Sweet Water Tavern – Detroit MI

Sweet Water Tavern – Detroit MI

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Could Sweet Water Tavern be the best wings in Detroit? How about the bestwings we’ve ever had?

Damn right. These are hands down the best wings we’ve EVAR had…anywhere…period. Seriously. Yes, that is a bold statement to open up with, but it is honestly true. We’ve had a lot of fantastic wings at a lot of fantastic places, but these wings have a unique flavor, and are cooked to perfection.

Last year, Nick and I received a tip from the bartender at The Post Bar in downtown Detroit about Sweet Water. He told us he had a buddy visiting from Milwaukee once and after he declared Sweet Water’s wings to be the best wings he ever had. Nick and I were excited, but skeptical. Best wings ever? Suuuure. Later that day we stopped at Sweet Water to try the wings  and were blown away. At that time I wasn’t really analyzing wings the way I do now. I was weeks away from this site even coming to my mind. So after we returned to Milwaukee and the months went by I kept wondering, were they really as good as I remember.

With this years trip to Detroit we decided to invite a few other members of the gang. They all wanted to come for various reasons (cars, urban exploring, wings, young tenderoni’s(that’s what I like to call girls because I’m old school like that)), but one of the main reasons I wanted them to join us was so that we could get the opinions of these wings from of the rest of the group.

The second day of our trip we hit the Detroit Auto Show early. After making our way through the glitz and glamor of the show we worked up a healthy appetite and decided it was time for Sweet Water. Sweet Water is in an old Detroit brick building (it seems like pretty much everything but the GM Ren. Center is an old brick building in Detroit). You enter from the corner of the building and the tavern is long and narrow.  The interior is covered in old dark wood and has a perfect “Bar/Tavern” feel to it. This is the type of place you would go just to grab a beer after work. It was fairly busy when we got there, but we were able to find six seats next to each other and were soon after greeted by our very friendly waitress, Toy, who took our drink orders as we looked over the menu. Wait… then I remembered, there’s only one flavor. Their menu says their wings come in fresh daily, are marinated for 24 hours and then cooked to perfection. Or something along those lines. It doesn’t tell you what the actual flavor is, just that they are “hot wings”.  Since our decision was easy we placed an order for 60 wings. The wait was average, but my anticipation made it feel like a lifetime. Our waitress brought our glorious plates of wings out to us and we were all instantly salivating.

Once you see these wings, smell them, and take that first bite you realize how special, and unique they really are. Every wing place has their buffalo, their asian, their bbq, etc etc, but no wing, anywhere we’ve been is like Sweet Water’s wings. You can’t put your finger on the smell other then they are truly intoxicating. Your first whiff of them will trigger salivary glands. They are dark in color, like they’ve been soaking in molasses and hot sauce. Just by looking at them you can see that they are cooked perfectly. While they are still a wet wing, they aren’t super saucy like a wing you’d get at BW3’s. The marinade has soaked all the way into the meat of the wing so every bite has plenty of flavor. The size is perfect, not big, and not small. When you take that first bite you end up more confused then when you first laid eyes on them. You might expect a different flavor, something maybe sweet or barbecuey (I think I just made that word up),but right off the bat you taste the hot sauce, the tang from a healthy amount of vinegar, and another flavor that is hard to pinpoint. All through the first few wings, the six of us took turns saying how incredible these wings were. “These are the best wings I’ve ever had.”, Best wings ever.”, “These are unbelievable.“, “Oh my God.”, and “What is that flavor?“. We all sat in utter confusion over how to describe the flavor when it finally dawned on Nick…SOY SAUCE. Once he said it out loud it hit all of us, that has to be it. My guess is the marinade is some combination of a traditional buffalo sauce, vinegar, and soy sauce. It sounds simple, but the flavor is extremely complex and extremely delicious. An order will get you 10 wing masterpieces and you will plow through them like you never have before. I honestly can’t say enough about how great these wings are.

Toy came and checked on us here and there and we told her outright that these were the best wings we’ve ever had. As we finished our wings and drinks, we gave Toy some stickers and were on our way.

So Sweet Waters was as good as I remembered and I had 4  more people there to confirm. Sweet Water makes the best wings in Detroit, and so far the best wings we’ve ever had anywhere. That is indeed a bold statement, but completely true. If you are swinging through Detroit or staying a while I highly suggest stopping in for an order of the most unique and best wings you’ve ever had.

Sweet Water’s Wings get an obvious 5 out of 5 wings!