As many good BBQ and burger joints as there are in Memphis, I’m finding there are also a huge number of great wings joints. I mentioned in an earlier post that Kerry from the CVB is doing a Best Hot Wings bracket on the I Love Memphis blog. She’s got some really good wings paired up against one another. What surprised me though were the results of her first matching. She has Central BBQ up against Bosses. She reviewed both restaurants’ wings and then posted a reader poll where anyone can vote. 54% of her readers chose Bosses over Central BBQ as their favorite Memphis wings.
That’s a pretty big statement considering how good I believe the Central BBQ wings are. I called up a couple of guys from the Tangled Up in Q, Memphis in May BBQ Team who I know love wings as much as I do. None of them had ever been to Bosses. A plan of attack quickly came together and we decided to all meet there for lunch.
Bosses is located in a small strip mall on Poplar by the Paradiso Theater. The parking lot is pretty small, but there’s plenty of parking Office Depot and Whole Foods. Bosses is incredibly clean and well maintained inside. It’s so clean inside that it appears they just opened for business yesterday.
We all arrived close to 1 pm to find a good sized crowd still having lunch and several people ahead of us in line. Some were dining in and others were picking up or ordering to-go. The line moved fast and before we knew it we were faced with the big decision, how hot we wanted our wings. Wings at Bosses are served by the pound. For $7.00 plus tax, you get a pound of wings with a side of seasoned fries and celery sticks. The wings are served in your choice of a signature sauce with your choice of Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing. I split up my sauces and got half my order in a Hot Buffalo and half Honey Hot. A couple of the guys I was with went with the “Questionable Decision” Hot sauce. Even with a warning from the Bosses owner, they didn’t seem phased.
Our wings were served in about 10 minutes and smelled great as they were placed on the table. My friend Jesse and I are the two who ordered our wings Hot, while Jason and Sean got theirs “Questionable.” Jesse and I watched them to make sure they were okay with the supposedly extremely hot wings. They both said they could taste the heat, but they were by no means as hot as the owner made them out to be. In the mean time I started in on my Hot flavored wings. All the taste and flavor were there, but they weren’t hot at all. The Hot sauce left me unimpressed. I got no lip burn whatsoever. However, the Honey Hot flavored wings tasted awesome. It was probably one of the best wing sauces I’ve ever put in my mouth. While it too wasn’t very spicy, there was such great flavor going on that those wings really raised the bar on the quest.
Sean insisted I try one of his Questionable wings. I’m glad I did. That was the heat I was looking for. It wasn’t unbearable, but it was a nice kick up from the Hot wings I was disappointed in. As we continued to eat, Jason just plowed through his Questionable wings without even flinching, Sean had a nice sweat going, and Jesse and I were really enjoying the flavor from the Honey Hot wings.
Overall, the wings were pretty small. Smaller than any picture of Bosses wings I had previously seen. I laughed when Jesse called them Shiners, because on the drummies the bone was exposed. They were certainly dwarfs compared to what I had at Central. The Bleu Cheese dressing was pretty disappointing too. It was very thin and for the life of me, I couldn’t find one chunk of Bleu Cheese in it. At the suggestion of a Twitter friend, Carol Silkes, I ordered a side of Bosses’ cole slaw. It tasted freshly made and had a nice flavor. It was creamy and there was a nice crunch to the cabbage and carrots. I’m not sure I’d say it was the best slaw I’ve ever had, but it was good.
The fries were crisp and generously seasoned, but seemed to be missing something. No complaints, but they just didn’t break dance on my tongue the way the fries at Ching’s did.
I give the Wings at Bosses 3.5 out of 5 stars. All the flavor was there. Some sauces better than others. However, I was a little disappointed in the size of the wings, the lack of heat and the Gorgonzolaless Bleu Cheese dressing served with them.
5030 Poplar Ave, Ste 3
Memphis, TN 38137
If you have a favorite wing that you think is Memphis’ best or that I need to try and review, please drop a note in my suggestion box.