Being a wing lover in South Jersey, I routinely come across people who tell me that if I want the best wings around I need to go to The Jug Handle Inn. Well I have been there, and I didn’t think they were that spectacular. However, the other week I received a “Suggest a Joint” request from Rick who said that the reason the wings at The Jug Handle Inn aren’t as good as they used to be is because the old owners sold it, left, and took the chef with them to a new place. That place… the Warwick Tavern in Somerdale. So I took Rick up on his suggestion and planned to visit what the locals call “The Wick.”
You could imagine my excitement when I found out this little bit of information. Before then I was thinking “how could so many people think that the Jug Handle’s wings are so great?” But now it makes sense… They USED to be great, but aren’t anymore because of this change in ownership and staff. So my anticipation of the Warwick’s wings were set super high, and I couldn’t wait to stop by and try them out.
The day arrives and I pop in on a Saturday night to get my wing on. I ordered the ten count with Medium sauce and asked for the Hot on the side, like I do from time to time. To be honest, I should’ve just gotten them Hot right off of the bat because out of the three possible choices, (Mild, Medium, and Hot) the Hot had the most flavor. So that’s what I am going to base the heat rating off of. The Medium was so incredibly tasteless that it would be downright cruel for me to judge based off that, and I couldn’t even IMAGINE what the Mild would taste like. It was like I was licking vegetable oil off of my wings no matter how much I coated them. The Hot, on the other hand, had more taste that came through with each bite although its heat level was more of a medium rather than a hot.
The wings themselves came out extremely hot, came as a whole wing (drums separate), and were lightly breaded. Normally I would prefer a non-breaded wing, but if everyone out there could make them as crispy as these were, I would switch to being a breaded eater in a heartbeat. I have never seen fried chicken skin so perfect before in my life, so they definitely had that going for them. But aside from the skin, the wing didn’t really strike me as great. It was definitely better than the average wing, but it lacked that WOW factor that I crave. The meat was very tender and peeled right away from the bone, but was flavorless for the most part.
All in all, they were good wings to eat and were better than a lot of places in the area. Maybe I set my expectations too high before walking in the door, or maybe it was because they say “Home of South Jersey’s Best Wings” on the menu, but I wasn’t as impressed as I was hoping to be. I thought maybe the great wings that everyone brags about went from the Jug Handle to Warwick’s, but unfortunately they pretty much tasted the same. The only main difference was that AWESOMELY CRISPY exterior… and for that, I gave the upper hand to the Warwick Tavern.
400 South Warwick Rd., Somerdale, NJ 08083