By STEVEN DESALVO
For Montclair Local
Every February, millions of Americans gather around their televisions for one of the most widely watched events of the year, the Super Bowl. Super Bowl LV will be held Feb. 7, with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I can tell you for certain that a TON of eating will be happening that Sunday. Whether you are a die-hard football fan, a connoisseur of TV commercials or a fan of The Weeknd (this year’s halftime performer), a stacked snack table is necessary for this year’s event.
One of my favorite Sunday football foods is chicken wings. In fact, 1.4 billion chicken wings were estimated to have been eaten over Super Bowl weekend last year.
It makes sense considering how versatile chicken wings can be. The wings can be baked, fried, grilled, tossed with dry rub or doused in sauce. They can be accompanied by dipping sauces like blue cheese and ranch. And don’t forget about celery sticks or other veggies on the side.
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To prepare for this event I am suggesting some of the best chicken wings in Montclair. Don’t forget to preorder your wings, as they sell out quickly.
On my search for the best wings in Montclair, I stopped by Bay Street Urban Chicken for the first time. The menu includes largely chicken dishes, including tenders, Chattanooga fried chicken, grilled chicken and big Buffalo wings.
The big Buffalo wings are my recommendation for your Super Bowl party. The wings are sold in five- to 60-piece sets, ranging from $7.49 to $61.99. You can choose among plain, BBQ, 24k gold, nuclear, radioactive and teriyaki. All options include complementary blue cheese.
I tried the BBQ wings, which were amazing. The wings were large and incredibly saucy, which is really important to me. Despite the amount of sauce the wings remained crispy underneath. The barbecue sauce was sweet and smoky and paired perfectly with blue cheese. For those who don’t enjoy blue cheese, the wings are great on their own.
I love how Bay Street Urban Chicken offers larger sets of wings on their menu. This spot is the perfect place to order from if you are a huge wing lover and want more wings. Multiple wing options from plain to radioactive also provide a greater variety for your enjoyment.
The next wing spot to check out is Egan & Sons. Not only does Egan & Sons have great food, but it is also a great place to watch the big game. It’s one of the few places in Montclair with a liquor license, so you can order some wings and watch the game with a beer or cocktail at the bar.
If indoor dining is not for you, don’t worry, Egan & Sons has carryout options and a large outdoor eating space in its parking lot when the weather is warmer. Wings at Egan & Sons come eight to an order, perfect for sharing with a friend, or eating all by yourself.
They offer five flavors, Buffalo, Thai sweet chili, naked, SOS Buffalo and SOS Thai sweet chili. All wings come with a side of celery, but you can order extra sauce, ranch or blue cheese on the side.
The Buffalo sauce option is my favorite. They’re crispy on the outside and have a tender and juicy inside. They are perfect for dipping into blue cheese.
Finally, my other favorite option doesn’t even come from a spot that specializes in chicken wings. SLA Thai has been consistently offering some of the best chicken wings in Montclair.
While they are very well known around town for their world-class Thai food, you might not have thought to try their Thai chicken wings with sweet chili sauce (gai tod) on their snack menu. These wings always come hot and saucy out of the fryer, and they have the perfect sauce-to-crispiness ratio.
Coming in orders of six wings for $8 I would strongly suggest you order heavily, because six of them will go so quickly that you will wish you had ordered more.
If you haven’t dined at SLA Thai before be absolutely certain to explore their menu. My personal favorites are the gui chai, which are delicious starchy chive pancakes with an intense, umami-rich dipping sauce, and the khao soi gai, which is a northern Thai noodle curry with a braised chicken thigh and drumstick served with homemade noodles. All you need to do is try it once and you will be hooked!
This year’s Super Bowl celebrations will be different from previous years’, but one of the things that doesn’t have to change is the exorbitant amount of chicken wings you consume. It is nice to have some things that stay the same.
- Bay Street Urban Chicken
43 Glenridge Ave., 973-746-1405
- Egan & Sons
116 Walnut St., 973-744-1413
- SLA Thai
596 Valley Road, 973-509-0111
In “Montclair Eats” food writer Steven DeSalvo features a food item from local eateries that Montclairians might enjoy. DeSalvo has a degree in hospitality business management from the University of Delaware, and has worked extensively in restaurants and hotels.
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