While flying around from place to place looking for great wings, I stopped in a small New Hampshire town called Keene. Now, Keene is known nationally for the spectacular pumpkin festival that they have each year in October, where 29,000 or so artistically carved pumpkins light up the night for all to enjoy. Unfortunately for me, it is not October. However, it is ALWAYS wing season, so I ran down the road to a wing joint that was recommended for having great wings.
With a name like Joe Peanut’s House of Wings, you can expect the full wing treatment. This includes: paper towel rolls on every table, brown paper bags used for discard, and an extensive flavor selection. What you can ALSO expect with a name like that is free peanuts… woohoo!! So, I started munching away while looking over the menu. I tried to see what other people were eating, but it proved difficult because the place was practically empty. The only people around seemed to be off-duty employees. There are a ton of tables, and seeing them all empty (even for a Wednesday) seemed odd. But, they do seem to be big on takeout as I saw a bunch of people pop in to collect their wings to go.
I decided on the 10 wings coated in Medium with Hot on the side. The wings looked like any normal plate that I would expect to find anywhere else. With so much attention focused specifically on wings, I was expecting to be wowed, not presented with average. I dove in all the same, and my mouth confirmed what my eyes and nose already told me: these are good ol’ standard wings. The sauce was just the right amount of heat and carried the basic flavors you would expect to find in a Buffalo wing. So I turned my attention to the Hot instead.
I cracked open the side of Hot and, to my amazement, saw that this sauce was a bit more creative. With little bits of Habanero peppers and garlic dancing around, this mixture seemed to offer more for the taste buds. Along with it… Heat. This sauce was H-O-T, which you could expect from the Habanero, but stayed bearable enough to allow me to complete the meal.
Overall, with a name that includes HOUSE OF WINGS, I expected to be blown away with the taste and presentation of my wings, and unfortunately that wasn’t the case. It does not, in any way, mean that I didn’t enjoy them… ’cause I did. It just means that when I am out looking for the best wings around that will give me the “wow” factor, these fell short. Granted, I did only have the Buffalo style and there were plenty more types on the menu, but I feel that in a place that strives on making wings, Buffalo is a staple and should get just as much time and respect as the others.
Joe Peanut’s House of Wings
101 Key Rd., Keene, NH 03431