If you know me, or read some of my previous posts, I have a weakness for wings. However, wings have to be done just right and I have long been disappointed in what Houston has to offer in wings. What makes a good wing? This is my wing criteria:
- The wings must be large
- All natural (free range even better)
- Cooked perfectly, plump and juicy. If its cooked too long they’re dry and/or chewy. If they are under cooked, they’re poison
- Crispiness – this a huge bonus
- Sauces – bold, flavorful sauces. Some popular wing grill’s have sauce that has turned for the worse and tastes like flavored corn syrup
- When you say hot, it better be hot
With the opening of hurricane season, Hurricane Grill and Wings slammed into Houston (this restaurant, originally from Florida, is making its way across the Gulf). I was initially intrigued by their list of over 30 sauces ranked from category 1 through category 5 in terms of heat. When I visited, their pleasant and friendly staff were more than willing to let me sample several sauces so I was confident in my sauce selection. Anyone can sample up to 5 or 6 sauces before ordering. The atmosphere is bright, cozy and inviting. It doesn’t have that dark feel of many other wing and sports bars. They have a full menu of many other items too. The fun part is you can choose you menu item, then choose a flavor to go with it.
Going back to the criteria of a good wing, Hurricane’s nailed it. They have their frying process down to a science utilizing two different fryers during the process, each timed perfectly. This leaves the wings plump and juicy, and adds a crispiness at the same time. Their wings are large and all natural – fresh never frozen. Hurricane’s sauces taste unique and authentic. I particularly enjoyed the Roasted Garlic Inferno and the Jamaican Jerk, though all I tried were bold and flavorful. One thing though, I think Florida’s heat tolerance is a bit lower than us Texans. If you want the heat, stick to the Cat 4’s and 5’s. You can also mix and match flavors for your own creations.
The first Hurricanes of Houston just opened off of Veterans Memorial and FM 1960, though they have plans to open several more in the Houston area. Starting in Florida, they quickly became a favorite wing spot based on their friendly atmosphere and quality of their product.
The Houston wing market seems to be heating up finally – and I am glad Hurricanes has come to kick it off.
Stay hungry Houston – and get ready for the new Houston wing market. Get started with Hurricane Grill and Wings and be prepared for more to come.
By the way, when you stop by, ask the manager who orders Raspberry Ice. It’s a great story.