By Wesley Brown, Charles Matranga
Contributors to Hottytoddy
Video by Josh Zaragosa
Moe’s BBQ Review
Price: $12 for 1 pound of wings, 2 sides & drink
On our first wing review ever, “A Review of Harrison’s and Jinsei Sushi’s Wings” a person named “jason” (power move lowercase j) left us our first comment. As our first fan, “jason’s” feedback to our hard work was, “Moe’s BBQ has the best wings in town.” “jason,” if you’re still reading, we want to thank you for your comment. As of this publication, Moe’s has the best wings in Oxford. That said, we still have not completed our journey! There are still many places left on our list. So “jason,” send us an email, we’d love to get more of your suggestions.
We stated in our previous wing review article that we tend to adhere to a more strict grading scale. Despite this restraint, Moe’s absolutely knocked it out of the park. First things first, these wings were massive. As we were sitting at the table, we could see these wings coming from a mile away. Looking more like something you’d find orbiting Jupiter, these wings conjured childhood memories of getting a turkey leg at Disney World.
Despite the massive wing size, the meat was tender and juicy all the way through. After our meal, we got to meet the chef, and you could tell this guy was working his dream job. He walked us through the process of how Moe’s cooks their wings. They smoke them, flash fry them when an order comes in, and then immediately glaze the wings in a conservative, but deliberate, amount of Buffalo sauce. This makes for a delicious smoked chicken taste with an incredible crisp. The Buffalo glaze was definitely interesting, and we might have appreciated a little more Buffalo flavor, but we are hesitant to question the mathematical precision used in creating these masterpieces. Imagine telling Michelangelo the Sistine Chapel could’ve used more “powder blue” just because it’s your favorite color.
Our love of ranch is no secret. And we make no attempt to stifle our disappointed sighs when an establishment says they don’t serve ranch with their wings. This wasn’t the case for Moe’s. Instead of ranch, they offer a made in house Alabama white BBQ sauce and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The sauce was tangy and sweet which, accompanied with these artfully smoked and seasoned dry rub wings, made for a truly religious experience.
If the wings themselves weren’t enough to give a high rating, these sides certainly did the job. We were fortunate enough to try an elaborate array of side items. The spread included baked beans, mac ‘n cheese, sweet potato casserole, and a Mississippi Mud Pie for dessert.
After enduring wings at prior establishments that were served as an afterthought, it was nice having a meal based around delicious wings. Moe’s definitely gets the Shark Bite seal of approval for their incredible wings.
The Levee Wing Review
Price: $0.50 wing Monday
When we found out that the Levee served wings we were extremely concerned. As a wing critic, there’s a feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when someone suggests eating a bar that you didn’t know had a menu. Not to mention, we were afraid of being the oldest people in the establishment at age 24. But, to our surprise, the Levee has some pretty good wings. The chef, notoriously called “Q” has a special sauce, “Q sauce.” Q Sauce was ranch based and was a welcome break from all of the Buffalo sauce we’ve eaten in the past few months. And like a 24-year-old playing Skee-Ball at Chuck-E-Cheese, Q Sauce draws quite a crowd.
But, as you all know, Shark Bite exclusively reviews Buffalo wings. The Levee brought the heat with their Buffalo sauce. We hate to speak too soon, but there is a chance that Levee has the hottest Buffalo sauce in Oxford. The sauce was thick enough to stay on the wing, and there was plenty of it. It had levels of flavoring with an Adam Vinatieri quality kick, as well as a hint of sweetness.
Unfortunately, the wing quality was subpar. The meat was a little more tough to get off the bone than we normally like, and when you’re watching March Madness the last thing you want is to be looking away from the television to peel the meat off the bone.
Despite the tough meat, the flats were easy to break apart. This made it easy to scoop ranch into our mouths. This was a unique ranch. Served in what appeared to be plastic shot glasses, this ranch brought back fond memories of our undergraduate years. The flavor could have been slightly more apparent, but despite the distant flavor, it still had a good taste. However, the real winners for this ranch were its consistency and temperature. This cool and creamy side was the perfect matchup for these maliciously peppered hot wings.
The wing size varied greatly. There were some wings in the basket that would be too small to ride the teacups at Disney World, and others that are being scouted to Ole Miss as linebackers. On the plus size, the wing size definitely contributed to an overall pleasant belly feel after we ended our review. Overall the wing size did well to match up to the price of the wings.
Our biggest complaint was the texture of these wings. They were a little spongy to the touch, and could have definitely used a little more crisp. As a stranger sitting next to us at the bar expertly pointed out, “I think the sauce is making the wings soggy.” This analysis definitely holds up, as there was a puddle of sauce in the bottom of the basket when we finished. Hey kid wearing the shirt that says, “Squad Goals” over a picture of the kids from Sandlot: we like your analysis and we hope the stain comes out of that sick t-shirt.
The side item here was kind of a letdown. Normally bars do side items really well, but this wasn’t the case at the Levee. The fries were a generic, run of the mill, never-order-again side item. Honestly, the best use of these fries was to give us an excuse to dip something else into the ranch.
“Juice, juice is temporary, you know
Anyone can obtain the juice…it’s something that kind of comes and goes…
But the sauce, the sauce is forever” – Justin Timberlake