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Omaha Wing Challenge — DJ’s Dugout (Aksarben Village)

2102 S. 67th Street
Omaha NE 68106
402-933-3533

I almost forget how to do this. Oh, but I bet I can get back into the groove of making snarky comments in written form as easily as sliding a LaVista Keno wing off a dirty plate and into the dumpster from which it came. (See…it IS easy to get back into the groove!)

Yep….it’s a sports bar. 

Why haven’t I done a lot of dive bar or wing reviews lately? I have no idea. At some point this year I just seemed to have lost my creative “mojo”, so instead of  mindlessly cranking out reviews that I wasn’t happy with…I just walked away from the whole thing for a while.

BUT…to the delight of some…and the dismay of others (I’m looking at you Finnegan’s Pub and Grill) I’m back at it!

For those that might forget how this all works, and as a reminder to myself, here’s how this whole shebang goes.

That’s why I’m here. 

Scuba Steve’s Rules: I rate wings in five categories for a total potential perfect score of 50. The current reigning champion (by virtue of a committee vote) is The Pheasant with a total score of 48. 
But, for those that recall, the real reigning HitThatDive “King of the Wing” for 2015 is Ray’s Original Buffalo Wings by virtue of our roving band of wing judges earlier this year.  Read it all right here…HitThatDive King of the Wing 2015
And, for shits and giggles (mostly to get the shits) the worst score has been the severed toe wings at LaVista Keno which flatlined at a 2. Just click right here to get the complete list of HitThatDive wings reviews. Even the ones that I’d rather not remember. 
Now…onto DJ’s Dugout…why I picked this place…I have no earthly idea. But be that as it may…here we go!
First Impressions: Usually this starts when the wings come out of the kitchen. But on this occasion, I could not help but make a note of the front of the menu…because nothing says “Welcome to our all- male sausage-fest” more than three AXE-wearing douchebags on the front. Now THAT’S a great first impression! 
These guys! Don’t bro me if you don’t know me!
Why are we here again? Oh wings…that’s right. And after about a 10 minute wait, the bartender (who also must double as a mime in his spare time) plopped down my order.  Ummmm…DJ’s here’s my first tip. Why not toss the wings in your sauce instead of just sort of splattering it over them like a like a four-year old with a paint brush? Just a thought. 
First bite and I could clearly taste a rubber chicken baked quality to these things.  My guess here is that they bake up a batch for the day and then toss them in a fryer for exactly 59 seconds to “crisp them up” and off they go.  Not awful…not great. 
Unoffensive so far
Score: 5 out of 10 
Sauce: As is my standard, I went with the “Buffalo” sauce to keep things consistent.  And, you know what, every now and then it seemed like that sauce was trying to play the hero and make these wings halfway decent. But alas, the overpowering baked taste, combined with the splattered nature of the sauce itself…just ultimately couldn’t save the day. 
To their credit…the wings that DJ’s splattered with more sauce (than less) did have a decent zip to them…and really wasn’t half bad.  My biggest beef with the sauce wasn’t so much the taste of it…but more with the lackadaisical application of it to the wings themselves.  Cest la vie. 
Splattered paint?
Score: 7 out of 10

Crispy:  Oh, you know, they were crispy-like. It’s impossible to get an authentic crispy chicken wing if it’s mostly baked. They weren’t totally soggy or anything, but, they were overly chewy. 
It was almost like there was some type of film surrounding each wing that provided the impression that they were slightly crispy with each bite…which they weren’t. But again…not the most awful wings in Omaha. 
Half baked? 
Score: 4 out of 10

Size: They were all fairly uniform in size and on the smallish side, which I actually have no problems with. Out of the six I ordered, there was really only one “outlier” big boy which was just slightly undercooked and more chewy then a fistful of Double Bubble from the bottom of last month’s Halloween candy bag.  But other than that, not awful.

Double Bubble

Score: 5 out of 10

Extras: The mime behind the bar didn’t ask me if I wanted blue cheese (because he didn’t talk) so I ended up with Ranch…which was equally as unremarkable as trying to have a political discussion with the mime.

You know, to their credit here, there were plenty of extra napkins, an extra bowl, celery and not one but TWO wetnaps!

And remember kids, the real beauty of the wetnap is that the corner of the packaging can double as a toothpick to dislodge any wings that may have become stuck between your front teeth.

Score: 7 out of 10

RANCH?????


Final Score: 28 out of 50 — Middle of the Road! 

Scuba’s Final Thoughts: Overall, they really weren’t awful, but definitely not the place to make a special trip to for the true wing connoisseur.  They were not messy in the least and if this is a compliment…they weren’t offensive either. They were just sort of there.

These wings reminded me of the scene in Animal House where the member of Delta House are voting on new members and they get to Larry Kroger and halfheartedly basically say “sure why not” and someone says “We need the dues.” That’s exactly how I feel about these wings!

Look, a place like this only really wants to do one thing…make money on overpriced beer ($4 for a pint of domestic beer) and mediocre food from dudes that just HAVE to be in a “sports “bar with a zillion TV’s as they look at their phones to see how they’re doing that day on FanDuel.

The real appeal of this place was summed up perfectly with a conversation I was having on Twitter as I sat at the bar…

Dudes come here for this…not the food or overpriced swill beer

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