March 21, 2012

The Greene Turtle

While traveling for work, which I normally do, I found myself in Westminster with an insatiable appetite for wings. As I asked many locals where I could go to appease that appetite, I kept getting the following response: Buffalo Wild Wings. Now I have had Buffalo Wild Wings before on numerous occasions and they’re great, but I’m always on the lookout for something new in different areas. So when I insisted for an alternative, only one name rang out: The Greene Turtle.

The Greene Turtle is a small chain of restaurants that spread across Maryland and into Delaware. It offers a large bar area, restaurant booth sections, and is a very happening place that reminded me of a modern Friday’s mixed with a bar you would find at a casino: Nice, classy, and yet had a lot of fun and energy. I took my seat at the bar and grabbed my drink. Not too long after, I started to get a bit jealous as I watched a bunch of patrons come by, one-by-one, with their custom Greene Turtle mugs and have them filled with their favorite draft beer. Apparently when they first opened this location, customers had the ability to purchase these mugs for about $30 and now each drink they get in these mugs saves them $1. Now I am no math wiz, but I am a big drinker and I know that would save me some serious cash. Too bad the mugs are no longer available and I don’t live in the area…. so I’ll just sit and be jealous whilst I order my food.

The wings I got were the 12 count of their “Kinda Hot” sauce and a side of “Blazing Hot” (I did like the names). At first glance, the wings were not coated very well, and the sauce was so runny that it didn’t really cling to the wing as I would have liked. They were not breaded and came out with the classic sides of celery and blue cheese, but on top of that, The Green Turtle also added a bit of garnish to the plating that made the presentation a little nicer.

At first bite I could get a little spice from the sauce, and the though the meat was a bit tender, it was also slightly on the slimy side. The sauce was very watery, so I had to keep dipping the wing to get some sort of coating, and though the heat was there, it quickly dissipated in about five seconds leaving me nothing to remember of what I just ate. I decided now would be a good time to try the “Blazing Hot” to see if that had any lasting impression.

HOLY HELL!!! This stuff was hot! I don’t know what they put in it, but it was one of the hottest sauces I have had at a chain restaurant. I talked about how the “Kinda Hot” didn’t leave a longstanding taste in my mouth, and where that sauce failed this one succeeded with a vengeance. It took like 15 minutes before the stinging lips subsided. The “Blazing Hot” was way too hot for my taste, but for those out there who crave the heat, this will definitely do the trick. For me, I had to order a side of fries to help relieve me from the pain.

One thing that I did like was how the kitchen was right behind and connected to the bar. This way when the bartender sees customers waiting for food, he can swing right back there and find out the status, thus staying on top of things. The staff was very friendly and had a quick response time, but overall The Greene Turtle’s wings were nothing to brag about. They offered little flavor and left me forgetting them quickly. I guess now I can understand why they are a second choice for most of the locals.

The Greene Turtle
830 Market St., Westminster, MD 21157
(410) 871-1524