They are among the highest echelons of pedestrian fare, joining burgers and nachos in the holy trinity of bar food. Chicken wings have been making stool-bound drunks smile saucy Ronald McDonald grins since they were invented in Buffalo in 1964. Now they're served with such fervor their price outpaces chicken breasts during periods of high demand.
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While they're popular everywhere, wings often fall short of their Upstate New York counterparts. Sometimes they're dry, sometimes they're rubbery. Occasionally nitwits think that breading their wings is the path to bar food nirvana. So common are these infractions that when you find a stellar version that remains true to the original (especially this far south) there is cause for great celebration.
That Flying Saucer uses Frank's Red Hot as its wing sauce is the first clue that what arrives in a stainless steel bowl is the real deal. Buffalo wings should be coated in nothing but the cayenne pepper hot sauce, enriched with butter, brightened with vinegar and otherwise left alone. The kitchen at Flying Saucer keeps their traditional sauce traditional. From there things only get better.
The wings are sizable, meaty and juicy with nice crisp skin. And while the lettuce leaf is bothersome -- celery and carrot sticks are salad enough -- the wings are an exemplary example of this classic snack.
If you haven't visited the Fort Worth location of the Flying Saucer recently, the restaurant deserves another look. It moved a few blocks across downtown last year, outfitted an impressive patio with a large performance stage and started pouring from the extensive beer list they've come to be known for. While the new location lacks the charm of the original, those wings make up for aesthetic short-comings. I've got a new go-to when I'm in hungry in Cowtown and in need of a pint.