good lord those wings
We need to talk about chicken wings. They can go SO right or SO wrong. Depending on the side of the palatable pendulum the chicken wing recipe swings, you’ll have me waiting hours outside of your door or passing by without a second glance. HOMES Brewery, a new spot on Ann Arbor’s west side, has brought me the wings of my dreams, and close enough to my house that this could be disastrous for my take-out budget.
I’ve thought about what makes a wing worthy of my admiration for longer than I’d like to admit, but I have concluded that the holy trinity of wing-deliciousness breaks down to:
- Texture (i.e. chewy/crispness)
- Meat-to-bone ratio (on that note, if the wing is boneless that doesn’t count because it’s essentially a glorified chicken nugget)
Off the bat, buffalo style is a must. The skin of the wing must make direct contact with the heat, whether it be baked or dunked into the scolding hot oil. A light glaze or seasonings are acceptable and preferred, but a thick batter cannot create a barrier between the crispy skin and my pie hole.
With HOMES there is no KFC-style flakey crust that abandons the wing after just one-bite, so already I like them. They offer three sauces: teriyaki, sweet chili, and hot. All are good, but we NEED to talk about the hot. It’s a step above and beyond anything I’ve had. I grew up loving Hooter’s wings (and continue, admittedly do go to Hooter’s for the wings), but the sauce on HOMES hot wings makes Hooter’s seem like child’s play.
It’s a hardier, thicker sauce that I’m convinced is the secret. It sticks to the wing so that each bite is loaded with flavor. Speaking of flavor, they’re HOT. If you take bites between sips of beer you’ll escape without being drenched in sweat, but if you can’t stop and eat them all without distraction you may need a towel. If you don’t like spicy food please don’t let me detour you. Still try them because the flavor is there too. I would recommend ordering a beer and some starch (their bulgolgi fries are also delicious) to cool down your palate.
It is a brewery so I can’t end without discussing the beer. I love beer, but I also feel Ann Arbor has some GREAT beer spots so it’s difficult to compare. However, I will say that HOMES can contend with any of them. The beer is refreshing and a couple of the options, such as the Leafy Leaf, have a unique flavor profile that really stands out.
Finally, the outdoor bench seating brings community together and reduces wait times. The place was packed when we walked up, but a bench space became available in no time. I am a big fan of downtown Ann Arbor but outdoor seating can be hard to come by. HOMES has a spacious and welcoming back patio where all are welcome: kids, dogs, your family, your coworkers…whoever. Perfect for the upcoming summer season.
On a final note, there is a debate among my household, wondering if the name is an acronym for Michigan’s beautiful Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). This has yet to be denied or confirmed, but it makes no difference to me as long as they keep making hot wings.
Where to find it!
2321 Jackson Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103