Adline's Hot Wings Express

Momma Knows Best

In a first for me, I've decided to highlight one of my mom's favorite restaurants. Adline's Hot Wings Express is regarded by Frayser residents as having some of the best hot wings in the area. However, my Mom's favorite flavor of wings is the Honey Gold that eventually won me over. The only gripe that my Mom and many others have of Adline's is the long (up to an hour or more) wait time. Although my previous experiences were great, I decided to make a couple of "official" visits to get a better grasp of the Adline experience.
During my first "official" visit. I got the Wednesday lunch special that consisted of five whole wings, fries and a 20 oz. drink. When I asked for a mix of hot and Honey Gold wings, I was told that I was limited to one flavor. That surprised me, for I never had a problem of getting that request fulfilled at other places. I ended up ordering the Honey Gold, which are my favorite.
The Honey Gold wings are smothered in a tangy mix of honey mustard and hot wing sauce. The end result is a very good sauce that makes the Honey Gold wings the best that I've had so far.

My only complaint is not about the wings themselves, but the napkins that Adline's provides with them. They are the typical small, thin types that most restaurants use, which are not sufficient for cleaning off sticky Honey Gold sauce. During my wing meal, cleaning off my hands was a hassle because napkin pieces would cling to my fingers. To make matters worse, some of those napkin pieces would fall onto the wings. I'm sure that Adline's wants to keep costs down, but the owners need to find better napkins. I never had this problem at other places, like Ching's.
The seasoned fries were decent, nothing out of the ordinary. The fries were cooked to a light brown crisp and dusted with dry rub seasoning and what I believe was parsley. The mildly spicy flavor complemented the Honey Gold wings.
The wings came with a cup of ranch dressing that was impressive. What I mean is that the dressing was thick with a perfect combination of mayo, buttermilk and garlic that tasted great with the Honey Gold wings and seasoned fries. It's not often that I have something to say about ranch dressing, but it was that good.
The service that was provided was okay, but could've been better. Aside from the napkins and the unwillingness to mix wings, Adline’s doesn't offer any diet sodas or other beverages (besides water) that isn't steeped in sugar. For a restaurant located in a mostly black neighborhood, that was somewhat disconcerting. Blacks have a higher rate of diabetes than other races, and Adline’s isn't helping the cause. I ended up getting water during my visit there. Also, when I went to the restroom to wash my hands, it didn't have any paper towels. This could be a consequence of the restaurant not having quality napkins, forcing customers to go to the restroom for hygienic relief. However, there was one unexpected positive. Despite the reviews I've read, I didn't have to wait long for my meal. The average wait time for most of its customers was about fifteen minutes, which is stated on the menu. If I had to grade the service, I would give it a "C" because it was good but there's a lot of room for improvement.
For my second visit, I decided to try the hot wings. Before I go on, I want to say that I'm not a hot wings expert. For me, most hot wings taste the same, regardless of whether it comes from a dingy place in South Memphis (All About Dem Wangs), a popular bar like Slider Inn (who just hired one of my favorite Flying Saucer Girls, Kyla) to a well-known wing joint like Ching's. It seems that most places marinate its hot wings in either Frank's RedHot Sauce, Louisiana Hot Sauce or similar Cayenne pepper sauces. With the exception of a few places, most wing joints don't think "outside the box." I'm sure wing experts like Kevin of the blog Burn My Mouth will think I'm stupid (which is a predisposed notion of some of my "fans"), but I can't tell the difference in hot wings from most places. Adline's is no exception, for the hot wings (other than being crisper than average) tastes the same as most places that I've been to. That said, I will say that the wings are good, yet not worth making a special trip for them. I can get the same thing at most places, including my beloved Flying Saucer.

I got my hot wings as a three-wing combo with "regular" fries and a Cherry Coke. The fries, while somewhat crispy, were unimpressive. Without seasoning that I had on my first visit, the fries didn't taste any different from what could be found in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. With the fries not seasoned, they lacked pizzazz. If I order them again, I will sprinkle salt on them to liven things up. Also, dipping the fries in ranch dressing makes for a very tasty side dish.
When I initially ordered my hot wings, I phoned it in with the intention of getting it "to go." I was about ten minutes away from Adline's when I placed the order, and it was ready when I got there. This was well within the fifteen minutes that Adline's promised. So again, contrary to the reviews I've read, my order came about in a timely manner. Therefore, I believe that Adline's doesn't have a problem in getting out orders. If there were problems in the past, Adline's must have fixed them.
In summing it up, I was really impressed by Adline's Honey Gold wings. Even though my experience is limited, I really liked Adline's version of them. Until I can try Honey Gold wings at other places, I will hold off in calling Adine's the best. When I go there again, I want to try some the wing joint's seafood which I've heard is good. I may never become a "hot wings" expert, but I believe that Adline's is as good as some of the so-called best wing joints in town. If you're in Frayser, stop over at Adline's for lunch or dinner. If you do, you won't be disappointed.


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