It was a messy shootout at Outlaw Dave's last night, where almost 200 people turned out to judge the best wings in Houston.
Six vendors vied for the top spot: H-Town StrEATS (food truck), Dosi Restaurant, Little Bitty Burger Barn, Sticky's Chicken (food truck), Bonfire Wings and Dry Creek Cafe.
The winner from the night was Sticky's Chicken with a teriyaki, sweet BBQ and garlic wing. We paired it with Saint Arnold Amber Ale to enhance the sweetness. It was very sweet and the crust caramelized on the outside, making it a refreshing wing compared to the other spicy options.
H-Town StrEATs had a lead on interesting with a wing stuffed with dirty rice. When deep-fried, the rice was encased between the chicken meat and the batter. The outside was coated in a Cajun hot sauce. It was messy, but tasty. We paired it with Oktoberfest because it was a hearty wing and Oktoberfest goes well with hearty food.
Dosi Restaurant used a tempura batter on its chicken wings and deep-fried them on-site. The wings were then tossed in gochujang with fermented honey. It was very crispy and sweet. We paired it with Elissa IPA for a refreshing hoppy beer.
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Bonfire Wings made boudin balls and "Cajun Mojo" wings. The carrot stick and celery stick on the side were very necessary as the wings were super hot. We paired it with the Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower to balance the spiciness.
Little Bitty Burger Barn made two wings wrapped in bacon. And these were definitely the spiciest. The Mandarina Wheat was a nice light choice to counter the intense spice from the sauce and savoriness from the bacon.
Dry Creek Cafe was very daring with its spicy Korean gochujang wings with roasted peanuts and a Bavarian blue cheese dipping sauce. The sauce added a zip to each bite of the peanut sauce coating the chicken wings. Very unique and original. We paired it with Endeavour IPA because the hops paired well with the blue cheese.
The Houston Press thanks all the competitors, Outlaw Dave's and all the tasters who helped us make this year's decision!