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Wingin’ It: Wild Style Wings

Ankur Chawla | Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Born from the remnants of a former Buffalo Wild Wings in downtown South Bend, Wild Style Wings is one of the newer establishments in the area. While the logo is fairly similar to its predecessor, the food itself was miles ahead of the chain that claims it can send football games to overtime in its commercials. Both in terms of sauces and the quality of chicken, Wild Style Wings is my favorite wing place near campus. Few people can one say they’ve had truly phenomenal wings, but after going to Wild Style Wings, I can say that I have.

Again, as a former Buffalo Wild Wings, Wild Style has a large bar area, plenty of big-screen TVs and a general feeling of being a good place to watch a game. The waiter was incredibly friendly, not in a “31 pieces of flair” like the guy from “Office Space” way, but a sincere and giving-his-actual-opinion-about-the-different-sauces way. He also didn’t charge extra for ranch or bleu cheese with our order.

I cannot rave enough about the quality of their boneless wings. While that is not necessarily the first thing to come to mind when eating at a Buffalo Wild Wings or Wings Etc., after having Wild Style’s, it’s clear that I had never really had a good boneless wing. The meat was tender and light with just the right amount of breading, unlike competitors whose boneless wings have the texture of a tire wrapped in cement. My only qualm with them was how hot and fresh they were when they came to the table. I am convinced they must have actually butchered a chicken in the kitchen.

Each one of the sauces we tried was better than the last. Starting at the top of their heat scale, their “Psycho” sauce, though not necessarily the hottest sauce I’ve had, had deep and rich flavors of paprika and habanero. Their famous “Wild” sauce started with a heavy dose of black pepper that balanced the buffalo taste perfectly. The “Garlic” was a bit reminiscent of the garlic cups that come with Papa John’s pizzas, and as with those cups I wanted to dip everything ever in that sauce. The surprise favorite, however, was their “Spicy Plum” which as the name suggests was both spicy and fruity in addition to unexpectedly delicious. All of the sauces, despite their strong flavor, remained light in texture and not overpowering enough to detract from the full effect of the wing.

With 45-cent boneless wings on Monday, 39-cent bone-in or boneless wings on Thursdays and daily drink specials, Wild Style Wings should be added to your rotation of restaurants and I will absolutely head back there in the very near future.