2013 Wallingford/Meriden Wing Fest Takes Off

Despite a couple of last minute pull-outs by participating restaurants, the Wing Fest of Wallingford/Meriden 2013 held on January 23rd was a huge success. An estimated 200 hungry folks filled Villa Capri’s main ballroom waiting for some tasty chicken wings, and they were not disappointed. From bacon-wrapped wings to Malibu coconut wings to mild wings to bourbon and whiskey wings to wings with the ominous name of Lethal Injection, there was something there for everyone’s palate.

Knucklehead’s came loaded for bear with Buffalo wings, bourbon buffalo wings, whiskey-ancho wings, PB&J wings, and their Lethal Injection wings, which required a signed waiver before you could eat them. Ryder’s on Main offered up Malibu wings, Tennessee Twist wings, and original wings to the crowd, while KT Baxter’s gave us some hot wings, bacon-wrapped wings and original wings to chew on.

Our personal favorites were the bourbon buffalo and whiskey-ancho wings from Knucklehead’s and the Tennessee Twist wings from Ryder’s. All had an alcohol-based sauce that gave them a sweet but spicy flavor that left our lips tingling and our taste buds crying for more.

Images of the 2013 Wallingford/Meriden Wing Fest at Villa Capri in Wallingford CT.

We started the night with the event’s signature drink, the Wing-a-tini, a concoction of vodka, OJ, and cranberry juice that had a tropical feel to it with just a kick of vodka a the end to keep you interested. Since there were only three restaurants providing wings, the lines were pretty long, but the wait was worth it!

Images of the 2013 Wallingford/Meriden Wing Fest at Villa Capri in Wallingford CT.

After much deliberation, KT Baxter’s won the trophy for Judge’s Choice Best Overall Wing, while Knucklehead’s took home the prize for Hottest Wing and People’s Choice Best Overall Wing.

Images of the 2013 Wallingford/Meriden Wing Fest at Villa Capri in Wallingford CT.

Speaking of hot wings, the Hot Wing Eating contest brought out about a half dozen brave souls who did their best to eat as many of Knucklehead’s Lethal Injection wings as they could. Bob (contestant at far left of first photo) was the winner, downing 14 killer wings with no problem. Those wings actually made grown men and women cry! And the last of the evening’s winners was Ryder’s on Main, taking the trophies for Best Specialty and Original Wings.

Rounding out the night were drawings for some door prizes, four free tickets to the Villa Capri’s Easter Brunch, and a 50/50 drawing in which the winner won $250 – and promptly donated part of his winnings to the Meriden Humane Society, which also received part of the proceeds from the Wing Fest as well!

All in all, it was great night with great food, great people from the community and lots of fun. Event organizer Dee Babkirk Rodriguez and hostess Gina Mesite Mueller are to be congratulated for putting on a stellar event, as always. What made it even more amazing was that the entire event was planned and put together in just a week and a half, and advertised solely through social media (Facebook, Twitter, and blogs), a solid testament to the power of that medium to get the word out. Keep an eye out on this blog for word of the next great food event…I think it has something to do with pizza…

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