The Wings at Pok Pok NY: Tasty, but Not the Star of the Show

Wings at Pok Pok NYOne night not long ago, I ran into a friend and mentioned to him that I had been blogging about chicken wings. “Have you gone to Pok Pok yet?” he asked. No, I moaned, but I’d been wanting to go — in fact, I’d made two dates to visit Pok Pok Wing on the Lower East Side, but both plans had been canceled. And although I kept meaning to make a special trip there, order the wings to go and take them home, the prospect of doing all that to eat chicken wings by myself seemed like too much work, and also made me sad.

I lamely tried to explain myself. My friend’s face widened into semi-faux shock. “How can you call yourself a wings blogger if you haven’t gone to Pok Pok?” he asked. He was right, of course. Half my reason for starting this blog was to have an excuse to go to Pok Pok Wing, and I had failed — as an eater, as a blogger, and as a person. [Cue dramatic orchestral score; black-and-white shots of me walking down a desolate city block, in the rain.]

Pok Pok Wing, a takeout joint that opened in March, was the first New York venture from Andy Ricker, James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of the Thai restaurant Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon. Ricker’s signature dish is his wings, which are more or less the only thing on the menu at Pok Pok Wing. (Also, “poks.” Oh, I kid.) (“Pok pok,” in case you’re wondering, is a phrase meant to emulate the sound a mortar and pestle make in the preparation of Thai papaya salad.) Continue reading

Bonnie’s Wings: Where Buffalo Roams

Bonnie's wings

I consider myself a fairly adventurous eater, or at least one with diverse tastes. I’ve eaten beef tongue, guinea pig, sweetbreads and kangaroo; if a menu has pork belly, duck, lamb or marrow on it, I have to order it. All four, and I nearly faint with joy and indecision.

But my standby food, the one I go back to time and time again, is chicken. Boring old chicken. It’s easy to cook, easy to eat. Give me some chicken on the bone, dark meat only, and I could eat it nearly every day and not get sick of it. When I was a kid, my parents joked that I loved chicken so much, in a former life I must have been a fox. (Not that kind of fox. Shut up, it’s my parents we’re talking about.) Once, on a visit to relatives, I asked my aunt to make me fried chicken skin — just the skin. I was two.

Therefore, it’s only natural that I’m a big fan of chicken wings. They’re bite-size, dark-meat chicken on the bone that you’re supposed to eat with your hands, and they have almost as much skin on them as they do meat. What’s not to love?

When I decided to write about wings in New York City, I knew one place I had to hit was Bonnie’s Grill in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Not only is it consistently named as one of the best places for Buffalo wings in New York, but it’s also in Brooklyn (represent). I’d had a delicious burger at Bonnie’s once, but I’d never had the famed wings. Continue reading