**Update (January, 2009): Wing Junction has, unfortunately, closed. A victim of the 2008 high food prices? Perhaps we’ll never know. In any case, we wish the former owner the very best. He’s a heckuva nice guy.
In the meantime, check out our more recent post on buffalo wings in Sarasota.
For all of you Wings addicts in Sarasota, you’ve got to check out the newest gig in town…
Wing Junction is in the Publix shopping center at 935 N. Beneva Road — home of the U.S. Postal Service and former home of the much-missed Beef O’Brady’s. (I guess the center is called “Sarasota Commons,” but who notices these things?)
The store has only been open for a few weeks, but I’ve already had the opportunity to sample the goods twice now. Both of my visits have been during lunch – mainly because the location is near my new office and I seem to be running errands in the vicinity.
The vibe is “Mom & Pop” with a nice, clean & fresh look. A TV or two adorn the walls of the dining room with plenty of seating. Both times I’ve been by, George has taken great care of me. He’s a friendly guy who is obviously putting his heart in his new business.
Now for the wings. I gotta say… this is a new favorite of mine. The size is nice and big – plenty of meat to sink your teeth into. He’s got 14 different flavors, including a few unusual ones like “Thai Peanut” and “Cheese & Garlic.” As to traditional buffalo wing sauce, you’ve got 4 choices: Extra Mild, Mild, Original Hot, and Atomic.
OK, I’m a “hot wings” kind-of-a guy, so I ordered the Atomic the first time around. I don’t recommend them unless you’re just into torture. The only thing I can compare them to is “Regrets” from the good old days when “Bob’s Buffalo Wings” was still around (you old-timers will know what I’m talking about). Wing Junction’s Atomic setting is every bit as hot, but not as pasty and sans the cayenne pepper chunks that were embedded in the goo of the “Regrets” wings. As to the after-effects… well, “Regrets” still applies! I will say this: it’s been a long time since any wings made my lips swell up and drew sweat!
The Original Hot setting is excellent, however, and has plenty of heat. I’d compare these to “Napalm” or “TNT” from Wings and Things. Great flavor!
The only complaint I’d have is that your celery and/or carrots are a separate item, so you have to remember to order them. Pricing is a smidge above average, but nothing to complain about. Get there on Wednesdays for 39-cent wings and you’ll make it out the door for under $10 with your Mountain Dew and your side item. Now that I snagged a menu for my office, I’m calling ahead at (941) 364-WING (9464) to have the order ready in 10 minutes or so for pickup.
By the way, there’s other stuff on the menu for the “non-wingers” in your group (if you have any).
Overall, I’d give Wing Junction two big thumbs up!