Wingz It Iz
Four years ago, I somehow found the most amazing wing place in the world. For my bachelor party, we picked up 100 wings from Wings Around the World in Chicago’s Grand Crossing Neighborhood. Those things were amazing.
Since that afternoon in September, my dad, brother, and my best friend from high school have sort of started a tradition of getting together once a year for a White Sox game preceded by tailgating and wings.
That trip was this past weekend this year and a few weeks ago, I happened to notice that Wings Around the World had closed. I Googled in vain trying to find out if they just closed or moved somewhere else.
The closing was a huge disappointment, but we were determined to continue on the tradition and I started looking for new wing places on the south side of Chicago.
I found all sorts of wing places but I couldn’t find any that offered a bulk order. We usually order a whole pan full and then just go to town in the parking lot of U.S. Cellular Field.
After several days of searching, I finally stumbled upon a place not too far out of our way.
Our replacement for Wings Around the World was Wingz It Iz in Calumet Park. The small, carry-out only restaurant is on 127th Street about half a mile east of I-57.
I called an order in right as they opened on Friday morning not knowing how long it would take them to put together a large order.
My order was for 75 wings. They “only” have ten flavors to choose from. That’s a lot for most places, but we were used to many more. I still found three flavors (the max for a 75 wing order) that sounded delicious and something we could all agree on.
I split the order evenly. 25 of their “Famous Garlic”, 25 of Mild BBQ Sauce, and 25 of Cajun Spicy. The cost for 75 wings was just a little over $50.
My dad, brother and buddy all come up from the south together and they usually pick me up at the 167th Street exit off of I-57. My brother was getting off work a little later than he wanted, so I suggested that I go pick up the wings and meet them at 12th Street instead.
I was just going to have J drop me off, but she wanted to take a nap, so her Step-Dad took me instead. We pulled in to the tiny parking at about twenty after four and I ran to grab the food.
The shop has no dine in for tables, but they do have a pretty large waiting room separated from the kitchen by bullet proof glass. There’s an order window on side of the space and a pick up window that’s a bullet proof turntable so there’s really no way to have any interaction with the staff.
I walked up to the window and told them I had a pick up order. The man working asked if it was the 75 wings and I said yes. He told me they were just finishing them up so I handed over my credit card to pay the bill. A few minutes later, a door opened from the kitchen and I was handed a large, heavy foil wrapped tray that smelled absolutely delicious.
My father-in-law and I headed back to a parking lot near I-57 to wait for my ride which showed up about fifteen minutes later.
Once we got in the parking lot and set up our little tailgating area, I ripped open the foil on the pan and was shocked. I had ordered 75 wings thinking I would get 75 wing pieces. Nope. I got 75 WHOLE wings.
The first one we all gravitated towards was the Cajun Spicy wings. My brother isn’t really used to dry rubbed wings which is what the spicy and garlic ones were. The juicy, crispy wings were dusted with a Cajun spice that takes you by surprise. The flavor of the spice is delicious upon first taste and then it gets hot. We were all pretty surprised by how hot the spice was, but it was such a delicious spicy. As much as I wanted to try the others, I kept going back to the Cajun Spicy.
Once I did finally go for one of the others, the Garlic was next on my list. I love Garlic Parmesan wings, but these have no cheese. They have a Garlic Salt seasoning on them which I also found delicious. After the Cajun Spicy, these were the next ones to disappear.
The third and final wing in the pan was the Mild BBQ Sauce. These were actually sauced wings and they were swimming in a thick, sweet BBQ sauce. We all found them tasty, but very messy. We sort of held off on eating these not because they weren’t very good, but because they were very messy. Of all three wings, these were the ones we home with the most of to enjoy the next morning when we had more paper towels and less of a chance to drop BBQ sauce all over our shirts.
Wingz It Iz turned out to be a pretty good replacement to Wings Around the World, but it wasn’t quite as good as the latter. We tore through these wings like someone might steal them from us and all four of us went in to the stadium not needing to buy anything more than more overpriced beer. I’m not sure if we’ll keep looking for next year or go back to this place. They do make a good wing, but the bar was set so high with our previous tradition.