The subject of chicken wings has come up quite a bit in conversation recently.
So much so that there is talk in my circle of getting a party bus to travel through town in an effort to discover which little wings and drummies really rule the Miami Valley roost.
Why do we have wings on the brain? Maybe for some because it’s fall, others because it’s football season, and for others because a good wing is always a welcome guest at the table.
My friend Eric Soller weighed in on a favorite local wing that I had never had the opportunity to sample.
When someone who really knows food gives a recommendation, it’s almost always worth trying. Soller, the co-founder of Old Scratch Pizza, knows both how to prepare delicious food and where to find it in the wild. It didn’t take long for me to find a date on the calendar to visit the place where he said he’s had some of the best wings in the Dayton area — Hinders Sports Bar & Grill in Tipp City.
To be honest, it’s not a destination I would have found myself at without a glowing recommendation. Not only is it a bit of a road trip from Dayton, but from the outside it’s not a spot that would capture my attention.
You almost miss the “Hinders” sign on the right side of the light blue, single-story building decorated with two large metal roosters, a street sign that says “DEAD END” and a large penguin with a broken beak that towers in size toward the entrance near a large palm tree. The building has seen better days and the signage is easily missed.
A recent Sunday visit found the bar and restaurant packed with people devouring football and wings in equal measure. Hinders is the definition of a neighborhood bar — worn in and comfortable to those who know it well with signage that has been layered on thick over the years since it first opened for business in 1989.
>> BEST OF DAYTON: Best chicken wings
The menu is as unpretentious as the decor — straightforward bar food that doesn’t pretend to be anything else.
It didn’t take long to realize that we weren’t the only folks in the room who came for the wings, with plates of them pouring out of the kitchen and being served up to hungry diners.
You can get boneless hinder hunks by the half-pound ($6.95) or full pound ($9.95) and you can get strips ($6.75). But the wings are where it’s at.
The wings come in servings of 5 ($5.95), 10 ($8.75), 25 ($21.25) and 50 ($40.95). Sauce choices are easy sitting (mild), butt warmer (tangy), ass kickers (if you have the courage) and BBQ. A wing sampler is available for $6.95 with two easy sittings, two butt warmers and two ass kickers.
The thick, meaty well-portioned wings were everything my friend Eric promised — moist, flavorful, delicious with a perfect fried crunchy exterior. The homemade butt warmer sauce, which also came highly recommended, was sweet and delightful with a quiet heat that never lost its tangy warmth. The wings weren’t fatty and weren’t overly breaded — they are definitely at the top of the list for best wing in town. Ranch or blue cheese could be ordered, but these aren’t wings that need any extra help.
There are sandwiches, salads, soups, starters, sides and burgers, but they are all distractions from the highlight of the menu.
Hinders has a solid menu of draft beers, perfect to pair with some toasty, tasty wings on one of the 18 seats around the bar catching the latest game. There are also seven tall tables near the bar and a full dining room off to the side.
Romer’s, Bunkers, Archers, Paradise Key, Lock 27, Company 7 BBQ, Nick’s Restaurant and McIntosh’s Pub & Grub are all on the list to visit in the next few months. I’ve had their wings before but need a refresher course. Hinders wings are certainly in the running. You were right Eric, they were delicious.
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