Tommy, April 18 2023

CENTRAL WING TRAIL (#3 of 7)

The "Central Wing Trail" is the third (and smallest) of the seven trails on the new CT Wing Trail. It includes eleven wing spots smack dab in the center of the state. Unique from the other CT Wing Trails, this one contains some very heavy hitters from Plainville and Southington only! You almost don't need a car as this entire trail is only ten miles from tip-to-toe.
This area has been commonly referred to as "The Wing Capital of CT," although fans of "The Valley Wing Trial" (#4) will fight you on it! Four of the eleven spots have already been featured on Wingaddicts RELAPSE episodes which places them in the CT Wing Hall of Fame. 

Each of these spots is unique in its own rite and each one will provide a memorable wing experience. Sliders and Salty Dog Tavern appear twice as they have locations in both towns. If you'd like a video preview, just click on the wing photos below to see the Wingaddicts visit and learn more about each restaurant!

As you eat your way through our awesome wing state, please be sure to log into the Wingaddicts App, go to the restaurant's profile page, snap a wing pic, and leave a short review! You'll earn 1,500 rewards points on the "Leaderboard" (found in the Library section) and your wing stop will be registered towards the Trail Challenge! 

If you've already been to any of the spots on the trail and still have your wing photo, go to the app and add it in. That counts! 

SLIDERS

When Fred Marcantonio decided to open his own sports bar in Plainville in 1993, he was rolling the dice on every young guy's fantasy. Days before opening he realized he didn't have a buffalo wing recipe. Fate would have it that he mentioned that out loud in front of his "insurance guy" who gave him one. The rest, as they say, is history. Sliders became one of the first CT establishments to feature wings on the menu and that list has grown to thirty-plus excellent flavors and five locations around the state. The energetic Buffalo Wild Wings (before BWW even came to CT) sports bar atmosphere is electric. That famous Sliders buffalo wing sauce has also become one of the best around. When you're visiting, start with that one! While Plainville is the original Sliders location, you can check the "Sliders" box on your CT Wing Trail by visiting any of the five locations (Plainville, Southington, Berlin, Wallingford or Middletown).

J. TIMOTHY'S TAVERNE

Only 1,500 feet up the street from Sliders, "J.Tim's" as its known to all the locals, may be THE most-famous wing spot in the state having won numerous awards (and even gaining national recognition) for it's legendary "Dirt wings." While this enormous (and old) restaurant is really NOT a "wing joint" by your standard definition, it does have 13 dedicated fryers and churns out more wings than any other restaurant. FOODIES ALERT! Order a bucket of Dirt wings and have your video camera ready when they show up at the table. You're welcome!

HOP HAUS GASTROPUB

To open a restaurant during the Covid pandemic is risky enough. To open it between Sliders and J.Timothy's might just be the definition of insanity. But CT restauranteur Mike Miller has that kind of swagger. This modern gastropub has amazing food on its menu, a super relaxing atmosphere and the wings seem to get better every time you visit. There are two other Hop Haus locations as well, the original in Southington and the other (as of spring 2023) in Berlin. Try the Ghost Buffalo wings!

Editor's Note: The Plainville Hop Haus will be transforming into the Salty Dog Tavern by the end of this month (March 2023). 

BLUE PLATE TAVERN

Like the smaller tiger cub, last to eat in the wing hot bed of Plainville CT, this long-time local dive bar doesn't know its an underdog. Play pool, throw darts, drink beer and whiskey and enjoy some wings that stand up to anyone's in the area. Some "wing spots" have their bottled sauces that they just toss on to order, but Blue Plate cares about the wing game. Enough said. We recommend trying the Great Mistake . . . on a blue plate.

JERZIE JOE'S

Joe Marques started Jerzie Joe's in Southington after taking over a bar called Jerzie's in 2007. Wildly popular with the locals, this dive-bar hangout has a large outdoor seating area and (under the radar) puts out 15 outstanding wing flavors. The house favorite is probably the Buffalo Bleu! Ours too! 

THE FIRE PLACE

One of the best-kept secrets in Southington isn't really a secret at all. Why call it a secret then? Because John Pucci's restaurant is unquestionably the most-popular pizza place in town, winning multiple awards every year since opening in 2004. Secret because they don't really make a lot of noise about their wings. Why? Because they use the wood-fired pizza oven and there isn't always room to cook around the high-volume pizza orders! However, if you're so ambitious to eat inside this beautiful restaurant on Center Street and order wings, you will be blown away. We promise. But shhhh. Don't spread the word! Haha.

75 CENTER

This modern and trendy bar and restaurant on Center Street (just across the street from the Fire Place) has many identities. A sister restaurant to 66 Church in Naugatuck, this place is a popular destination for the younger crowd and has stepped up its wing game significantly over the past year. There a dozen house-made flavors to choose from and you won't go wrong. We highly suggest the Teriyaki (among others)!

GROGGY FROGG

We never play favorites, but if you're given the choice to get wings at only one restaurant in Southington, then it has to be Groggy Frogg. With nearly 80 to choose from on the menu, this spot wins multiple awards for its wings every year and also wins awards for "Best Dive Bar." If you want to have a few drinks, eat awesome wings and laugh with great people then visit Mark & Nancy Montana's establishment "Where everyone is welcome until they're not."  You decide which flavor(s) to try! Oh, and their homemade bleu cheese has a reputation as one of the very best in the state as well!

SMOKIN' WITH CHRIS

You can't drive through the heart of Southington without smelling the smokers in the parking lot. Chris Conlon has been serving up the area's best BBQ for years. Unlike most BBQ joints, though, they don't cook their wings on the smoker. Instead, you'll get the traditional oil-fried wings and you can choose from nine delicious flavors. Try the Maryland Old Bay wings (and get some ribs and brisket too)! 

THE SALTY DOG TAVERN

Opened in the winter of 2022 by Mike Miller (owner of the Hop Haus Southington and Soon to Open Berlin) this fully renovated restaurant brings you the full sports bar feel over in the Plantsville(?) section of Southington. Intentionally focusing on the wing game (you can even get a selfie on a wing wall) this place is an instant wing classic with flavors on the menu that you won't find anywhere else. Try the award-winning Apple Jerk wings, the "Steph" Curry wings, Miso Honey, or go big with their special "buffalo wing" version, John's 5-day Pepper. Don't forget that selfie! (Take a Selfie over by the Chicken wings in the back)

SAM THE CLAM's

Wait. What? You would have to be a professional Wingaddict to sniff out great wings at a place called Sam the Clam. You might see Marilyn Monroe and the Blues Brothers in the front yard as you drive by. You might just pop into the bar for a drink. You might go there for the seafood (especially the lobster rolls). Yes, wings are an afterthought here. Or are they? We were blown away by the Chicken Parm wings (brilliant), the Bourbon Molasses (crowd favorite), the Mango Habanero (with a bite) and the Ghost Chili. You will be too!


How many of these awesome wing joints can you visit in 2023? The Wingaddicts app will easily keep track of your visits, or you could just print out the checklist to do it the "old fashioned way!"


Download the new Wingaddicts Starter Wings app for FREE in your app store or by clicking this link!

Join Facebook’s largest group of wing enthusiasts "Wingaddicts Community" , follow them on Instagram @wingaddicts  and be sure to subscribe to the Wingaddicts channel on YouTube to see over 250 episodes!  You can also learn about more sauces in the Wingaddicts "Saucy Saturday" playlist on the YouTube channel.

Want to contact the Wingaddicts personally? Tommy, Doni the Cleaner and Wingchef Ryan communicate regularly through the "Wingaddicts Community" on Facebook. 

Written by

Tommy

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