Wings Around The World – Chicago, IL
For as popular as they are, you’d think it wouldn’t be hard to find a great wing carry-out place. Most places that serve wings are bars or restaurants. Finding a great take out place isn’t as easy as I’d expect it to be.
Last September, my brother set up my bachelor party. I didn’t want to do the usual things. I wanted to go to a Sox game and eat. We made plans to go for pizza after the game, but we needed something before the game. I searched for weeks to find something we could pick up and take to the ballpark and do a little tailgating. What I found is the best wings I’ve ever had.
Wings Around the World is on 75th Street a few blocks east of MLK Drive. It’s not one of Chicago’s best neighborhoods, but I had no qualms about going by myself at night to pick up wings. If you’ve ever had them, you would know why.
The building is strictly carry-out. There’s a large public space inside, but there are no tables. There’s a bench to sit on if you have to wait, but that’s it. It’s really just a big open space with a pick up window.
When we ordered in September, we got 100 wings and split them up between five of the thirty possible flavors. The two that stuck with me were the parmesan and the fire jerk.
The whole idea of making the twenty minute drive from the south suburbs to the Park Manor/Grand Crossing neighborhood was 100% my idea. I was looking for something to eat. What I really wanted was a Mr. Beef, but the Orleans Street location that I wanted to go to didn’t reopen until 10:30 pm and it was only a little before nine. Once I made the final decision that I was going to, J talked her parents into ordering some wings as well. If they were as good as I said they were, they had to try.
I walked out the door while J and her parents were deciding so I could get a head start. I knew it would take me longer than the twenty minutes Google said it would. I had J call the order the in so it would be ready when I got there.
I went with the 10 Wing Combo. I split it up between five parmesan and five fire jerk. The combo came with fries and a pop. I got an RC Cola which just came in a can so I could drink it on the way home.
J’s and her parents just ordered fifteen wings. They also got five of the Parmesan as well as five cheesy buffalo and five honey teriyaki. If those don’t sound like your typical wing flavors, it’s because they’re not. Wings Around The World takes it name literally. They have over thirty flavors spanning three continents and nine countries. It’s really hard to narrow down which flavors to pick when you’re only picking a couple.
By the time I made it to the store to pick up our food, the order was ready and waiting to go. The cost was a little over eighteen bucks. My wings were packaged in on to go box, separated with wax paper and with my fries. The other fifteen were in another box, again, separated by flavor by wax paper.
The drive home was pretty brutal. They smelled so good. J called to make sure, I think, I was ok. Either that or she was getting hungry.
When I popped the box open after finally getting them home, I grabbed on of the Parmesan right away. At my bachelor party, these were the big hit. My dad, who’s not really a wing fan loved these wings and still talks about them. The wings are very meaty and done really well. They have a great crispy, skin and are covered with the Parmesan crumble. In fact, there’s so much cheese that there is a huge pile left in the box. J and her mom were looking for something to put that extra on.
After a few of the Parmesan wings, I went for the fire jerk. They’re hot, but not Buffalo Wing hot. They’re pretty lightly sauced and the sauce is baked on there. I ate five of them and wanted more. A lot more. The reason I like Buffalo Wild Wings so much is because are done so well. Wings Around the World is similar, but they are much bigger, meaty pieces of chicken.
I didn’t get to try any of J’s wings. The three of them dove in and all agreed the Parmesan were the best. J said the cheesy Buffalo was interesting. There was actually cheddar cheese on the wing and it cooled down the hot sauce a little. All three agreed the late dinner was worth the run. When I said I was going to drive to this neighborhood to get wings, they all thought I was nuts. After the first bite, they didn’t think that anymore.
The fries that came with my meal were alright, but by the time I got home, they were pretty cold. If I do it again, I’ll just order more wings and skip the fries.
Wings Around the World is fantastic. In fact, that’s an understatement. I’ve been trying to figure out since the first trip how I found out about the place. I always thought they were on the Travel Channel, but I can’t find any evidence of that. Maybe I just stumbled on to them on Yelp. However I found it, I’m so glad I did. They are by far the best wings I’ve ever had and totally worth the trip from anywhere in the city of suburbs to get them. If you’re coming from the South, it’s on the way to both US Cellular and Soldier Field and it makes great tailgating food. In fact, we have a guys weekend planned at a Sox game in August. Already, the guys are talking about wings. Don’t be turned off by the location of physical appearance of the place, Wings Around the World is quality and a should be a souljourn for wing lovers.