Ray J's Buffalo Wings (The whole spread.)

Ray J’s American Grill – Northeast Minneapolis

Does Northeast’s Ray J’s live up to the hype? TCBC went to investigate…

QUICK LINKS

THE STORY

When we ask for recommendations, Ray J’s comes up. A lot. So we knew we had to hit the Northeast spot and try some of their award winners for ourselves. We had a group of ten – our largest group yet – and went all in. Two orders of their full plate of wings ($14 an order) for a total of around 25 whole wings (That’s 50 if you count them as cut into flats and drummies).

First thing’s first: Whole wings are contentious in our group and I imagine the wing-world over. Sure they look cool, and some of our tasters argued that they probably cost less since the work of cutting them up is put to the customer, but they lose points for manageability. (EDIT: Ray J’s commented below to say that using whole wings is something they do despite it costing more to provide over cut wings. Who knew?) Trying to bite into the W-shaped wing, and get all of that precious chicken, is a hassle. In all, our group prefers our wings separated for ease of use.

The texture was inconsistent. Another possible drawback of whole wings as the inner-elbow areas tended to be soggy while most of the rest of the wing was perfectly fried. Ray J’s sauce seems premixed (from a bottle) rather than combined in house. (EDIT: We were wrong. Ray J’s has confirmed their sauce is homemade! Good on you, Ray J’s!) Many tasters remarked that they’d prefer more heat, finding the sauce unremarkable, while others called it perfectly balanced. Finally: More than two of our tasters agreed the bleu cheese was too thin and lacked flavor, causing lower “experience” scores from tasters overall.

The verdict? It’s a hard one. They are great wings, but the drawbacks of serving them whole combined with a somewhat lackluster sauce and dressing had us come up with a higher than average (but not award-winning overall score.

Head to Ray J’s and find out for yourself, or let us know in the comments: What do you think?

THE VERDICT

77/100

Texture: 7/10
Flavor: 7.5/10
Meat Quality: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Experience: 8/10
Total: 38.5/50 possible points

SCORE BREAKDOWN

Alex

Alex

  • Texture: 6
  • Flavor: 5
  • Meat Quality: 6
  • Value: 7.5
  • Experience: 8
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes: Too jumbo. Whole wing is a minus. Sauce was unremarkable. Overall, just ok.

Allison

  • Texture: 3
  • Flavor: 9
  • Meat Quality: 8
  • Value: 8
  • Experience: 5
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes: Whole wing, why?? That sauce though – almost perfect spicy-vinegary balance. Soggy texture and too much sauce ruined the experience.

Andrew

Andrew

  • Texture: 8
  • Flavor: 7
  • Meat Quality: 7
  • Value: 9
  • Experience: 9
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes: I am not a fan of whole wings but these are pretty top-notch. Sauce left something to be desired. Appears to be a pre-mix. Bleu cheese was thin. Great value, but you have to cut them up yourself.

Barry

  • Texture: 8
  • Flavor: 8.5
  • Meat Quality: 8
  • Value: 8
  • Experience: 9
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes: I wish they were spicier.

Blake

  • Texture: 9
  • Flavor: 8
  • Meat Quality: 9
  • Value: 9
  • Experience: 7
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes: Their wings are wonderful… But they need to take a little extra time and cut those bad boys apart!

Esther - TCBC

Esther

  • Texture: 8
  • Flavor: 8
  • Meat Quality: 9
  • Value: 9
  • Experience: 9
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes: I know some of you nerds (Blake) found the whole wing difficult to eat. Deal with it! A whole wing is a thing of beauty. As is a face covered in buffalo sauce.

greg-tcbc-thumb

Greg

  • Texture: 6
  • Flavor: 6
  • Meat Quality: 8
  • Value: 6
  • Experience: 8
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes:Not enough bleu cheese. Under cooked.

Max

  • Texture: 8
  • Flavor: 8.5
  • Meat Quality: 8
  • Value: 8
  • Experience: 9
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes: Quantity of sauce is impressive. Overall flavor is desirable. Whole-wing approach is aesthetically pleasing but difficult to manage.

Monica

  • Texture: 7
  • Flavor: 7
  • Meat Quality: 8
  • Value: 7
  • Experience: 6
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes: N/A

Nellie

  • Texture: 10
  • Flavor: 9
  • Meat Quality: 6.5
  • Value: 9.5
  • Experience: 7.5
  • Presentation (Pass/Fail): Pass
Notes: The bleu cheese was seriously lacking in flavor and thickness.

THE DETAILS

Price: $14 for about 12 whole wings
Website: http://www.ray-js.com/location/minneapolis/
Address: 500 Central Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414

PHOTO GALLERY

2 comments

  1. Hello Twin Cities Buffalo Club! Thank you for coming to our Northeast location and trying our wings! We specialize in our sauces being HOMEMADE along with our dressings served on the side. We are adamant about using the whole wing, even though they are actually more expensive from our end. We’ve been known for our whole wings for 10+ years at our Woodbury location and like to give our customers what they pay for. We hope to see you all again soon thank you for your feedback!

    Reply

    1. Thank you, Katie! We loved your wings! I’ve edited the post to clarify that your sauce is homemade and that our theory was wrong about whole wings costing less because we had to cut them ourselves! We’ll be back, because we still need to try all your other sauces and flavors. Thanks for writing.

      Reply

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