With so much attention directed to the recent meteoric rise in the price of eggs, AGMA feels as if a very important sector of the poultry industry is being all but ignored right now.
The lowly wing, to be specific.
Sure, wings vault up in American consciousness around the big Super football game in February. You know – the game where the refs increasingly are getting to decide who wins…
According to TheHill.com on 2/9/23, “Experts estimate that 1.45 billion chicken wings will be consumed during Super Bowl weekend.”
This brings to mind two questions:
- How do you become an “expert” in chicken wing consumption statistics? This could be a new career path for AGMA.
- If there can be that many chickens who are sacrificed on the alter of gratuitous snacking, why the hell are eggs so expensive?
FYI, Cal-Maine Foods is the largest egg producer in the US. In the last quarter of 2022, they profits increased 110% over the last quarter of 2021. Read about it here.
Oh… Now I get why eggs prices have literally doubled in recent months.
And I was naive enough to think the devastating avian flu, that’s killed more than 50 million chickens in the last 6 months, was the culprit.
Hubs and I do love our chicken wings.
We moved to Chicago in July 2020. This is when hunt for great chicken wings in Chicago began. (Actually, it was closer to later in 2021 after Chicago lifted most restrictions on dining due to COVID.)
Now, one might say, “AGMA, Chicago is an amazing city to find incredible food. It has some of the best restaurants in the world and is always on the cutting edge of new food trends. Surely, you can find great chicken wings in one of the largest cities in the US!”
One might say…
Yes to the amazing city, incredible food, best restaurants, and cutting edge parts.
But great chicken wings…meh. (And don’t EVEN dare to mention Buffalo Wild Wings. I’m not sure what mutant creature they use for their wings, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a chicken.)
Yes – one can find good chicken wings in Chicago, but they are one-offs. A sort of afterthought on most menus. By that I mean, they are not one of showcased culinary items in most eating establishments that serve wings.
And truly great chicken wings deserve to be the star!
Food establishments with good wings listed on Chicago foodie sites usually list restaurants that have one specific kind of wing. Korean lollypop wings at one place, smoked wings with dry rub at another, still another has crispy wings with 4 sauce choices.
In Atlanta, we were semi-regulars at a local sports bar chain called Taco Mac.
Despite the name (confusing…), their speciality is really great, world class chicken wings. I mean, their home page declares “WORLD FAMOUS WINGS” and “The world’s finest wings never see the freezer.”
Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!
And beer. They have a mind boggling beer selection. When I say that they have literally hundreds of beers (draft, can, & bottle) on their menu, this is no exaggeration. AGMA has yet, in all of her travels, to find a beer selection like Taco Macs.
They even have a Brewniversity.
You start out as a Freshman and move up levels based on how many different beers you try there. There are 14 levels going all the way to Gold Beer God. They have all kinds of perks as you move on in your beer matriculation. And there’s some pretty sweet swag you can get with Brewniversity points.
I’m proud (maybe? Should I be?) to say that Son#2, who lives in Atlanta, is at the Dean level. Or possibly Chancellor.
That’s my boy.
So right now, thinking about Taco Mac is making AGMA’s mouth water.
You can order wings one of 3 ways: original (normal deep fried wings), oven roasted, and boneless (deep fried).
Then comes the sauce choice – and this is where things REALLY get good! They have 15 sauces you can chose from and 2 dry rubs.
AGMA’s favorites are Asian Sweet Heat, Parmesan Garlic and Peach Bourbon BBQ.
It’s become a tradition to go to Taco Mac the first night when we visit Son#2. He likes heat, so Cajun Voodoo Magic, Three Mile Island, and Habanero BBQ are his favs. Hubs is more traditional…Medium Buffalo and BBQ Sauce
So a typical order for the AGMA family is:
- 20 wings
- Double roasted (to make them more chrispy)
- Asian Sweet Heat, Medium Buffalo, Habanero BBQ, and BBQ sauce (or Honey Chipotle if Hubs opts for a burger).
- Swimming (this adds extra sauce to each section)
Add lots of celery and blue cheese/ranch dressing.
We were hopeful last week when we traveled 25 minutes to the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago to try Badabing Wings. Based on their website, it looked like it had the potential to ease our CYWD (chronic yummy wing deficiency) condition.
Yeah – they have reruns of The Sopranos on their one TV, and the walls are plastered with photos of Al Capone (with the Blues Brothers thrown in for good measure.)
And it was really good! No option for roasted wings, but with 17 sauce flavors, and plump, juicy wings, it was a hit with us. The only funky thing was the weird, gummy (??) blue cheese dressing. I can bring my own next time.
Badabing is a tiny place with only 5 tables. Clearly carry out is their bread and butter, but since it was close to Valentine Day, we opted for a romantic evening with Tony Soprano.
Even better, we overheard the owner talking about expanding his space!
Trust me, we won’t fughettaboutit. This is our now our go to place in the Windy City for wings!
AGMA knows ya’ll are thrilled for us…
It needs to be noted that, since I live in the Chicago city limits, I’ve pretty much confined my hunt for great chicken wings to the city of Chicago.
Perhaps AGMA should broaden my horizons and start looking for wing places in the ‘burbs. The commute to get out there only ranges from 30 to 90 minutes (depending on the ‘burb.)
I think I might have too much time on my hands these days.