Ask ten people to name their favorite spot for chicken wings in Central Mass and you will get ten different answers. And ask ten people how they want them prepared and you will get ten different answers, again. The traditional BBQ, Teriyaki, Buffalo and Honey Mustard flavors are still popular, but different flavor variations are being created everyday as inventive Chefs look for new options to entice their customers.
Some interesting facts about the common chicken wing…According to Smithsonian magazine, the “Buffalo Chicken Wing” was invented in…you guessed it, Buffalo, NY by Teressa Bellissimo, proprietor of the Anchor Bar in 1964. Fortune magazine reported that 1.3 billion chicken wings were to be consumed for Super Bowl LI. And while most guys love eating wings, having a beer and watching a game, consider this… a young lady by the name of Miki Sudo who weighs only 115lbs and stands a mere 5’1” ate 192 wings in 10 minutes at a competitive eating contest in 2013!
Appetizer, dinner, lunch, late night snack or early morning pick me up, chicken wings are one of the most versatile food ever. Some people even like their chicken wings boneless—but that is an entirely different subject for a completely different day!
For this article, we will skip the national chains (sorry, Bdubs), as well as the restaurants serving frozen wing dings and focus on some unique flavors and the Chefs doing something a little different with the chicken wing right here in Central Mass!
You’d expect a great BBQ place to have a great chicken wing, and the Honey-Habanero Smoked Wings at Smokestack Urban Barbecue does not disappoint. The sweetness of the honey combined with the heat of the habanero on a smoked wing is definitely worth the try before you dig into the main menu.
Want something with a little zing but not overpowering heat? Try the OBT Stinger (garlic, honey and red pepper) at Oak Barrel Tavern. This plumper of a wing has a unique flavor combination and is a great start to a meal or have a bunch with a few Wachusett Country Ales while you sit at their oversized bar with friends.
OK daredevil, here is a wing if you really like the heat!! The Ghost Pepper Buffalo Wing at Wicked Wing Company pushes heat to new limits. Sure there is some traditional Buffalo flavoring, but this one is all about the heat! Fire in the hole!
Looking to go a little further outside the box than traditional wings? The Dragon Wings at The Fix Burger Bar combine sweet red curry, coconut sauce and cilantro lime gremolata for a taste that will leave you wanting another order. BTW, delicious with a Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union IPA, trust us! For an added bonus, for the 2016 NFL season you can enjoy all you can eat wings (includes the salad bar) during Monday and Thursday Night Football.
Worcester’s North County chimes in with the R&T Asian BBQ Chicken Wing from Rye & Thyme in Leominster. This wing is smothered in a garlic, BBQ Sriracha sauce with wasabi pea crunch texturing that is sure to get your meal off to a great start!
The Horseshoe Pub & Restaurant in Hudson (or the ‘Shoe as it is known locally) has a pub Chicken Wing appetizer that doesn’t stand out because of the selection of sauces, but instead because of the way it is cooked. First roasted, then fried these plump, juicy wings are fantastic, but they get even better when you consider there are over 80 draft beers choices to enjoy with them. Our favorite, the Double Baked with a Wormtown Be Hoppy of course!