Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wings Over the Bone...

I was reading “This is”, and I saw that “Wings Over Framingham” has opened at the old Long Pontiac location on Rte. 135 in Framingham. In an odd twist of market research, they decided to put it less than a mile from their main competitor, “The Chicken Bone Saloon.”

In the spirit of “” (authored by the same woman from "This Is", I decided to do a taste test to see which one was truly “King of the Wing” and which is the derivative impostor. Not quite a side by side, but day by day test.

For a couple of years, Sterling has been singing the praises of “The Bone” and now, we could put the rubber to the road and get these two giants of the chicken wing to go head to head, or “beak to beak”, as the case may be. Having eaten at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, the recognized inventor of the Buffalo wing, I feel especially well qualified and prepared to render my opinion. Who am I kidding? Even if I hadn’t eaten there, I am still full of opinions.

A few weeks ago, I dined at “Wings” with faithful reader Mike S. and Thursday at the “Bone” with charter subscriber Sterling. Ezekiel saw the wheel…this is the wheel he said he saw (gratuitous shout-out to the first person to email me telling us where that quote is from, and I’m not referring to the Woody Guthrie song.)

First stop, “Wings Over Framingham.” You can find out more about the “Wings Over…” franchise at their website. Since it began in Amherst, MA (long after my departure), I should be inclined to like it. Back when I was stalking the mean streets of Amherst (with some brass knuckles and a sock filled with a few rolls of quarters), the only choice was “Wings Express”, which was down a small alley behind the stores on North Pleasant Street, just around the corner from that bastion of fine Mexican dining…Taco Villa!

The “ambiance” of ‘Wings Over…” is sort of like the ambiance of an airline hanger. Convenient, since they somehow try to confusingly incorporate an airplane theme. It is very industrial, and the Framingham location, located in an old car dealership, is mostly take-out with extremely limited seating. Thankfully, we employed the patented “stand over the people and make them uncomfortable” technique. However, I’ve seen fraternity house kitchen tables cleaner…I felt bad for the girl working clean-up.

Mike got the “West Texas Mesquite” wings and I got the “Cajun Blackened.” Both of these are dry-spiced wings, as opposed to the sopping wet wings you get at most places. We washed these down with waffle fries (Mom, we shared them), and Diet Cokes (just to kid ourselves into thinking we were trying to keep it lo-cal). My wings were fried, then re-spiced and grilled over a flame, I think. We both liked mine better than the “West Texas Mesquite” which was a little sweet; there was a good ratio, 50/50 of “flats” or “wings” to “drummies” or “drumsticks”. They were tasty and meaty, and I give them good marks. Other than the limited seating, I recommend “Wings Over….” I admit I’m not rushing back, but mostly because there’s only so much fried chicken wings you can eat.

However, to be fair to Sterling, who’s been riding me about “The Bone”, I let her convince me to go there the very next day.

Tomorrow, the saga continues, along with filling my Crestor prescription…


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't go back given that the Bone is right down the street. I also thought the "dry rubs" came out of a lawrey's bottle in a haaphazard way -- kind of like the prepackaged Cinnamon-Sugar you buy for french toast. Bone rules, at least in this area. - Mike S.

Eric Weinstein said...

Mike-I agree, The Bone is better.

Anonymous said...

Given the fact the Chicken Bone has been around for years and years, and Wings has not even been open 1 month. I'd say give the new guys a break, I doubt most of the staff is even fully trained yet. Try Wings a few times over the next few months and see how they change. In the end they are both very similar and it really comes down to whose flavors do you like better. I have tried both, the Bone and Wings in Worcester, that I think is a fair comparison. 2 mature stores who have their systems down. The quality of the meat is a tie. Both stores give good size pieces and are nice and fresh. Wings has way more flavors, but let's just compare the flavors they share. For me the Honey BBQ is what does it. Both are great, but Wings is a much more intense flavor. So I'd have to give Wings the win by a small margin. Just my 2 cents.

AeroLynda said...

The first time you said Sterling, I assumed he was a man. Am I now correctly understanding she is female? If that is the case, then if Sterling married my husband, (or one of his brothers for that matter), she'd be Sterling Sterling!

Did you get an answer to your Ezekiel quiz?