January 8, 2012

Jug Handle Inn

There are always places that claim to have “the world’s best wings,” and it is my job to see how accurate that statement is. The Jug Handle Inn in Cinnaminson, aptly named because it is located on a jug handle, boasts to have “Nationally Famous, Award Winning Wings!!” So I decided to give it a go.

A couple of friends and I walked into this bar, which was a very happening place on a Friday night. So much so that we were diverted down to the basement into what seemed to be the secondary “we’re-too-full-upstairs” bar. This wasn’t such a bad thing though, as it was much quieter and had a completely different atmosphere than the crazy, loud upstairs bar. So we took our seats, grabbed a beer and ordered our wings.

I think the thing that gets me all excited when I am at a place like this is the preparation of what I like to call “the wing show.” This is that moment just before they present you with your dish. The Jug Handle’s wing show got me all worked up in a good way when they brought out a canister of napkins (with a quick draw feature), a discard bowl, and wet naps. Not to mention, all of the staff were wearing “Got Wings?” shirts. That to me spells a good time and makes me feel like they know what they are doing. Unfortunately that excitement was quickly extinguished when the actual wings arrived.

I ordered the “Medium” wings with a side of “Hot” to add to the other half so I could get a feel for the different heat levels. They also offer a “Mild”, “Extra Hot” and some crazy “Dare Me to Eat Them” specials, but I have always… and will always… make my judgments based on the house original. The wings were breaded with the tips left on for those of you who LOVE that kind of thing, and they came in a large wooden bowl. The sauce was so EXTREMELY watery and just beaded off of the wings into a puddle at the base of said bowl. I tried to dunk the wings in that puddle to get any kind of flavor from it, but to no avail. On a lighter note, the wings themselves were pretty tasty. They were tender, a bit larger than normal, and had a good crisp to them. I personally don’t go for the breaded wings, but in this case, I was happy that they were because any help to keep this sauce on was surely needed. I would have liked a side of celery or something, but all of that costs extra… including blue cheese.

The “Medium” sauce was barely a hot sauce at all as I could not taste any heat or flavor. So, I cracked open the “Hot” and hoped for an improvement. The “Hot” had a bit more bite to it, but still did not deserve that title as it was more like a “Medium” and the “Medium” was more like a “Super Mild.” So far I am getting the impression that there is a lot of false advertising going on here. Both sauces that I tried were very buttery and watered down which left me doing more labor than necessary to keep them coated (and I’m too lazy for that kind of stuff).

By the end of the night, I ate the whole bowl and did not dislike the wings. But they were far from everything that was promised to me multiple times by the menu, the sign out front, and other people’s recommendations. My friend Jason said it best, so I will use his line: “The wings are good, but not good enough to make a special trip for them.” …and I agree.

UPDATE: Turns out that the old owners of The Jug Handle Inn now own The Warwick Tavern in Somerdale. A lot of people think that this is where the great wings they remember went. Read the review to see what I thought.

Jug Handle Inn
1018 S. Fork Landing Rd., Cinnaminson, NJ 08077
(856) 665-9464

The Jug Handle Inn on Urbanspoon