Thank You Jesus for Chicken wings

This week, like everyone else, I am reflecting on what I am thankful for. The thing I am most thankful for, is two years ago today, I got on stage at the Laughing Skull for the first time. It was a slow wind up for me, my first 10 months or so of comedy, I was only going up a handful of times a month and now if I do not go up between 3 and 8 times a week, I feel like I am missing out. I feel incomplete if I am not surrounding myself with comedy.

I am so thankful that over a year ago Joe Pettis, gave me a chance and put me on his shows. I am so thankful that people like John Michael Bond, bring great people to town and run shows that make people want to work harder. The Atlanta comedy scene is such a gift.  In two years, I found my passion in life, I know what makes me feel alive, and I know what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I am so thankful for that. Some people don’t ever figure that out or have an environment that supports it.

One of the open mics that pushed me to be a better comic was The Local, formerly on Tuesdays. I grew so much from going on stage there. Not to mention, their smoked wings are delicious (either before the open mic or after a show on the weekends.)

I had their smoked wings back in September after a really fun story telling show at the Big House on Ponce, hosted by Will Newton and “curated” by Dedrick Flynn. Both of these guys have been working really hard and run some fun shows. I always look forward to seeing them around. A few of us decide to head down Ponce to the Local for some late night wings and beers.

We get some pitchers and several flavors of wings. Laughter and hours of talking over each other ensue. We gushed over how the wings tasted amazing and just live in the moment. These kinds of moments around wings and comedy are true bliss. I can’t honestly describe the flavors or the tenderness of the meat but I know that it didn’t matter. What mattered was how much fun we had.

I can’t wait for the years to come: all the wings, all the open mics, all the shows, all the friendships, all the laughter, all the terrible sets, all the killer sets, all the late nights, all the PBR’s and High Life’s, and all of the Atlanta Comedy Scene.



Sunday night, I went to the Nook adjacent to Piedmont Park. I had heard of their infamous “Totchos” (tater tots dressed as nachos) but hadn’t made it there to try.

I was asked there by Gene* (name has been changed). Gene is a Yankee transplant and has personified more Southern chivalry than most Georgia bred boys. Gene is from NYC and doesn’t have a car, so he made an effort to walk from his place to the Nook. (He walked about 2mi in the cold and dark!)

We sat down and he made sure that I was content with my drink, with our Totchos, and made sure I got the wings.

We settled on the Honey Chipotle BBQ  smoked wings, based on our server’s recommendation. Their wings did not have that smokey taste like the name said. They looked and tasted more like they were char-grilled. The skin was almost black; the seasoning must have not agreed with the grill/smoker. A great smoked wing  has a dark brown color, not black. The Honey Chipotle BBQ sauce had the right amount of heat and a touch of sweetness that was not overpowering. I did not care for the sauce’s texture. It was very thick. If a few drops of butter made its way in, the consistency would be divine.


The ranch that came along side of it was delicious. It was homemade, for sure. I didn’t do much dipping because of the thick sauce on the wings. (And it didn’t need it.)

More than anything, I had a great time with Gene. He put forth an effort that made our time even more fun.

Dating is hard for everyone and when effort on both ends is put forth, it makes a great experience. I get just as frustrated when I hear girls using guys for a “free meal” as I do when guys buy girls drinks at the bar just to use them for sex. We can’t go into dates hoping to get something out of it except creating a new connection and having fun.

When I moved back to Atlanta to work in the film industry, I had no money. I worked as a freelance production assistant and had two part time jobs at the mall (which I mentioned previously about Checker’s wings) and when I made plans with someone, I was missing an opportunity to work (and it costs money to have fun.) So each date I went on that year, I was intentional about the effort I put in and conscious of what the other person did to make sure the date was enjoyable. I truly appreciate if the effort put forth is scheduling, planning a fun experience, financially backing it, or just being present and attentive.

Women, who ever we are on a date with… even if you don’t feel a “spark”…appreciate the effort your date put into making it a good time.

Men, who ever you are on a date with…even if you don’t feel a “spark” or you can tell the other person doesn’t….appreciate the effort your date put in (appearance, scheduling, or splitting the bill).

People notice when you put effort in and when you have wing sauce all over your face.

Friend Wings

I get wings with friends as often as I can. Last Tuesday, I had wings with my good friend Dan, a fellow Atlanta comic.

We did the friend wing thing at Graveyard. I previously gave them a mediocre review, which I still stand by. It’s a great deal to get 10 wings for $4.50~. I went for Zombie Sauce, which is a much better sauce choice than Dan’s dismal White Trash BBQ.

