Deep fried dreams at Bayou Hot Wings

Although I love fried chicken, I have never been a wing fan. Maybe it was the association with Super Bowl parties and rowdy, drunken men or perhaps because wings tend to be all skin and sauce with little actual meat. It could be that I had never actually enjoyed a really delicious wing in my entire life…until now.

Not too long ago, my good friend Anne and a new friend Shena headed over to Bayou Hot Wings for lunch. I had been meaning to try the restaurant for ages because I knew one of the owners/chefs Allen Nguyen was not only super-cool, but a super-hot chef. Torn between my appreciation of Chef Nguyen and my disenchantment with wings, it took years for me to haul my butt into the tiny shop on Claiborne Avenue. But I finally made it and I didn’t regret it…not one decadently fried bit.

There are so many interesting items on the menu to try, and it seems like we tried to order them all. Even though there was standing-room only and the small eatery was packed, our dishes started pouring out of the kitchen and we could hardly keep up. First to arrive were two big baskets, one filled with perfectly fried pickles and the other a massive pile of sweet potato fries.

Before we could gobble more than half of these fried beauties, our entrees started piling up. Anne got an order of hot wings smothered in a Thai Chili Glaze and Shena chose to have her wings seasoned with Lemon Pepper. Since I couldn’t decide between the two, I got a small order of Bayou Fried Frog Legs coated in Garlic Butter Parmesan AND another small order of Chipotle BBQ Wings. All the wings were passed around and we enjoyed all the different flavors, but I think my favorite would have to be the Lemon Pepper. But I also thoroughly enjoyed the frog legs and gobbled them all to myself, aside for one juicy leg that I reluctantly gave over to Anne.

There were all kinds of wonderful, house made dipping sauces going around like Bleu Cheese and Remoulade, but what really knocked all of our socks off was the Ranch. Now, I realize I sound like a palate-less, middle-American who puts Ranch Dressing on everything from pizza to French fries, but holy moly Batman, this was the best Ranch Dressing I have EVER tasted. As we were packing up boxes to take home, I hoarded all of the little dipping cups of Ranch and found myself eating it with my finger later on that night when I got home.

Is it too early to host a football party?

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