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Wing Review: McGinn's Sports Bar

The Basics:

McGinn's Saucy Wings

MKE Wings Crew Present: Frank, Ross, Molly

Review Date: October 12, 2023

Wing Special (as of review date): Thursday $1 Wings (after 4p)

The Review:

McGinn's is one of my favorite spots at the State Fair. Tasty food, a pint of Guinness and a round of trivia is a great way to spend an hour at the Fair. However, I rarely frequent the actual bar on Bluemound, and I finally figured that it was time to change that and try them out for some wings!

A relatively small crew of Ross, Molly and I stopped in on a Thursday night to partake in their $1 wing special. The normal price of wings on the menu is simply listed as "market price," which is still insane to me for a piece of meat that was at one point nearly a throwaway piece of the ticket, but fairly common to see these days. *As always, prices/availability of menu items/prices and/or specials are subject to change at the sole discretion of the bar without the knowledge of and may not be updated accordingly.*

McGinn's serves up their wings breaded, naked, or grilled in one of their 10 sauces. McGinn's may not have the longest flavor list out there, but there certainly some unique sauces. Their sauce lineup consists of: Buffalo, Caribbean Jerk, Spicy Teriyaki, Honey Chipotle, Maple Bourbon, Spicy Apple, Spicy Garlic, Teriyaki, Texan BBQ and Tex Mex.

Something that worked in favor of our smaller group, you also only need order a minimum of 4 wings per sauce, so you can really seek out some variety, we were able to try out just about every sauce they had. I also always love the ability to mix and match your style of wing (fried vs grilled) with a flavor that compliments it (grilled on BBQ is always a good bet). All of the wings were quite large, my order was naked and fried to a nice crispy exterior, Ross had his breaded which got a bit soggy with the heavily sauced wings (he liked them nonetheless) and Molly had hers grilled which displayed some nice grill marks on them. Worth noting you cannot get the maple bourbon wings grilled due to fact they'd burn with heir sugary sauce.

Tasting notes on the sauces we tried below!

A plate of McGinn's Grilled Wings

Buffalo: to me this one felt like a bit of a twist on a traditional Buffalo sauce. A bit more hot sauce forward without the buttery balance, and a touch of sweetness to go along with a bit of a kick of heat. Solid sauce, even if not necessarily the most traditional

Caribbean Jerk: I enjoyed this one, but I wish it was a little more flavor intense. Some bites were quite good, but others were a bit bland. On the more flavor intensive bites I could taste some citrus flavors along with the warm spiciness you'd expect in jerk seasoning.

Spicy Teriyaki: very sweet and sticky teriyaki sauce with a nice savory balance and a decent kick. I ideally like my teriyaki a tad more on the savory side, but this was tasty nonetheless.

Honey Chipotle: Molly enjoyed this one a lot, but I personally did not care for this one too much. Sweet honey taste but really lacked the smoky chipotle flavor I was hoping for in this one.

Maple Bourbon: as expected, this was a very sweet wing sauce, but this might be the first time I've ever had a wing sauce with Bourbon in the name where I could actually taste the Bourbon, an oaky flavor cut through the sweetness a bit. However, while that was pretty cool, this was quite sweet, I almost described it as almost like a caramel sauce. It was super tasty, I just could not picture myself eating more than one or two of these.

Spicy Apple: I love when I can find a wing flavor that I've never seen before, and I'm pretty sure this is the first apple wing I've ever seen. Based on the name alone, I did not think I'd like it this one, however, I really liked this one. Lots of apple taste without being too sweet, it was a bit like a BBQ sauce but with a big kick of apple along with some notes of warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and a surprising bit if heat to it as well. Definitely unique and worth a taste!

Spicy Garlic: This was my no contest favorite flavor of the night. A nice buffalo sauce with a ton of garlic flavor. Probably the hottest wing on the menu, but nothing close to blisteringly not by any means. Not much else to elaborate on aside from this was a damn tasty wing.

Texas BBQ: a decent Texas style BBQ sauce but maybe a bit tomato forward. Tasty enough, I'm just not a huge fan of BBQ sauce on wings for whatever reason unless its mustard based, but I think a BBQ sauce fan would like this one, just not my cup of tea.

Tex Mex: like the spicy apple, this sauce is a wild. This flavor is their Texas BBQ sauce mixed with salsa. I'm still not sure if I liked it or not. You had the spicy tomato and earthy cumin flavors from the salsa mixed with some sharper and tangy notes from the Texas BBQ which really confused my pallet. This one left me a bit confused, but if you're looking for something truly different, give it a go!

The MKE Wings Crew's Favorites:

Frank: Spicy Garlic

Ross: Spicy Garlic

Molly: Honey Chipotle


Really big wings that can be cooked in various ways with a decent sauce lineup that has a few crazy and unique sauces. While a couple of sauces missed the mark for me, overall these were very solid wings. Looks like I'll need to stop in at McGinn's for more often than my State Fair visits, and it's the newest Certified Wing Joint!



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