He Said / She Said: Bring on the Wings

Russ: For a bird that doesn't really fly, chickens do have some amazing wings. I mean, you don't hear much about turkey wings or squab wings or '
Kathy: Ostrich wings! Can you imagine? You'd only get one per order.
R: I'll stick to wings from little red hens, gobbling 'em up with a peck-peck-peck and a cluck-cluck-cluck.

Kathy's wings profile: Spicy, but not 'burn your lips off' spicy; you need your lips to drink the beer.
Russ' wings profile: Chickens don't swim much, either, so please don't drown my wings in sauce.

7802 Gravois Road, Affton ' 314.832.3560
Mon. to Sat. ' 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Sun. ' 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Bar: Mon. to Sat. ' until 1:30 a.m., Sun. ' until midnight)

R: For a place known for grilled shark bites, Syberg's wings were pretty toothsome.
K: Very traditional wings at a very traditional South County bar. They were just hot enough to make my lips tingle ' and to get me thirsty. That's half the point, isn't it?
R: Oh, totally. There's a probably a formula for determining the perfect ratio of wings ordered to beers served. Add football and watch the numbers soar.
K: I do keep hoping for a bigger wing. These are by no means scrawny. I just want more chicken on each piece.
R:That's why I got the chicken strip sandwich, too; it scored on poultry plenitude and featured Syberg's 'house' wing sauce ' more mustardy than hot.
K: Sure, a sandwich will fill your belly ... but you miss out on the primal satisfaction of gnawing on the bones.

312 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood ' 314.821.7322
Mon. to Sat. ' 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sun. '
11 a.m. to midnight

R: Culpeppers is practically synonymous with wings.
K: They've certainly got 'em down. These are the wings I think about when I get cravings for wings. Plus they came with either blue cheese or ranch dressing to temper the heat.
R: The wings had a good flavor, but they weren't what I'd call spicy. There was just enough warmth there to keep the beer flowing, but that's about it.
K: Oh, see, now I think they were addictive. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Michael's Bar & Grill
7101 Manchester Ave., St. Louis ' 314.644.2240
Mon. to Sat. ' 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun. '
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

R: A really cool basement dining room, an exceedingly sweet server and some of the best Greek food in town.
K: But there's nothing Greek about hot wings.
R: What if they flamb'ed them tableside? Opa!
K: Michael;s was certainly the coziest place we;ve been; despite being a 'bar and grill' it felt like a nice restaurant. And the wings fit the ambiance, all dressed up with a dusting of Parmesan cheese.
R: Plus garlic bread. And ranch dressing. It made for quite the presentation.
K: The wings were good enough: just a little spicy, with a good amount of meat on the bones. Really, it was everything else that elevated the experience. This is where you bring your date when you want to impress her ' but when you still really gotta have some wings.

The Dandy Inn
1030 Lincoln Hwy., Fairview Heights, Ill. ' 618.632.8881
Sun. and Mon. ' 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tue. to Thu. ' 11 a.m. to midnight, Fri. and Sat. '
11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

K: Apparently there has been a tavern ' of one size or another ' on this spot since 1850. Abe Lincoln may have stopped in, back when he was a lawyer.
R: Maybe if they'd served wings back then, he would've stuck around awhile longer. Dandy Inn's wings went beyond just 'dandy'; they were like nothing anywhere else.
K: That's because they're actually served as whole wings. You don't have to fight over who gets the drummies; you get the whole thing, from shoulder to tip.
R: There must've been some celery salt in the flour or whatever they dusted them in before frying; it was subtle but distinct. Of all the places we've gone, this was the only one that gave even a nod to the old habit of serving wings and celery sticks.
K: Not that I miss the celery. It only takes up space on the plate that should be holding more wings.
R: The heat started piling up with these, but my beer lasted just long enough.
K: Next time we'll just get a pitcher. And a double order of wings. And we'll keep working on that perfect ratio.