By: Dan I. Cook
They came, they saw, and they ate wings. Lots and lots of them. A group of judges visited the top three Coral Springs restaurants in our online poll for the best chicken wings and only one would emerge the winner.
Winner: Lefty’s Tavern and Grill
I shouldn’t be surprised that they won, because during the burger contest they pumped out an outstanding burger. When I saw they came in the top three of the popular vote for best chicken wings, I knew they were gonna give Bru’s Room and Wings Plus a run for their money. I admit, I’m a loyal customer of both Wings Plus and Bru’s Room, so I really didn’t know much about Lefty’s and what makes it so damn good.
Our judges were served wings with the Moe’s Sauce, and to get the full story, I interviewed the owner Alana Milmoe Richter to find out what made them so good.
Dan I Cook: How long has Lefty’s Tavern and Grille been in Broward?
Alana Milmoe Richter: Since 1991 and in Coral Springs since 2007.
Dan I Cook: We tried your Moe’s Signature Wings. Who came up with this recipe, and who is Moe?
Alana Milmoe Richter: My brother and co-owner Chris Milmoe came up with recipe in 1991 at the Lefty’s in Davie. Moe’s is part of our last name. – Milmoe. People call us Moe.
Dan I Cook: interesting. Ok, without giving me all of the details, what’s in the ingredients?
Alana Milmoe Richter: Medium sauce, teriyaki, powdered garlic, and a touch of barbecue.
Dan I Cook: No cayenne pepper? Because I thought I tasted the slow-burn of that style of pepper when I was eating your wings.
Alana Milmoe Richter: No.
Dan I Cook: I saw and tasted your Moe’s wings tossed in blue cheese crumbles, who comes up with these recipes? (these were tasted after judging was over on the wings with Moe’s sauce).
Alana Milmoe Richter: My brother Chris.
Dan I Cook: Did Chris go to culinary school? If he didn’t, where did Chris learn to layer flavors together like this?
Alana Milmoe Richter: He didn’t, he has been cooking since high school. Self taught. My mom is a great cook and I’d like to say, we are all pretty good cooks. We are all foodies.
Dan I Cook: Awesome, I love to hear stories like that. Last question, why is your food so damn good? What’s the secret?
Alana Milmoe Richter: We moved down from New Jersey and all three of my brothers own restaurant/bars both here and Jersey. I think we love to eat, try all kinds of foods, and flavors. We try to bring it to the restaurant. As you can see on our menu we have a little of everything. How did you like our wings?
Dan I Cook: I F@CKing loved them!
Alana Milmoe Richter: Awesome! Thanks again for the kind words and thanks again for doing what you’re doing. Even if we weren’t nominated I still think it’s a great thing.
I think I love Alana. Doesn’t hurt that she is from New Jersey and so is my wife. I just love Jersey chicks. But that another issue. You know, it’s hearing stories like this and seeing how much these business owners appreciate what me and Coral Springs Talk aka Sharon Aron Baron are doing makes this worth while. I cannot honestly say that I would frequent Lefty’s because it’s not in my little comfort box that I eat in. I’m here to tell you they are pumping out some great chow.
On a side note, The Cook and The Cork Sous Chef Michael Brothers was a VIP judge for us. He bought wings from each location and brought them back to his restaurant. Chef Michael did a blind tasting with the kitchen staff and guess who won? Lefty’s Bar and Grill. Their food is no fluke and I highly recommend that you break out of your “little comfort box” and give them a try. Congrats Lefty’s!
Before we started judging the wings we went over a few issues, and this one being the most important: our goal was not to beat up any of the three restaurants. The poll received over 1,307 votes, so each of these restaurants deserved to be in the hunt for best wings in Coral Springs. We’re very proud to say we received no discounts or free items. We paid as any customer would and tipped the waitstaff accordingly, which is the way it should be when you are trying to promote businesses in your community. We started this style of judging in South Florida and we’re very proud of that.
What did our judges think?
Lefty’s Tavern and Grille served Moe’s sauce wings – a mix of medium garlic teriyaki and BBQ.
Michelle Smith: “I would have never picked these off the menu but they were fabulous. The flavors were amazing and I am definitely a fan and will order these…”
Carol Ann Shigo: “Delicious! Tangy and tender drumsticks. Great size…so juicy and crispy, done perfectly. Yummo.”
Denise H. “Wow! I was pleasantly surprised on how delicious the wings tasted. I never had wings at Lefty’s but I am definitely returning for more. Wings were cooked to perfection and the wing sauce was outrageous!”
Paul Kavanagh: “Great tasting sauce. Very original and different. Nice texture. Cooked well.”
Rod H: “Large meaty wings done very well. Great flavor, good crunch.”
Lorraine James: “I was pleasantly surprised. The taste and texture were delightful.”
Mike Brothers: “Well-balanced, enough acidity to cut the sweetness and enhance the heat.” This is my image of the perfect wing!”
Wings Plus served up mild tasting raspberry teriyaki grilled wings.
Rod H. “Great flavor and cooked to perfection.”
Denise H. “Compliments to the chef. Wings were cooked to perfection. Their signature wings are a definite hit.”
Mike Brothers: “Perfectly balanced. The sauce is well-seasoned and the right consistency for the wing. It allows for the guest to add more or less depending on their taste preferences. I love the char.”
Brus Room Sports Grille brought us their “Triple Threat” which is BBQ, sweet ‘n tangy & hot mixed together. Grilled & topped with minced garlic.
Rod H: “Triple threat flavor was a delicious combination.”
Diana A: “Love the garlic and the bleu cheese – very good taste.”
Denise H: “Wings were very tasty and cooked well. The seasonings on their signature wings was perfect.”
Michelle Smith: “I’ve heard stories about these wings and was a little scared but they were really good.”
I want to take the time to thank all of our judges Michelle Smith – Sales Project Coordinator for Darby Dental, Carol Ann Shigo – Senior Account Executive for Darby Dental, Denise H.,
Brooke B., Paul Kavanaugh – Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, Bob J., Rod H, Lorraine James, Hunter I., Jonathan Siegel, Mike Brothers – Sous Chef with The Cook & the Cork, Mark Weber, Glenn Siegel, Adam Baron – Law Offices of Adam Baron, Diana A., and Max B.
Of course a big thanks goes out to all three restaurants. We had a great time at each place. For this being a “third time” event everything went really smooth again. I want to personally thank the owners Chris Milmoe and his sister Alana Milmoe Richter of Lefty’s Tavern and Grille, Manager Jeff Lynch and his staff at Bru’s Room Sports Grille and Owner Brian Walsh and daughter Bridgette DeVita along with their staff at Wings Plus. They all were the most gracious hosts and we really appreciated the warm welcome we received. So a big thank you to all three restaurants. Thank you to the owners of the Cook and the Cork for allowing Sous Chef Michael Brothers to be a VIP judge.
As you can see there were no losers here. It was easy to see why these businesses received the top three votes and I’m proud that all three of them are in Coral Springs.
Next up will be Best Bagels in Coral Springs. Look for that in a few months folks and Stay Hungry!