One 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