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Juju Bird

January 19, 2019

  • 435 Ionia Avenue SW A110
  • Grand Rapids MI 49503
  • (616) 258-8115
  • Website
  • Menu

Chicken wings are the best.  I don’t think I’m breaking new ground when I say that.

The schedules at work were kind of messed up last week so I spent some time with co-workers out of the Grand Rapids office that I don’t get to see very often anymore.

One of those co-workers came down to my neck of the woods for a couple of days and worked with me out of Kalamazoo.  She started raving about a chicken place in Grand Rapids and said the next time I had to make a trip to the home office, I had to find this place.

Turns out, I only had to wait a day.  The very next day I got called to Grand Rapids.  I didn’t have an assignment for a while so before I made it to the office, I stopped at this chicken place I had to check out.

Juju Bird opened up last fall inside the Downtown Market on Grand Rapids southwest side. If you’ve ever driven north on US-131 near downtown GR, you’ve seen the market.  It sits on Ionia Avenue right next to the freeway.  The easiest way to get there is to take the Wealthy Street exit to Division then just take a couple of rights until you find your way to the parking.  It’s a gated lot but the first 30 minutes are free.

It has been quite a while since I’ve been to the Market so I didn’t really know where to look.  I started down the middle aisle and headed towards the back.  I found what I was looking for all the way against the back wall between Tacos El Cundao and Field & Fire Bakery.  It’s in the space that was previously occupied by Making Thyme Kitchen.

Juju Bird is the creation of two brothers who own Rak Thai.  The restaurant fits into the Downtown Market with their use of non-GMO chicken.  The menu is pretty much all buttermilk fried chicken.  You have the choice between traditional fried chicken, wings, strips, and even a couple of a sandwiches.

I was called to the wings.  I ordered 12 classic wings which gives you the option of two sauces.  I did my Garlic Parm go to for half and Nashville Hot for the other six.  I also made it a combo to get fries and a drink.  The cost was a little over $20 so it’s not a cheap lunch.  Like most things at the Market, you’re paying for the quality of food.

I started with the Garlic Parm.  The wings are big, meat, tender, and juicy.  They have a delicious crunchy breading which would be delicious without the sauce.  The Garlic Parm wings are covered in a thick, creamy Garlic Parmesan  dressing.  The garlic was strong with these wings and I’m sure my co-workers could smell it the rest of the day.  Sucks to be them…cause they were good wings.

I don’t typically do hot wings anymore but I still really enjoy the Nashville Hot chicken.  The chicken wings are coated with a thick, delicious, hot pepper rub that made these wings a challenge to eat….challenge in a good way.  The heat level was pretty high and I was itching for a glass of milk to cool down my mouth.  In true wing eating fashion, I chugged my Coke and continued to torture my taste buds because the wings were just so damn good.

When I got through the wings, I found the fries that I had set aside earlier.  The potatoes are curly fries that appear to be fresh cut.  They have a light dusting of a seasoning salt on top and came with a small side of ketchup.  The fries are a good side…nothing to really brag about but a solid use of potatoes.

I love it when people get excited to give me dining recommendations and I’m so glad I happened to get paired with this particular co-worker.  She’s always got great recommendations and this one was spot on.  The meal is a little pricey, but the wings at Juju Bird are the worth the price when you really want to treat yourself.

Juju Bird Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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