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Rick
In celebration of Wingstop 's official grand opening in Bellevue this weekend, this week's installment of Tabletop Wrestling features Hanna Raskin and Mike Seely

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What's Proper Dress For a Hot Wing?

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Rick
In celebration of Wingstop's official grand opening in Bellevue this weekend, this week's installment of Tabletop Wrestling features Hanna Raskin and Mike Seely debating whether wings call for ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Hanna Raskin is in the blue cheese camp.

A few years ago, right-wingers nearly mounted a revolucion when news reports claimed salsa had overtaken ketchup as the nation's leading condiment. It turned out the study was flawed (the researchers forgot to count fast food packets), but the ketchup loyalists may have been wasting their time anyhow: No matter how well salsa's selling, the real enemy is ranch dressing.

I didn't fully appreciate my fellow Americans' passion for ranch until I worked in a white-tablecloth restaurant where meals were so predictably luxe that if I forgot what a guest ordered, I could guess foie gras and lobster and be right nine times out of ten. Ranch, it turns out, is considered an appropriate sauce for both of those dishes. It's also everyone's favorite salad dressing ("can I get two, please?") and an ideal dip for freshly-baked bread.

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adactio

Hidden Valley's so amped about ranch's future that the company this year started issuing bottles labeled "The New 'Ketchup'". It's also developing a nonperishable ranch that can spend long nights on diner tables.

So what does ranch's popularity have to do with its hot wing suitability? Mainly, it means the dressing is boring. And no offense to garlic or buttermilk, but wing-eating is supposed to test boundaries. It's raunchy and messy and, when the spicing's right, physically challenging. It's not an activity which calls for the mildest condiment in the cooler. While ranch and blue cheese both mitigate heat, only blue cheese has the erratic texture and strong funk that a real wing commands. Then again, if you're talking boneless garlic Parmesan wings, have you seen Hidden Valley's new bottle design?

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And Mike Seely is partial to ranch.

Hanna's right: Ranch is boring; using it as a salad dressing is virtually indefensible. But wings are exciting--often too exciting. And the perfect way to balance out "too exciting" is boring.

More importantly, boring is better than gross. And blue cheese is fucking gross. "Erratic texture and strong funk" are attributes that can only be considered virtues by a person who eats and writes about food for a living (i.e., Hanna). For the rest of us, they foretell the possible consumption of compost or vomit, the latter of which happens to be what blue cheese tastes like. And a dip should never overpower what's being dipped in it, which is too often what blue cheese does.

No matter which way your dressing preferences lean, you're entitled to five free boneless wings at Wingstop on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (or until supplies run out.) The chain's also hosting an Atomic Wing Eating Challenge on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Follow Voracious on Facebook & Twitter. Follow me at @hannaraskin

 
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