Walter Mencken 4 p.m., May 3
Wings for North Park
Imperial Beach-based wing chain sells tasty hot wings and not much else
The North Park outlet of New York Buffalo Wings is (I believe) the fourth store for the local mini-chain, heretofore restricted to the south bay and east county. They’ve occupied the old Zia’s building, selling primarily wings and ribs. Sure, they’ll put some boneless wings on a salad, or cram them into a sandwich, but I admire the brazen limitations of the menu. The sign says “wings and ribs” and, dammit, that’s what you get!
I passed on ribs, but an order of fifteen wings and a half-dozen breadsticks set me back less than $20 with a couple of drinks. That amount of food turned out to be a sizeable snack for a party of three and the wings themselves were on the better side of good! The skin was crispy and crunchy under the bright orange sauce. The drumettes and flats had been fried hard enough that even the cartilage and crispy bits at the end of the bone had become scrumptious. The sauce was probably Frank’s based and I actually approve of the hugely tangy kick that sauce has. It reminds me of North Carolina BBQ, which is the odd-bird of barbecue for sure, but the eye-watering burn of vinegar and chili peppers can be awesome to behold. Tempered with butter, it just about beats all in a buffalo wing.
Somebody at NY Wings loves sports. All of them. In all the cities. The hodgepodge decor pays homage to sports teams of every stick and ball persuasion from across the nation. Call me crazy, but I would almost prefer a collection of Buffalo, NY tchotchkes or somesuch, as the general purpose sports theme seems weird, like, are they trying to please all the fans?
That’s a minor point of contention, however, and the wings were really very good. I didn’t get a chance to try any ribs, but I saw a few racks go out and they looked enormous. Personally, I will go with the hot wings every time.
2940 El Cajon Boulevard
Open daily 10:30-10:00
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