I’m beginning to think that grilling wings is becoming much more of a “thing” than it used to be. Some of my favorite wings, and recent reviews are of chicken wings that never even hit the deep fryer. And on Friday night I experienced another version of grilled wings that pass the test with flying colors. The Cholula Butter chicken wings from Palette 22 in Shirlington display robust grill marks and an aroma of charred chicken that will have your mouth-watering at soon as the plate hits the table.
I give Palette 22 high marks for putting a slight twist on traditional hot wings by using Cholula Hot Sauce instead of your more traditional Franks RedHot. Cholla adds an interesting depth of flavor with Mexican spices, while being a bit lighter and more of a slow burn to the heat. Having said that, I never find it overpowering. My co-workers and I have been known to go through an entire bottle when having lunch at a local Mexican joint for Taco Tuesday. It does just as well on wings.
How they rate: Palette 22, Grilled Cholula Butter Wings Review
Almost everything that is good about Palette 22’s wings come back to two things, the sauce and the grill. As you can see from one of the closeup pictures above, the grill was piping hot, and left some deep, flavorful grill marks on the wings. Those singed morsels of chicken skin play wonderfully against the moist chicken underneath.
I would have liked a bit more sauce on the wings overall. They were coated fine enough, but I just found myself wanting more of it because I liked the flavors so much.
I’m a big fan of Cholula to begin with, so I was very excited to try these wings. They did not disappoint. The Mexican spices give off a medium heat that lingers in your mouth throughout the duration of the meal. It still had a Buffalo flavor, but with just enough variation to make them taste different. Also, the grill charr did wonders to the flavor, and it wasn’t just on the exterior portions. I could taste the grill marks even after the skin was devoured. The grill flavors and the Cholula complimented each other well.
From Start to Finish:
There were some inconsistencies in the preparation and quality that were a bit of a turnoff. I had one wing which looked very different from the others. It was cooked but had no grill marks at all. I found that very strange considering the deep grill marks on every other wing. Did it not hit the grill? It was hot and cooked through, but didn’t appear grilled. Also, one of the drums was splintered inside. I ended up chewing on some bone. Not sure that’s the restaurant’s fault, I know it happens, but the reality of it is that it effected my enjoyment.
Palette 22 does this the right way. I like that they provided the option of both celery and carrots. I wish there was a little more sauce to scoop up with them. Their blue cheese was really good as well. It had very tiny chunks of blue cheese in it, almost as though it had been pureed. I give them a perfect score here.
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$9 for 7 Wings | $1.29 per wing