Celebrate chicken wings with local favorites

Is your mouth watering yet? Make sure you celebrate this important national holiday this Saturday. Photo: G.G.’s Chicken & Waffles.

Writer: Hailey Allen

Did you know chicken wings get their very own day on the calendar? According to the National Day Calendar, National Chicken Wing Day began in 1977 in Buffalo, New York, where many local establishments had been marketing their Buffalo wings. The annual recognition for the protein-packed appetizer has stuck around ever since.

Des Moines may not have started the trend, but we can certainly jump on the bandwagon. Order from any of these local establishments to get in on the chicken wing celebration.

G.G.’s Chicken & Waffles
This local minority-owned business entered the scene in 2019. Owner Garrison Goodlett (G.G. himself) had served up fried chicken for his local church and decided to bring his talent to the Des Moines Farmers Market. You can still find him and his son, “The Waffle Prince,” doing their thing at the farmers market on Saturdays, as well as the Valley Junction Farmers Market on occasion. If you can’t wait for the weekend, find G.G.’s at Water Works Park today until 11 p.m. feeding the RAGBRAI crowd.

Bix & Company
This still-new sports bar came to Valley Junction in early March. Co-owned by Darren Helm, his mother Bambi Helm, and Matt McCormick, the place got its name from Bambi’s father, Robert “Bix” Bixenman, who was known for his entrepreneurial spirit. Their appetizer menu includes wings perfect for sharing, with six wings for $12 or 12 wings for $20, coated in Bix’s barbecue sauce, bone wing sauce or hot Buffalo sauce.

Basic Bird
Chef and owner Joe Tripp currently operates this Korean fried chicken pop-up out of Harbinger, but you’ll soon be able to get your chicken fix other days of the week when the restaurant’s brick-and-mortar location opens later this year in Beaverdale. Until then, enjoy crispy Korean fried chicken made fresh, alongside Korean banchan and steam buns each Sunday at Harbinger.

Slim Chickens
Although this restaurant chain began in Arkansas, they now have two Central Iowa locations in Ankeny and Grimes. All their chicken gets a southern-style buttermilk marinade, and is hand-breaded for each order. The only tough part is decided between the wings, tenders, or chicken and waffles.

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