Wild Wing Cafe

1 08 2009
  • 2085 W. Grand River Avenue
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-2321
  • Website
  • Menu
Wild Wing Cafe on Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

Wild Wing Cafe on Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

When I rolled out of bed this morning…er, afternoon, J started asking about lunch.  She was hungry.  I was hungry, so we started getting ready to leave the house.  Last night, I gave her the option of Mexican or wings.  Today, I wasn’t really in the mood for Mexican so I made the call to head to Okemos to try out the new chain in town. 

Wild Wing Cafe is on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Okemos Road in the building that used to be Bennigan’s.  The chain is an east coast franchise based in South Carolina.  The Okemos location is both the farthest north and west. 

I never went into the Bennigan’s, so I have no idea if anything has changed inside.  The dining room is anchored by a large bar in the middle that is covered with LCD TV’s.  In fact, that’s pretty much the whole design theme.  LCD TV’s everywhere.  Everywhere!  The place really has a sports bar theme.  The TV’s are accented with MSU pictures that have been blown up and hung on the walls. 

There are tables and booths that fill in the space around the bar.  We were shown to a table near the stage that hosts local bands on weekends.  A waitress came over and took drink orders while we looked over the rather large menu.  I knew I wanted wings, but there were a lot of options.  J isn’t in to the traditional wing as much as I am, so she needed a little more time to work her way through the choices. 

When the waitress came back with our Pepsi’s, I was ready to order.  I looked at J to make sure she was ok then I put in an order for eight hot wings.  Since this was our first visit, I went with a safe choice just so I could get a feel for the wings.  Hot was about the middle of the road choice.  I was hoping there would be a little bit of spice, but nothing overwhelming.  The waitress asked if I wanted all eight hot or if I wanted to add a second “marinade.”  I should have, but didn’t.  I really still prefer the good ol’ fashioned buffalo wing.  The wings were delicious.  The sauce was exactly what I was hoping for.  There was a little bit of spice, but it wasn’t so bad I needed a gallon of milk just to eat them.  They were a little bit bigger than I remember Buffalo Wild Wing’s being and they were cooked very similar. 

The impressive thing to me was how messy they weren’t.  The sauce stuck to the wing.  There wasn’t an abundance of hot sauce.  One of the cool things about Wild Wing Cafe was their choice of napkin.  Most places just give you a handful of paper napkins and let you rip your way through them.  Wild Wing Cafe gave us what was essentially a bar towel.  It was a heavy, blue, cloth towel which would have worked on the messiest of wings. 

Since there was no side with the wings, I ordered an appetizer of buffalo chips.  I thought they were going to be just for me, but J asked if they were enough to share.  The waitress said they were so I kept my mouth shut.  It was a good thing I did, it was a pretty large order.  The chips were fresh cut  and topped with chunks of bleu cheese.  J really liked the buffalo chips.  I liked them, but I thought the middle of some of the bigger chips were still soft.  The bleu cheese was just thrown on top and fell off the chips.  I would have liked to have seen them stuck under a salamander or something for a few minutes just to melt the cheese a little bit  so it would stick a little bit better.

Wild Wing Cafe in the old Bennigans location in Okemos.

Wild Wing Cafe in the old Bennigan's location in Okemos.

J still wanted chicken, but didn’t want wings.  She doesn’t like dealing with the bones whereas I think the bones give the wings a whole lot more flavor.  The Knockout Nuggets were her choice.  She also got her choice of marinades on the nuggets.  She got honey BBQ and a spicy honey BBQ.  The nuggets were basically like boneless wings.  She really liked both of the honey BBQ varieties and even had a couple left over for me.  In my opinion, they were too much breading and not enough chicken, but that’s always my complaint with boneless wings.  I’m also not a honey BBQ fan, so it wans’t really my thing, but J really liked it. 

Our bill was just over $22 and that was with the appetizer being half off.  The only complaint was how long it took to get our meal.  Even though we only got chicken, it took about 15-20 minutes to get our meal.  It is only the second day the place has been open and they were doing pretty good business for 1:30 in the afternoon, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. 

