By: Bennett Fuson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lots of categories separate men and women. Women like romantic comedies, while guys prefer action or comedy. Women like to share their feelings, while men enjoy penting up their rage and releasing it in fast, violent motions, then laughing about it. And, most importantly, while women enjoy a nice, petite meal like a salad, men enjoy what can only be known as “man food,” the greatest and most awesome of all the food groups.
“Man food” is technically any food a man would eat, but the intricate details require a certain level of quality, coupled with vast quantity and moderate-to-low price. To find a truly great “man food” haunt around here is nothing short of miraculous, given that the only true place to load the arteries to capacity is Bub’s. This is why Wings Etc. is such a godsend.
Sure, there are a lot of great places to eat in Carmel. And don’t get me wrong, I will eat any and all food (and have the weight to prove it). But it’s been a long, long time since I’ve had a meal that really stuck to my ribs and left me legitimately full in Carmel.
Wings Etc. should not be confused with Buffalo Wild Wings, better known as the very classy “B-dubs!” Buffalo Wild Wings was and is a pioneering achievement in “man food” culture, giving men a retreat from life to watch a ball game without worrying about the necessity of being carded, along with an arsenal of wing sauces that should be memorized like multiplication tables. But there is a flaw with the food; with the most respect possible, Buffalo Wild Wings has very, very small wings at high prices. Granted, they are delicious, but not filling.
Wings Etc. does not completely remedy this issue. I still dream of a world where Buffalo wings are real, sauce-drenched chicken wings. But, like any great revolutionary, Wings Etc. gets the ball rolling. The wings are a bit bigger. It’s about equal to the size comparison between a Chevy Equinox (had to mention my car at some point, like all men do) and a Chevy Trailblazer. Granted, this may not make a whole lot of sense to some (here’s looking at you, estrogen!), but hopefully my point is clear.
In addition to this, Wings Etc. has seven specialty wing sauces, including the ferocious “Wall” sauce (aptly named for the bet that if a customer can eat 16 “Wall” wings without a drink, he gets his picture on the “Wall of Flame”), thus marking the first time the word “wall” has ever been awe-inspiring.
What really sets Wings Etc. apart is everything else. Nowhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line have I seen food in such huge portions. Take, for example, the nachos, which are served not on a plate but a circular metal pizza tray usually used for cooking pizza. (For those of you that needed the explanation, I bet you’ll also like to try the “Bang Head Here” sign on the Wings Etc. wall, just for the clarification.) And it’s the old adage of “quality over quantity”: the nachos are good, almost great, except for the fact that I’m too poor to buy anything except the cheese nachos.
By far the crowning achievement of Wings Etc. is the ribs. There is a great line in the movie “Friday After Next” where a rib-restaurant owner promises his ribs are “so good, you’ll wanna slap yo’ mama!” After eating these ribs, I understood the feeling. Not only were they cooked exactly right so the meat almost fell off the bone, the ribs also had enough meat to actually stabilize the sauce to meat ratio (enough meat so that the rib is not just a bone dipped in sauce).
Dessert was the only modest disappointment, and even then it was not so much quality rather than quantity. Wings Etc. offers three dessert options: Brownie Bites, Bananas Foster Bites, and Apple Crisp Bites. The truly daring souls can try a sampler of all three. Each was good in its own way, although the Brownie Bites did look and taste a bit burnt. But in all honesty, what self-respecting man wants only a bite of something?
Atmospherically, Wings Etc. is everything it should be and more: a place for guys to hang out. Lots of TVs ensure optimal and multiple game viewing. The wait staff is comfortable with what they do: not too polite, not too rude, not too hasty, just simply relaxed. It’s almost as if “Cheers” sold wings and ribs.
Wings Etc. is, in short, everything I could have wanted and more. Great food, coupled with a great atmosphere and modest price, is exactly what this culinary community, along with every male in this community, needs. It would be a shame for all and a crime by any self-respecting man to pass this restaurant up, since it deals so fondly in the very principles of the “man food” philosophy.
Price range: $10 to $20
Overall grade: A
Location: 10491 Walnut Creek Dr.