The first week in April is generally considered the best week in sports, thanks to the annual confluence of the Final Four, the Masters and the start of the baseball season. But the early days of May aren't too shabby either: The NBA finals are underway, as is the Stanley Cup chase (I think. I tend to change the channel whenever it's Barry Melrose's turn on SportsCenter, so I really have no idea what's happening in the NHL.) And where there are games, there must be wings.
Here, our picks for Seattle's very best wings, accompanied by Voracious contributor comments as compiled by Erin Thompson. It's a list that's notably short on Texas Pete, a tribute to local cooks' mastery of the dry fried wing. It's also a list that's arbitrarily numbered, save for the first-place finisher on the final page. Pass the wet naps, please.
Tat's is renowned for its cheese steaks, but the Buffalo-style chicken wings are equally worthy of East Coasters' devotion. Served crispy and hot - your call, spicy or mild - the wings are the perfect prelude to a sandwich.
9. Palace Kitchen
arnold | inuyaki
Palace Kitchen's open kitchen and applewood grill are warm and inviting, even when volume levels reach a fever pitch on weekends. That grill is where Palace's popular chicken wings are cooked to smoky perfection; they're served with a coriander cream sauce for dipping that nicely offsets the chicken's spicy marinade.
Garlic chicken wings, coated in a sticky sauce and topped with shreds of fresh garlic, are one of Wong Kitchen's specialties. During Wong's happy hour--4 to 7 p.m., every day but Sunday--a plate of these tasty little wings is just $3.99, making them the ideal accompaniment to the stiff drinks served at Wong's bar.
7. Hue Ky Mi Ga
Hue Ky Mi Gia is a popular spot, and its canh ga chien bo with tangy dip may be the reason why. The wings are crunchy, fried with green onion and chilis, and a plateful will run you just $7.
6. Alki Tavern
The wings at Alki Tavern, made only on Monday nights by carpenter and sometime-bartender Lou Handzel, are terrific. The skins are nicely crisped, and the chicken is cooked past the rubbery point where so many Seattle wing-makers stall. The sauce has an appealing swell of heat: While it's not enough to make spice-acclimated lips tingle, eaters who gravitate toward mild sauce can take pride in finishing a 12-wing portion. Serious wing fans won't stop there.
This Taiwanese-Mexican fusion menu at Chino's offers taquitos and tamales, but the spicy, salty chicken wings tilt toward Asia: They're garlic-flavored, glazed in fish sauce, and topped with green onions.
4. 663 Bistro
The butcher at 663 Bistro will hack and pack roast pork and chicken, ladling extra marinade over the top. But if you're looking for something a little less saucy, the deep-fried chicken wings are simply seasoned with lots of pepper and salt, making for just the right amount of crunch and flavor.
3. Cooper's Alehouse
Lake City just might qualify as Seattle's most no-nonsense district, an attitude that extends to the food at Cooper's Alehouse. An order of chicken wings comes in a big serving with celery and blue cheese, with the meat marinated in a housemade spicy sauce. No frills here, just good plain bar food.
If a bowl of Slim's chili doesn't satisfy your hunger, move on to a heaping plate of wings. Slim's makes their own hot sauce to coat the wings and their own blue cheese dressing to dip them in, making for a uniquely addictive taste.
Roxbury Lanes' attached Chinese diner serves garlic wings guaranteed to relieve any bowling frustrations. The jointed wings--in Chinese style, their tips are left intact--sport a shiny crust teeming with garlic and brine. More garlic and diced scallions are mounded atop the dry fried wings, adding an extra soppy sweetness to the tanned chicken. Beneath the crust, the plump meat is tender and salty. These wings are easily the equal of any wing in the International District, and a fine consolation prize for a game badly bowled.
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