Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wicked Wing Shack

Wicked Wing Shack, located in SW Portland, serves up a bunch of wings, tenders, and sandwiches. They also give you a choice of six different sauces, ranging from Sticky Sweet to "Hotter than Hell." I asked what was in the "Hotter than Hell," but basically got denied with one of those "can't tell you, it's a secret recipe" dealies. Fair enough!

UPDATE: As of 9/10/11, Wicked Wing Shack may be found at the D-Street Noshery food pod on SE Division St.

UPDATE: As of 12/8/11, Wicked Wing Shack has closed

Love the cart design!

Sauces (as of early July)
First off, I really liked their eye-catching food cart design. It's clear a lot of time and effort was put into it.

I arrived just before opening time, so the woman running the cart that day was still prepping the wings. Fortunately, the sauces were all ready to go, so I sampled three of their spiciest offerings: Black Berry Bomb, Smoky Peach Chipotle, and Hotter than Hell.

(L to R) Black Berry Bomb, Smoky Peach Chipotle, Hotter than Hell
Black Berry Bomb: Decent, but mild for me. I picked up the berry flavors right off the bat.

Smoky Peach Chipotle: Probably my favorite here. Good smokiness, and the peach flavors complement that. Again, not very spicy for me.

Hotter than Hell: This definitely was the spiciest of the three, and definitely took on more of a traditional hot wing sauce than the others.

I just wanted to get in and out real fast (and not wait for bone-in wings), so I just got three chicken tenders for $4. The woman running the cart also was kind enough to let me have two sauces (instead of one), so I asked for the Smoky Peach Chipotle and the Hotter than Hell.

Three white-meat chicken tenders
Smoky Peach Chipotle is the sauce on the left, Hotter than Hell on the right
The chicken tenders were cooked to order in peanut and grapeseed oils. They were cooked perfectly here. The breast meat stayed moist. The breading had a welcoming golden brown color and wonderful crunch. While that breading was also seasoned nicely, I think just an extra bit of seasoning on the chicken would have made it a bit better. As a note, I got two decent-sized chicken tenders and one dinky chicken tender piece. Oops.

I think the portion was barely worth $4 to me. For a buck-fifty more, I could get six wings and get down and dirty with the food at the same time. But with the chicken tenders, I basically played the role of a six-year-old kid again. And hey, that can be construed as a good thing to take me back to my childhood.

As stated above, I liked the sauces I picked, and I had a little bit of "eye sweats" as the kick of the "Hotter than Hell" built up. A pleasurable heat for me.

I'm on the fence about returning, although most of that has to do with the craziness that is downtown SW Portland. If I do decide to go back, I'll try the bone-in wings because those should have more natural moistness and flavor, being from a fattier part of the chicken.

I appreciate Wicked Wing Shack's house-made, unique sauces. Yes, I got the eye sweats from the Hotter than Hell, but it really was not that spicy for me in the grand scheme of things. If they make a hotter sauce, I'll be sure to try it! My loyal readers (probably fewer than 10 at this stage of the game) will know I am a total spicehead.

Wicked Wing Shack's chicken tenders are very good, but not mind-blowing. Regardless, this is also about the overall experience. I'm giving them a solid score for the chicken tenders, with a slight bump up for making their own wing sauces (and allowing me to sample the sauces for free). Even more props go to whomever designed that cart!

Perhaps I will get the wings next time, since I've read such great reviews on them. According to the people at Wicked Wing Shack, a vegetarian decided to try their chicken wings for the heck of it and loved them, so those wings must be damn good, huh? 7/10

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