A few additional notes should be made about this article.
I puposefully did not provide a fully detailed account of exactly what happened to Alex's body as we watched him consume those wings. For that reason, it may seem to be a fairly mild experience. Trust in the knowledge that he did not look pleasant and it was clear that he was not only in physical pain and discomfort but had lost control of some of his body including motor control. His face had puffed up and his lips were disformed and discolored from the sauce/paste. I refrained from photographing during the more intense moments of his experience.
If Alex wishes, he may post his thoughts as comments to this article, but that's up to him.
Also, I've heard that University Chicken used to be part of the Cluck U
franchise, but apparently this is no longer the case. Cluck U has many location on the East Coast and our experience at University Chicken may not reflect that of Cluck U.
I live in Sunnyvale and visited ChickenU on a coworker's suggestion. I'm from the South and know what Wings are supposed to taste like. And Chicken-U's are not Wings. They are cooked peices of chicken with some spicy sauce on top....but they are not Wings (yes, with a capital W). We asked for mild and a received plain, slimy, greasy plate of chicken...if I wanted that, I would have eaten at KFC. ;-)
I also did the 911 challenge and Im sure my photo is on the wall there.. though I haven't been back to check..
That was by far the hottest thing I have ever had!
That night, my firehead burned from the capsaicin(sp?) coming through my skin as well as it burned when I peed :) (No, I don't have an STD!) :)
I honestly don't think I would ever do that challenge again, though, I still love very hot food.
There is a pub in San Mateo that has a Habanero Hamburger that kicks butt, and, if you like hot food that tastes good, check it out. Its the only English Style pub in the area.
Wow! Congrats to Alex.
haha i live about 5 min from cluck u. ive been at the safeway next door a few times and seen someone race down the aisle to get a half gallon of milk to chug after rocking the challenge. congrats!
So what would be a good strategy to prepare for the 911 challenge? Maybe you can eat some bread before you go to the restaurant so that it can absorb the spicines? Does milk help? You can coat your stomach with milk beforehand. For sure, the worst strategy is to eat them on an empty stomach.
putting on chap stick is a good idea. since you can't do anything after you finish them for a set amount of time, i'd not eat anything for a while and then throw them down quickly close to the deadline.
If you want to talk about Wings, you need to know the history:
There's more to a good Wing than just heat.
Whenever I hear about chicken wings I always think of some of my father's stories. He grew up fair impoverished, and jokes that he didn't realize that chicken's had anything other then wings and necks until he was 12.
Apparently back in those days, poor people (like my father's family) would buy chicken wings as a cheap source of meat that no one else wanted. My father gushes about how well my grandmother could batter and cook them up such that it was a delicious meal.
My hat is off to the marketing genius who transformed this unwanted part of the chicken to one of the most lucrative parts by creating the "pub wing crazy"!
Been happening for some centuries already - creative and poor cooks turn formerly discarded bits of food into "proud classics" - scottish Haggis, brazilian Fejoada, and a bunch of other plates are made of parts of the animal that the rich used to discard.
Cool how creativity and need creates some of the best dishes... it must have taken some guts to eat snails, shellfish, pig's feet, etc. ;)
I'm a BW3's (Buffalo Wild Wings) fan myself :)
They even have a few locations in Buffalo, so if the locals (um, myself among others) like it, it has to be good huh? I think the chain originated in Florida by two homesick college guys.
Personally though, a good wing needs to have flavor as well as heat. I often joke that if I'm not crying and my face isn't red, it isn't hot enough, which is for the most part true. But honestly, if the sauce is just heat and no flavor, the wings are just awful. I can't even imagine eating something as unpalatable as overfried and overheated wings!
I graduated from Santa Clara in 98 and during our education the Cluck U opened. I have seen more people vomit exiting that place than I care to remember.
My buddy used to always say that he would bulk up on the chap stick and coat the inside of his mouth with petroleum jelly to help the burn factor. I still think once it hits your stomach that you're in trouble.
Good times... that place used to sell pitchers of beer way cheap. The breast bites meal is actually a good deal and tasty but I stay right around atomic level spiciness.
I know I am boring but...... :-0
I like to taste more meat then sauce and spicies.
Oh As for restaurants known for chicken wings, growing up in Florida and all, I must say. GO HOOTER's :-)
I have tried many o' chicken wings...from hooters...to the old days of BW3s (when it first formed and was a lot better than now)...wingstop as well as Cluck-U (or now University Chicken).
For those of you who have not enjoyed their chicken wings, I strongly urge you to go back there and try the Devil Bites. These are essentially boneless breast tenders dipped in the wing sauces, but I assure you that you have never had these kinds of shapes or cuts of chicken. They are surprisingly very meaty and big and the batter remains rather crispy even after being dipped in the sauces. They are by far the best thing I've had there...easily surpassing the wings (as much as I love wings).
On Thursday's they have a "bite night" special. I think it costs $1 per devil bite. Definitely recommend you give them another try and NO, I don't work there. I've been going there for years.
As for spiciness, I was going there before they introduced the 911 challenge and I was proud to say I had survived all the levels of spice. Then once they introduced 911, I was pissed because its a level I haven't done and I don't think I want to go there. Global thermonuclear instantly ceased my conversations with friends after eating...I can't imagine what 911 would do.
I live in Florida and Hooter's has the worst wings on the planet. They are only good for the Hooter girls and the cold beer.
I tend to stay away from any kind of chain when I want good wings. The smaller places tend to have more flavorful sauces as well as the heat I crave.
My fave is the extra hot with garlic. I love the way the garlic makes my lips tingle after I have downed a dozen or so of them.
Today I completed the fabled 911 Challenge. I've also eaten at the famous Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.
The challenge was exactly as this article described -- an almost unappetizing amount of dark-red sauce, lightheadedness, the wolfing down of remaining wings when the time was about to run out, a friend's sprint to the Safeway next door for a half-gallon of milk, and the cheering of patrons afterward.
The worst parts of the challenge were the overload of sauce, the spice of the wings combined with high just-fried temperature, and the feeling of a sunburn around my mouth for the rest of the day. It was certainly a challenge, but I got a shirt :-)
I even ordered some of their breast strips afterward that, despite the reports in previous posts, were juicy, breaded & fried just right. I definitely plan on going back for some less-insane but tasty chicken.
The "Suicidal" sauce at the Anchor Bar is actually quite good and isn't unreasonably hot. You can even buy it in supermarkets nowadays near the Tabasco. I hear there's another bar in Buffalo that's even _better_ than Anchor.
i ate these godforsaken satan nuggets on an empty stomach and ended up hurling boiling hot magma puke until i couldn't gag anymore shortly after the challenge. the t-shirt was totally worth it though.
i tried to do that at the one in Chapel Hill NC with a buddy of mine. He's going into the special forces . . . i don't know i thought he'd be tough. we got to the last wing and he yelled "my effing throat is closing up." i didn't finish either.
i threw up twice on the floor next to the drink machine.
on our way back to my friend's car he somehow vomited 911 sauce into both of his eyes. he was blind. i knew this because he was running around screaming and tripped over the same curb at least 8 times. i continued to throw up for another 11 hours.
DON'T DO THIS GODDAMN CHALLENGE
If it's been banned give me the recipe damnit. No more secrets! I want to know if these are hotter than mine!!!