Name: Nashotah Clubhouse
Where: N44W32998 Watertown Plank Rd Nashotah, WI 53058-9703
Review Date: August 26, 2009
Wing Type: Bone-in wing, Non breaded, Fried then baked
The Nashotah Clubhouse is a small golf themed restaurant in the small town of Nashotah situated in the heart of the Lake Country region about 25 miles from downtown Milwaukee. There’s nothing too flashy here, just a small town bar that draws its regular crowd. The bar area offers some games and a few tables for seating, there are also two separate dining areas offering a good amount of seating. I arrived around 6pm on a Wednesday and to my delight Wednesday’s are one of two days where the Clubhouse offers a wing special. On Wednesday the wings are $0.30 per wing and they’re even cheaper on Monday, only $0.25 a wing!
The Clubhouse offers ten wing flavors, some of them very unique: Plain, BBQ, Teriyaki, Cajun, Cuban, Chipotle, Buffalo, Jerk, Habanero, and Moroccan. In all my wing experiences, I don’t ever recall seeing flavors like Moroccan or Cuban so I was quite impressed. I was excited to try all of these crazy flavors, but there was a minimum of ten wings per sauce. Luckily for me I was joined by five other wing goers so we were able to order nine of the ten flavors, only ignoring the plain wings.
The wings arrived in a timely manner and first impressions were mixed. Very large chicken wings were served up by the plateful, but while the wings were quite large, they appeared quite dry. Little to no sauce covered these plump wings which was a bit disappointing. I inquired as to why the wings looked this way and my answer was in the cooking process. The Clubhouse first fries the wings to cook them thoroughly and bring them up to temperature then follows up the frying by seasoning and saucing. But instead of serving them at that point, the wings head into the oven for baking. This rather unique cooking method has its advantages and its downfalls. One plus side, the baking gives the skin a nice crispiness without over drying the wing. The drawback to this method is the fact that the baking process cooks away most of the sauce that was applied after the frying. So by the time the wing arrives on your table there is hardly any sauce on the wing which robs the wing of some much needed flavor. In fact, the only flavors with any decent amount of sauce were the Teriyaki and the BBQ.
Because of their sauciness the Teriyaki and the BBQ were two of the standout flavors. Also worth noting was the Jerk which despite its lack of sauce and dryness was full of great Caribbean flavor and spice. Although I was excited for the uniqueness factor of the Moroccan wings, this was by far my least favorite wing. There was no sauce whatsoever on this flavor, just a lot of dry spices that I could best identify as cumin and cinnamon. The result is a very dry and over-spiced piece of chicken that was impossible for me to enjoy.
The remaining flavors (Cajun, Cuban, Chipotle, and Buffalo) were okay, but uneventful. The Chipotle wings suffered from the same fate as the Moroccan wings, way too much dry spice stuck onto the outside of the wing, and there really wasn’t any of the smoky chipotle pepper taste I was expecting. The Cajun wings were very similar, a lot of spices without too much flavor. The Cuban wings were a bit similar to the Jerk wings with some of those tasty Caribbean spices but were not as dry. The Buffalo wings were adequate, but not great. Of what sauce remained after the baking process did have a classic Buffalo flavor, but there was little to no spiciness to it.
Dressings for dipping were included with the order, but celery was not. The ranch dressing was classic, no surprises. However, I was disappointed by the bleu cheese as it had quite a sour taste to it which I didn’t like very much.
Now, if you haven’t noticed I have not yet mentioned one of the flavors, the Habanero. I had heard stories from the people I was with about the power of this wing. As much as they warned me I figured I could take it because until this point, none of the wings were at all spicy to me. Well, I was wrong. Heeding the advice from my friend I played it safe I cut off some chicken from the wing as to avoid getting any sauce/spice my fingers, lips or face. After hesitating for a bit and staring down the chicken on my fork, I go for it and eat the half wing worth of chicken I had cut off for myself. Initially, there wasn’t much taste or heat. The taste and texture of the wing gave me the impression in both taste and texture of crushed red pepper. However, this got hotter than any red pepper wing ever would, much hotter… This was easily the most painful food experience in my life. My mouth became an inferno, a furnace, or whatever else adjective you can think of for extreme heat and pain. Milk, water, crackers, and everything else I tried to cool my mouth was only relieved the pain for a moment. Tears streamed down my face involuntarily, but after about 15 minutes of torture things were finally under control again. Needless to say, I didn’t take another bite. Even after the heat subsided my mouth had this strange numb sensation for at least an hour.
Overall the Nashotah Clubhouse is an interest place for wings if you’re looking for a change of pace. They definitely have a distinctive cooking method and some very interesting and unique flavors. It was unfortunate there was nothing on the heat scale to my liking. The Habanero wings were unbearable and the rest of the flavors were hardly spicy at all. I was not a fan of the “dry” wings as I love a wing dripping with sauce but the chicken quality and wing size did make up for it a bit. If you’re out in the Lake Country area and you’re looking for some wings, the Nashotah Clubhouse is a definitely worth a try.
Chicken Quality: Large wings with a nice crispy without being too dry inside 9/10
Sauce Quality: The problem is lack of sauce, many dry rub wings and the wings that are supposed to have sauce lose it in the baking process. I Suggest asking for extra sauce 4/10
Sides Quality: Ranch was OK, but bleu cheese had a sour, almost acidic taste. Celery was extra 2/5
Sauce Variety: While I was not a fan of some of the flavors, they’re definately diverse and unique 5/5
Value: With giant wings and two wing specials per week, I cannot help but give a perfect score here. 3/3
Total 23/33 = 70