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It’s been an exciting month at Atlanta Eats! We just passed the 10,000 subscriber mark on YouTube, and wanted to celebrate the best way we knew how – by eating something. So, we asked our friends at Hoots to send us 100 wings, 10 different ways. We chowed them down live in less than 30 minutes earlier this week – see video below! You can see our rankings of each flavor below – plus what Atlanta Eats’ official Wing Queen thinks of each flavor.
FROM THE WING QUEEN:
When a restaurant offers over 10 flavors of wings, I find it suspect. That was not the case with our haul from Hoots. Every wing – and every flavor – delivered in its own way. I’m not a mom with ten kids, so I don’t know what it would be like if someone asked me, “Who is your favorite child?”, but my guess is it would be a lot like this experience – impossible to choose as I view them all in their own magnificent light. With that being said, here is my ranking:
10. Texas BBQ Rub
This one brought a lot of different flavor combos, specifically a cajun/habanero that brought spicy, savory, and topped with a salt bae style sprinkling of sweet thanks to the Texas BBQ influences. Must be a fan of BBQ potato chips to love this rub.
WING QUEEN SAYS: Still delicious, but BBQ sauce is not my preferred flavor of wings.
9. Parmesan Garlic
Another napkin-heavy wing, this one was popular with our editor Lexikay for having great garlic flavors and a generous pouring of parmesan cheese. It was also a great counterpoint to the spice heavy portion of our binge, and probably a wise choice when looking to balance out your next wing order. A deliciously safe option for those too scared of the heat…
WING QUEEN SAYS: This was a great wing and tasty sauce. Best option if you’re looking for a strong Garlic flavor above all else.
8. Samurai Teriyaki
Teriyaki wings can be difficult to get right, but these hit the mark, tasting like great, take-out Japanese food. Unfortunately, one of the messier wings due to the stickier nature of the teriyaki sauce (not the messiest though, that is a little further ahead).
WING QUEEN SAYS: I love a tangy Teriyaki wing, and these delivered. In the live stream I referred to these as wet boys and I think that says it all. Napkins encouraged.
7. Caribbean Jamaican Jerk Rub
Of the dry-rubbed seasonings, this may have had the best texture. The mix of thick herbs and spices on the outside give it an initial burst of flavor, but you wish it stuck around – you’ll find yourself trying to get to more skin and start to ignore the chicken itself.
WING QUEEN SAYS: : I loved this dry rub because 1. You rarely see jerk on menus and 2. What better dry rub to use than Jamaican jerk?
6. Garlic Habanero Rub
Much like the (5th ranked) Cajun Rub, the garlic habanero brought great flavors of garlic salt and heat to the wing, but for something with Habanero in the title, we wanted more smokiness. It’s probably incredible with Hoot’s smoked wings (but we went with naked).
WING QUEEN SAYS: I don’t like Garlic. I love it (despite what my Parmesan Garlic review would imply). So, I was into and very intrigued by the intersection of spice + robust garlic flavor.
5. Cajun Rub
Using Louisiana Chef Paul Prudhomme’s spice recipe (he’s that dude on your mom’s cookbooks/spices who looks like Dom DeLouise), this wing definitely delivered on smokiness and may have suffered from getting lost by not being first or last in the order of our taste test. The smokiness was incredible (and like the garlic habanero rub above, would probably be GREAT with smoked wings.
WING QUEEN SAYS: Whether it’s on crawfish or a flat wing you can never go wrong with Cajun rub. The magic is in the bayou.
4. Buffalo Hot sauce
This is where things really started to get difficult – we had some folks in the office advocating for this classic and others who were satisfied but didn’t think it deserved a high ranking. We think the heat + wing sauce flavors deserves some credit here though – there’s enough there to get your sinuses going, but every bit of that tangy kick on the back of the tongue to keep it complex.
WING QUEEN SAYS: Wow. Hoots classic sauce is no joke it has the iconic hooters orange glow and brings the heat.
3. Lemon Pepper
If you’re slinging wings in Atlanta, you’ve gotta have a solid Lemon Pepper wing and the folks at Hoots definitely do. Zesty lemon, spicy pepper, clear colors and textures throughout the wing. Can we just get the legislature to make this the state’s official food already?
WING QUEEN SAYS: You could say that my Atlanta is showing but I have never met a lemon pepper wing I didn’t like. Shout out to Gucci Mane.
2. Honey Sriracha
This was DEFINITELY the messiest of any wing we tried today – so why is it so high on the list? The flavors were really next level and worth the mess. The Sriracha is generous and there’s plenty of spice in every bite, but a perfect – and present – bit of honey-sweetness shining through in each bite as well.
WING QUEEN SAYS: There has never been anything more innovative than mixing sweet and spice. Seems simple, but it brings a tear to my eye to be first met with sweet and surprised with the heat (helps with the tears) that follows.
1. Spicy Garlic
This was a near-consensus winner because it was SO DAMN FLAVORFUL. The most garlic heavy flavor profile of any of the other garlic forward wings we tried, they were ALSO bringing the best elements of the classic hot wing – sinus clearing heat with a delicious sweet and tangy sauce. A must order the next/first time you’re hitting up Hoots.
WING QUEEN SAYS: Like an Olympic track runner breaking the corner, this spicy garlic came out of nowhere. This garlic buffalo infusion merges two unlikely personalities into the most beautiful relationship. Another wet wing that is well worth the dirty fingers.