Sunday, 15 October 2017

Uproxx ranks Best Wing Chains in USA

One of my online distractions is the info site UPROXX. I read it for movie and tv, but it also has news news, and food stuff. Checking it out today, I see they decided to rank chicken wing chains across the US of A.

This is their ranking briefly - with some of my commentary, but you can read the whole article down below, or go to the link HERE.

10.  Dominos
9.    Cheesecake Factory
8.    Pizza Hut
7.    P.F Chang's
6.    Buffalo Wild Wings
5.    Wing Zone
4.    Anchor Bar
3.    Hooters
2.    Wingstop
1.    Bon Chon

I have never had the privilege of having wings at the Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's, Wing Zone, Wingstop or Bon Chon. Shocking I know, but most of these places do not have locations in Canada, and I haven't had the opportunity to go to them when I have been in the US.

That leaves Dominos, Pizza Hut, BWW, Anchor Bar, and Hooters.

I have never been crazy about Dominos chicken wings in Canada. They are usually meaty but they are a soggy mess, baked and not crispy at all. The sauce is also weirdly sweet. The author of the article seems to suggest that theirs are fried . . . so they would probably be on the bottom part of my list too.

Pizza Hut revamped their wings several years ago, creating Wing Street, where they started taking wings seriously. I think they did a great job of improving take-out wings. In-fact, I did a wing-by-wing comparison to Dominos a few years ago and found their wings were crispy, sauced well and tasty.

This is a chain that I just don`t get. I`ve been to it 3 times in the US and every time have been served disappointing wings. Large, yes, but mushy soft skinned wings with rubbery/tough chicken. This was at different locations. I would put these low on my list.

This is the Mecca of chicken wings. I've been to the original on pilgrimage, but I've also been to the franchise chains in Hamilton On and last January in Toronto near the airport. These are solid Buffalo wings, obviously.

I've had great wings at Hooters and terrible terrible wings at Hooters. Actually I've never formally reviewed them on the blog (I did a few years ago go and take photos, but it was part of my phase where the reviews never made it to print). I have only been to the Hooters in downtown Toronto and generally it was for their AYCE wings. The worst wings I had there we were served BAD chicken, like it smelled foul and off and was grey mushy inside. Most times the wings came crispy/crunchy with a tasty sauce. But it's hard to get past that bad experience.

What about you - have you been to these places? What do you think of UPROXX's ranking?


Power Ranking The Best Chicken Wing Chains In The Country

Chicken wings are kinda the best. They’re small delivery systems of savory, sweet, and spicy flavor. Throw some in a deep frier and then toss them in a great sauce … Brilliance. But deep frying food at home is a pain in the ass. Wings are something we tend to go out for. Hence almost every fast casual has an assortment on their menus and even pizza delivery has gotten in the game.
So where can we get the absolute best wings in America? To complete this masterful task we have to take a few things into consideration. First, let’s set aside the classic fried chicken joints — we can’t have Popeye’s winning every chicken-related competition. Let’s just focus on the fast food and fast casual wing-heavy places that are mostly nationwide, allowing us all a chance to check these picks out.
Sure, places like Hattie B’s in Nashville would probably win hands down, but they only have Nashville locations and one in Alabama. So Nashville hot chicken has to sit this one out. Though, if we ever rank the straight up best chicken in the country, regardless of size, be assured, they’ll be in the running.
Okay, let’s cut to the chase and rank some wings.

10. Domino’s

When it comes to wings Domino’s > Papa John’s. Where Papa John’s wings get a bit sloppy, Domino’s tend to be crisply fried and simply dressed in hot sauce. There’s not a whole lot going on otherwise. These are the sorta wings you order as an afterthought like, “Sure, fill up a pizza box of wings for me too, YOLO.”

9. Cheesecake Factory

If we’re talking fast casual, The Cheesecake Factory is the mountaintop. Sorry TGI Fridays and Applebees. So long Ruby Tuesday. The Factory (that’s what the restaurant’s acolytes call it, right?) buffalo wings are perfectly suitable as an appetizer. They’re crispy and saucy like any good buffalo wing. And that’s about it. They aren’t mind-blowing or transcendent. They’re just good — if you can find them on The Factory’s (we’re sticking with this one) insanely deep menu.

8. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is one of those pizza chains where the wings aren’t an afterthought. The main reason being that they’re more creative with the saucing options. Their seven flavors are good wing options in general. Spicy Garlic, Hawaiian Teriyaki, and Cajun Style are among the best ways to get down on some Pizza Hut wings.

7. P.F. Chang’s

Back in the fast casual world, P.F. Chang’s dominates the wings selection. Dragon Wings are tasty AF. These are some of the better-dressed wings on this list with a great spice matrix of cayenne, soy sauce, orange, ginger, garlic, sesame, and sweet brown sugar. Add in a pretty decent bar to the mix and you’ve got a great place to eat some delicious wings during happy hour.

6. Buffalo Wild Wings

If you’re going out for wings, BWW seems like the second option you’d settle for when you find your favorite wing joint is closed. Don’t get us wrong, the wings are perfectly fine here — it’s what they do best after all. The Thai Curry wings are legit tasty. But there’s a bro-culture you have to deal with at the bars — which, meh. And the wings are just … pretty okay.

5. Wing Zone

This is where wings start getting more serious. Wing Zone’s locations mostly fall east of the Rockies where they fry up some serious wings that’ll satisfy your appetite for small pieces of deep fried chicken. Their Lemon Zinger and Garlic Parm flavors shine brightest alongside a pile of potato wedges. Their Nuclear Habanero Buffalo Wings pack enough kick to put a full grown buffalo down in the dirt.
You’ll need a lot of napkins for all that sweat that’ll be rolling off your brow, bro.

4. Anchor Bar

This is where it all started. Buffalo Wings were invented at this Buffalo, NY bar back in 1964. The Buffalo Wings from Anchor Bar started it all so they get some respect on this list, even though you can only get them in New York, Virginia, Texas, and California as of now. The wings are deep fried with a great sauce that has echoed through the ages. If you’re near an Anchor Bar, it’s absolutely worth dipping in for an order of the world’s most famous chicken wings.

3. Hooters

Hooters are everywhere. And, you know what, their wings are actually good. They hit the mark with perfectly crispy wings, dressed in a tasty sauce that doesn’t make the wings lose their crunch. Their Signature wings and Daytona Beach wings stand out as great additions to the wing pantheon. Plus, they serve bacon-wrapped wings for maximum #YOLO. Bacon plus wings equal very, very good.

2. Wingstop

Wingstop is everywhere as well. Their wings are near perfection. The crispily fried aspects of Wingstop’s wings is tasty on its own but it’s their sauces where things really start to shine. Habanero Mango is sweet and spicy in all the right ways. Cajun, Louisiana Rub, Hickory Smoked BBQ, and Teriyaki all hit the mark with deeply rooted flavors that wonderfully accent the crispy wing underneath. These are great wings.

1. Bonchon

Bonchon started out as a hometown fried chicken wing joint in Busan, South Korea. The wings were so delicious, Bonchon quickly spread across American, Asia, and the world. The wings are perfectly fried to crisp perfection and then dressed simply with heavy doses of umami and spice, alongside whispers of sweetness tying the whole wing together. Bonchon is the type of place that you may have never thought of going to. But once you eat there, it’ll be the only place you’ll ever want to go back to for all your wing needs.


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