The dark horse of last night's Wingtoberfest 2012 competition was certainly Taps House of Beer. Up against three of the best wing spots in the city -- The Breakfast Klub, Little Bitty Burger Barn and Soma Sushi -- Taps brought its A game with dry-rubbed chicken wings grilled until just perfectly done. Still juicy and well-spiced, the wings were the overall winner of the evening after more than 100 guests came out, chowed down and voted on their favorite wings.
Soma Sushi's spicy Korean-style wings with a topping of crushed peanuts came in second place by a hair: Taps beat Soma by only three votes.
The briny, crispy chicken wings from The Breakfast Klub seemed to be a love-it-or-hate-it entry for many people. Some folks thought the wings were too salty, while others (myself included) thought the seasoning was just right -- although I could have used a side of maple syrup-drenched waffles with mine.
Little Bitty Burger Barn once again brought its regular wings and its infamous Nitro sauce to the competition. This is the same sauce that tops its Charlie's 5 Alarm Fire Burger. The burger, which was recently featured on the Food Network, features an estimated 10,000,000 units on the Scoville heat scale and is so fearsome that less than 1 percent of the people who buy the burger finish it.
I watched a few people try the Nitro sauce and even sent a few daring fellows over there myself. No one returned unscathed. This is the same sauce that had me crying for a good 15 minutes last year, and I admit feeling a little schadenfreude seeing that most other people had the same reaction as I did.
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If the rain kept you away last night, you missed a great party with plenty of free Saint Arnold beer. But don't fret; you can head to Taps and try its winning wings any time -- you'll just have to pay for your own beer.