Food Crew E1: Wings

Alex Toth and Kinley Hamilton

Famous for their heat, snackability, and association with sports, hot wings are a cornerstone of American food culture. As versatile as they are, most wings follow the same formula: unbreaded fried chicken covered in a butter based hot sauce. Getting all of these components right can be hard for some restaurants, as while they might excel in one, chances are they’re lacking in another.

The group (Kinley Hamilton, Kelli Smith, Tiffany Domingo, Nathan Hawkins, and I) visited three restaurants across the Omaha area: the national chain Wingstop, local bar/restaurant Farnam House, and the wing specialty spot Ray’s Original Buffalo Wings. But who does it best?

Out of all three, the group’s favorite was Ray’s. Everything about the wings were done really well and the chicken was cooked to perfection. It all stayed together with every bite and the sauce, while not too flavorful, packed a satisfying punch.

Farnam House’s wings were the flashiest of the three. They took the prize for presentation, but with a minimal amount of chicken we were left wanting more. The sauce was my favorite of the three because of all the butter packed into it. It was sweet and flavorfully diverse, but while memorable, it wasn’t enough to make it a favorite.

From a chain like Wingstop, you can’t expect too much in terms of experience, but even by fast food standards it was enough to overshadow the wings. Nothing about the wings were too special, the skin felt a little soggy and the chicken was nothing to write home about, but the sauce was flavorful and had a good kick to it.

Omaha might not be famous for its food culture, but the city offers a wide array of cheap, delicious wings that anyone can enjoy. Overall, I’d suggest Ray’s Buffalo Wings for a great night out and to stay away from Wingstop if at all possible if you’re not going to just get your food and leave.