HARTSDALE, N.Y. - One of the simplest foods that can be enjoyed year-round is chicken wings.
Originally an extra part of the bird that was thrown away, chicken wings are now present as an appetizer on the menus of many restaurants - even ones that a few years ago would never have included wings due to their lowly status on the chicken hierarchy.
Indeed, the chicken wing has risen to such heights of popularity that it has given rise to several specialty restaurants that specialize in just chicken wings. Among these restaurants in Westchester is Hurricane Grill & Wings at 149 Central Park Avenue in Hartsdale.
The theme of Hurricane Grill & Wings is a bit hokey with large tiki umbrellas and a giant surf board as our table. Since the restaurant chain originated in Florida, this tropical vibe is not totally unexpected and actually made for a relaxed atmosphere where we enjoyed our food without feeling rushed.
I stopped in at Hurricane Grill & Wings for the tail end of its Happy Hour on Monday evening. Happy Hour, which offers chicken wings for half price, a large number of appetizers for $1.99 and all drinks at $2 off, runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Doug LoBasso, the manager of restaurant since it opened four years ago, said the wings in his restaurant are fresh, never frozen, and are delivered every single day. This is quite possibly the single greatest aspect of Hurricane Grill & Wings – since most establishments treat their wings with extreme disrespect by freezing them for weeks or months before resuscitating them as needed.
I sampled several different wing flavors ranging from innocuously mild all the way up to brutally hot. They have them all, and in some cases, such as the Roasted Garlic Inferno, they have a great flavor that I have never before seen in other restaurants. Make sure to have plenty of fluids on hand if you try the roasted garlic sauce – the fire in your mouth burns long after you are finished eating.
At the suggestion of our expert server, Will Castro, we tried all sorts of sliders that ranged from burgers to pulled pork through to chicken and fish. All were excellent but the pulled pork version was the favorite at the table. Make sure to try the garlic 'n parm fries, too - the extra calories are worth it! The copious quantities of food were washed down with the discounted drinks, making for a very Happy Hour indeed.
Tuesdays is Kid’s Day at Hurricane Wings. All kids eat free as long as an adult orders an entrée. They have special activities for children and, on occasion, you might see a giant chicken wandering around entertaining the kids. Furthering the kid friendly theme, there is a party room available where kids can have a birthday party and play X-Box while enjoying wings and all of the other foods offered.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh food and friendly atmosphere I found at Hurricane Grill and I will definitely be back for more – but only once the burning sensation in my mouth finally subsides.