After reaching my first Meaty Milestone (consuming wing #100) on Tuesday, I decided to take Wednesday off. My digestive system deserved it.
Wednesday flew by and now it was Thursday. I entered the day with 103 wings down, only 1908 to go – I can do this! I had an interview coming up on Friday with the Dwyer & Michaels Morning Show in Davenport, Iowa, so I needed to go big. Scene of the crime: Black Bear Bar & Grill in Hoboken, NJ.
Now, I had wings at the Black Bear on November, 27 2010. You’re probably asking yourself, “how in the hell does he remember the exact date?” Easy. That’s where my friends and I watched the Ohio State-Michigan football game. That day we ordered 30 crispy mild wings and they were nothing to brag about – overcooked and wrinkly. Picture your fingers after you have been in the bath tub too long. Yep, that’s how they looked. Most people wouldn’t go back, but I did. Why? It was freezing cold outside and the nearest bar in sight. Plus, their beers were cheap and it was ladies night. I had a chance to kill two birds with one stone.
If you’ve never been to the Black Bear, it’s very spacious and there are a lot of TVs. The bar is divided into three parts – the main bar, downstairs dining area, and a second bar upstairs with booth and table seating. I took a seat in the downstairs dining area, ordered a beer, and began studying the menu. Black Bear’s sauce offering is very impressive – mild, medium, hot, atomic, teriyaki, honey BBQ (firecracker or chipotle). I usually order mild, medium, or hot, but I felt like switching it up, so I went with 1 single order of chipotle honey BBQ and 1 single order of jerk. 1 single order is 10 wings for $8.95. I also decided to try out the baked macaroni and cheese, which was incredible. I’ll talk more about it later. The wings came out and boy did they look good. You could smell the sauces in the steam coming off the plate. The presentation was very nice. Picture below.
I reached for chipotle honey BBQ first. This time they were not overcooked. The skin was crispy but you could hardly taste the crisp because they were flooded in sauce. The meat was tender, too. It was so tender it barely clinged to the bone. Eating these kind of wings in a wing eating competition is like taking steroids and playing baseball. Records will be broken. But this wasn’t a competition and I’m not juicing, so I didn’t care – I started eating, and couldn’t stop. The chipotle honey BBQ sauce was sweet and left a mustardy after taste in my mouth. I plowed through 6 before considering a jerk wing.
Like the chipotle honey BBQ wings, the jerk wings were crispy but you couldn’t taste the crisp because they were dominated by the sauce. My sauce-stained grey hoody is proof. The jerk wings weren’t as tender as the chipotle honey BBQ. You actually had to work to get the meat off the bone. I expected the sauce to have a little kick, but it didn’t. It tasted like your default bar BBQ sauce, leaving that bold, BBQ taste in your mouth. I ate 3 jerk wings, then went to town on the remaining 4 chipotle honey BBQ. They were outstanding. 13 wings, an order of baked macaroni & cheese, and 4 beers deep, I was getting full but I couldn’t stop. I have goals. 17 was the least I was going to eat because I wanted my total at 120 by night’s end. So, I ate 4 more and almost called it quits with 3 wings left on the plate, but I remembered some words of wisdom from my buddy, Steve. He told me to always eat 1 more wing when I think I’m about to explode. Come December, those wings will add up he says. So, I took his advice and ate 1 more. Done. 18 wings down (10 chipotle honey BBQ, 8 jerk).
The Jerk wings were good, but they weren’t nearly as good as the chipotle honey BBQ wings. They changed my whole perspective on Black Bear’s wings. I will be back and wings won’t be the only thing I will be ordering. As I mentioned earlier, the baked macaroni and cheese was off the hook. It’s Black Bear’s own recipe with 3 cheeses and a parmesan and panko crusted topping. Yum! It’s definitely a must-order if you ever find yourself in the Black Bear.
Also, Wednesday is “Kick The Bucket” night – wings and a pitcher of Yuengling for $12.99. I have never been there on a Wednesday night, but it sounds like a good time. Don’t be scared of the Black Bear. Check it out!
2011 Wing Count – 121
Sauce: Chipotle Honey BBQ, Jerk
Rating – 3 Tums