This year, during the Washington/Oregon football game, I actually found myself in Cleveland for a work training. I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to watch it from the comfort of my own home, but one of the guys that was there is an Oregon fan, and he wanted to watch the game as well. So, we decided that we would head to the Winking Lizard to catch as much of it as possible (and also check out the Alabama/LSU game as well). We grabbed a couple other co-workers and made our way there. When we pulled up, there was a sign indicating World Famous Ribs, so one of the guys said we had to order them and I had to write about them. So, here we go.
We actually started out ordering a pitcher of Great Lakes beer, and a couple orders of chicken wings. The guys with me were not ones for very spicy wings, so we opted for the spicy BBQ and the spicy garlic (originally it was supposed to be regular garlic, but someone accidentally said spicy garlic). According to the spice chart that was in the menu, these were the 2nd and 4th spiciest wings. Then we went for an order of the “Famous Bucket o’Ribs”, St. Louis style.
The wings came out and we dove in. The barbeque wings were coated in a sauce, very messy, but more tangy than spicy. In fact, it was kind of like KC Masterpiece “spicy”. The wings were cooked alright, definitely not crispy, but they were still moist. Moving the garlic ones that were supposed to be “spicy”, again, they were pretty tame. And in fact, the garlic flavor was pretty muted. They were more of a glaze than anything else. We worked our way through them casually, but definitely weren’t fighting over the last ones. The ribs were more of the same. They were covered in a similar sauce as the wings. There was a definite lack of smokiness to the ribs, almost as if they had just been thrown in an oven or on a grill, and then covered in barbeque sauce. They weren’t quite that bite off the bone tender that you expect from a good rib either.
I will say that the Winking Lizard Tavern is a great place to watch a game. There were at least a half dozen different games. The beer was cold, the energy was good. But if you want good wings, or good ribs, definitely not the place that I would recommend. I’ve had better wings at Hooter’s, where spicy means spicy, and there is some crispiness to them. And as for the ribs, I don’t know what they are world famous for, but it wasn’t for taste.