A Wing and a Prayer: Zipps Sports Grill Tackles Pullano's Pizza
Watching actress Drew Barrymore chow down on some Buffalo wings in her latest rom-com Going the Distance -- her face slathered in sticky orange goo and creamy white sauce -- got me all hot and bothered. Hot for some crispy, golden wings, that is. Offered in varieties from grilled and dry rubbed to deep-fried and suicide hot, wings are the quintessential bar food.
So I headed to two local restaurants slash sports bars known for their Buffalo style wings in hopes of finding a chicken wing touchdown.
In One Corner: Zipps Sports Grill Camelback
7551 E. Camelback Rd. in Scottsdale
The local Zipps chain is all about sports. Head there on any given day during baseball, football or hockey season and the place will be packed with locals in team jerseys and ball caps, screaming at the TVs (placed perfectly every few feet) and downing pitchers of beer. Chowhounder danieli10's recommendation turned me on to their Golden Wings, described as a slightly sweet and crisp version of traditional Buffalo wings.
The menu here is typical for a sports grill -- fried food and some token "healthier" grub for the ladies. They've got chicken fingers, onion rings, burgers, pizzas, tasty foccacia sammies and salads. We placed our order for drinks and mild Golden Wings and waited. A few minutes later, our waitress brought a basket of napkins and wet-naps. Much appreciated. A pile of about a dozen wings arrived fresh and hot, their skins fried to a deep golden color. Even in the dim light, they looked appealing; plump and juicy, with a nice coating of light orange sauce.
"This is delicious," mumbled my companion, wing in hand and sauce on face. "There's just a delicate sweetness to it, not cloying like honey BBQ can be. And there's a lot of meat here."
The Chowhound board didn't steer us wrong. I bit in to a drumstick and found a good chunk of moist chicken meat that crunched against my teeth. The skin was crispy and firm, the sauce light and sweet with a peppery after-burn. It was a traditional wing made with hot sauce and butter, but the crisp texture and the addition of sugar to the sauce made this a very addictive wing. The drumsticks were plenty meaty and leaner than many others I've had. A modern American classic, done right.
In the Other Corner: Pullano's Pizza & Wings
13848 N. 51st Ave. in Glendale