It's a simple fare, but one that has taken flight to great heights of popularity in the past couple decades. A chicken's wings, perhaps the least endowed part of the chicken anatomy, have become some of the most sought after poultry parts.
The cooking process is simple: chicken wings are fried to a crispy state and then immediately tossed in a mixture of buttery hot sauce. They are traditionally served with carrot sticks and celery, and often accompanied with a dipping sauce of blue cheese or ranch dressing.
Everything has a history, and wings are no exception. It's a history generated from necessity, with a little dash of love. First, it is important to note that "Buffalo wings" were born in an Italian restaurant on the east side of Buffalo, New York. The story goes like this:
It was a late Friday night, October 30, 1964, when Dom Bellissimo, son of Frank and Teressa who owned Anchor Bar in Buffalo, was working the bar while his mom was cooking in the kitchen and his dad greeting customers. A group of Dom's friends walked in around 11:30pm, eager to eat. Dom told them to wait until midnight, and they could have whatever they wanted.
At midnight, Teressa brought out two plates from the kitchen and set them on the bar in front of Dom's hungry pals. They were fried chicken wings. Teressa announced that she was preparing a stock pot for soup but rather than putting the wings in the soup, because they were "so beautiful," she wanted them dipped in a buttery chile sauce.
Hence, the chicken wing as hot cuisine was born.
This history is so famous that the city of Buffalo has marked July 29 as "Chicken Wing Day," and still today, more than 70,000 pounds of chicken wings are fried each month at the Anchor Bar location.
Tulsa is obviously many miles from Buffalo, however, there are many Buffalonians in these parts who know this humble story. Many others couldn't care less about the history but can't wait to get their mouths around the mouthwatering delicacies.
The Right Wing, just east of Harvard on 11th St., is one of the first restaurants in town to specialize in wings. With a great location, just down the street from the University of Tulsa and all of its late-night, studying, partying, snacking students, it has seen the huge growth of the wing industry locally but it remains true to its original menu.
Customers can select from a number of sizes: 10-piece ($6.50), 14-piece ($8.99), 24-piece ($15.49), 50-piece ($30.50), 75-piece ($42.75), 100 piece ($56.75), 200-piece ($110.25) and 250 pieces ($133.50).
In addition, a Sampler order (six pieces) is available for $4.25; two flavors are available. During the years, flavors have moved away from the original buttery chile sauce to a more varied crowd pleasing palate. Still, at The Right Wing, tradition is maintained with their house made wing sauces: Nitro (spicy hot, not bitter), Medium (not just heat), Mild (light spicy flavor), Barbeque (sweet tangy flavor), Lemon Butter (rich lemon flavor), TU Gold (spicy honey mustard) and Garlic (tasty garlic flavor).
Sides or "Chicken Feed" as the menu calls them include French fries, fried okra, cheese fries, chili/cheese fries, pasta salad, cole slaw, potato salad and ranch beans.
Most all sides are served in two sizes, with nothing costing more than $3.49.
You can dine in or carry out, but we had the time to sit down and take in the humble, albeit comfortable ambience. An inconspicuous structure, it is definitely showing its age, having served as another restaurant location in another era. The outside building lacks curb appeal but the inside is homey and functional with a country décor.
Sampling all the sauces, my friend and we discovered that the Nitro flavor was indeed very hot--be advised. It is a slap-you-in-your-mouth hot that provides a jolt of heat, then fades quick. The Medium and Mild are steps down from the Nitro, very tolerable and flavorful but don't bring on tears and a runny nose as the Nitro did.
The Barbeque is a thick, sweet, yet tangy sauce and quite a runner-up for flavor to the Nitro. The Lemon Pepper-the name says it all; the TU Gold is a sweet and mildly spicy on the back beat, as my friend said.
The Garlic was our least favorite--it tasted of garlic powder and was less appetizing in appearance (pale and naked). With a little work, and some fresh garlic marinade, this selection could become a hit.
The wings were fried to a very crisp state, so all the meat and skin can be eaten if so desired.
We sampled three items from the "Feed" list. The Ranch Style Beans were slightly sweet pintos with onions in a light sauce and were pleasant enough to taste. The Cheese Fries were more fries than cheese, but not bad. We also shared a Hot Stuffed Baked Potato ($3.79) which was good, not great. The large potato was filled with a decent amount of chopped white onion, green bell pepper, tomato and cheese. A side of sour cream came with it. The potato was acceptable, but was over-baked; the bottom and sides were very tough.
The Right Wing inside dining area closes at 9pm, but the drive through remains open until 10pm.
The Right Wing Restaurant
3420 E. 11th
Share this article: