REVIEW: Franklin's Chicken Wings
The wings at this popular haunt are spicy but a bit chewy.
Hyattsville has some great dining destinations. Each week Patch will bring you the Bites Nearby feature and that will help guide you to some of these places. I was thinking, though, that I might actually try out a few restaurants around Hyattsville and tell you how certain dishes compare.
I’m starting with what I know best — chicken wings.
I’m kind of a jerk about wings. I never tell a waiter I’m from Buffalo until I ask them how their wings are. And then, of course, I mention that I grew up in the city that created the wing (yes, they are named for their city of birth, not the animal they come from) and that in my hometown they are simply referred to as “chicken wings.”
The wing was developed at the Anchor Bar on Main Street in Buffalo, N.Y. There are several versions of the food’s history, but most Buffalonians adhere to the story of Teressa Belissimo, co-owner of the Anchor Bar, who tossed the cast offs in hot sauce and butter and deep fried them to serve as snacks for patrons.
Like any Western New York native, I grew up with wings practically serving as a food group. When I visit my father’s home in Niagara Falls (about 15 minutes north of Buffalo) he is sure to have a couple containers of wings and a pizza on the counter waiting for me.
I eat them hot, mild, medium, cold, old and barbecued. It’s a bit of an obsession, but served with a cold pint of Labatt Blue Light beer, wings are the food of the gods to me.
Today, I was at Franklins for a meeting with some Patch contributors. I decided to order a plate of wings (of course, upon ordering, the waiter asked, “Buffalo wings?”). I decided to forgo the beer for a diet pop.
Here’s the deal: Franklins has some of the best wings in the area.
They are spicy. Soggy, but not mushy and just the right color. If I had to rate their heat, I’d say these are medium wings because my lips only barely stung after eating a few of them.
Served with bleu cheese dressing and carrot sticks (to clean your palate) the wings are a good size (the bigger the wing, the drier the meat) and aren’t gummy (like the ones you get a Chinese restaurants).
My one complaint is that these wings were a bit chewy. Your jaw shouldn’t ache after champing down a few. Also (ok, I guess I have two complaints), the wing sauce was somewhat bitter, as opposed to the saltier taste of traditional Buffalo wings. I’m not sure what sauce they use, but if it was Frank’s Red Hot, then something else was off.
Anyhow, at $8 for nine wings, this dish is a satisfying, filling and fairly accurate representation of the traditional Buffalo food.