Wing Review: South Bound Again
MKE Wings Crew Present: Frank, Amber, Jeremy, Ross, Molly
Review Date: November 10, 2022
Wing Special (as of review date): $10 for 12 Wings, Tuesday and Thursday
One of my favorite hidden gem wing spots in the Milwaukee area was Oak Creek's South Bound Saloon. I thought they were some of the best wings in the city, but never heard their name mentioned much when people talked about the best wings in Milwaukee. Last year when I had a hankering for their wings, I was crushed to learn they had closed in 2020. However, I was happy to see that from the ashes of the South Bound Saloon rose the appropriately named South Bound Again Saloon and Eatery which opened earlier this year. While I am very happy to see this bar reborn, the burning question was whether or not the wings would be as good as I remember. To find out, the wing crew and I headed down on a Thursday night in November.
I failed to note down the normal menu price of the wings, which seems like a big oversight for a guy who has done this as many times as I have. However, South Bound has two wing specials each week, something you don't see too often right now. On Tuesdays and Thursdays $10 will get you and order of 12 wings, which given the current market price of wings is pretty dang good. *As always, prices/availability of menu items/prices and/or specials are subject to change at the sole discretion of the bar and this review may not be updated to reflect any pricing changes.
The wings themselves were nicely sized, and cooked pretty much perfectly. Crispy exterior but still nice and juicy, really well done on the cook of the wings. They had 12 flavors on the menu, plus a special flavor of the week. Flavors were:
Dry Rubs: Bourbon Peach, Sweet Cajun, Jerk, Dill Pickle, Maple Bacon
Sauces: Buffalo, Kiss Your Ass, Thai Chili, Teriyaki, Sweet Garlic, Garlic Parm, Asian Sesame, and Mississippi Honey BBQ (the special of the week).
The 5 of us ordered up 96 wings (8 orders) and we had quite a few leftovers, but the sheer number of wings meant we were able to sample most of the available flavors. Thought on the sauces below:
Bourbon Peach: A little bit sweet and a little bit of a smoky flavor, a nice flavor, but I wished it was just a bit bolder, a bit more in your face.
Sweet Cajun: I'm not sure I'd call this sweet Cajun, but rather just Cajun, nothing overly sweet about it in my opinion, but still a nice Cajun dry rub
Jerk: this may have actually been my favorite flavor of the night, this dry rub had all those warm spicy notes you're looking for in a Jerk seasoning.
Dill Pickle: tons of dill flavor, but I wish there was a little more vinegar tanginess to balance it out to make it a bit more pickle like. Dunking this one in some ranch would complement this dry rub well.
Maple Bacon: this one was pretty good for a sweeter dry rub. Nice, sweet maple taste with a little bit of smokiness from the bacon. I wouldn't say it really tasted a whole lot like bacon, but it definitely leant a smokiness to balance the sweetness.
Buffalo: standard, yet tasty Buffalo, which isn't a bad thing, you can't really re-invent the classic buffalo. Vinegar tanginess with a touch of heat, but not really hot by any means.
Thai Chili: a nice sweet Thai chili flavor, a tasty Asian chili sauce. Sometimes I can find this flavor too sweet, but this one was enjoyable. While not spicy, this may have been one of the "bolder" flavors we had that night.
Teriyaki: another one of the bolder flavors, despite not being a hot flavor. This teriyaki was more on the savory side, which I like, yet balanced by a bit of sweetness.
Garlic Parm: very garlic forward a lot of garlic taste but not a whole lot of parmesan. This is one I just felt needed a little bit more sauce to really pop.
Asian Sesame: lots of that nutty sesame seed flavor balanced out with some savory, teriyaki like flavors.
The MKE Wings Crew's Favorites:
Jeremy: Teriyaki/Sweet Garlic
Ross: Maple Bacon
Amber: Peach Bourbon
Molly: Sweet Garlic
While the chicken was amazing and the flavors were good, I was left wanting more. I felt every flavor was just a bit, muted for lack of a better word. The bold flavors were one of my favorite things about the previous South Bound iteration, so they were a bit off the mark form what I was hoping. Nevertheless, these wings are still pretty dang good and the others in the wing crew seemed to like them a bit more than me. I waffled on whether or not to award the Milwaukee Wings Certified badge here, so I had to take another look at my own definition: "Certified Wing Joint, the second highest honor we give out. These are given to makers of damn good wings, but there may just be a few small things they could do better, or, we just need a few more visits to make sure they're Hall of Fame worthy. " Given that, yes, I can certify the South Bound Again Saloon, but I definitely think they can ramp up the sauce flavor, might just be as simple of using a bit more sauce. While it's a bit off the beaten path an you kind of need to make a point to head that way (at least for me), I encourage you to give them a shot, let us know!