Wendell’s is one of my favorite places for wings, as mentioned over a year ago. I’ve been back several times since and they have been consistently good. It has been interesting spreading the word about Wendell’s – most people seem to love it, but every once in a while, you come across someone who doesn’t quite "get it." Sometimes they weren’t prepared for the long wait for the food, but more often, they don’t care for the wings. The most common thing you hear is that the wings are "too crispy," which is a befuddling complaint. Maybe there’s more people out there who like fatty and flabby wings than I ever would have thought.
Anyway – I like Wendell’s so much that I chose it as my birthday dinner destination this week. I had my usual 3.25 wings with some additional Sissy wings on the side, which are among my favorite wings ever, even if they aren’t spicy.
This update is really thanks to my friend Eric (Erock) who went up a few notches on the heat scale and went with the "Extra Spicy." The difference between the levels of heat is obvious when you have some "Regular" "3.25" "3.5" and "Extra Spicy" all lined up. The Regulars look like a pretty traditional Buffalo wing sauce – a creamy sauce that is a fairly light red in color. The 3.25 and 3.5 wings go a few shades darker and there’s a maroon colored oil floating around in it – clearly there’s too much hot pepper oil to be absorbed by the other ingredients in the sauce. And then the Extra Spicy are the color of that oil itself – a much darker color, closer to entirely maroon. It isn’t quite as spicy as the color indicates, but it IS a significant step up from the 3.25 or 3.5 wings. What is nice is that Wendell’s doesn’t sacrifice flavor for heat – the same base is there, providing a flavorful backdrop for the hot sauce.
After numerous visits to Wendell’s and having leftovers for the first time that I reheated the next day, my thought is that they are creating a base wing sauce of margarine, garlic, and onions that is cooked and pureed until it turned into a mush. That makes the sissy wings. Everything else from there is simply differing levels of peppers and pepper sauce added to make it hotter. I base this upon reheating the wings, which caused the sauce to separate, and leave behind the pulp-like base of the wing sauce.