Stepping out of our Sebring convertibles on a humid summer day in front of the crowd, we knew we were in for a hot time. The Big Ragu, with horrendous windblown hair, sniffed the aroma and approached the festival. Make no mistake, Ragu loves wings, well done wings cooked all the way through. Some prefers boneless chicken wings and all was unleashed at the fest.
Your Food Adventurers arrived at the first ever KICKIN’ CHICKEN WING FEST at Fraze Pavillion in Kettering right at the fest opening time of 2pm. A crowd had already formed in the 90 degree heat. Eleven restaurants offered their take on the almighty chicken wing. Some offered other menu items in addition to wings, and most booths offered wings in 5 or more sauces.
Little did we know, the first wings we tried were going to be our favorites. A place called Nick’s Restaurant from Xenia, had our favorite wing flavor of the day. We had never heard of this place, but their Spicy Garlic Wing was our vote for best chicken wing. Great taste, great kick and there was Parmesan cheese in the sauce.
As we walked from vendor to vendor we saw familiar favorites and some unfamiliar restaurants. There were BW3, Rooster’s, Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers, Beef O’Brady’s, and Buffalo Wings and Rings, all which we have had often.
We also saw McGillicutty’s restaurant out of Kettering who offered baked chicken wings, a tasty alternative to the fried fare. Your Food Adventurers really enjoyed the hottest wings offered by Romer’s Sports Bar & Grill from Bellbrook. They were scorching hot and turned on the waterworks for an already sweaty Big Ragu.
The prices of the wings were reasonable, 3 wings for $2. The cold beer sold for the regular inflated price of 5 bucks, which did not seem so bad on this steamy day.
We visited the Brixx Ice House Booth for Chicken Skewers with Bourbon Sauce and Vegetable Shish Kabobs. Not bad for only 2 dollars a skewer.
We enjoyed the hot wings at the Archer’s Tavern booth, which featured fiery sauces from Crazy Uncle Jesters. We also tried the whole wings from Paradise Key which were a little undercooked for our taste, but they had the most customers in line for food.
Other sauces that we enjoyed were Buffalo Wings and Rings Parmesan Garlic, Sweet n Sassy wings from Cold Beer and Cheeseburgers along with their Chipotle wings. More favorites were the Rooster’s Killer sauce, Romer’s Asian Persuasion wings, and Archer’s wings with Crazy Uncle Jester’s Louisiana Firestorm or Jamaican Hellfire sauces! We love BW3’s Teriyaki sauce while Ragu hit some of their Carribean Jerk wings.
The heat and the spices took their toll this Food Adventure. At the end our our tasting, we looked over and laughed at the messy Big Ragu. With sauce on his face and hands, Ragu had to take a time out to wash up with cold water in the bathroom sink. What emerged was a sopping wet Ragu, with his hair slicked back and bloodshot eyes. His chapped lips were still burning, but he managed a smile. Sure some lines were long, but there was a “hot time in the old town tonight!” We loved the first annual Kickin’ Chicken Wing Festival, it definitely didn’t lay an egg!
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