I spotted a party about to leave a table and politely asked them if Dan and I could use the other end of the long table. They were super sweet and volunteered the entire table since their check had just come.

Two bros near me, turned to me with a sheer look of disgust and said, “We were wanting that table!”

I sugar-sweetly said, ” Well you should have asked!” As I took my seat, flipped my hair and offered them the other end of the table but it wasn’t good enough for them.

The bros proceeded to stand directly behind us to talk about the conversation Dan and I were having (since we were talking shop).

More than anything, I wanted to punch their little entitled faces. But, I just enjoyed my wings and my time with Dan…trying to keep my burning ears directed to my friend.

Those bros who were pissed about the table, put me back to when I was an adolescent who was deeply misunderstood, by parents and peers. I don’t mean to lump people together but whenever I come in contact with people who love to belittle and cause drama, I get a pit in my stomach.

I have said this before on stage but it’s like former “popular” children grow up to be the nastiest people, and they can somehow smell the dork on me.

As an adolescent, I cared way too much about what those people thought about me. The result was years of bullying and depression.

I don’t let those kinds of people get to me, it just annoys me more than anything now. I know there are other people who grew up like me: unable to communicate with peers, interests that didn’t align with what was ~cool~, and a limited budget for cool clothes. Us former dorks deserve to eat wings and be proud to be ourselves. We are not alone in our nerdy, dorky, misunderstood PTSD.

Why Do I Eat Wings?

As a Southerner by birth, all holidays, all occasions, and all celebrations revolve around food. To me, I didn’t throw a good party unless everyone has a full belly and standing around the kitchen talking all night long.

When I take time to eat wings with someone, it’s more than happenstance. It’s a way to show someone you want to be comfortable with them. No one on God’s green earth looks cute eating wings and being able to eat them in front of someone that you think is cute (without wing sauce on their face) is special.

Late in high school, my sister and I became really close friends. We finally understood each other and every once in a blue moon we would go to Buffalo Wild Wings and talk about everything. When I went off to college and would come home on breaks, we had a standing date to go get wings and/or Zaxby’s. It really gave us time to be our unapologetic selves away from our parents.

As I have gotten older, I have become emotionally more guarded. If I can go to dinner with someone and they can enjoy the experience of having wing sauce all over our faces and hands, that’s how I know I can be comfortable with them.

The “I don’t care if I look like a zombie ripping flesh from the bone with spicy blood all over my face.” empowers me to be a little less guarded. I can’t be perfect with wings and I shouldn’t be. It lets the person I’m with know that I am not here to pretend to be something I’m not. I’m imperfect! I’m a strong woman who just wants to eat wings and do comedy…

Ordering a salad with dressing on the side and no croutons is not who I am. (Although sometimes it’s important to eat healthy.) I don’t want to feel like I have to impress you by how little I can eat to look like a sad Barbie.

If you can’t handle me at my buffalo wing, you don’t deserve me at  my buffalo flavored caviar. (I don’t think this makes sense but it would make a great little motivational meme with Audrey Hepburn with wing sauce on her face… so essentially me in a My Fair Lady costume eating wings. Okay, I have found my new purpose. Make a movie accurate dress from the horse race scene and wear it to eat wings.)

Birmingham Memories

After attending Samford, I accepted a job at a multimedia company selling digital and print advertising. It was not a good fit for me but during that time I played on a kickball team that somehow made life bearable. It was one of my favorite things to do. Because Birmingham is so much smaller than Atlanta, the bars were more involved in the league. So big pre- and post- season parties sponsored by the bars in the Lakeview District were full of a lot of beer, a lot of discounted food, and a lot of friends.

I spent many a Thursday night after a game at Innisfree and Moe’s BBQ.


This is one of the seasons I played in Birmingham as the team “Kickas in Paris” (we were dumb). I have shared many orders of wings with these people.

A few of Moe’s BBQ was founded by three guys from Alabama who established their tradition of fruit wood smoked meats in Colorado. By spring of 2009, the moved into a really cool old house in the Lakeview District of Birmingham. In 2011, they took the old Kool Korners Midtown and outfitted it to accommodate their Bama style bar-be-que.

This place makes me so happy when I think about their smoked wings and the times I had eating them with my friends all sweaty and planning new plays for the next game. They will always be one of my favorites.

The wings have super complex smokey flavors all the way to the bone and a barely wet sauce that’s more like a dry rub but not overly dry. I like putting a dab of ranch on my wings and their homemade thick ranch is divine but the wings hold up without any frills.  The wings pair nicely with their fried pickles with that homemade ranch dip or the redneck nachos.

