A few weekends ago I took a brief break from eating vegetarian to visit the annual visit the second annual incarnation of Kickin’ Chicken Wingfestat Fraze Pavilion. A dozen or so local bars and nightspots came out to show off their tasty chicken wings for a packed-out crowd. Once upon a time, there was a BBQ Ribs Fest in Dayton, which I have sorely missed since it shuttered its doors a few years ago. I can see I’m not alone, and I’m glad some other cool food affairs have risen to replace it.
There were plenty of wings afoot, and you really couldn’t ask for a better situation to try them; each place was selling three wings for $2.00, so you’d have the opportunity to try plenty of places without spending too much or gorging yourself. Some of the wings were sweet, some were saucy, and some were spicy. I had a lot of delicious flavors. Some of the newer restaurants in town, like Taste, showed off their brand-new flavors while established favorites and larger chains like Buffalo Wings & Rings brought some familiar flavors. If you weren’t in the mood for wings, bars also brought out their tasty sides, from Mac and Cheese, hash browns and chips and salsa.
Last year’s people’s choice winner, Nick’s Restaurant was on hand to show off its wings and defend its paddles (yes, you win paddles as prizes in the competition here) and once again, they knocked the socks off the competition, taking five of the six categories including Best Side, People’s Choice, Best Sauce, Best Wing and Best Booth. I’m going to have to agree, they really did bring out a new depth of flavor and an amazing sauce, Nick’s Secret Sweet Hot Damn, with a strong and lasting heat. One wing is almost overwhelming, but good luck holding yourself to that. I have never been to Nick’s, but I’m definitely going out to Xenia to give them a try, it was that good.
Despite the heat of summer, the Wingfest is an awesome little tradition taking hold in Kettering. With plenty of music and plenty of beer to go around, the crowd was undeterred. I can’t imagine a force of nature that would be crazy enough to get between me and this fest in 2013.