The Wing Counter Will Make You Do The Chicken Dance
If you and I have ever chatted about pizza, you may scratch your head. Most people don’t completely understand how I don’t get all that excited about it. My husband, my kids and some of my closest friends might qualify this as one of my personality flaws, and I get it. Pizza is a huge deal to most people and you will probably have to poll quite a few people until you get to someone like me. Someone that doesn’t get a little smirk when thinking about crispy, doughy crust, and all that melted, gooey cheese. I can’t help it.
The pizza that leaves the strongest impression on me is a garlic, rosemary and potato combination I once had; no one in my family got it or got why I was freaking out about it. Pizza night at home causes cheers and excitement from everyone else in my house and I almost always request hot wings on the side since we all know I will not be vying for a slice. I’ve tried them all, varying levels of heat and sauces. This past week I got the chance to try just about every wing flavor that the folks at The Wing Counter (now closed) could think up, and I was so happy when I left, I did the chicken dance in my car. Obviously.
It’s important to note a few things.
- I live in the East Valley
- The Wing Counter is in Glendale, folks.
I travel all over the Valley for this gig, but this one was a doozy, but I was rewarded in spades and have been trying to figure out how to justify heading back there for the last few days. If you live on the West side and are all about wings, this is the place for you. Purists will love their fiery wings and those of an adventurous spirit will delight in all the options you have on the menu.
Let’s break this wing joint down with all the saucy information you have to know!
The Wing Counter: 14 Signature Sauces and Dry Rubs
Not kidding! I feel like I tried all of them, but that’s probably not right. Here’s the lowdown on the menu, with my notes on the ones I tried.
TWC Style | Signature dry rub, spicy and full of flavor
Typically I am all about the sauce, so when I saw these wings I didn’t have high expectations (no offense, Wing Counter), but one bite led to three whole wings of this flavor. The dry rub somehow locked in all the juiciness of the chicken and came across as buttery, peppery and a little cheesy. No joke, these were my favorite and I will cheerfully travel the 42 miles just for these. Seriously.
Lemon Pepper | A bold kick of pepper with a splash of citrus
Garlic Parmesan | Garlicky, cheesy & unapologetically delicious, served with freshly grated Parmesan
Original Buffalo Style | The right measure of spice with the perfect flavor
These little beauties were a little bite of saucy heaven. Some people at the tasting were noting that these were spicy, but I didn’t get that. I got a more mellow, mild flavor but I like my wings with some serious kick. In my opinion, these are a great gateway wing. If you’re like me and like a whole lot of back talk from your wings, I would suggest their Hot version. If you;re feeling a little crazy and looking for a fighting bite, saddle up for their Scorching option, although you’ll have to sign a waiver first. No joke.
BBQ | Zesty, sweet, tried & true
Honey BBQ | A sweeter take on their traditional BBQ style
Teriyaki | Salty & sweet with just a hint of honey and mustard
Honey Mustard | A tangy infusion of honey and mustard
Mango Habanero | Turn the heat up on the sweetness
Sriracha Honey | The sauce that goes with anything
Don’t let the Sriracha throw you off, these wings have a tempered heat. The honey really levels off the burn that some might feel comes hand in hand with Sriracha. I really, really liked the flavor profile of this sauce.
Thai Sweet Chili | A blazing blend of Thai chilies and red pepper flakes
Kung Pao | An Asian-inspired kick with cilantro and peanuts
Wings come in quantities of 6, 10, 12, 18, 24, and 36. One of the coolest things about The Wing Counter’s wings is that they are battered in rice flour, which imparts a lighter, crispier wing. It also makes them gluten-free (although the Asian-inspired sauces are NOT gluten-free)! You can get your wings with or without bones and they offer both ranch and blue cheese for your wing dipping pleasure…but if you are out with me and you opt to dip in ranch we’re going to have to talk about our relationship. Sorry, not sorry.
On the Side
Can’t live on just wings? I get you and so does The Wing Counter. You can opt in for a mixed green salad with or without chicken. Sauced up any way you like it.
You can also add on regular or seasoned french fries, sweet potato fries or homemade coleslaw.
Their coleslaw is pretty interesting in that it has a vinegar base instead of the standard mayo. It also has a nice sweet flavor profile with the added texture contrast thanks to peanuts. It gets a little amped up with cilantro and green onions.
I admit that I have never been to New Orleans, but I can guarantee that the first time I touch down in the Big Easy I will taste test every last beignet in sight. Whenever I catch this pillowy sweet treat on a menu, I get laser focus and instantly can’t think about anything else, no matter how enticing the rest of the menu looks. Imagine my surprise to see beignets on the menu here at The Wing Counter.
I was in heaven when the massive tray arrived at our table. They come with or without a perfect drizzle of caramel, which I obviously opted for. After the obligatory photos that come with any gathering of food enthusiasts, I sunk my teeth into that first warm, sweet bite. The texture had the perfect balance of bite and air. The addition of powdered sugar just sweet enough to bring a smile to my face and the caramel felt as though it almost melted the dough. It was perfection.
If you like a little something sweet to sip on while you get a little heated from your wings, The Wing Counter offers a few flavors of Kool-Aid. On the off chance that you want to add a little touch of “adult” to your childhood drink of choice, you can get Kool-Aid cocktails. How does a Fruit Punch Vodka, Grape Vodka or Blue Raspberry Tequila sound?
Here’s the deal, the wings that I tried made my wing loving heart happy. It also made me sad that The Wing Counter is an hour drive from my house, but my Mom lives on the West side, so I see a few more visits to her house with a pit stop to pick up some wings and beignets on the way!
The Wing Counter is a great addition to the West side and they are currently celebrating their one year anniversary and have some great specials whether you are a regular customer or just looking to try them out.
The Wing Counter Specials
On September 23rd and 24th guests will receive 50% off all wing orders from open to close.
They will also have football specials with the beginning of the football season. If you opt to eat in, you can get Coors Light and Angry Orchard for only $2.75 and Blue Moon, Corona, Leinenkugles (Summer Shandy) and Lagunitas IPA fofr only $3.75. Kool-Aid cocktails will be avialble for $6.00.
All party trays (with a 50 wing minimum) will be 10% off through the Super Bowl. If the Arizona Cardinals win their game, you can get the same deal but at 25% off.
If you visit the restaurant on game day and wear your Cardinals gear, you’ll get free fries with your wing order.
It goes without saying that there are so very many reasons to visit The Wing Counter so, seriously, what are you waiting for?
The Wing Counter | 5350 W. Bell Road | Glendale | 85308 | 623.463.6881
**We would never try to trick you! So you should know that I was invited to The Wing Counter along with other members of the media. All the tastes, comments, and recommendations are made by me. My words and opinions are my own and cannot be influenced by free wings. Check out our Disclosure Policy for more information. **
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© Taryn Jeffries 2016