Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Jug Handle Inn

1018 South Fork Landing Road
Pennsauken, NJ 08110
(856) 665-8696

I have heard the Jug Handle prides itself on having the "best wings in the world." Given the rather sorry state of good, cheap wings in the city, [which is hard to believe given that outside the city limits they are a dime a dozen (or $.25 a piece)], I often seek respite from the lackluster local offerings and usually find my desired level of flavorful crispiness in the 'burbs. I even have such an affinity that I will venture to . . . New Jersey.

As this was a wing journey, it was a 'must' to give some of the interesting varietals on the menu a go-round. I am glad I did. The buffalo-garlic were pretty much what you would expect, smothered in buffalo and tons of garlic. I ordered all the wings extra crispy, but I am pretty sure they just cooked them the usual way. You never know how each place does them, but Jug Handle was definitely unique. They were lightly breaded and fried perfectly, with crispy edges, and succulent inner meat. When I said they smothered the wings, I meant it. Luckily the crisp outside stood up to the hearty sauces, and retained the satisfying crunch that is so vital to good wings.

One gripe is that you have to order celery and blue cheese separately, but for $.55 a piece, I can deal with it. Also, the sauce is so thick and tasty that there is little need for the blue cheese. I do love some blue cheese on the side, but it was mostly lost in the thick sauce. The honey-hot was one of the better sauce combos, as the slight sweetness complemented the slight burn of the hot. Not quite hot enough for me, but absolutely delicious. You may also notice that they leave the wing tips on the double bone pieces, which I usually can't really get behind, but in this case I was picking the crispy skin off of them. These benefited more from the blue cheese than any of the others.

The BBQ were great, with a thick, sweet, smokey, rich sauce that stuck to the wings and your fingers. They were even better when we ordered more a couple of hours later mixed with extra hot sauce. From 5-7 pm and 10-1 pm they have a wing "happy hour" Monday through Friday, with half price wings. We also ordered another round of honey-extra hot and they were equally as good. Be warned, however, that the jump from hot to extra-hot is a huge one. The hot don't have much bite, whereas the the extra-hot really put the flame to your taste buds. They also offer an extra-extra hot "bald eagle" style wing, but I prefer to be able to taste my food, over simply burning my mouth.

To round out the meal, we sampled the "No Joke" pizza. At $10, it was well worth the investment. It features a crust brushed with horseradish, and a flavorful center piled with grilled chicken breast, bacon, and provolone. There was no actual sting from the horseradish, but there was the distinct flavor of the spicy root. All in all, not a bad pizza, but next time I will get a side of their BBQ sauce, as it could use a bit of sauce, and I think the BBQ would go perfectly.

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