Wendell’s – Norton, MA

This is a surprising little place – a hole in the wall bar/restaurant that from the outside looks like the type of place that someone could come flying through the front door – or window – of at any moment, followed by a large group of people punching each other.  Once inside, it kinda reminded me of Archie’s place on Happy Days.  Nice little jukebox in the corner, a bar in the back, two dartboards on the wall.  Cozy.  Hospitable.  Smells like… wings.

The wings at Wendell’s are very reminiscent of those found at Quaker Steak & Lube, with an interesting fresh pepper flavor and different texture to the sauce.  This isn’t just Frank’s Red Hot and margarine tossed together (not that there’s anything wrong with that…), but a real home-made tasting sauce.

Like many other wing-focused menus, they offer a selection of sauces, ranging from "Sissy" which is a garlic and butter sauce that had a lot of flavor from what I tasted, all the way up to a "Suicide."  Apparently there’s an even hotter one that isn’t on the menu.  In between there you have "Sassy" (classic) and "3.5" which I still can’t figure out what it means.  You can also get a 3.25 which is the Sassy and 3.5 sauces mixed to tone it down a bit.  I got the 3.5 sauce and while it had a really good kick (by the end of the plate I needed a break to let things cool down a bit) they weren’t overpoweringly spicy to the point of ruining the flavor.  There’s a lot going on in the sauce and you don’t want to miss it. 

One hint for the Wendell virgins – the wings arrive in a bowl, with a second empty bowl turned on top.  They shake the wings to coat them like this and if you want some extra sauce, give them a shake yourself so that it all doesn’t go to the bottom.

Overall, the wings were cooked really well, the flavor was great and the atmosphere isn’t fancy at all.  But for wings and a beer, it is a great place – and is close to the Tweeter Center (Great Woods!) in Mansfield, which means it could be a new favorite destination pre (or maybe even post) concert.


P.S. We were there for a friend’s birthday, so here’s a shout-out: Happy Birthday Austin!