Happy 4th of July! Today marks the one year anniversary of my weekly feature on chicken wings and the last 52 weeks have been nothing short of a delicious ride. Even though today is Thursday and not technically “Wingsday”, I wanted to feature this post today since it is the one year anniversary of weekly wing features and also because the Fourth of July is the most popular grilling day of the year. I am sure many of you will serving up some delicious wings during your 4th of July celebrations and I will be enjoying wings later this evening. Looking back, I have tried everything from standard Buffalo and BBQ to more exotic flavors such as Mole, Chipotle Cinnamon, Mango Habañero and even Guacamole. I have tried wings everywhere from dive bars and food trucks to sports bars, Mexican restaurants and even a few chain wing spots. When it comes to wings, I do not discriminate. As we get closer to football season and tasty tailgating adventures, I look forward to creating some of my own unique flavors. When I began this weekly adventure last year, I decided to choose a winner for my overall favorite and announce that winner on Superbowl Sunday. My winner last year was The Press Box and although it was a tough decision to make, they won best overall in all the categories I was looking for:
This year I will be doing something a little different by taking my favorite wing selections and pairing them up play-off style with a new winner to be chosen again on Super Bowl Sunday.
Yesterday I finally made it to Pachyderm Wing Company on Kennedy and sampled two of their flavors. Located across from the University of Tampa Lacrosse Stadium, Pachyderm offers a great selection of wings along with other menu selections, a full bar and an outside Biergarten.
Signature sauces at Pachyderm include: Happy Elephant, Pachyderm, Angry Elephant, Spicy Garlic, Bar-B-Que, Hot Bar-B-Que, Asian Elephant Pow, Asian Elephant Ka-Pow and Chipotle BBQ. Dry rubs include Serengetti Heat, Dry Rasta-Phant, Chipotle Cinnamon, Blackened, Lemon Pepper and Pachyderm Dry Rub. I was immediately drawn to the Chipotle Cinnamon and since I was ordering 6 wings, my server suggested I split the order with two sauces so I could try another flavor and highly recommended the Asian Elephant Ka-Pow. He didn’t have to twist my arm so I took his advice and anxiously awaited my wings. Being that it was 3 pm the day before a holiday, the place was empty so I wasn’t able to sneak a peek at other dishes being enjoyed by patrons. Considering all of their wing options, I will be returning with a few friends to taste my way around their menu.
My wings arrived and I was ready to dig into the piping-hot pieces of poultry pleasure. Chipotle Cinnamon was my first victim and I was enticed by the scent of cinnamon that was incredibly soothing on this gloomy and rainy day. The combination of slightly sweet and spicy was just what I was looking for and I could almost feel my taste buds doing a happy dance. All that was missing was a glass of champagne. Call me crazy but champagne and chicken wings are a fantastic combo.
After leaving nothing left on my plate but bones, I then tried the Asian Elephant Ka-Pow and yes, my server was right. The succulent sauce won me over with its sweet heat and unique flavor. Thankfully nobody was in the restaurant as I am sure I had sauce all over my lips. Let’s face it, there really is no graceful way to eat a chicken wing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nothing says you enjoyed your food more than a clean plate and a messy face. 😉
Pachyderm Wing Company is a destination spot for wing lovers and I am looking forward to my next trip. If you are ever in the area, I encourage you to stop by.
Today I sat back and reflected on the 52 places I have had wings this year and came up with my top ten current favorites. These are not in any particular order as I am keeping my top five favorites a secret. 😉
- Doormet: Apricot Sriracha Wings
- Green Lemon: Guacamole Wings
- The Stein and Vine: Pig Wings
- Catrinas Cocina y Galeria: Mango Habañero and Mole Wings
- The Dunedin Smokehouse: Smokehouse Wings
- The Pub: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout BBQ Wings
- Datz: Sweet Heat Sesame Wings
- Dunedin Brewery: Pub Wings
- Fire Bar & Grill: Fire Wings
- Mackenzie’s Sports Tavern: Buffalo Wings
I look forward to more weekly wing features and appreciate everyone’s feedback. My list of places to visit is a long as ever and I have lots of wing features to keep me busy through the summer and all of football season.
Have a wonderful 4th of July and be safe.