Wingz N Thingz (CLOSED)

Good "hot" wings, everything else "OK"

After spending a "Sunday Funday" afternoon at the Flying Saucer, I decided to go grab some take-out before heading home. After some deliberation, I decided against going to a typical fast food joint like McDonald's or Wendy's and opted for some local flavor. Remembering that a new wing place opened on Jackson Ave., I decided to give it a try. In choosing Top Of The Line Wingz ~N~ Thingz, I assumed it was just another indistinguishable wing joint, putting out wings that aren't any different than Crumpy's, D'Bo's or the nearby Chicago'z Fast Foods, but I have com
e to find out that this isn't true.
(By th
e way, using a "z" in place of an "s" at the end of words isn't the catchiest of gimmicks, although it adds a little "ghetto" flavor that either has a positive or negative effect on marketing, depending on the demographic that you're trying to reach).
With this being my first visit, I decided to play it safe and chose the three whole wing combo with hot sauce
, assuming that I would get the typical hot wing experience. When my wings came out, I could tell by the aroma that this was going to be different, in a good way. The wings are fried just right and are nicely tenderized, which makes it easy to separate the "drummies" from the actual wings. As for the taste, it is combination of salt and other spices that I couldn't precisely identify, although if I had to guess, I would say that black pepper was one of the ingredients used. The taste was definitely unique, which is a nice change of pace from the many other wing places in Memphis. Along with the fries and soda, the wings made for a nice meal that left me wanting more.
For my second visit, I tried the Garlic Parmesan wings that is Wingz N Thingz's feature menu item. The wings are breaded in seasonings that is obviously garlic-based, then fried and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. The process makes the wings a bit flaky, leaving lots of crumbs as they are eaten. As for taste, the garlic is noticeable but not
overwhelming, and the cheese is a decent complement although the combined flavor was nothing more than mediocre. The ranch dressing is a good choice for those who like dipping their wings. After eating these wings, I can't say that I would recommend it but I won't discourage anyone from trying it.
During my third visit, I went with the "seasoned" wings, which are simply the restaurant's ver
sion of fried chicken. The seasoning is similar to what is in the wing joint's hot wings, but in my opinion, it doesn't taste nearly as good on the seasoned wings. The wings were nicely breaded and tender, which made for a good eating experience. However, when compared to places like Gus's and Uncle Lou's, Wingz N Thingz's seasoned wings would rate a "6" on a scale of ten. However, like the Garlic Parmesan wings, I wouldn't dissuade anyone from ordering them.
As for the "Thingz" part of Wingsz N Thingz, the food is okay, for the most part. The chili cheese dog, consisting of a "regular" (as in typical) size hot dog with chili and cheese (possibly Velveeta), was decent, although the chili was a little saltier than what I'm used to. The Jumbo Hamburger, featuring a 1/3 lb. beef patty which I had with cheese and no onions, didn't taste any different from most burgers that I've had in the past. As such, it was a little too salty for me, but not to point that it was uneatable (nearby burger places like Tops and Alex's Tavern need not worry about competition from this place). I also tried the Philly Steak sandwich (which I suppose the restaurant is passing off as a cheesesteak) that is nothing more than a hoagie with onions (which I omitted), lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise (lots of it). The Philly has a decent amount of meat (about the same as Subway's steak sandwich) but it falls far short of being a genuine cheesesteak (for those seeking the real thing, check out either Juicy Jim's or Broadway Pizza House). Overall, the "Thingz," like most of the "Wingz" (except the hot wings) are okay but not overly impressive.
After making several visits to Wingz N Thingz, my impression of the place is that it is a decent place that provides good food at a reasonable price. In terms of quality, the food is what it is for the price, which isn't a bad thing for those on a budget. Because of the proximity to my house, I will probably visit this place often for the hot wings (though not late at night, for the area surrounding it is a little sketchy) but it probably won't be a substitute for any of my favorite restaurants where I get some of my best meals from. Still, the restaurant will probably do well in attracting residents in the Klondike neighborhood and might even draw in a few customers from the nearby Vollintine-Evergreen community in Midtown. Because of the impeccable taste of some of my friends, I'll stop short of recommending this place, but I'll urge anyone to give Wingz N Thingz a try and judge it for either himself or herself.

UPDATE: Since this review, the name of the restaurant has changed to "Crumpy's Wingz & Thingz" (I'm not sure if it's an official part of Crumpy's hot wings chain).



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