I’m really jealous of Grand Rapids. They have so many wings shops….even if they are all pretty much the same and you never know if they’re going to be open or what the name is….they still have a number of wing shops.
The latest case of me stopping in to a wing shop to find a name change happened last week when I stopped for dinner at Mike’s Wings on the corner of Ann and Monroe on the northwest side of Grand Rapids. I actually knew the name swap was coming this time because the last time I stopped in when it was Wing Kingz, they told me the name was changing and the menu was expanding. Before it was Wing Kingz, it was Wing Heaven and really, not a whole lot has changed over those three name changes from a customer point of view.
I stopped in around 7:00 on a Wednesday night. The restaurant was empty but that’s pretty typical. The majority of business as these counter service wing joints is carry-out and that’s what I planned on doing as well.
I put in an order for 12 traditional wings with the garlic Parmesan flavoring. I also opted for the basket to get fries (with Cajun seasoning) and a drink (Coke). It costs me a little over $12 and since everything is cooked to order, I had about ten minutes to run over to the gas station across the street for a fill-up while I was waiting.
When I got back, the wings were packed up with the fries and waiting for me on the counter. I grabbed the bag and headed back to work where the smell of wings attracted pretty much anyone left in the building to the break room where I was eating to see what the delicious smell was.
The wings aren’t any different than when the place was Wing Kingz. The restaurant is operated by the same family just under a different name. I’ve noticed a lot of the Wing Kingz now out of business, so I’m guessing something happened with the franchise, but this one must do pretty well as it’s stayed a wing joint throughout all the name changes.
The wings were large and juicy, but I feel like they were a little skimpy on the garlic Parmesan. The flavor was definitely there, but I remember it being much stronger in the past. It was still delicious and just the wings on their own were super juicy and full of flavor with a nice crunch exterior and that soft, moist meat hiding behind it.
The fries that came with the meal were the same fries I’ve always gotten at this place. They were long, thin potatoes that were a little soggy most likely due to the steam created when it’s all packaged in Styrofoam. They were still good and very filling. Between the wings and the fries, I left the table satisfied and full.
Mike’s Wings carries on the tradition of the wing shop that has been on this corner for at least as long as I’ve been in town (6 years now). I’ve always been a really big fan of the Wing Heaven/Wing Kingz stores and this iteration is no different. Whatever goes on behind the scenes of those places, I’m glad this one has been able to break off and survive on it’s own.