The Dish

It's baseball season, so why not pit two sports bars against each other in a Versus competition? We picked the ultimate sports viewing

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Versus: Hot Ass Chicken Wings

The Dish

It's baseball season, so why not pit two sports bars against each other in a Versus competition? We picked the ultimate sports viewing snack: hot wings. We specifically focused on finding the type of hot wings that burn going in and burn even worse going out. You know the ones we're talking about. A good hot wing ignites the burn without losing its flavor and isn't so fiery that it prohibits your eating enjoyment. In this Versus edition, 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.

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A spice so nice you'll feel it twice
The Rivals

Sport (left),

140 4th Ave N. #130, 404-7767

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. That's right. When you order the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Bits ($9.50) you get a plate of spicy chicken chunks sauced and tossed in spicy Buffalo sauce and served with a side of blue cheese dressing. In an effort to get the spiciest chicken Sport has to offer, order them Diablo-style: a nice mix of habanero, crushed chili flakes and chili powder, along with a good dose of butter. You'll get a heaping serving of chicken bits so effing spicy, you'll need an extra serving of napkins. Fortunately, the spice isn't strong enough to elicit a brow sweat, but it will have you blotting the snot profusely running from your nose.

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Smokey taste lacked the extra zing
FOX Sports Grill (right),

1522 6th Ave., 340-1369

The spicy Smoked Wings ($8.95) are as extreme as the FOX hot wings come. The wings are slathered with Frank's Red Hot, cayenne and chili pepper. The chicken wings are tender and tasty, but the smoke overpowers their spiciness. They also lack the tanginess a true hot sauce brings to the playing field. It's evident as soon as the plate of wings is set in front of you: the color is a deep rust, signaling these wings are sweet -- no heat. The thing these wings have going for them the most is that they have more personality than the sports bar that serves them.

The Champ

While we enjoyed the chicken 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 for it; it was totally flavorful, juicy and spicy. The Diablo sauce was really good and didn't rely solely on the spice to give it flavor. It was more intense than your typical Frank's Red Hot, but with that honor comes this warning: the blue cheese and celery accompaniments do little to combat the heat. You'll need some serious cold brews to tame this spice, but we guarantee you'll want more when the heat subsides. We call an easy victory for Sport in this hot wing battle.

 
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