Photos By Jeff Skrenes
Out of nowhere, more entrees will appear, and creme brule for dessert! The owner will come to your table to tell you about his hopes, dreams, and special items not on the menu...the ones you are eating, right now, like Almond Joy Chicken wings (top photo) and Incredible Hulk wings, (bottom photo) which are get their color from green curry and the spice...well, it sort of smashes its way out of nowhere, on the second bite. My favorite was, however, the "white trash" wings which were dipped in mashed potatoes.
Oh, wait. What's that you say?
Um, yeah, I guess that's right. I actually AM a blogger.
OK, so I guess it's not REALLY a scam to accept all this free food. Never mind.
The Butcher Block Restaurant is in "Nordeast," which I consider part of the Johnny Northside beat, click here for their website.
The "Butcher Block" name might make you think the establishment is very meat-oriented, and certainly it does feature stuff like "carpaccio," which is "raw beef with arugula, permesan, lemon and olive oil." Also, one of the four co-owners is described as the "master butcher."
However, the menu also features vegetarian items like chickpea eggplant falafel. Some other menu items include...
...the homemade lamb burger, grilled octopus, homemade potato gnocchi, and Tuscan chicken liver crostinis. However, the most amazing aspect of the menu is "Ali di Pollo," a collection of 29 different chicken wing flavors. According to co-owner Darin Koch, who is also the chef, there are actually 178 different chicken wing flavors, but not all of them are on the menu. I'm not sure what is required to access the other flavors...apparently, it is enough to know the other flavors exist and to ask the server what "off menu" items are available.
I had the mango curry yogurt wings, as well as something called the "kitchen sink," which I was told required some degree of courage from the diner and may vary from night to night. So of course I had to order THAT, because I have a reputation to uphold. The "kitchen sink" came randomly garnished with fries, vegetables, a stray noodle or two...it looked like a delicious automobile accident. As for the mango curry yogurt, it was mellow and flavorful.
However, it was the secret menu items--Almond Joy and Incredible Hulk chicken wings--that were the real show stealers. Plus such an extensive, secret list of wings makes me want to start at A and work my way to Z, just to say I ate the encyclopedia of chicken wings and lived to tell the tale.
Regular readers know I can get a bit obsessed with lists...especially lists of properties known to be involved with mortgage fraud rings. Well, I can grow obsessed with other lists, as well. Here are the 31 known chicken wing flavors at Butcher Block, which consists of 29 "listed" flavors, as well as the two "off menu" items we were offered. (Almond Joy and Incredible Hulk)
If anybody learns of other flavors...please use the comment threads to post that info.
Thanks, and now here is the list.
Sweet or Spicy BBQ
Franks Red Hot Buffalo
Maple Brown Sugar
Carmelized Onion Balsamic
Blackberry Red Wine
Green Coconut Curry
Mango Curry Yogurt
Coriander Cumin Lime
Harissa Hungarian Paprika