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Wings Etc. Restaurant & Pub – Portage

April 16, 2010

  • 7337 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 324-9382
  • Website
  • Menu

I have felt like crap all week.  J thinks it allergies.  I have no idea, but I’ve been coughing a lot.  I slept most of the day on Monday, felt better Tuesday and Wednesday then kind of relapsed a little today.  It’s not as bad as it was a couple of days ago, but it was enough to make me feel really run down.

J asked two or three times about dinner and I kept saying, “I don’t know.”  She had to run an errand and as she was walking out mentioned just going out.  I wasn’t about to argue.

At first, she picked one of the major casual dining chains.  I was totally fine with that because she picked the one I really liked, but after thinking about it, she decided she didn’t want to eat something that heavy and she was really in the mood for a margarita.  I wasn’t in the mood for Mexican, so on a whim, I just went looking at websites.

One of the first places I came to was Wings Etc.  They had a good food special for me and a drink special for her.  Wings Etc. is the winner tonight.

There are two locations in the Kalamazoo area.  One is out in Oshtemo Township across from the Walmart.  The one we chose is in Portage on South Westnedge and Garden Lane.  I always thought it was kind of an odd location for a chain.  It’s just far enough past the main shopping district that if you don’t know it’s there, you may not find it. 

I’ve only had one other experience with the wing chain.  Just before we moved from Illinois they opened a shop in Bloomington, IL.  The place had only been open a few days when I stopped in.  The impression I got from that visit is that they were quick and cheap, but I wasn’t a fan of the way they sauce their wings.  I’ve avoided the place since then, but it was a little unfair to do that.  I remember the food being good, I just didn’t like the presentation.

We walked into the pub just before dinner time.  The entire restaurant is smoke free and seating was pretty open.  We took a seat at a pub table near the bar.  There were a couple other tables around us, but not many yet.  The way the tables were set up allowed for a little privacy.  There was kind of a zig zag wall running through the middle of the space and there are tables sort of pushed into the creases.  It gives you a little bit of a wall of privacy sort of like you’re in a booth.

The store is set up like a pretty typical sports bar.  There are TV’s all over the place.  Almost the entire outer wall in lined with HD flat panels.  All the tables had the Wings Etc logo in the middle and what may have been the coolest feature, the light fixtures were upside down beer buckets with green bulbs.

A manager brought us a couple of menus while we looked over the specials which were already on the table.  Our very perky waitress came over to get drink orders.  J went with a frozen strawberry margarita which were the special today for $3.  I got a Pepsi.  Very happy they actually had Pepsi.  I really needed one. J also got a glass of water with a lemon wedge.

When J’s drink was brought the table, we were ready to order.  She went first and got the Buffalo Chicken Wrap.  It’s a pretty typical wrap with crispy chicken, lettuce, tomato, Buffalo wing sauce, and ranch in a flour tortilla.  I don’t think she was very happy with it.  The wrap was about 90% lettuce.  She opened it up just to make sure there was even chicken inside it because she had a really hard time tasting.  The wrap came with choice of fries.  She went with the curly fries which come slightly seasoned.  No idea what she thought of them.  I’m pretty sure she liked them because she didn’t say anything.  She was a big fan of her margarita though.  She called it “perfect.”  It was a perfect balance of liquor and strawberry.  The drink was definitely the winner of her meal.

I went with the special which was $.45 boneless wings.  I got ten of them with the Hot Buffalo sauce.  I added on a half order of straight fries to round out the meal.  I’m not usually a boneless wing fan.  I really think all the flavor of chicken wings is in the bone, but since the boneless were the special, that’s what I got.  These were actually pretty good boneless wings.  There were big chunks of meat instead of small chunks of meat and a lot of breading.  The hot sauce was pretty hot, but not overpowering.  I ate ten and only felt it a little bit, but just like I remember from last time, the way the chicken was sauced really surprises me.  The individual pieces aren’t covered, cooked, or tossed in the sauce.  It looks to me like they put the cooked chicken in the plastic serving basket then ladle the sauce on over top.  What happens is only have the chicken gets sauce on it.  On one hand, probably a good thing.  Cuts a few calories, I guess, but I’ve never seen anyone else do chicken wings this way.  The chicken itself was pretty good and so was the sauce, so there’s no complaints from me there.

Our bill was just under $20.  No way I could have gotten wings and fries at the other place and still get our bill under twenty bucks.

I left this trip to Wings Etc. just like I left the last one.  Satisfied and happy it didn’t cost me a fortune, but still dumbfounded about how the wings are sauced.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap w/Curly Fries

Boneless Wings w/Hot Buffalo Sauce

Wings Etc. on Urbanspoon

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Garry permalink
    April 16, 2010 12:08 am

    We visited the Wings etc in Niles, at least once a month, I really like it. I also enjoy their sandwiches also! Your bill would of been a little higher if it wasn’t a special on wings, but still not a bads price.

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      April 16, 2010 12:26 am

      I pretty much only eat wings when they’re the special…I hate paying that much for a meal and not getting fries….had they not been on special, I probably would have gotten a burger instead…

  2. April 16, 2010 7:14 pm

    My office is very close to the one on Westnedge but have always been a little apprehensive about going there. You talked me into it and I’ll have to go there with my co-workers who love boneless wings.

    We are debating of where to go for dinner tonight so I stopped on by for some inspiration.

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      April 16, 2010 10:47 pm

      I would suggest it for lunch or after work drinks. Check out the specials and plan accordingly. You can get by fairly cheap. It’s not the best wings I’ve ever had, but it’s better than some of the other big chains.

  3. John Z permalink
    July 26, 2010 12:30 pm

    I agree with your synopsis of Wings Etc. I like the food a bit more than Buffalo Wild Wings, but the service at BWW is a bit better. That may have something to do with the proximity of the outlets to the University (BWW is near the campus). My grown kids prefer Wings Etc so they’re our usual pick.

    The presentation is exactly as you describe, and it does seem odd, the way they dress the wings, but hey, it works, so I’m not complaining much. I usually get a side salad with the wings, and walk away sated. You can’t really miss here, come on in!

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