Yes I know its a chain but its darn good.
They just opened up this location a couple of weeks ago and plan to open another one in Rancho Santa Margarita soon. Its on the corner of Muirlands and Lake Forest next to Diedrich's.
They're running coupons 5 free with an order of 20. Called in for pickup a 20 piece order, half Atomic and half garlic parmesan with the extra 5 Atomic. I also got a side order of blue cheese dressing, which is extra.
Very friendly person on the phone who immediately inquired if I've had their atomic before. Apparently its hotter than what most people could handle and he wanted to give me warning. Most people can't eat more than 10 in one sitting.
I'm no chilihead but my tolerance is higher than average and its been many moons since a commercial place's hot has hurt me. Stung a few times but not hurt. I always order the hottest one and am usually disappointed at the lack of heat or taste.
Upon pickup, the vapors emanating from the enclosed bag were potent enough to actually make me stop and think the Atomic would be beyond my tolerance.
I tore into them as soon as I went home. Wing size was about average. At first bite, the Atomic had a good sting to them but not a overwhelming burn. The texture of the meat was a little soggy due to the sauce. But there was a good flavor. The sauce also contained cracked peppercorns which I didn't care for since it threatened to overpower the rest of the sauce. The sharp pepper taste was the dominant note. I did start to sweat about my 5th wing in. Which was the first time in a long time I broke out in sweat that quickly.
The garlic parmesan retained the texture. Good crunchy outer with a moist soft interior. It looks like a light flour dusting before frying. Weak garlic flavor but that may be due to my tastebuds being overwhelmed by the Atomic. A good sprinkling of parmesan. A much better product than Wingnuts' version which has the nasty glop on it.
The house made blue cheese dressing was extremely insipid. Barely any cheese taste, no bite to it and the chunks were flavorless.
Overall, a pretty good deal. This franchise's prices were $5.89 for 10 and $10.49 for a 20 pc. Extremely reasonable I thought. They're open 11 am to midnight.
Being a wing fan, I would come back regularly which is more than I could say about any other wing place I've found in South OC so far.
A large mocha from Diedrich and some wings sounds like a good gut bomb to end an evening sometime.