.

Not awful bleu cheese

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