(Please note: Wing Wars 2018 is SOLD OUT. Sorry, you're outta cluck.)
Last year we at Atlantic City Weekly set out to find the answer to a question that had been burning inside us for some time — what spot served the top wing in all of South Jersey? We needed to find out.
But how would we determine this? We could have just eaten at a bunch of places ourselves and then told you which we liked best, but what fun would that have been? Instead, we decided that in order to answer a question as hotly debated as this we needed to enlist the public and our loyal readers to help us choose a champion. Hence, Wing Wars was born.
Q. In Three Card Poker, how should I divide my bets between ante-play and Pair Plus?
Now it’s back.
The concept is simple — some of the best wing-serving restaurants in the area each set up shop in one giant space and serve up their take on the humble chicken wing. Live music rocks the house and drinks flow behind the bar. At the end of the event a panel of judges as well as the attendees (that’s you!) each get to vote for whose wing is king and which dipping sauce is boss. Easy peezy.
And just for the fun of topping ourselves, this year we return with more places than ever — 17 in total — all coming together Saturday, Jan. 27, at Golden Nugget Atlantic City to throw their wings in the ring. Every style from buffalo to barbecue and all points between will be on hand just waiting for you to take a bite and cast your vote. Music will be provided by LeCompt and the event is sponsored by WMGM Rocks 103.7-FM.
The competition starts at 1 p.m. but VIP tickets will get you in an hour earlier, plus you’ll receive a limited edition Wing Wars 2018 T-shirt.
Wondering exactly what’s on the menu at this year’s Wing Wars? Read below and let the cravings begin …
Pic-A-Lilli Pub, Atlantic City: An absolute legend amongst South Jersey wing spots, Pic-A-Lilli Pub returns to Wing Wars this year with their classic double wings, which come coated in their insanely crave-able mild buffalo sauce and paired with a side of homemade blue cheese.
Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House, Atlantic City: Last year Vagabond took home the top prize for the best wings at Wing Wars. This year they have decided not to mess with perfection. The braised, flash-fried wing that took the crown last year will be back to defend its title. Their blue cheese however may get a bit of a makeover …
Okatshe, Atlantic City: This Garces-owned spot in Tropicana Atlantic City may be best known for sushi, but anyone who tried their wings in this year’s 50 Bites+ can tell you — they are incredible. We are talking flavors like ginger, garlic and scallion. A wing with an Iron Chef’s stamp on it? Should be a serious contender.
Vic & Anthony’s, Atlantic City: Last year Vic & Anthony’s brought a bit of an oddball to the party — a maple-glazed quail wing. This year they are taking that same idea and applying it to the more traditional bird of choice, the chicken. That means more meat for you and the same knock-your-socks-off sauce. No complaints here.
Michael Patrick’s Brasserie, Atlantic City: One of our favorite stops in Golden Nugget’s restaurant army, Michael Patrick’s Brasserie returns to Wing Wars. Last year it was all about unusual flavors like parmesan, rosemary and molasses. This time they will strip things back and present a traditional chicken wing, deep fried and served with celery and carrots.
Manco and Manco, Somers Point: They may be best known for their world-class slices of pizza, but the wings at Manco and Manco have been the go-to menu item for those in the know for the last few years. Expect both mild and honey hot flavors to be up for grabs at Wing Wars.
Guy’s BBQ Joint, Atlantic City: If you are a fan of the barbecue variety of chicken, the wing that Guy’s BBQ Joint will serve at Wing Wars just might earn your coveted red token. Doused in bourbon brown bbq sauce this smoky sweet treat will be tough to beat.
A.C. Burger Co., Atlantic City: Atlantic City Burger Co. didn’t enter Wing Wars last year for one very good reason — they didn’t exist! But this year they do, and they are stepping up to the plate with one of the most unique entries yet. They start with a basic chicken wing, glaze it with a sweet chili habanero sauce and toss it in crushed Cool Ranch Doritos. Who else is doing that? Answer: nobody.
Those who have dined at Steve & Cookie’s in Margate already know of its delectable cuisi…
Kelsey’s, Atlantic City: As ground zero for soul food in Atlantic City, to say Kelsey’s knows their way around a chicken wing would be a serious understatement. Their entry is sure to cause lines at their table at Wing Wars when they bust out their honey garlic wings paired with blue cheese and sweet soy sauce.
Rose’s Garden Grill, Northfield: Known for producing some of the best sandwiches anywhere in South Jersey, true fans know that their wings have been the hidden gem on their vast menu for a while. This is their first year at Wing Wars and they come ready for battle with their Mandingo Buffalo Wings. Deep-fried, sauced and spiced to perfection, Rose’s wings can go toe-to-toe with anybody on this list.
Los Amigos, Atlantic City: We can hear you now saying “Chicken wings from a Mexican restaurant?!” That’s right, folks. Because if there is one thing Mexican restaurants know, it’s heat. Once you have tried their lightly-breaded version of this classic bar treat you will be back for seconds.
Joseph’s at Renault Winery, Egg Harbor City: While you may think a restaurant at a winery would be too fancy to enter a humble chicken wing competition, you would be wrong. Finding inspiration from the South Pacific, the wings from Joseph’s are a perfect balance of sweet and heat with their awesome Thai chili sauce.
Tennesee Ave. Beer Hall, Atlantic City: Haven’t been to Tennesee Ave. Beer Hall? Neither have we. Neither has anybody, because it is so new it hasn’t even opened its doors yet. But that isn’t stopping them from making a splash at this year’s Wing Wars with their head turning Asian chicken and waffles. It’s Harlem meets Tokyo — Togarashi spiced wings tossed in a maple Whitecap Whiskey glaze seated on a toasted sesame waffle. This could be the show stopper.
Chart House, Atlantic City: While Chart House may be best known for their amazing seafood dishes, the chefs here have mastered a traditional buffalo wing that is more than worthy of some serious respect. Tossed in a classic spicy buffalo sauce and served with celery and a blue cheese mousse (a pretty cool twist on your standard blue cheese dressing if you ask us) this wing may just be your next excuse to head over to Chart House.
Hooters, Atlantic City: What can you say about a Hooters wing that hasn’t been said before? Hooters was serving buffalo wings before most places had ever even heard of them. No need to mess with perfection, this year’s entry will be their original-style hot wings that you have known and loved for as long as anybody can remember.
The Cove, Brigantine: For the last two years The Cove has had their wings featured in A.C. Weekly’s annual 50 Bites+ promotion and this year they have stepped up and joined the battle at Wing Wars. Their entry is a “pterodactyl wing.” Although no actual dinosaur meat is involved, the wings are monster-sized smoked whole chicken wings, served glazed with their incredible orange Thai coconut sauce.
Tun Tavern, Atlantic City: Get ready for this — Tun Tavern is showing up ready to battle with an army of pickle and beer-brined wings with habanero infused oil, served with a homemade blue cheese and celery sorbet garnish. Looks like the game just got a little tougher.
Naomi's Cafe, Northfield: Meaty, tender and fried-to-crispy-perfection, Naomi's sticky & sweet Thai wings are super delicious — and most importantly — sticky and sweet thanks to this Thai recipe that is not spicy but packs a punch in the flavor department. You will be licking your fingers and asking for Wet Wipes as you savor the balanced Asian flavors of this awesome wing.