4 out of 5 clucks for sauce (more of a dry rub)

4 out of 5 clucks for meat (so tender and smokey)

5 out of 5 clucks for experience (it’s the memories that make me always crave these suckers)

Fancy Pants

I think it’s important to treat yourself to something special every once in a while and it’s even better when you get to share the experience.

Back in July, I met a nice young man named Evan. He reversed catfished me. He was much more attractive and charming in person. Our first date was over tacos and it went so well we planned a second date for the High Museum to see the stunning Alex Katz exhibit.

Our date was so fun, I loved having someone to go with that enjoyed talking about the art and wanted to actually take time looking at everything instead of breezing by. After our few hours gallivanting around the High, we attempted to get some smoked wings at Moe’s BBQ (which I will review at a later date) but low and behold it was closed. We then ventured to Atlantic Station where we knew we could find late night grub.

He was just as giddy as I was while we walked through shops and reading over the restaurant menus plastered outside. We settled on Yard House, a late night gourmet, beer-focused restaurant. It’s a national chain that feels like a swanky Cheesecake Factory with as many beer options as the “Factory” has of dessert.

We ordered a variety of appetizers including some duck wings.  Dressed with an herb salad, maple soy glaze, sesame seeds, red onions, and serrano chiles. It was almost $12 for about 5-6 wings. Traditional buffalo wings are also an option at Yard House, but when you’re riding that “second-date-things-are-going-great” feeling, you gotta get the duck wings.

Ho-lee crap, those wings were so rich. The tender and fatty duck was so moist that the sweet and spicy Asian inspired sauce was a delightful compliment.

It was perfect as an appetizer because an order of more than 4 would be sickeningly decadent.

Evan and I had a great time but it was our last date together. He was really candid with me at the end of the date that he was only a few weeks out of a 5 year relationship and they had broken up over some really terrible lies she had told him. We had a really great connection but I feared that his feelings from his previous relationship would flow into our budding romance. I don’t want to get hurt and I wanted him to have closure before starting something with me. ( He was still spending time with her family because they had shared pets.)

I wish him all the best and am glad we got to share some fancy wings together.

A word of advice, when on a date, be open to trying new foods, new experiences and being honest about your feelings! It can really make a date so special.

3 out of 5 clucks for sauce (unique and rich)

3 out of 5 clucks for meat (again, unique and decadent)

4 out of 5 clucks for experience ( fun atmosphere and nice presentation)

Mistakes Were Made, Lessons Learned

We all make mistakes and sometimes they can be upsetting and disappointing. I can think of a few instances where I knew better. I can think of guys that I wasted time on and wings that weren’t worth the ranch they were dipped in. (More times than not, it happened at the same time.)

Here are my least favorite wings in Atlanta that do not deserve a “clucking” rating.

  • Henry’s Midtown: a gorgeous patio and fun cocktails but their Hot Chipotle wings had no flavor, no kick and were smaller than expected for the price, almost $8/1lb.
  • Varner’s: If you are OTP and find yourself in Smyrna, do yourself a favor and drive back into the perimeter. Sports bars make the mistake of a massive menu with items poorly prepared. Varner’s wings were a generous size but their sauce was so runny (too much butter, too little consistency).  Side note: Kyle Gillis used to run a room in their bar area that was great for trying out new jokes. That’s how come I was there, okay?
  • Domino’s: Yeah, I know this is self explanatory but it needs to be said. I made this mistake after a long week, I wanted pizza and wings. If you like the taste of frozen wings prepared in the same oven as your pizza then you’re in luck! If you are having friends over and want to order wings from here… DO NOT! SAVE YOUR FRIENDS THE MISERY!
  • Checkers: This is another “duh” but when I worked in Lennox Mall at Urban Outfitters and Van’s (both part time, at the same time, and making $8.50 before taxes) you eat garbage from the food court. Also, at this time in my life, wings at Checkers was better than no wings at all. The unintentional bright red sauce matching the logo ties the whole sad experience together. They will also make your shift fitting people for skate shoes more difficult because you will be visiting the employee restroom often enough that people will ask why you are sweating.
  • Zaxbys: I have a confession… I know these are garbage fast food wings but sometimes I just hate myself so much that I order a Wings N Things platter with 5 Wings (I prefer medium sauce), 3 tenders, celery sticks, french fries, Texas toast, Zax Sauce and Ranch, with a Diet Coke. A grand total 1490 calories! Don’t eat this unless you are upset or haven’t eaten anything but dry lettuce all day.

