If you like spoonfuls of cayenne pepper, I’ve found the perfect wings for you! The latest outing on my quest to find the best chicken wings in Washington, DC took me to Union Pub on Capitol Hill. With no Buffalo wings on the menu the spicy offerings came down to a choice between Habanero Honey, Jalapeño Lime, and Nashville Hot Wings.
This was my first time having “Nashville Hot” chicken. I’ve seen it on menus in the area before, but never in wing form. The menu boasts “As delicious as they are spicy – and they’re very spicy.” Oftentimes when I read stuff like this, I laugh to myself. Union Pub got the last laugh today though. My mouth was on fire from the first bite!
How they rate: Union Pub, Nashville Hot Wings Review
There was no notable crispness to the wings. I’m not even entirely sure how they were cooked. I almost want to say they were baked. Not going to lie, it kinda creeps me out when the skin is slightly rubbery and the fat isn’t rendered out. Once I got beyond that, it was well cooked. The inner meat was perfectly done, nice and moist, not dry at all. These wings however had an unique and interesting texture that reminded me of wings my Mom used to make when I was a kid. More on that in a moment.
When they first put the wings down in front of me, I couldn’t believe how well sauced they were! These were perfectly ideal in my book. Once I took my first bite, I got it. It’d be more appropriate to call it a paste rather than a sauce. They immediately reminded me of the Shake-n-Bake chicken wings my mom used to make when we were kids. You’d wet the wings, then shake them in a bag with a dry seasoning before baking them. The seasoning never dissolve into a liquid, so it has a unique texture of biting into wet seasonings. Same thing with these wings.
If you like cayenne, these will be right up your alley. From bite one my mouth was on fire and it never let up. Since I’ve never had this style before, I had nothing to compare it to. It is a savory flavor, no sweetness to it. The cayenne and I’m guessing paprika were the most prevalent on my tongue. Despite the heat, it was flavorful. In addition to the cayenne I was picking up some some good paprika and garlic notes. Peppery all the way around. They were a touch oily for my taste, but still very enjoyable.
From Start to Finish:
Honestly, I couldn’t finish them. They were too hot for me. It’s so hard to trust a menu these days when it tells you something is hot, because so often it’s not. It’s why we don’t rate based on heat alone. These definitely lived up to the billing, so I can’t knock them for my inability to finish in one sitting. What I had, I enjoyed.
Union Pub didn’t skimp at all on the celery, and the blue cheese was thick, creamy, and didn’t have an overabundance of crumbles in it. Exactly what one should expect with wings. Well done. It still baffles me how many places can’t seem to get these little details right.
Sunday: 11am – 2am
$11.98 for 10 wings | $1.20/wing