Best Wings - 2006
Like drag racers whose extreme speed sustains yet may destroy them, chicken wings live and die by grease. What are wings without it? Scalding orange lipids turn ordinary chicken into one of the great blessings our world has to offer. Yet who among us has not winced upon being served a plate of wings whose drippings could be mistaken for those in his oil pan? The wing should spark, the wing should burn, the wing should sting. The wing, however, should not pop like a boil between your teeth. The wings at Tarpon Bend, on their best days, hit this chord precisely. While they're not spicy enough to truly warrant the label "hot" (which rightly ought to mean "unpleasant"), they are crisp without oozing grease, fleshy without getting bland. They confer all the joy of spicy, buttery fowl fat without choking you on it. Bonus points for unusually flavorful celery sticks on the side.