What: Chicken wings; fries; sandwiches Where: Hoagies & Wings (at various locations in Southern California: Downtown L.A., Sherman Oaks, Culver City, La Cienega)
Must Order: Chicken wings; steak hoagie fries
Left: Buffalo hot wings and garlic Parmesan wings; Right: Steak hoagie fries
The Verdict: It's amazing how often restaurants can get this basic comfort food wrong -- really, they're just chicken wings. So how does Hoagies & Wings do it? They take lean, meaty pieces of chicken, fry them up to crispy perfection and slather them in either tasty sauce or just the right amount of seasoning. You can take your pick from 11 different flavors ranging from the typical options to more unusual ones: Mild, Hot, Suicide, Mambo, BBQ, Spicy Thai, Teriyaki, Seasoned, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Parmesan and more recently, Breaded & Spicy (no sauce but with spicy seasoning). I often stick with two flavors, Hot and Garlic Parmesan. The buffalo sauce is thick and just a little bit sticky (the way every chicken wing sauce should be), while their garlic parmesan wings are coated in tiny grains of cheese with a hint of garlic. Plus, the price is moderate: a 20-piece order costs about $16.
And don't forget the Steak Hoagie Fries. Thin strips of seasoned, golden potatoes are covered in cheese, chopped tomatoes, bits of parsley and of course, slivers of well-done steak. Imagine if someone took your favorite Philly Cheesesteak, scooped out the inside and heaped it onto a hearty helping of french fries. It's it's rich, surprisingly not too greasy and only about $7.