If you love spicy food, then chances are you love hot wings. Hot wings became all the rage in the past few years, with even fast food chains like McDonald’s offering hot wings now. Every good tailgate or sports-watching event has them. You can’t throw a Super Bowl party without them. Some people eat them religiously once a week. Some people like bone-in; some people like boneless. But what do you eat with hot wings besides pizza? Here are a few of the favorites combinations people love to get with their hot wings I have seen from observation at my bar and grill, Willie’s, in Columbia, Missouri.
1. Salad with ale
This is a good option if you are trying to keep your calories low since you will be eating lots of calories in your wings. It’s also a little healthier to start with a vegetable rather than load down on carbs and protein (even if carbs are super delicious). When you pick a salad with a lot of flavorful components, such as mayonnaise or meat, pale ales will help clear your palate.
2. Basket of fries with a wheat beer
This is a classic option, and something that probably comes pretty cheap at most places if you are getting hot wings as a meal because fries are so popular. If you want to get something different besides regular French fries, potato skins, slices or chips are also good with hot wings. You can’t go wrong with a little potato to cool down the fire in your mouth after eating lots of hot wings. The strong flavor of a wheat beer also cleans the palate nicely after coating it with spicy hot wings.
3. Cup of soup or chili with a bottled beer (domestic)
Warm soups and chilies are perfect for the wintertime, and a great pair with a spicy hot wing. Some zesty chili or a southwestern soup enhance the spiciness flavor, or if you’re all burned out on the spice you can try a nice vegetable soup with your hot wings to give you some sustenance without adding too many extra calories. A bottled Budweiser or other domestic beer also pairs excellently with chili and hot wings.
4. Pretzel rolls with a lighter specialty beer
Pretzel buns and rolls are all the rage this year. The Germans did it best with a fluffier pretzel like a pretzel bun, rather than a hard pretzel and of course lots of specialty beers.
5. Cheese sticks with a water/lemonade/Gatorade mix (athlete’s choice)
This combination might seem weird when you read about it, but don’t knock it until you try it. This combination is very popular with kids and athletes. You get something a little salty and a little sweet. It’s especially good for people who are trying to cut back on soda and alcohol.
There are a few hidden gems, too, that many people might not know about at many bar and grills. Here in Columbia, Missouri, when we have our white chicken chili at Willie’s, Mizzou football players come out of the woodworks. And of course, they only drink water or Gatorade to stay in top athletic form.