Divided Wings

I live on a street in Brookhaven that is divided. One half of the street is covered in gorgeous, overpriced town-homes and very close to the heart of Brookhaven and a constant stream of really fit moms in $100 yoga pants running and pushing a stroller with toddlers wearing $100 shoes that they take off and throw repeatedly till they grow out of them in a  few weeks. The other side of my street are low rent apartments with mostly Hispanic families who are walking to and from work. I hear Brookhaven Betties talk about Buford Highway as if it’s a foreign land, only to be visited for Pho and with a ~group~, never alone. I have a choice every afternoon on my way home from work: take the prettier Brookhaven way home with more traffic and less pedestrians or take the Buford Highway route where there is less traffic and I see people different from me. The Buford Highway way makes more sense.

I get my car washed at local place on Buford Highway run by a husband and wife who hire men who are being rehabilitated for various reasons. They do a detail quality level clean for $20. It takes about an hour but more money goes to these hard working guys than practically anywhere. Next door to the car wash is this place:


Touting the “Best Wings In Town!!!”… read it, THREE EXCLAMATION POINTS! Yesterday, I was thinking about wings most of the day and I had nothing to cook at home so I decided today was the day to try this place, alone.

I walk in and realize I look Brookhaven. I had on my work clothes: black cigarette dress pants, black leather heels, gray and white satin stripe tank, and royal blue cardigan.

I order my wings, 10 medium buffalo (from the wide variety of flavors and option of fried rice or french fries as a side.) I didn’t want to take the time to quiz the girl at the register about their flavors as a few boys coming from soccer practice stood behind me.

I waited for my order to come up and thought about how wings really do bring people together, everyone in J Buffalo Wing was from a different background and age. I get my order and walk out to my car. The RIDICULOUS part of me wanted to call one of my Brookhaven Betty friends and say, “See! Buford Highway isn’t scary! I went INSIDE a restaurant alone and no one attacked me! You can do it too! We can unite all kinds of people for Buffalo wings!”

I know how this all sounds. I know who I am. But, I want more people to be united by food and not divided based on what side of the road they live on. I get weary of being disappointed in what I hear (specifically) white women say. Believe me, my mother calls all the time to tell me about how women JUST LIKE ME are being raped and murdered all day long. I am cognizant of safety but I am more scared of what an upper-middle class white guy at a Buckhead bar will do to me than a Hispanic guy walking to and from work on Buford Highway. The only risk of getting wings, alone on a sunny Monday evening is that they may not be the best in town.


These wings weren’t bad but I didn’t agree with the sign. I can honestly say I have had worse wings on the Brookhaven part of my street and almost double the price. They were average with not much sauce. This post would have ended beautifully if the wings were truly the best and I could rub it in everyone’s face, but the reality is…they were a bit below average but I am really glad I tried them.


Worth the Wait?

I hate complaining about being busy. Being busy is a gift. I haven’t had as many wings as I would have liked as of late mostly because I have been working on this:


It’s been in the works since November but next week will be my first show at Three Taverns Brewery. (if you are in the Atlanta area, please come out!) It’s hard to think about intentionally finding wings when you are in hyper drive and want to be “healthy”in the face of yellow evil.

After having an insane week and trying not to be whiny about my allergies, all I wanted were wings. My security blanket of food. Spicy, tasty comfort in my mouth hole.

I go to Jack’s Pizza in Old Fourth Ward. Friday after a long work day. 9PM, right as bingo begins. I know what to expect at Jack’s. I know it’s going to take forever, I know I will sit at a table covered in dirty napkins next to the digital jukebox that someone spent money to play 5 minutes of Beavis and Butthead laughing while I’m having a sinus headache that I don’t want to complain about. GOD DAMN I JUST WANT A SPRITE AND SOME WINGS.

We order medium buffalo baked wings and a pizza. We get our wings 1hr 15min after we order them and they are room temp. For baked wings, this makes them gross and the skin rubbery. I only ate two of them. All I wanted was to take a bite of them and feel the warm embrace wings give me. I put on a brave face and waited for the pizza. My companion had no problem with the wings and ate them gladly, like men do.

With flash, without yum

I don’t know why I go to Jack’s. I guess the price is right and the food is alright but I never leave Jack’s and say to myself, “Wow, that was totally worth it!” It’s a facility for social interaction that happens to have food and booze and I try and remember that . I have had some okay times there… like one time, I made friends with the table next to me, which were an attractive group of guys who were in a pop punk band that plays with bands that I still listen to. (If you want to shit on me for liking pop punk, sure… give me a phone call.) We did Jameson shots and I was glad that I stuck around.

The first time I went, I was dating a guy and he knew I would like the punk rock vibe. This was back when Jack’s had $5 40’s and  slice combo. HEAVEN for me (because he was a cheap guy and I made little money) and he actually paid which was rarity. Hey big spender! He’s now engaged to the girl he started dating after me. If you’re keeping count at home, that’s now 6 (yes, 6, not an exaggeration) guys I have dated who got engaged to women they dated right after me. I just help raise some guys standards I guess.

