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Restaurants & Bars 6

Fast Food Buffalo Wings

lil mikey | Jul 7, 2005 12:40 PM

Coming out of the Hollywood Zankou the other night I noticed a sign across the street that said “Best Buffalo Wings.” It was painted on the side of the building, and referred to the Pizza Man restaurant there.

So I decided to test the theory among the chain pizza places that deliver. But to make it a proper test, I decided to pick them up instead of having them delivered. That way, I would have them all at the same time.

Pizza Man, Pizza Hut and Domino’s would be the test population. I called all three and placed an order of spicy wings to go.

I started at Pizza Hut, since it was furthest from home. When I got there, the wings were ready, boxed and in the warmer. They seemed happy to see me (I don’t imagine they get much pick-up business). They took the wings from the warmer, added a little container of ranch dressing, and I was on my way.

Next was Pizza Man. Here, the wings were also ready and in the warmer. They added some dressing, bagged it, and off I went.

Finally was Domino’s. They had not yet started the wings. Then they made some lame excuse that a driver took them by mistake. I could see them putting them in the oven. Then about 8 minutes later, they asked if I wanted spicy or barbecue. I responded spicy as I could see them taking the wings from the oven. Then, voila, they gave me the box and I was mobile again.

Oddly, all three were still relatively hot by the time I got home, and once the boxes were opened they all cooled at about the same pace.

And here are the results:

Pizza Hut – These wings sucked. They were doughy and had a margarine taste to them. It seemed like they were cooked with the sauce, as there was no extra sauce in the bottom of the box for dipping. The ranch dressing was okay. We didn’t finish them, and chucked the extra wings.

Domino’s – These didn’t have any batter, but rather seemed like they were simply spiced and cooked. Then, as I mentioned above, they drizzle the sauce on afterward. There is tasty sauce on the bottom of the box to dip the wings into. These were pretty meaty, and included little drumettes with the wings. Overall OK. We saved the extra wings for later.

Pizza Man – The ranch dressing was lame. Instead of little cups like Domino’s and Pizza Hut, the dressing came in little packages like the ketchup packages you get at McDonalds. They also don’t have cardboard boxes like the other places. They put the wings into a Styrofoam box. But of the three places, these were in fact the best wings. They were battered and cooked with the sauce (or so it seemed, as there was nothing on the bottom of the box to dip into). They weren’t crunchy, but at least they were cooked completely, unlike the Pizza Hut wings. And they didn’t have any weird flavors. The sauce was good and spicy, and when dipped in the Pizza Hut dressing, they were passable.

And so it is that we found the best of the worst: Pizza Man.

As for the best of the best, I haven’t tried the wings at the Rustic Inn, and will try those some day. But at the moment, our favorite wings are at Big Mama’s in Studio City.

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