Restaurant Reviews

Wings o' Desire

If you're like me, you've courted automotive disaster by gaping at that big wordy sign on top of Wings 'N' More, a baby three-unit chain with an outpost on Westheimer near Bering. The sign makes claims about the eatery's Buffalo wings, and its cole slaw, and -- this was the signal for a native upstate Vermonter to brake -- its beef on weck.

No, that's not a typo. Weck is a regional bread beloved of western-upstate New Yorkers, where Buffalo wings were born. Despite its sci-fi name, weck -- short for "kYmmelweck" -- is nothing more outlandish than a caraway-seeded hard roll heavily crusted with Kosher salt. Put thinly sliced roast beef on it, add some pungent horseradish and dip it into beef jus, and you have the mythic beef on weck.

The version dispensed by Wings 'N' More has an odd appeal, once you scrape off some of that way-too-maniacal salt; as fast food goes, it has a certain personality (which is more than I can say for this joint's dormitory-gameroom decor). The proper accompaniment is Vernor's ginger ale, a Yankee beverage that tastes as if it actually has made the acquaintance of some ginger root along life's path. Regular ginger ale pales -- literally and figuratively -- in comparison. Feisty cole slaw adds something, too, but avoid the pale curly fries, which smack more of generic potato product than potato.

As to the Buffalo wings, there are so many bastardized renditions flying around that I almost passed on these. Silly me. Not that I can tell you with a straight face that I loved these wings and respected them in the morning. Indeed, their vinegary hot-sauce bath probably contained my yearly quota of sodium. Outrageous! I tsk-tsked. Better try another one just to be sure they're as salty as I think they are. And better have one of those celery sticks dipped in bleu-cheese sauce just so I can sneer in print at the nutty accoutrements Buffalonians insist on serving with their wings. Soon I had eaten every last morsel. I probably should have been wearing a bag over my head, but you know what? I'm not sorry.

-- Alison Cook

Wings 'N' More, 5815 Westheimer, 974-7921.

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Alison Cook