Wing Review 1: Archie’s (South Side)

By Donny Chedrick

I have wanted to do this for quite some time. After years of watching Man v. Food, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and Dave Portnoy pizza reviews, I wanted to review food. For me, what better than wings?

I have claimed myself to be a wing connoisseur and hold myself to a high standard when it comes to consuming them. Sure, I have the flavors I naturally like more than others, but I don’t discriminate and I’m usually willing to try different rubs and sauces. I have been on record saying I prefer drums over flats, but again, I don’t discriminate and would never be the person to order specifically just one or the other out of respect for the establishment and its employees. Whether it is a drum or flat, that wing is getting cleaned by yours truly until there isn’t a scrap of meat on it. You can take that to the bank. If you follow me on Instagram, you see the story every time I send wings down my hatch. “By noon, I need them 8,000 hens moved to their new cages.” The hens got moved on Wednesday night — National Chicken Wing Day — and the journey started at Archie’s in South Side.

For the sake of this exercise, I will score based on the main specialty wings of the bar/restaurant and their standard Buffalo wings. The overall experience will also play a factor.

Wing Flavors: Archie’s Sweet Heat (top), Cajun Honey (middle-left), Spicy Ranch (middle-right), Buffalo/Hot (bottom)

This was not my first trip to Archie’s. Living just a few blocks away in South Side, I have been there multiple times and have had their wings before. That will be the case with a handful of the places that I complete reviews at, and that’s okay, there will be several new places I plan on trying during this wing-filled journey.

On Wednesday, I sent 25 hens home. It was National Chicken Wing Day. And it was wing night at Archie’s. 60 cent wings every Monday-Thursday. I mentioned earlier how I’m not enough of a jerk to get all flats or all drums, but I am the jerk that gets 4-5 different flavors. I was a fan of all four sauces/rubs I experienced on Wednesday, which will play into the overall review, but Archie’s Sweet Heat and Hot will be the two sauces under consideration of individual scores.

Sweet Heat: A great mix of, you guessed it, sweet and heat. A little more bite than you normally get in this combo, but still packing some sweetness to each bite. This mix and variations of it is a personal favorite of mine. Most of the time, no matter where I am eating wings, a sweet and hot mix gets ordered. The Archie’s recipe is a good one — making for a damn good wing. 8.6/10

Hot: Your traditional hot/Buffalo wing from Archie’s packed some good flavor and heat. Believe it or not, I don’t order traditional hot wings often. Archie’s has pretty solid ones. 7.7/10

Archie’s earns a strong recommendation overall, especially if you are a fan of having an open choice of sauces and rubs as Archie’s menu features 23 different flavors.

Check out Archie’s website below since you will need to do some homework before you walk in.

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