Versus: Not-So-Foul Pollo at Sport and Fox Sports Grill

The Dish: It's baseball season, so why not pit two sports bars against each other? We picked the ultimate sports-viewing snack—hot wings—and specifically focused on finding ones that burn without losing their flavor, and aren't so fiery that they inhibit your eating (and viewing) enjoyment. So we summoned Sport Restaurant & Bar and FOX Sports Grill to a hot-wing challenge to find out which one needed to be yanked for not bringing the heat.The Rivals: Sport, 140 Fourth Ave N. #130, 404-7767, BELLTOWN. If your favorite thing about eating a hot wing is stripping the meat from the bone, you're out of luck here—Sport's hot wings are boneless. When you order the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Bits ($9.50), you get a plate of chicken chunks tossed in spicy Buffalo sauce and served with a side of blue-cheese dressing. To get the spiciest chicken Sport has to offer, order them Diablo-style: a nice mix of habanero, crushed chili flakes, chili powder, and a good dose of butter. You'll get a heaping serving of chicken bits so effing spicy, you'll need extra napkins. Fortunately, the spice isn't strong enough to elicit brow sweat, but it'll have you blotting the snot running profusely from your nose.FOX Sports Grill, 1522 Sixth Ave., 340-1369, DOWNTOWN. The spicy Smoked Wings ($8.95) are slathered with Frank's Red Hot, cayenne, and chili pepper. They are tender and tasty, but the smoke overpowers their spice. They also lack the tanginess a true hot sauce brings to the playing field. It's evident as soon as the plate is set in front of you: The color is a deep rust, signaling these wings are sweet—no heat. The best thing they have going for them is that they have more personality than the sports bar that serves them.The Champ: While we enjoyed the wings at FOX Sports Grill (and the bountiful serving), the sauce lacked any real spice. The chicken at Sport, while boneless, had the full trifecta going: It was totally flavorful, juicy, and spicy. The Diablo sauce was really good, and didn't rely solely on spice to give it flavor. It was more intense than your typical Frank's Red Hot, but with that honor comes this warning: The accompanying blue cheese and celery do little to combat the heat. You'll need some seriously cold brews to tame this spice, but we guarantee you'll want more meat when the heat subsides. Hence, Sport prevails in this hot-wing battle.jperry@seattleweekly.com

 
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