Tinder and The Family Dog

I have shared on and off stage about a bad Tinder date. (yes, I know they are hack. Yes, everyone has bad ones. I know, I’m not that special.)

And it involves my beloved wings.

The date started off  with the gent not getting out of the booth to greet me. So that made me wary of where the date was going. The dude was in school at The Creative Circus and bragged non-stop. At one point during cocktails he makes me read his website while he’s sitting across from me.

He knew I did stand up so he made sure to ask about a chick that annoyed him to pieces at The Creative Circus that ~did comedy~ at The Laughing Skull. (To this day, I have never seen her.)

I am annoyed but I just want effing wings.

We order a trio of flavors and chow down. 2 out of 3 were really good but not good enough because I don’t remember the flavors.

We split the check and he walked me to my car and even with my head almost completely turned around, he managed to land one on my sauce stained lips.

It was all disappointing. The price of the dinner was not worth the company. I didn’t bother reaching out to him again even though he assumed we had great chemistry (if you consider me, a big talker, to be almost silent the whole date).

A few months later, I get a text from an unknown number, its this jabroni saying, “Hey Annie! I was wondering if you could hook me up with a bag of ganj.”


1. You’re a grown man…just call it weed.

2. How big of a bag? Like a Hefty garbage bag? a Barbie purse size bag?

3. How desperate are you to ask someone you went on 1 Tinder date with?? Do you not know how to use craigslist?

Like this exchange with this fart smeller, The Family Dog is closed with a slated reopening for November 11, 2015.

This experience doesn’t warrant a clucking response.

Wings I need to try or retry

I haven’t had a chance to review all of the wings I have had but there are some places that I need to try and/or retry.

Sometimes, I will have intentions on really savoring some wings but things like cute guys, beer, loud noises, or general malaise will distract me from the wing experience. I will be retying many.

I am always up for having guest posters who would like to sample the wings then share your thoughts on this forum.


  • JR Crickets
  • Sweet Auburn (smoked)
  • Taco Mac (roasted)
  • Milltown Arms
  • Cyprus Street pint and plate
  • Rocky Mountain Pizza
  • Famous Pub


  • The Albert (Red Clay)
  • The Local (The night was a blur)
  • Jack’s (I was talking to a cute guy so I was distracted)


One of the most obviously places that comes to mind when I think of wings is Graveyard Tavern in East Atlanta Village.

It has everything I want in a wing joint: an edge neighborhood that I’m not cool enough for, a hearse parked out front, large sexy booths, and a great list of unique wings. Buffalo Bones, White Trash BBQ (mayo, mustard and horseradish), EAV ( a Carolina BBQ base), Sweet Thai Chili, Jack BBQ, Chernobyl (Nuclear meltdown hot), Lemon Pepper, Buffalo Bacon Ranch, Zombie Sauce ( it’s not a secret that it’s all the sauces combined). They also have vegan wings which is great for your better-than-you friends.

The best time to go is on Tuesday’s when the wings are half off and the beer is cheaper than a Diet Coke.

I have been on 3 dates at Graveyard. It’s a great place to look more attractive with the dim lighting while eating something so carnivorous.

The first guy who took me there, Brian, in 2013 right when I was new to the film industry. He pretended we were just going to talk about filming a comedy sketch but we ordered wings and beer and had a great time.

I ordered the Bacon, Buffalo, Ranch wings, based on Brian’s recommendation. Hearty, mega pieces of mutant chicken slathered in a blend of the 3 best things. It’s a more mild sauce that always is a crowd pleaser. I enjoyed the chunks of salty bacon in the sauce and happily finished all 10 wings.

Brian and I didn’t date very long but we have gotten even closer as friends and we will occasionally grab wings there or go to the Basement for Keep On Moving.

Fast forward, a year later I go to Graveyard for a date with Matt. I switch it up and get the classic buffalo bones. Still such big wings that once you bite in, the sauce can’t reach the tender meat closer to the bone.

Matt and I dated for 3 months.

The 3rd date was not memorable and kind of boring, so I won’t waste your time.

Graveyard has the best deal for the quantity. You are paying more for the meat than you are for the sauce.

I will continue to go and maybe next time venture to try more of their exotic sauces. I just have to have date watch me eat them.

3 out of 5 clucks for sauce

2 out of 5 clucks for meat (soooo big)

4 out of 5 clucks for overall experience ( I enjoy Graveyard)