Milwaukee Wings

The Original Guide to Buffalo Wings in the Brew City

Red Rock Saloon (91)

The Vitals:

Name: Red Rock Saloon
Where: 1227 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Review Date:
December 8, 2011
Wing Type: Traditional, Smoked
Wing Special: None

The Review:

  • Chicken Quality:  What sets the wings at the Red Rock apart from others is the fact they’re smoked, I’m not aware of any other place in the area doing this.  The result of this cooking method: fantastic, fall off the bone tender wings that are full of flavor.  While smoking wings isn’t the traditional way of preparing wings, it’s certainly a great alternative that really gives these wings a unique taste that is unmatched anywhere else.  Additionally, the wings do not taste overly smoky, which is good.  I often shy away from foods that are smoked as I often feel that smoky taste becomes a bit over powering.  Thankfully these wings do not have that problem, you can taste the smokiness in the wings without it overpowering all the other flavors there are to enjoy.   As for the size of the wings, I’d say the smallest wings were average in size while most were quite above average which is awesome as you will want as much as you can get of this chicken!
  • Sauce Variety: Red Rock offers a great selection of sauces, some of which are truly unique!  Also, wing lovers with all ranges of tolerance to spiciness should have no trouble finding a tasty flavor to enjoy.  As the names of Red Rock’s sauces really aren’t too descriptive of their taste, I’m including their menu descriptions  The sauces (listed from mild to hot) are: J-Ringo (A mild and delicious garlic honey wing), KC Jones (Molasses BBQ sauce, sweet & full flavored), RR BBQ (signature BBQ sauce), Outlaw (Texas style spicy BBQ sauce), Totonka (Red Rock buffalo wing sauce), Longhorns (Spicy apricot wings), Gypsy (signature teriyaki honey garlic sauce), Desperado (complex amazing hot sauce), Confessor (Pineapple habanero sauce), Voodoo (Asian southwest fusion, sweet garlic chili flavor), Diablo (Hot habanero wing sauce), and last but not least T.C.B (Takin’ care of business, aka, the Ghost Chili wing)
  • Sauce Quality:  I was able to sample a few of the sauces listed below, overall, all their sauces are great.  Moreover, they’re really complex, you’ll see I have a hard time even describing some of the sauces due to the number of unique tastes and flavors some of these wings provide.
    • Desperado – This one is listed on the menu as “complex amazing hot sauce.”  Well, really that’s really the only way I can describe this sauce.  First and foremost, it was delicious, but I cannot for the life of me pinpoint the flavors!  The sauce complimented the smoky flavor of the wing very nicely and had a decent amount of heat behind it without being overpowering.  A well balanced sauce well worth your time.  Also, if anyone can contact me with some thoughts on the flavors in that wing, I’m all ears!
    • Confessor – I’ve seen mango habanero (which I generally love) at many places, but never pineapple so this was a must try for me.  A great blend of sweet and heat.  The pineapple taste wasn’t as prevalent as I was expecting but I think that’s a good thing as it wasn’t overly sweet.  In fact, the pineapple taste was more of an accent to the habanero pepper flavor.  Spicy, but not overly spicy as the pineapple keeps the heat from the habanero in check.
    • Voodoo – another truly unique flavor that’s really hard to describe.  For a base I’d compare it to a combination of teriyaki and sweet n’ sour sauce, but what sets this flavor off is a burst of fresh pepper taste, almost like you were biting into a green pepper.  A decent amount of heat with a good balance of many flavors.
    • J-Ringo – on the menu as a garlic honey wing, to me the wings tasted like teriyaki… very delicious teriyaki.  You could definitely taste the honey and the garlic, but I also got taste of some salty and savory flavors which reminds me of a teriyaki wing.
    • Totonka – Red Rock’s standard buffalo wing sauce and it was just that.  Normally traditional buffalo is my favorite flavor, but with so many other unique options here it really wasn’t my primary focus.  A good option if you want a tried a true flavor, but I’d suggest taking some chances on their other flavors.
    • Gypsy – another teriyaki sauce but with a layer of flavor I again have a hard time describing, molasses perhaps.  More spice than the J-Ringo flavor but nothing overbearing at all.
  • Sides Quality: Wings are served with your choice of ranch or bleu cheese along with celery.  The bleu cheese was adequate, it did not have that overly funky, or sour taste you can some times find in bleu cheese dressings but was rather nice and cool and creamy.  However, my only knock is that it was a bit too light on the flavor of the bleu cheese  itself.
  • Value: Sadly price is the only place where Red Rock falters a bit.   For small quantities you’re looking at $1 per wing.  Even at large quantities you’re looking at over $0.80 per wing.  Additionally, there is no “wing special” night.  Don’t get me wrong, from what you can see above these are amazing wings and you should not skip them simply due to the price.  But, due to the fact that other places with great wings that serve them up a bit cheaper or offer a “wing night,” I have to knock them a bit there.


The Final Score:

Chicken Quality: 10/10
Sauce Quality: 10/10
Sauce Variety: 5/5
Sides Quality: 4/5
Value: 1/3

Overall: 30/33 = 91 – Ladies and gentelmen, we have a new #1 (well tied for it anyway as of 12/26/2011).  Red Rock really offers some unique and fantastic wings, I’m sad it took me so long to make it there!  Definitely worth a trip downtown and while you’re there, they have a mechanical bull!  I’d give out a +1 for that, but don’t think it really fits into the factors I review on!  Good work Red Rock, keep it up!


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