Buffalo Wings


Two things to note: like many bloggers, I’m going through a period of not being able to write. I have trouble writing anything, much less anything short. But I’ve decided if I write something short and sweet, the longer works will happen. So this short article is about the deli combo at Crazy Wings.

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Deli combo, Philly Steak with 5 excellent wings.

A combo at these places is usually fries, a  drink, and a main dish. But Crazy Wing’s deli combo is a main dish, a drink, and 5 of their wings. And that’s important, because they have a notably good hot wings sauce, one made with finely ground ingredients, not ones blended until they are smooth.  That means that the bite of the crushed ground pepper, the bits of onion and garlic, tiny bits of tomato, really come through.

I like it. I find myself stopping here more and more often, trying more of their menu, just to get a taste of their wings.

It’s a tiny wings joint near Club Drive and Pleasant Hill, and it has a unique (I’d say very good) wings sauce. The sauce has more in common with a finely ground salsa than the tomato soup consistency of a vinegar based wings sauce. For that reason, I’d suggest trying it out.

Entrance.

You can see black and red pepper specks in their wings sauce.

It’s Asian run, if not Asian owned. I’d guess Korean owners. The iconography is cute, the inside is clean and neat, the tables are nice, and I hope this place makes it. The finely ground nature of the sauce comes though in the specks of pepper you can see on your wings (both black and red). They’re not afraid of spice here, something that leaves me smiling big time.

Crazy Wings
1455 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 101
Lawrenceville GA 30044
770-921-3635

Crazy Wings on Urbanspoon

Joes to Goes is a small, largely Atlanta based chain, and there is one at the corner of Highpoint Road and Highway 124 in Snellville. That puts this restaurant just a few blocks from my house. I had never gone to this particular restaurant because the signage was garish, and featured, more than anything else, buffalo wings. My experience has been that restaurants that feature wings before anything else tend to be dreadful.

The kicker this weekend, though, was they had a smoker. And someone was out there, tending it. That was enough of an excuse to ignore the bright signs and step inside.

Inside, staff was without pretense and polite. “Yes sir, no sir” was the order of the day. Prices ran a little steeper for the basics than I expected. It took a while to get my order together. You could see through the counter and into the back, and watch their staff preparing the order. This wasn’t being microwaved, that I could tell.

Given that they were smoking, and they had product (I did ask that question), I went ahead and ordered a pulled pork sandwich, some ribs, and then later, a grilled chicken sandwich.

baby back ribs

The grilled chicken sandwich is pretty large

The pulled pork had a clearly visible bark, was rich in smoky flavor, and was excellent quality meat. The pulled pork I had that day was as good as any I’ve had in the city. The ribs were a good cut of baby backs, pink through and through, and very tender. The ribs were heavy on the sauce and there was smoke flavor, but the emphasis was on a tender product, not a smoky product. I’m definitely a smoke head, so these weren’t my favorite style of ribs.

The grilled chicken sandwich was large, a full serving of food. It was a bit spicy, a little kick in the sauce they dropped onto the chicken.

So count me surprised. I was expecting something so plain I was avoiding this place. But the smoker intrigued me, and my first try yielded a pretty terrific pulled pork sandwich, and the remainder of the order was respectably good.

Joes to Goes
2595 Highpoint Road
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 972-1131

Joe's To Goes on Urbanspoon

It’s plain. Even by the standards of take out places, it lacks eye appeal. But it is inexpensive, and reasonably good, and when you can get a large filling meal, drink included, for less than $8.00,  they’re doing something right.

The menu is simple and dominated by numbered combos. The menu can also be found in pictures on the wall. The wings were decent, the philly a thin thing, but meaty and cheesy and good. Bits of onions complemented the meat.

Verdict: Worth seeking out for the bargain hunter, tired of chains.

NY American Deli
4343 Dunwoody Park
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 351-0089

NY American Deli (Steak & Wings) on Urbanspoon

During March, Summit’s Tavern has a Carnivale menu that includes, among other things, muffalettas.

That’s a half muffy in the photo above. If you take off that large chunk of bread on top, the olive salad is a little hard to secure, as it’s built from such large pieces.

Other items are available as well, such as shrimp and crawfish po boys and étouffée.

On the 26th Summit’s in Snellville will culminate with a crawfish boil, all you can eat for $24.99 (2-9pm).

Summit’s Wayside Tavern
3334-A Stone Mountain Highway (Highway 78)
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 736-1333

Summits Wayside Tavern on Urbanspoon

Summits has the best selection of beer in Snellville, and generally any place east of the Brick Store Pub. It also has a fine collection of big screens and decent food as well. Witness their steak salad.

Summit’s Wayside Tavern
3334-A Stone Mountain Highway (Highway 78)
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 736-1333

Summits Wayside Tavern on Urbanspoon

Note: reviews of Summits are here and here.

Loco’s Grill was a common destination of my work crew during the early 2000s. I’ve been trying to find our old eatery online without luck. Perhaps it has closed in the meantime. However, a new Loco’s has opened in Lawrenceville, at the corner of 5 Forks Trickum and Sugarloaf Parkway. I managed to eat there for lunch recently.

Inside, the Lawrenceville Loco’s is a comfortable place. The original emphasis was on sandwiches, and Loco’s used to to be called Deli and Pub, as opposed to Grill and Pub. They have added entrées now, and are positioned in the restaurant food chain roughly where Chili’s used to be, back in the early 1990s. I’ve always thought that a good place to be.

