Any time the wreview goes up late, I feel like I’m making excuses. Truth is, I am, but this is a passion project, coming totally out of pocket for all those involved, and we don’t make any money off of this, so yeah. It’s not excuses, it’s reasons. I really am sorry when it happens, but it happens. In order to keep with the schedule, I need to make certain sacrifices. Which is why this week was inspired by WingSquad Superstar Benjamin Jones, who recently had one of these sorta-fast-food joints open in his neighborhood. There’s one not but a five minute walk from my apartment, so I decided to do an impromptu mini-wreview of…
Texas Chicken & Burgers
2144 Frederick Douglass Blvd (Harlem)
It was nearly 1 AM, and I went to this spot solo this time, and I was a little bit drunk. Not so much that it would impact my taste, but enough that there wasn’t much open around me except here.
This particular TC&B is pretty tiny on the inside. For a chain that promotes itself on its locally sourced ingredients and food, it still had the very sterile, generic fast-food feel to it, with maybe five two-top tables inside. There was no personality at all to the joint, but I guess at this point that’s intentional.
Fried chicken and burgers. To be fair, all of the food looked great as other people were ordering and eating. Whether this was jealousy at what I ultimately ate or just matter-of-fact leaves a notion to be explored on a separate trip. But they sold wings, with four sauces. One was spicy, the other three were variations on BBQ.
The PPW, if you’re just ordering wings (at this location) stars at $1 a wing, and dips down from there. I’m sorry I don’t have more specific notes. Blame the Evan Williams. My meal of six wings, fries and a drink ended up being a touch over $8.
What We Ordered
I got the spicy wings. This is just about brevity, really. I had no time for messing around with fancy things.
These wings looked… well, terrible. I ordered “for here” but was still given a to-go bag, complete with wings stuffed inside a clear tiny clamshell that was half-filled with the “spicy” sauce. All of the wings varied in size, shape, and quality, and I was given no dipping sauce, no wetnaps, and not a single napkin. Pardon the profanity, but these are just about the shittiest presentation I’ve ever had, 1/5.
So, in all actuality the spicy (the staff did actually call it Buffalo, despite the menu name) was pretty OK. It had a decent heat build to it, but it amounted to nothing more than trying to be the cheapest facsimile possible to a Buffalo sauce. The heat was enjoyable, but didn’t linger or build significantly from wing to wing. The flavor was forgettable, and though even for mediocre sauces I’m a finger-licker, in this case I only did it because I had no napkins. Mediocre is a compliment to this “Spicy” sauce, 2/5.
I will say that the wing itself comes close to being the redeeming thing here. Small and inconsistent they may be, by the virtue of being fundamentally bathed in the sauce lends a lot of flavor and moist tenderness to the wings. The skin itself pulled meat away, indicating no fundamental care in the cooking to separate the skin from the wing. It wasn’t a bad wing, but that’s the best compliment I can give it. 2/5.
The Hot Take
This is actually a bit tough. The price is OK, the wing is OK, but, being a fast food restaurant, there’s really no case in which I would recommend getting the wings here. The price is acceptable, and I guess if you’re on the way home from the bar and craving wings this will technically hit the spot… but even then I would recommend you get something else. I really hesitate to say it, but the Hot Take here is a 1/5.
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