Nestled just across the road after getting off the West Hills exit, Big Kahuna Wings beckons travelers for a high calorie meal of all the American food your heart desires.
The original location was founded just down the road in Farragut over 50 years ago, and while they serve a variety of options, they’re most known for their chicken wings: traditional, boneless, even the whole wing with all the joints in place.
Numerous appetizers such as fries smothered in pulled pork and cheese, entrees like burgers if you aren’t feeling up to a mess, and drinks like bourbon, tequila and craft beers decorate the menu as well.
Patrons might be surprised by the spacious dining area. Booth, table and bar seating is available, and TVs are mounted on every wall.
The staff is friendly and helpful, too, which is always a plus.
At Big Kahuna, wings are the ideal item you’ll want to shoot for. It’s their specialty, the prized item that should be the best thing they serve.
Whether you order traditional, boneless or Big Kahuna wings, they all are made with a base dry rub rather than tossed in a buffalo sauce. If you want a side of fries (by all means eat to your heart’s content), they’re seasoned with the same.
However, you will have the option to get a fire blend dry rub instead, but the fire is severely lacking. It isn’t spicy in the slightest. Fortunately, they do offer a wide array of dipping sauces at about 50 cents per ramekin, but the single that came with it would be enough for most.
Just as the fire blend seasoning lacks close kinship to heat—like any “flavor” of LaCroix — the spicy ranch tastes like a dipping sauce stored close to ground red pepper.
That’s not to say any of it had an off putting flavor or was distasteful in any way. In fact, the fire blend wings and the spicy ranch were of fine quality. The wings were cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, but they certainly weren’t spicy as advertised.
They do offer a few dipping sauces that are specifically hot, but don’t hold your breath. Anyone accustomed to spicy food will find little to be impressed with.
Meanwhile, the fries were mediocre at best. They weren’t bad, but were too crispy throughout rather than having a soft potato interior. Heterogeneity in flavor is non-existent here, because they taste the same as the chicken.
Once you’ve finished with your wings and fries, you can expect to have messy hands. After all wings are one of the messiest of American cuisines, sitting comfortably next to baby back ribs.
Yet while some restaurants are nice enough to give you moist towelettes to clean your fingers off with, Big Kahuna Wings offers only a few paper towels.
That’s not necessarily a terrible thing, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a moist towelette?
One aspect of the dining experience that can be applauded is the addition of a bone bucket. Some restaurants would throw you to the dogs and just have you litter your plate with them.
Taking into account the atmosphere, style of dining and price, there isn’t anything outlandish, shocking, or off the wall about Big Kahuna Wings. The price is comparable to any casual sit-down venue and the quality of the food just about matches it.
Big Kahuna Wings might not the best of the best, but it is a fairly decent local eatery that Knoxville residents should at least visit once.