Reporting Matt Brickman
WOODBURY, Minn. (WCCO) — Chicken wings have come a long way since their humble beginnings in Buffalo, New York 50 years ago.
Fried, tossed in buffalo sauce and dipped in blue cheese, you can’t beat them — but who’s got the best in Minnesota?
The wings at Ray J’s American Grill in Woodbury, according to WCCO viewers.
And Ray J’s did not disappoint as they are not for the faint of heart.
“First off, nothing better than a full, whole wing,” Mark Jacob said.
If it looks strange, a quick anatomy lesson should clear things up.
“A chicken wing is an actual, entire chicken wing,” Jacob said. “We were the kids that were picked up by the school bus at a bar.”
It’s not as bad as it sounds.
Mark and Paul Jacob grew up going to work with their dad, who owns Schuller’s Tavern in Golden Valley.
“Our dad kinda trained us and got us going and it got to a certain point where, what better name than naming the place after our dad, Ray,” Jacob said.
Dad now has his name above door.
“The sauce is what makes a wing,” Jacob said.
And that’s where mom gets some credit.
“We do a dry rub wing with our mom’s garlic sauce — she’s had this recipe since 1975,” Jacob said.
It would probably even taste good on a dry sponge.
But it’s just one of your sauce options. The most popular choice was actually made by accident.
“You get a full order or wings, most people will go half/half so we’ll go buffalo and sesame,” Jacob said. “Well, the server accidentally typed all of them, mixed.”
What they got was a delicious combination they call “drunken sauce.”
And like all their dressings, it’s made from scratch.
If you like the spicy stuff, they’ve got a sauce made with habanero peppers.
“If your beer mug or your drink doesn’t have blue cheese and buffalo sauce all over it, you’re not eating the wing right,” Jacob said.
Ray J’s is opening a new restaurant – a week from tonight, actually, at the intersection of Hennepin and Central in northeast Minneapolis.
Next week — where’s best to view fall colors in Minnesota?