Do the Nook’s “Pot O’ Gold” wings – voted best wings in 2011 in Mpls.St.Paul magazine – still have what it takes?
We had no idea that the Nook’s wings were award winners when we showed up, but the stiff plastic menu (all the better to wash sauce from) wasted no time in telling us. Some later research revealed that the award is a few years old (Listed in Mpls.St.Paul magazine as Best Wings for 2011) but surely The Nook wouldn’t change a good thing.
While the “Pot O’ Gold” wings appear to be their standard offering, The Nook’s menu also boasts varieties of breaded, boneless wings, and “colossal wings.” They offer 10 distinct sauces, ranging in heat from “Dubliner Teriyaki” to “Hot Damn.”
The Nook is a classic, close-quarters sports bar: You’re going to have to speak up if you want conversation, and you might bump elbows with the next table over. The wings come in a plastic basket with checkered wax paper (you know the one), and your standard celery and carrot combo. The carrots were a bit dry, but notably, our server brought both ranch dressing and bleu cheese without our asking – and no extra charge.
At $9.95 for eight wings, we agreed the quantity was fair while we were underwhelmed with overall quality. The dining experience itself fantastic: Our service was great (thanks, Michael!), and the wings came out hot while the sauces and veggies were cool.
Now for the other side: Although the buffalo sauce was tasty and dimensional, it wasn’t your standard “Franks and Butter” flavor, leading us to believe it may have been a commercial mix. The wings seemed to be breaded beneath the sauce, bringing an unfavorable sogginess to their texture. If they weren’t breaded, some other agent was working beneath the sauce to destroy all crispiness. Even worse, this sogginess continued though the skin into the meat itself, spongy and insignificant, failing to hold up to the sauce’s depth of flavor. Perhaps we can attribute this to the use of frozen wings, but without a look in the kitchen, we can’t be sure.
|Meat Quality: 5.75/10|
|Total: 32.5/50 possible points|
|Notes: I loved the flavor, but the texture was just too soggy.|
|Notes: The sauce was delicious – complex and flavorful. It almost made up for the travesty of breading on the wings. Seriously, breading a chicken wing is like putting glitter on a disco ball.|
Price: $9.95 for 8 wings.
Address: 492 Hamline Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116