They place a huge emphasis on their wings. They still have a decent selection of burgers and sandwiches. A half dozen entrées sprinkle their menu. You can spend $8 if you like, or $15. There isn’t any sell-up on the menu, the way “that other chain” does now.

This location is roomy, and has excellent hours. They have a bar, with about 8 good beers on tap. It would be easy for a crowd of coworkers to come into the venue, kick their shoes off, get a drink, and eat without breaking a budget.

The sandwiches are good. The hot Italian I tried had plenty of flavor. I thought the side salad pretty dinky, and not really worth the additional $2.00 it cost to get it. I’d rather have the grilled vegetables, which I could have had for free. But in Loco’s defense, everyone rips customers off just for lettuce these days.

As I was exiting the lot, a couple folks came up to greet me. I rolled down the window of my car, and they started walking towards me. Someone must have been feeding them.

Verdict: Comfortable, relatively inexpensive, suited to large groups. Decent sandwiches. Recommended.

Loco’s Grill and Pub
3370 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Loco's Grill and Pub on Urbanspoon

US 23 Wings and Grill is near the corner of Jimmy Carter and Buford Highway, on the north side of the intersection. It’s always been an attractive building, if you like classic diner decor.  I’ve driven past it many times, wondering what it would be like to try, wondering what the food was like – was it any good? I don’t have to wonder any longer.

They do wings, chicken, burgers, tacos, and quesadillas. I suspect the tacos and quesadillas are a hat tip to the rainbow coalition of eaters that come through this small place. Food offerings in general are complete and cheap: $5 specials including drinks, $4 specials including drinks. There is a counter where you order, booths and chairs to sit in, and not really a lot of space.

The wings I had were decent. Not great, not bad, but decent. The wings sauce was reasonably spicy, the wings were cooked to order and the fries big, thick, meaty. The taco they provided was close in character to those you can get at a mom and pop taqueria: two smaller flour tortillas, bits of flavorful beef, plenty of lettuce and cheese, two bits of lime with the taco and a decent asada sauce on the side, for a dollar and a quarter. It’s a better taco than 90% of the chain tacos, and probably the better food buy here.

This isn’t a place for foodies, really, except those specialists who like the diner ethic and the sights and sounds of people on the edge. If you need to plumb your inner Sal Paradise, exume your personal Tod Stiles, this is a place to do so. As a place to get a bite to eat, with only the dollars and change in your pocket, I’d call this place a success.

Verdict: Diner styled eatery, aimed at the cash poor. Recommended.

US 23 Wings and Grill
6119 Buford Highway
Norcross, GA 30071-2404
(770) 449-9771

US 23 Wings and Grill on Urbanspoon

Jimmy, of Eat It Atlanta, suggested that Clay’s wings, of Clay’s Sports Cafe, were good. I’m here to say I tried them and yes, they are.

Clay's Sports Cafe on Urbanspoon

Maya Fresh Grill now has a menu. It’s a good looking menu, with an enticing list of smaller items. Things like takkos, quesadillas, salads, and more regional ethnic fare dot the menu. I had their rainbow salad, which was delicious. So I have to say to foodies in the Snellville area, and perhaps Chloe (if she trends out this far east): go now. Go before this place changes. It’s delightful right now, with owners in love with their craft. And if my experiences with gifted small owners is any indication, often a restaurant will grow popular and the owner disappears, or the restaurant dies and the owner is no longer around. So go. This place is worth a stop on the way from Snellville into Duluth.

Maya Fresh Grill on Urbanspoon

Meehan’s Public House is a small chain of 3 restaurants, owned by the 101 Concepts group. There is one in Sandy Springs, Vinings, and one downtown. This  day I went to the one in Sandy Springs, though at the time it wasn’t a first choice. I was, nonetheless, glad to have this pub as a second choice.

The menu is fairly plain pub food with a nod to English/Irish dishes. You’ll find things like shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash here. They have good large buffalo wings, and they have plenty of options in their burgers. They have a bison burger, for one, and the day I arrived they had a lamb burger special. I ordered a salad and the lamb.

The salad came over well. Bit of walnuts added good fats, and the vinaigrette was welcome as well. The lamb burger looked plain, but with a rich lamb taste and a healthy bit of goat cheese between the bread, delivered big time on flavor. I asked for a knife and a doggie bag, as this one was a bit much for me at lunch. Bun size alone would have me cutting this burger in half.

Counting taps, there were something like 15 in this pub. Ales, ciders, and good beers seemed to pattern the drink mix. The interior was rich in wood and large flat screens. Almost all the screen action was on fútbol, or what Americans call soccer. It seemed appropriate for what is an Irish themed bar. Service, all told, was excellent, despite the small crowd the day and time I arrived (very late lunch).

Verdict: Nice neighborhood bar with an Irish theme. Food looks plain, delivers on flavor. Recommended.

Meehan’s Public House
227 Sandy Springs Place
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 843-8059

Meehan's Public House on Urbanspoon

2810 Paces Ferry Road Northwest
Vinings, GA 30339
(770) 433-1920

Meehan's on Urbanspoon

180 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 214-9821

Meehan's Public House - Downtown on Urbanspoon

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