Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 11 a.m.
In the left corner, Native New Yorker. In the right, Teakwoods.
Both Teakwoods Tavern and Grill and Native New Yorker boast award-winning wings. But whose really are the best? We put these two establishments head-to-head -- er, wing-to-wing in this week's Battle of the Dishes.
Who's our wing man? Find out after the jump.
In one corner: Teakwoods Tavern and Grill
2808 E Indian School Rd
http://www.voiceplaces.com/native-new-yorker-phoenix-2565658-l/The set-up: This is a tavern where you're sure to feel welcome -- spacious and down to earth. Every table is adorned with a huge (I'm not exaggerating) bucket of peanuts; shells litter the floor like confetti. Once you start shelling your own peanuts and contributing more debris to the floor, you get used to it. We were greeted as soon as we walked in and our server was very vivacious. The whole time her service was prompt and she was easy to talk to. There were televisions on the walls, but the sound was off and 90's music played in the background -- not too loud, like it is at a lot of other places.
Pros: Our wings came to the table fast and they were hot. And now the size of the wings must be discussed. These wings were easily double the size of your average wing. And they were crispy! Not just one wing here or there, but all of them. The sauce had a good tang--meaning that there was a very good balance of vinegar to hot sauce. They were spicy enough that you could still taste the bite after you ate one, but it wasn't too much that anyone couldn't handle
Cons: The price of the wings on a Tuesday equaled about 54 cents cents a wing. As we know, discounted wings on Tuesday can be found just about anywhere for less than that.
In the other corner: Native New Yorker
5030 E. Ray Road #5
The set-up: This restaurant had a more elegant feel than Teakwoods. The atmosphere was laid back and it was nicely decorated. It was really busy when we arrived, but we were able to snag a table in the bar area without having to wait. We didn't have to wait long before our server greeted us and he answered our questions good naturedly. There was a television directly behind us with the volume turned on. It was irritating to listen over, especially when you include how noisy it was because of how busy they were at the time.
The Pros: Our wings arrived hot and they had a very good amount of spiciness that complemented the sauce well. The amount of heat was tasteful and it was easy to keep eating more. They were flavorful, juicy and there was plenty of sauce. You can get the 39 cents wing deal not only on Tuesday, but Thursday as well.
Cons: The first wing I picked up completely disintegrated in my mouth. Bone and everything. I didn't have any problems with any of the other wings, but that wasn't very appetizing. These wings weren't soggy, but they were definitely lacking crispiness.
The Verdict: Native New Yorker's wings have always been enjoyable. However, in the search of the best wings, even if you think you've found them, there is always room for surprises. Without a doubt, Teakwoods Tavern and Grill surpassed Native New Yorker. They were crispier, had a better balance of flavor and for a few more cents per wing they are your greatest deal.
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