This past Wednesday I attended Wing Fest 2013, an event that benefited a local chapter of the Humane Society. Anyone that knows me can tell you two things I’m very passionate about are the welfare of animals and food. Three local restaurants were unable to attend, but that still left a really great sampling of wings to choose from. Creativity was definitely in the forefront when it came to the flavors of wings to choose from. My personal favorite were the offerings from Knuckleheads. Before I continue, I must confess that prior to attending Wing Fest I was definitely not a fan of wings. They never seemed to appeal to me because they were often soggy, flavorless, tiny and had more bone than meat.
The wings that Knuckleheads prepared were quite the opposite. I had one wing (yes, just one wing) from them and I was hooked. In all candor I couldn’t believe it. I was officially a wing lover. Their wings were crispy, well dressed, full of flavor, and meaty. And they were the only restaurant that had the wings prepared and then dressed them. All the others had their sauces baked in. This definitely made a difference in the overall wing experience. At first, I couldn’t understand why Knuckleheads had the longest (and most painfully slow) line. After all, it was dinner time and I was hungry! So, when I finally got to the front of the line people were signing what I learned was a waiver for one flavor in particular. Let’s just say it had “lethal” in the name, couldn’t be served on a paper plate, and you were strongly advised to wear gloves when eating them. Ummmm, yeah. That one wasn’t for me. But I did get to a sample all the others and they were very tasty. The Standard Buffalo wing was anything but standard, the Bourbon Buffalo had the great essence of bourbon without the pungency that alcohol can sometimes give to food, and the most unexpected one for me was the PBJ (peanut butter and jelly). I definitely tasted the peanut butter and jelly, but it had an earthy sweetness unlike anything that I’ve ever had before. It was unique, but in a very good way.
All in all it was a great night with awesome friends and we enjoyed the offerings of the event. The wings served by Ryder’s On Main were very good as well (and won awards that night). Unfortunately, K.T. Baxter’s ran out of wings so I really didn’t get a chance to get a good sampling.
If their websites are a good example of the food and ambiance, I think that all three restaurants would be great dining experiences. My favorite was still the wings from Knuckleheads. It was a great first impression for me and I can’t wait to try out their restaurant in person. So if you are ever in the Wallingford / Meriden CT area, please be sure to keep it local and give these establishments your business.