Photo by Kiran Brar.
KIRAN BRAR | OPINION COLUMNIST | firstname.lastname@example.org
In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to order food from a Black-owned restaurant. After some Google searching, I landed on R&R Extreme Wings, intrigued by what makes them so extreme. That being so, here are my unsolicited thoughts on the wings from my experience at R&R Extreme wings.
Wings are meant to be eaten at night, and I stand by that statement. The loud ambience that usually accompanies a meal with wings gives the finger food a fun start-to-the-night vibe. I started my drive to R&R Extreme Wings for dinner with high hopes, mostly because I was hungry but also because it’s hard to go wrong with wings. Any quality wing place knows that an abundance of flavorful sauce and a high chicken-to-bone ratio are key to a good wing.
Karoline Shannon, a sophomore communication sciences and disorders major, accompanied me to get a taste of the alleged “extreme” wings. We started the drive to R&R Extreme Wings’ Michigan Road location because it’s only a 15-minute drive from campus.
But the drive is not the important part, so let’s cut to the restaurant.
Walking in, I could tell that COVID-19 really did a number on this place. Once upon a time, this restaurant was presumably lively and filled with people that made the ambience pop. I was surprised at the lack of televisions that usually crowd wing joints, but I appreciated the brick walls and lights hanging from the ceiling. It was a pleasant change of scenery from your typical sports bar. Even as I could picture its former liveliness, alas, a quiet wing spot is what remains — most likely because of COVID-19 restrictions and the fact that I arrived an hour before closing.
Because the restaurant wasn’t allowing dine-in, we ordered our food to go. I landed on traditional bone-in wings with hot habanero sauce, medium fries and the Extreme Lemonade. Shannon opted for the traditional wings and medium fries. With there being almost 20 sauce options, it took Karoline some time to finally decide on honey barbecue sauce for her wings.
After a 10 minute wait on our food and a quick drive back to campus, we arrived at the moment I had been waiting for. Like I mentioned previously, there’s only two ways a wing place can go wrong: insufficient, flavorless sauce or not enough meat on the bone. It is safe to say that R&R Extreme Wings did not fall into these traps. There was no skimping on the chicken and the wings were packed with flavor. The hot habanero sauce really lived up to its name — it was spicy enough to make my mouth burn, but it didn’t have me reaching for my drink after every bite.
As for the Extreme Lemonade, I concluded that its sweetness is what makes it so extreme. The lemonade on its own would have been too sweet for my liking; however, it paired perfectly with the spicy wings. Each sip was like a battle between sweet and spicy on my tastebuds, and sweet won every time. It made me wonder if the Extreme Punch that I opted out of purchasing would have done just as good of a job at counteracting the spiciness of the wings. Nevertheless, I was happy with the lemonade and wing pairing.
The fries had potential: they were thicker than the average McDonald’s fry, a definite plus, but they could have been fresher. This could have been my own doing, since I did order so near to the closing time. Still, I enjoyed them and thought they were seasoned just enough.
Alas, I never found out what was so extreme about the wings — maybe that’s a question meant for the owner. A quick interview during my next trip to R&R Extreme Wings could possibly answer that question and fulfill my curiosity towards the Extreme Punch. I’ll keep you updated.
Though this wing review has been delectable, Black History Month is much more important than food alone. While food is an integral part of culture, this month is meant for celebrating and reflecting on the holistic importance of Black contributions. Supporting Black-owned restaurants during Black History Month is important, and we should continue to support them throughout the year.
COVID-19 precautions: 9/10
*I blame COVID-19 precautions.
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