One of my favorite days all year is the day that my dad, brother, one of my best friend from grade school and I go to a White Sox game. It’s a tradition that we started at my bachelor party five years ago. No strip clubs for me. I just wanted baseball and beer and that’s what I got. Since then, we have made it a yearly tradition for the four of us to get together, get wings and beer and do our best to stumble in to US Cellular Field for what passes for baseball on the South Side.
That very first year, I stumbled upon the best wing place ever. We used it for the next three years, but last year, it abruptly closed and didn’t pop back up anywhere. We scrambled for a new place last year that I enjoyed but everyone else was “eh” on. So, this year, I was on the look out again for someplace new.
A few weeks ago, J and I were driving down Cicero Avenue in Crestwood for something and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the word “wings” It turned out to be a chain I had heard of, but have never actually been to. I got online to see if they did large orders. They did and we found a new wing place for this year’s trip.
Wingstop on Crestwood is on busy Cicero Avenue just to the just south of Cal Sag Road. It’s in a small strip mall with a few other business, but along that stretch of road, it sort of blends in with it’s surroundings.
I was meeting the rest of the gang at 3:30 at a gas station on the corner of Cicero Avenue and 167th Street near the Intersection with I-57. That meant I needed to pick up wings around 3:00. Around 1:00, I got online and put in my order. I asked for it to be ready by 2:45.
The order was for 75 classic wings. I could have gotten up to five flavors, but I stuck with four because both my dad and I really like Garlic Parmesan wings. I ordered 30 of those while getting 15 of the other three flavors. Those flavors were Louisiana Rub, Mild, and Hickory Smoked BBQ.
At about 2:40, we pulled in to the shared parking and I walked in to pick up my order. I had already paid online, so they just had to verify my credit card and ID. The cost was just under $60 for the 75 wings.
After signing the paperwork, the man working the register told me it would be about another 10 minutes. It turned in to another 15 which was kinda frustrating because I ordered online early enough that they would be ready when I got there. They weren’t so I took a seat in the small dining room and texted J who was sitting in the car with her mom and L that it would be a few minutes.
Closer to 3:00, I saw two large foil pans being bagged up and I assumed they were mine. I stood up and as the cook turned around to call my name, he saw me standing there and handed me to the two piping hot foil pans.
By the time we met the rest of the guys and got in to a parking lot at The Cell, it was just after 4:00. We set up our little tailgating spot in one of the lots south of the stadium. Three of us popped open beers while my brother went straight for the wings.
Of course, my dad and I finished off almost all 30 of the Garlic Parmesan wings in a matter of minutes. The wings weren’t huge, but they were pretty meaty and very juicy. The Garlic Parmesan ones had a very heavy dusting of garlic and Parmesan cheese, but it was the garlic taste that stuck with you…and I loved it.
Once those were gone, I had to go for a different flavor. My next choice was the Louisiana Rub. I really like rubbed wings over sauced ones because they’re less messy. I just don’t do messy very well when I’m in public. The Louisiana Rub is surprisingly hot for being a dry rubbed wing.
I had to try the other two flavors even though, as I just mentioned, sauced wings aren’t really my thing. I tried the Mild next. They had a great wing flavor to them. Not too hot, but just hot enough to remind you that you are eating Buffalo wings.
The last wing for me to try was the Hickory Smoked BBQ. The BBQ sauce on the wings is a little smokey and a little sweet. I liked the BBQ but there was a lot on there. I really made a mess of my face, but luckily, not of my shirt.
I think we found our new wing place for the time being. The wings were still not as good as Wings Around The World, but they were better than last year’s and the best we have found in the area so far. We took a few home, but for the most part, we finished off the two pans, had a few beers, then headed in to the park for some good ol’ South Side baseball.