I’ve never been a fan of “best of’s” or the “top 10” lists and voting for your favorite. Well, let me stick my neck out and sound completely jerky, it’s actually just our hometown. How many times do we need to vote each year? It’s a little overdone. If you lose to a fast food joint that kind of stings. For a minute. Our focus has always been running restaurants and serving food we are proud of.┬áNow, having blurted that all out, we have to admit that making the list of MN best chicken places this year for Porch, (and being right up there with Revival), was downright flattering.

We have had a lot of additions and changes with the Championship Dining Restaurant Group. Our new ventures do highlight the usual suspects, fried chicken, smoked meats, cheese curds, WINGS, and burgers. So it’s likely we will be on someone’s list, good or bad.

So lately, I’m noticing a lot of wing talk. Not right wing or left wing, chicken wing. Almost every restaurant has buffalo wings, and everyone loves buffalo wings, including myself. I just had them at Beetles. Super crispy, not soggy from the sauce mostly as I opt to dip them, ordering sauce on the side. The sauce was traditional and good. They gave me plenty of celery, love that! I am on the blue cheese team, and their dressing was decent. Not gonna lie, Buffalo wings and a couple of Corona Lights can be a perfect dinner.

Rochester’s second Buffalo Wild Wings is set to open soon, right across the street from Hot Chip! Since we are in the biz, we know, the word is Rochester has a reputation for being big supporters B’Dubs, and there should be crowds forming over there soon. Perhaps if you find yourself in an hour wait situation, your wings aren’t clipped, fly over and grab a cold one at Hot Chip, we have free popcorn, the wait won’t seem so long.

So, we spread our wings, and have them on the menu at both Hot Chip and Cellar! Chef Justin chose Asian flavors taking direction from one of his favorite places, Pok Pok and one of his favorite wings, Ike’s Fish Sauce Wings. Cellars wings are WTF Wings. The list of ingredients includes wine, turbine sugar, and fish sauce. The wings are glazed and finished with sesame seeds and fresh mint. Yeah, I know right? Remember before you grab your flip-flops and run, Cellar is only open Friday’s and Saturday’s in the summer. Already in the car? Don’t worry, its the OMG Wings at Hot Chip that are starting to cause a stir and may just earn their wings on the next best of list, wait, do we care? Ugh, kind of… I’ve noticed cool wing photos and raves on Facebook and Instagram. When I walk through the dining room, I tend to get flagged down to hear gushes of praise over the wings! and the burgers too. Justin didn’t wing it for Hot Chip, these sticky, yummy (again Asian influenced) have a bit more character and spice not unlike like Chip himself. Stretch your wings and grab an extra wet nap. OMG wings are marinated in Olosorso sherry, maple syrup and gochujang, fried up and yep, sticky again, you’ll feel like you are soaring on eagles wings while you munch.

After all the whining we will be waiting in the wings to see if either of these wings make a top 10 list.

Side Note- It might be slightly fun to unseat Newts for best burger in the Rochester Magazine best restaurant addition, next year. Since Newts was under our Championship Dining Founder’s wing for many years, we feel like it would be a healthy competition. And we could earn our wings being in first place!