I am on a mission to get some good wings tonight to make up for the lack of wings in my life. Also, if you invite me to Jack’s to hang out, don’t be surprised when I don’t order wings and y’all complain.


I have been thinking about some wings I had about two weeks ago. It’s been a challenge to figure out how to write about this experience.

Remember when I mentioned my coworkers forgetting my birthday? Well 48 hours post birthday, they noticed the flowers on my desk  had a birthday card sitting in front and to make up for the negligence, they elected to take me out for drinks after work.

It was really nice being able to get out of the office and see the friend side of my coworkers, except for one particular coworker.

We laughed, had great conversation (except for some digs from that one person), and  we got hungry so we ordered wings and ‘hot-zerella’ sticks ( spicy mozzarella sticks, meh). The wings were surprisingly good considering this bar’s food was mostly of the frozen and fried variety. The sauce was hot and tangy, not too thick or thin, and the skin was crispy on the chicken. The meat was average. The flavor of the chicken meat wasn’t a flavor, it just tasted warm. When I eat wings, I typically feel a sense of joy and internal warmth but this time I didn’t feel that as strongly.


I want to regurgitate every crappy thing she (that one person) has done and said to me but all it does is make me weak.

It’s taken every job I have ever had to realize that there will always be that one difficult person who tries to take the spice out of your wing.

I take every snarky, rude, and degrading action from her as an opportunity to be stronger because I believe dealing with her now is going to prepare me for something bigger. To be honest, there are times I call my mom and tell her about how she’s a huge stinky turd but I never feel better afterward. Being confident in myself is my best armor.

Sometimes, you have to take a moment to flip off the wall you both share, let go of that negative energy and focus on the good wings covered in delicious sauce. It sucks, but sometimes I have to say to myself, “Bless her heart… she cannot be happy unless she tears me down. I do not seek approval from people who carry enough negative energy to make buffalo wings shrivel up.”

No one should have power of the spice in your wing.




Cricket’s and Pools of Sauce

When I was a kid living in the ‘burbs, my family and I would go to the Varsity once year, usually correlating to a sporting event downtown. I still love the Varsity. At the moment, I am actually craving a chili dog (or two), onion rings, and an FO (Frosted Orange, for the uncultured). I always noticed a restaurant near by with a big cartoon cricket statue, which I always hoped was a Pinocchio themed restaurant that inside looked like the Disney store at the mall and just sold chicken tenders and Sprite. Our family never went in because, if you’re downtown, you’re going to the Varsity for your yearly grease cleanse, and you aren’t going to sacrifice it for a restaurant that has a fishing bait for a mascot.

I don’t know why, as a kid, I thought this would be kid friendly. That statue is misleading.

As I got older and went downtown to go to cool concerts at the Masquerade, I wasn’t going to the Varsity like “a tourist”, my cool friends and I would go to Little 5 Pizza or eat a Subway sandwich in the car when my friend Adam’s dad would drive us to shows.

I forgot about the restaurant with the big cricket pimp on the outside until I started asking my friends where they would recommend for me to go. My buddy Ed (he’s a super talented illustrator and animator along with being a fearless, funny comic) suggested I go to J.R. Crickets. The pieces all came together….THE PINOCCHIO RESTAURANT HAS WINGS!

It turns out the location of my childhood recollection was shuttered and they took that giant Six Flags Over Georgia reject character and planted it at their new “Original” J.R. Crickets down the street from the Fox Theater on North Avenue.

Yesterday, I was in the mood to celebrate (details will come later… no, I am not engaged. Yes, I would probably get wings to celebrate being engaged. Wings are perfect for any occasion). I knew it was time to go to that cricket joint that Ed recommended and to see if they sold plush versions of that delightful insect hawking wings and ribs.By the way, you can add ribs to everything on the menu.

I took Ed’s other recommendation to get the wings swimming. I ordered ten medium swimming buffalo wings with blue cheese. I wouldn’t come here for the presentation or ambiance. It’s the equivalent of going to get your oil changed. My wings game out and were truly swimming in a cup of sauce (the image doesn’t how how deep that


spicy pool was.) It’s hard to get a good picture of these wings. Mostly because I was really hungry and wasn’t focused on angles or anything.  The wings were small but I could tell they were fresh. The chicken wasn’t knock your socks off juicy but there was nothing wrong. The sauce had a great flavor; it was runnier than I typically prefer but you could tell they had this buffalo blend down to a science. I was even dipping my fries in the sauce. The blue cheese was also house made. I appreciate when restaurants do their sauces in house. It is easier to have vats of lardy sauce brought in but there’s no love in it.

J.R.Cricket’s is a no frills wing place but there is a reason they have been in business for over 30 years and have multiple locations. They taste like someone really cared about the sauce. I am a fan of quality, flavorful, juicy chicken but there is something to be said about a sauce you think about the next day, even if it’s on a tiny wing.