Posted January 12, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Hot Sauce News

Really: Really Hot Wings

Thursday, December 16, 2004
News Special Writer
Some like it hot, and those who do are going to love Wing Stop, the latest addition to the chicken-wing craze, which recently opened in Pittsfield Township’s Glencoe Crossing strip mall.

If you think one wing joint is the same as the next, you owe it to yourself to try Wing Stop, which distinguishes itself not only with its varied – not to mention very, very hot – selection of wings, but with fast, friendly service and an adventuresome choice of side dishes to help put out the fire started by the wings.

To be fair, wings at Wing Stop don’t have to come as hot as some of the ones we ordered. In fact, one of the restaurant’s attributes is the number of choices it offers to wing lovers of all persuasions. We tried them all and didn’t find any that we didn’t like (although we weren’t able to get through the hottest of the hot, but we’ll get to that later).

One of the many nice things about Wing Stop is its diversity of styles. Even if you’re not a fan of the traditional Buffalo wing, you’re likely to find a variety of wing here to suit your taste buds.

We particularly enjoyed the lemon pepper variety, featuring crispy wings and drumsticks coated in a savory coating that, while accentuating the zest lemon and the pepper flavors, never overwhelms the succulent chicken underneath. Likewise, we recommend the garlic parmesan wings, which live up to their billing on the menu as worth ruining your breath for. Teriyaki wings come smothered in a thick teriyaki sauce that, while not particularly to our liking, is nevertheless as savory and flavorful as one would expect.

The real attraction at Wing Stop is in the traditional-style Buffalo wings, which come in “mild,” “hot” and “atomic” varieties, which can best be broken down as follows:

Mild: Pretty much as advertised, suitable for kids and those who like a hint of hotness without running the risk of scorching the tonsils.

Hot: Also as advertised; hot and spicy with a mild and pleasing after burn.

Atomic: Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill, lots-of-Tabasco wings; it’s habanero peppers that put the radiation in these wings, creating a burn that borders on painful, yet is unnervingly pleasing at the same time. If you like it really hot, you’re going to love these.

We do like our wings hot, but we found that the “hot” variety and their cousin, the Cajun wings, which feature the hot sauce and a sprinking of Louisiana seasoning that adds just a little extra heat, were as far as we could go without risking permanent damage to our mouths.

Wings are available in orders ranging from 10 pieces to 100 and, depending on the size of the order, can be divided among up to four flavors. We recommend trying some of Wing Stop’s non-traditional flavors, even for dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists.

While wings are the highlight – and primary reason – for any visit to Wing Stop, its side dishes shouldn’t be overlooked. We were taken with the seasoned fries, which are hand-cut from actual potatoes, deep-fried to a crisp perfection and sprinkled with the same seasoning that makes the Cajun wings so delightful.

Bourbon baked beans lived up to their title, with a faint whiskey flavor up front and a smoky finish; they were a perfect complement to the spicy bite of the accompanying wings.

Only the potato salad, while seemingly homemade with large chunks of pearl potatoes, disappointed due to its lack of any real character or discernable seasoning.

While primarily a takeaway shop, Wing Stop provides a small but cozy dining area featuring an interesting, aviation-themed decor and soft, moody lighting. It’s clean and pleasant and recommended over the takeout option.

Likewise, service is friendly and informative. Our server tried to warn us about those atomic wings and had some good-natured fun at our expense when our confidence was met with reality.

But we mean that in a good way, for even on our first visit, we were made to feel like old friends. Besides, it will make our revenge that much sweeter when we finally do conquer those wings.

© 2004 Ann Arbor News.

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog