The third Wing Stop location in Memphis, which opened about two months ago in Knickerbocker Plaza on Poplar, is a good fit next to The Dixie Café. Part of a national chain, the restaurant's service and taste are better than most franchise restaurants. Plus the wings are prepared to order in 10 different flavors, including garlic Parmesan, Hawaiian, teriyaki and hickory smoked barbecue.
In addition to the mix of seasonings, wings come regular or boneless in combo's and family packs. Throw in sides (freshly baked yeast rolls, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, veggie sticks and dips) and decision-making can get tricky.
Fortunately, the folks behind the counter are super friendly and helpful. Our server Ericka helped us decide on a mix of hot, mild, louisiana rub and lemon pepper flavors along with waffle fries, cut in-house, made to order and seasoned with Wingstop's trademark seasoning. We were particularly impressed with the Louisiana rub and lemon pepper seasonings, and the skin-on fries were tasty and piping hot.
Operating since the mid-90s, Wingstop these days includes more than 600 locations, including local restaurants on Winchester and Germantown Parkway in Cordova. With an emerging presence locally, I'm interested to see if the franchise will shift customers away from more established and independently owned favorites.
When it comes to wings, most people have strong opinions. My husband still says the best wings he ever ate were from a Buffalo couple who relocated to Fort Myers, Florida, in the 1980s, along with wings from Hooters during the summer of 1987 when the chain launched regionally along Florida's Gulf Coast. I suspect there were other things he liked about Hooters besides the wings.
For me, I'm still partial to Ching’s Hot Wings on Goodlett south of Park. I like Uncle Lou's authentic down home Southern flavor on the restaurant's drummies. I know there are many other places locally for great wings, and Wingstop made me want to track down a few more. So if you have a favorite wing joint in Memphis, pass along the name so I can check it out.
4697 Poplar (537-1814); 7706 Winchester (758-6201); 1605 N. Germantown Parkway, Cordova (737-7000)