THE CHICKEN BONE | BIG JOE’S SOUTHERN FRIED WINGS | $8.79
The paint has barely dried on the walls of The Chicken Bone near Fenway Park, but the two-week-old Framingham import is already feeding droves of hungry Sox fans a hefty assortment of comfort foods and ballpark favorites. They have 13 varieties of wings, available with or without bones, including thermonuclear, sticky sesame, honey BBQ and Big Joe’s southern fried wings.
Big Joe’s wings are pretty much the lightest and flakiest little pieces of fried chicken you have ever tasted. They come with a side of thick white gravy for dipping. Order them with a basket of crispy sweet potato fries and close your eyes. For a moment, you may actually believe you’re in Alabama. That is, until your waitress comes by and forgets to pronounce her “R’s.” [AS]
[1260 Boylston St., Fenway, Boston. 800.WINGS.2.U. thechickenbone.com]
EAST COAST GRILL | WINGS OF MASS DESTRUCTION | $7.50
Although its current title offers a clever, more palatable twist on WMDs, I swear I’ll never call this platter of fiery, lip-tingling, capsaicin-packed chicken from the kitchen as anything but “Wings of Ass Destruction.” It was listed on the menu as such at one point, the ominous dish begging for human victims during one of the fateful no-spices-barred Hell Night dinners. And there’s no other way to put it: I witnessed grown men cry.
After being smoked, jerked and grilled, the little buggers emerge taut, blackened and relatively benign to the eye. But any schmear of bright yellow on the meat will start the waterworks, as the Inner Beauty hot sauce (use! discretion!) works its tissue-searing magic, a gripping heat atop the jerk-spice tapdance. Keep a bevy of antidotes close at hand—buttered cornbread or plantains firefight on your behalf—and dunk heartily into the fruity, life-saving banana guava dip. [CL]
[1271 Cambridge St., Inman Sq., Cambridge. 617.491.6568. eastcoastgrill.net]
THE LOWER DEPTHS TAP ROOM | RASTA WINGS | $9
Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s rasta wings time! Alright, so they may not fill your head with the sound of steel drums or scenes from Cool Runnings, but the rasta wings at The Lower Depths Tap Room, a subterranean mecca for $1 hot dogs and a cold one, will give you a welcome vacation from the classic wings at other baseball bars nearby.
The rasta wings (and legs) are dry-rubbed with a blend of traditional Jamaican jerk spices, including allspice, peppers, cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme and garlic. They’re then roasted in the oven. The eight dark chicken pieces are stacked high on a lettuce leaf and come with a shot of refreshing tomato-mayonnaise aioli on the side. Perhaps Cool Dippings isn’t so far behind. [AS]
[476 Comm. Ave., Kenmore Sq., Boston. 617.266.6662]
SOULFIRE BBQ | SPICY HONEY WINGS | $5.75/$9.75
Soulfire’s Allston location is outfitted with a modest-sized bar (with PBR, Sam Adams, Harpoon IPA and UFO on tap), plenty of seating, a massive projection screen tuned to NESN and a soul-themed décor with soundtrack to match.
The spicy honey wings (they also offer southern fried ones) come made to order, salty-sweet with a kick of spice. Each double wing (served with drummette still attached) offers substantial meat and comes evenly coated in glistening sugary goodness. They’re messy, mostly due to not being carved, and their heat—nothing killer, but satisfyingly warm—leaves behind a lingering numbness on the lips. I’m a fan of the gooey honeyed deliciousness, especially served with a side of sweet house-made pickles. And, if you’re not in the mood for a night out, they also deliver. Didn’t think those wings could still fly, didja? [LD]
[182 Harvard Ave., Allston. 617.787.3003. soulfirebbq.com]