Wing Review: Points East Pub
Name: Points East Pub
MKE Wings Crew Present: Frank, Amber, Ross, Jeremy
Review Date: May 22, 2021
Wing Special? None
March 2020 until May 2021.... easily the longest I've gone without hanging and at bar for a wing night since, well, probably since I turned 21. Sure I'd gotten take out wings from some places over the past year, but it's never quite the same. Food gets cool and soggy on the drive home and the wings are never as good at home as they are fresh from the grill, fryer, or whatever. It's the main reason why I hadn't done a review in over a year, I didn't want underrate someone's wings due to a long car ride home in a Styrofoam container.
As such, my May 22nd visit to Points East Pub was a a long awaited treat, and a return to something normal. When picking a place to grab some wings for a review for the first time in over a year, I figured what a better place to start than Points East. I first visited Points East back in 2007 or early 2008 after a coworker told me I absolutely had to try their wings. Sure, I loved wings then, but most if not all of my wing nights had been at BW3s, so my experience was limited. I've been to Points East many times since then, and it has remained among my favorite wing joints in the city.
In the nearly 14 years since I first visited, lots has changed at Points East, most notably the bar itself. Points East was notorious for a long wait for food due to their miniscule kitchen and prep area at the end of the bar, probably no bigger than a 6' x 6' footprint. When the place was busy, a 90+ minute wait was not uncommon. This combined with a pretty limited seating area and large crowds, the wait for wings could often be significant. Thankfully, this has greatly improved. Gone is the tiny kitchen, replaced by a much larger space, and the seating area has more than doubled with the addition of a back room. In my visits to Points East since their remodel, seating and service has greatly improved. However, with all of the changes over the years, the one thing that hasn't changed are is the wings themselves, and that's a great thing.
"Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black." - Henry Ford
Points East has a similar approach to their wings... you can have any flavor you'd like, so long as it's their hot wing. The single flavor approach is a bit jarring to many who've grown accustomed to places offering a large selection of sauces, rubs, and flavors. Points East doesn't do that, they're got hot wings (don't call them Buffalo wings), and they're freaking delicious. Seriously, they're so good I don't care about the lack of other options. Even if they had other flavors, I'd still get the hot wings every time.
Points East wings get their great flavor from their preparation and cooking method. While I don't know all of their secrets, it was pretty easy to observe some of their methods back in the day when you could sit at the bar and look into the kitchen. Their wings are brined/coated in a spice rub, deep friend, and then finished off on the grill. The result is a smoky, spicy, juicy, and savory flavor that penetrates the wings down to the bone, you'll be hard pressed to find a more flavorful wing anywhere. While their wings are always consistently great and flavorful, the level of spice can seem to vary from visit to visit. There have been a few visits where I found the heat slowing me down a bit, but nowhere close to anything crazy hot. So, if you are a complete lightweight when it comes to spice, you may find these a bit outside of your comfort zone, although you should definitely give them a shot! Wings are served with your choice of ranch or bleu cheese along with celery to complete presentation.
There is no wing special at Points East, I believe there was one years ago (Thursdays perhaps) but that is long gone. I think I can recall going to one of those once, place was insane. I really can't comment on the normal menu price as I did the review during the 2021 wing shortage / price spike, so while the wings were a bit pricy on my visit, I do think it was above the normal price. Wings are expensive right now, and I certainly can't fault them for pricing them accordingly. Historically, while I'd never say their wings were "cheap", I always felt the pricing was in line for the amazing wings you got.
I'm certainly not alone in my love of these wings. My Milwaukee Wings crew has loved these wings for years as well. If you just search the Internet for best wings in Milwaukee, you'll see Points East at the top of many lists. Seriously, if you love wings and haven't tried these, you're seriously missing out. There is no doubt that Points East Pub is a MilwaukeeWings.com hall of fame wing joint.