The seventh annual Budweiser Wing Zing was again a success. The event was held in the Arena District behind Nationwide Arena on July 12th. The Wing Zing was held outdoors with live music and fifteen local restaurants serving chicken wings. The proceeds will be donated to the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation & Charity Newsies.
This annual event was once again sponsored by WLVQ-QFM96 and Budweiser. Here you could sample wings from all the major players in Columbus at once. There was a stage with a lot of great music during the day.
As readers of this web site should know, the Buffalo Wing originated at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo. While I love the two Columbus giants, I go to these events to find the small neighborhood bars that serves an authentic style Buffalo wing.
For that reason, the Queen and I , for the 3nd year in a row, have made a special award for the Best neighborhood bar wing at Wing Zing. The first winner of our award was
Nick and Sidney's Roadhouse Grill
In 2002 the award went to City Limits of Galloway
This year the award was a tie! Our choices were Skybox Bar and Grill and Brown Dog's Sports Grill
Skybox is located in Gahanna (see our review on the main page)and already a force to be reckoned with in Columbus. They serve an authentic Buffalo wing with a great supporting menu and great drinks. If you haven't tried it yet, their performance at Wing Zing certainly qualifies them as a must try for Columbus Wing Eaters.
Brown Dog's is located in Centerburg well north of Columbus. To date, only one wing joint ourside of Franklin County has made the columbuswings.com site (Nick and Sidneys) Brown Dog's showing at the wing Zing convinced us that we will have to make the trip to try this place out. Their wing was lightly breaded, but very crisp (a rare combo)with a great sauce. Their menu says they are located at 29 N Clayton St one block north of Rt 3. (Looks like 25 miles north of I-270 and Westerville Road) We will be reporting from here soon!
The "Most improved award" goes to
Gatsby's of Gahanna!
Last year we wrote,This wing had a great sauce and was a nice meaty wing. However, it was a bit on the soggy side. I noted at this event that they prepared their wings elsewhere and then brought them to the event. Wings with this much sauce don't travel well and get soggy quickly"
Apparently they listened because this year, they made their wings at the event and they were very good! So good in fact that they won the Wing Zing's official judging for best hot wing! This place is now top priority for an official visit from the King and Queen.
This year, the Queen and I rated all the wings and broke them up into three categories. We gave each wing a score based on a 1-5 score with 1 being awful and 5 being great.
This year, we gave the title of Wing Zing's bet authentic Buffalo wing to :
Their wing will speak for itself, give it a try!
JR Buzzards Our Score:4
A new entrant to Wing Zing, we were impressed. They are located 744 Harrisburg Pike, which is southwest of the I70, I71, Rt 315 junction. We were impressed enough to make a future trip there. They bill themselves as "biker friendly"
Gatsby's Our Score:3
As mentioned above, great job, we will check this place out soon.
City Limits Our Score:3
Of Galloway, another good job this year.
Paninni Grill Our Score:3
Coming soon to the Arena district. Seemed worthly, a slight different taste. Watch for more on this one.
Road House Our Score:3
They won best overall wing at the official judging,(done before the event) they didn't serve as good a wing at the event as they do at their store.
Quaker Steak and lube Our Score:2
Great place, but what they served us at the event that day was not good.
Hooter's Our Score:0
Great place, but what they served us at the event that day was garbage prepared ahead of time. The wings are better at the store. Pretty girls, horrible wings
There are many hot wings around Columbus that have similiar sauces as a Buffalo wing, but many of these other wings have a breaded coating, or sometimes a bbq or other flavor. Rooster's is a popular example.
Located in Centerberg, an official review will be coming soon
They are located in Grove City. Perhaps I should have an award for the sneakiest wing. This wing tasted like a very mild sweet bbq wing until suddenly the heat hits you. Its hot, not killer hot, but wow. Very interesting!
Lucky's Our Score:not rated
I frequent luck and their breaded wings are good. They have won the Wing Zing award several times (keep in mind the judging is done ahead of time with freshly prepared wings.)
I hope I don't get thown out for saying this, but what they served at the event was awful. Only Hooter's was worse. You can't make a good Buffalo wing hours ahead of time and reheat it. IT JUST CAN'T BE DONE Now that I have said that, give them a try, their store is great!
This category basically covers anything that isn't at least trying to pretend to be a Buffalo style wing, though some of the flavors may have a hot influence.
For the second year in a row, The queen and I loved Gordon Biersch's Sweet Chili glazed wing. Our Score:4
Take a look at our last year's Wing Zing coverage (2002) Wing Zing 2002
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