By Wesley Brown, Charles Matranga
Contributors to Hottytoddy.com
Mugshots – Overall: 6.9
As we have observed in our adventures so far, appetizer wings are notoriously hit or miss. Will they be microwaved or fried? Will they be bite size or colossal? The mystery doesn’t stop there. Soon after eating them you’re often left asking other questions, such as “Did I overdraft on my bank account?” or “Where is the nearest bathroom?” Fortunately for us, Mugshots unveiled itself as a surprising oasis in a barren landscape of uninspired Buffalo wing appetizers.
The sauce was abundant, neatly and evenly covering the wings in their entirety. However, the taste had less of a sharp-flavored spice and more of a subdued sweetness to it. It’s hard to describe, but the ideal Buffalo sauce aroma/flavor should singe your eyebrows as you lean into your first bite. In this case, the Buffalo sauce made the meal feel more like a dessert than an appetizer.
Underneath the sauce was well-cooked and juicy chicken, minus a fair number of tendons/ligaments. There was also an appreciable crisp to the wings making for an ideal snacking experience, which is the ultimate goal of any appetizer. For some reason, many appetizer wings come out more on the cooler side, which only contributes to the afterthought mentality many establishments seem to have towards them. This was not the case at Mugshots, as the temperature hit the sweet spot of being hot, but cool enough to eat right away.
The ranch was enjoyable as it hit the trifecta of solid temperature, consistency and flavor. There was also a hint of zest to it that compensated for the lackluster tang of the Buffalo sauce. The lowest rating was derived from the size of the wing, which even by appetizer standards was still below average. But combined with their beer battered fries we left the restaurant feeling pretty satisfied.
Ultimately, we cannot endorse Mugshots as the go-to spot for Buffalo wings. But if you and your buddies need something to graze on while waiting for your food, these are the ideal choice.
Bim Bam Burgers and Wings – Overall: 7.3
When a restaurant is named after a food, that food better come to play ball. You can’t name your kid Tiger and have him become a certified public accountant. Similarly, you can’t name your restaurant Bim Bam Burgers & Wings if your wings aren’t top tier. Despite the high expectations that the name gave us, we were still pleasantly surprised with the wings we got at Bim Bam.
Typically, restaurants “toss” wings in sauce. The fried chicken gets put in a basket or bowl filled with sauce and they are shaken to fully coat the wings. Bim Bam does this a little differently. The sauce looked drizzled on the wings, so the amount of sauce wasn’t overwhelming. The sauce itself was a slightly hotter take on Buffalo, reminiscent of the sauce we tasted at the Levee and Rooster’s. The wing to sip ratio was about a 1.5 (1.5 wings per sip) which means these wings were slightly hotter than usual. The great part about the sauce, however, was that it had the consistency of honey. The sauce experience here was definitely unique.
The wings themselves were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The meat was well cooked, but the size left much to be desired. They appeared to be served straight from the fryer as they were steaming like a sauna, but were somehow cool enough to handle immediately. Either Bim Bam defied the laws of wing physics on this one or we have built up some kind of tolerance to heat in our semester-long buffalo wing endeavor.
We asked for Bim Bam’s recommendation for our side item. They recommended the fried pickles and we can definitely see why. They were crispy, juicy, and had great tang to them. There were also enough for a group of three starving law students to comfortably share between them so major props to the kitchen on that one. Served steaming hot, this side item paired well with their ranch, which we saw pulled straight from the fridge. The ranch could’ve had a thicker consistency, but when considering the thickness of the buffalo sauce the wings and ranch paired well together.
Overall, we left Bim Bam very pleased. We spent most of the time relaxing with friends and losing repeatedly to our buddy in the tic tac toe game provided on the tables. The majority of our highly-rated wings have been downtown, but if you and your friends are looking for quality local wings on West Jackson, give Bim Bam a try.