There has been a lot of crappy weather lately. When you work outside, you just need to treat yourself to a warm meal once in a while. We were working only a few blocks from a restaurant that my boss, Steve, likes to eat at. I’ve only eaten at Ray J’s a couple of times, but I’ve never had anything but great wings there. Yup, you read that right. I’ve never gotten past one item on the menu. The first time I ate there, Steve recommended the wings and I haven’t looked back.
Ray J’s is your typical sports bar with plenty of seating for diners. What sets them apart is their food (this is largely based on other people’s reaction). In fact, Steve and I had a whole conversation about that (before construction, he managed a couple of restaurants). The conversation started when I was commenting on the fact that they had a decent selection of wine and the special of the day was a baked brie. Steve pointed out that these bars aren’t stupid and that by accommodating the wives (I know, stereotypes, but it’s based on statistics), they could increase their revenue.
Anyway, back to the wings. I honestly have never seen chicken wings this big. The first time I saw them, I was convinced that they were turkey wings that tasted like chicken. I usually get the full order of wings (3 pounds!!!) and plan on having whatever is left for a snack later. Okay, really it’s another meal. I’ve had the Buffalo wings before and they are good, but it tastes just like Buffalo wings like everywhere else. The ones that I had this time was the Asian Sesame wings which has a soy chili sauce and garnished with chopped scallions. I liked the idea of this sauce and generally liked the taste of it, but it had an overpowering sweetness to it. The flavor reminded me of a really good teriyaki sauce, but way too heavy on the sugar. What I really like are the wings themselves. Other than their freakish huge size, they are deep fried which gives the skin an amazing crunchiness that the sauce clings to and the sauce can’t penetrate. Normally that would be a flaw in a dish, but since there is practically no distance between the skin and bone on wings (even ones this huge) you get a nice mouthful of sauce, skin, and meat in each bite.