By Steven Doyle
Wings definitely are the perennial fiery bar snack that can be shared by the basket or devoured solo for a quick meal taken with a very cold beer or a soothing pinot noir. Dallas has its share of very good examples, and much more that are flat on flavor. The latter are of the frozen and pre-sauced variety; an abomination unto mankind. However, done well the wing can be spirited, imaginative, and definitely make you yearn for more.
A perfect wing has a delicate balance of tender white meat that oozes its own juices with a fine balance of sauce and very little decor. A bit of crudité and side of house-made blue cheese dressing is perfect. Some have elevated this combination, others take on an interesting ethnic twist. Let’s explore the better examples in the Dallas area.
We always have enjoyed Chaat Cafe for its interesting take on Indian fare, especially the chaat which are snacks usually sold on the beach or on the roadside in India. Most are vegetarian. We particularly are digging the pani puri which are little crisped cups of broth and veggies. One interesting item Chaat does very well is wings. A bit spicy, the tandoori wings are a stand out among flappy competitors across town. Sold with a very un-traditional cup of ranch dressing.
Ten Bells Tavern
The wings at Ten Bells in Oak Cliff are among the very best the city has to offer. These are thoughtful, crispy and extreme on flavor. The sauce is more traditional with a Franks Hot Sauce base, and a second saucing of blue cheese drizzle and cheesy crumbles. Most definitely worth the trek to Bishop Arts alone for this magnanimous dish.
The wings here start fresh then are fried sans battering then given a choice of homey sauces. Our selection always is the traditional spicy. We order ours extra crispy with a light sauce for the perfect basket of wings that are large and meaty and pair perfectly with a draught of Community Mosaic, a delicious IPA.
The name makes us cringe a bit, but it definitely stands out as do the wings. The original location is in downtown Dallas, with more locations opening very soon. There are at least 20 flavors to choose from, all concocted in-house. There is no separation of drum and flap here, you get the full wing. The flavors range from the normal Buffalo-style to more wacky concoctions such as peanut butter and jelly (it’s very good). For the more adventuresome folks, try the ghost pepper chile. While at WingBucket, sample the chicken and waffle sandwich. The people here even deliver.
We love this West Village restaurant and do not dine here often enough. Each visit you will uncover a new gem that will have you singing its praises for weeks. Like the chicken wings that are Thai chile glazed with a sprinkling of sesame seeds for a one-two punch of flavor. Happy hour is from 4-7 p.m. weekdays and all day Sunday where these babies are a mere $5 an order.
An unlikely source for wings, but they are simply delicious. The Chicken Wings Diavolo are made with spicy Calabrian chili and crumbles of Gorgonzola. The wings also can be found on the happy hour menu for a bargain price.
Bowl and Barrel
Somewhere there are a ton of quail scurrying about without the use of their legs, and we are all the better for it. The spicy quail legs are very meaty and spicy specimens found at Bowl and Barrel.
JR’s Steak and Grill
Located in Colleyville, (still in the Dallas area, right?) JR’s serves up a smoky grilled wing that can be made at various spice levels. The wings are served with a house-made ranch dressing that is pretty hard to beat. JR’s also makes a fantastic burger.
These are freaking amazing and life-changing wings. These wings are deboned (how?) then stuffed with a chicken and rice mélange then fried. Two to an order, and they will appear pricey at around $9, but two is all you need and they are filling. You may have tried these at the 2015 Texas State Fair. There are two locations, one on Bryan Street and the other on Lemmon.
Greenville Avenue Pizza Company
Pizza? Yes. Wings? Most definitely, and delivered until the wee hours for a very early morning fix. The wings are super crispy, super naked, and deliciously sauced. Definitely one of our favorite traditional wings in Dallas.