Like most great inventions, the chicken wing was born out of necessity. The kitchen was closed at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y., when the owner needed to feed some hungry patrons fast, so he seasoned some leftover wings, dropped them in the fryer, and an American culinary favorite began.
Today chicken wings are served all over the world, particularly in Myrtle Beach, where visitors flock to restaurants and sports bars in search of the ultimate wing experience. You can get them almost anywhere, but here are the top five places that are worth crossing the road to try the wings:
* Fat Jack's Wings and Things: Before there were national chains specializing in chicken wings, there was Fat Jack's. Serving delicious wings in your choice of 15 different house-made sauces, Fat Jack's has been in business on the Grand Strand for more than 40 years. Now located in Surfside Beach, Fat Jack's still has a strong local following.
* Hamburger Joe's: Yes, the name says they specialize in burgers, and they do. But Joe's also happens to serve some of the tastiest wings in town. Deep fried and tossed in Joe's own secret Gold Wing sauce, the wings taste even better when washed down with a $1 draft beer.
* Hooters: OK, so national chains may not be your thing, but Hooters has a history with Myrtle Beach. Former owner, the late Bob Brooks, was a native of the Strand and helped take the restaurant worldwide. It's also one of the few places you can still find battered and fried wings, and the scenery isn't bad either.
* Hot Wing Express: If you have a hankering for chicken wings but really don't want to go out to eat, this is your place. Hot Wing Express delivers a wide selection of flavors to your hotel door, along with a full menu of Asian cuisine. The Garlic Parmasean wings come swimming in butter.
* Wild Wing Cafe: This regional chain started in nearby Hilton Head Island and is a hot spot for wings, food and fun in North Myrtle Beach. Located at Barefoot Landing, Wild Wing offers more than 40 different flavors with a wide range of heat. The Ragin' Cajuns are spicy but full of flavor.