Wild Wing Cafe was pretty good.  For a guy that likes wings, Wild Wing Cafe hit the spot.  It’s still got the chain atmosphere and there’s the chain preparation, but for what it is, I really liked Wild Wing Cafe.  I wasn’t expecting a neighborhood joint and that’s not what I got.   What we got was good wings and in a comfortable chain setting.  Can’t complain about that. 

Like most guys, I love wings.  Finding a good hot wing is always a hard thing to do.  It seems like this is one case where the chains do a pretty good job of beating the local places.  I know it’s bad to say, but I love Buffalo Wild Wings.  When I lived in Peoria, I ate at BW’s almost every week on Tuesday night. 




15 responses

1 08 2009
Bernie B

I thought about checking this place out today being as I was stuck at work, but decided to hit it next week. An update on a couple of places. The Okemos Pizza Hut is now closed. They were in a sucky location anyhow.

Taqueira Del Ray on Michigan Ave closed last Friday. I spoke with the ladies there and apparently some relative of the building’s owner wants to open a Mediterranean restaurant in the space. So the ladies got booted (Boo!) after a six month run.

1 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

shoot…I’m working at MSU in a few weeks…I was going to hit Taqueira Del Ray for lunch.

7 08 2009
wild wing cafe

whent to opening night “the thunder chickens” f’n rocked took my dad the next weekend and still had a great experience. I now have a new favorite bar to visit. I have yet to find an unattractive or “bitch” of a waitress and the guy bar tenders are just as cool and social. As long as they keep up the awsome service (not to mention the great food) I will be one very happy customer.

The best thing to come to okemos in years.

9 08 2009
REAL Buffalo Wings

Wild Wing Cafe cannot deliver true buffalo wings. To be fair, B-Dubs cannot either. Wild Wind Cafe had the better options for sauces but failed in providing a sauce with true buffalo flavor. The biggest complaint shared by each of us in my group was that the wings were dry. The waitress was definitely a rookie and screwed up our order, but I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt since it was only their second night.

I most likely will not return to Wild WIng Cafe despite my love for buffalo wings. “Best Wings this side of Buffalo” ??? Maybe down south, but not here in the north Wild Wing Cafe. High hopes in the beginning resulted in disappointment in the end.

10 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

just out of curiosity, what do you consider a “real” Buffalo wing. I guess I’ve only had wings that were similar to B-Dubs, so I’m not really sure what you mean.

10 08 2009
REAL Buffalo Wings

First of all, I may be biased since I have had the original Buffalo Wings at the Anchor bar in Buffalo, NY and not to mention there is a great place called Franks for the Memories back home in the north suburbs of Chicago. I base all other wings from these 2 establishments.

I think of a perfect Buffalo Wing as large, moist on the inside, crispy on the outside drenched in a vinegar based hot sauce. Sometimes these chains produce dry wings in terms of both the inside and outside of the wing. All buffalo wings should be drenched. Everyone has their preference though. For the chain restaurants that produce wings, I feel B-Dubs does a great job, especially here in EL. My feeling is that Wild Wing Cafe cannot steal the B-Dubs crowd. Hard to beat the sports atmosphere at B-Dubs as well.

I take my wings seriously….

11 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

I can respect that. I guess I’ve never had a real wing in that case.

I’ll have to check out Frank’s For the Memories sometime.

20 08 2009

So what IS the best place in the Lansing area for wings?

20 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

I think it’s Barley’s on Miller Road on the south side of Lansing…in fact, Thursday’s is buy 10 get 10 free…..I think I’m going there for dinner tonight.

20 08 2009

I like Barley’s quite a bit. I’ll have to give that a shot. I wish I’d seen your comment earlier…I’d have dropped by there and picked some up after work…

20 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

I did end going tonight. They were a little less meaty than I’ve gotten in the past but still really good.

9 09 2009

me and a few of my buddies decided to stop into wing wing cafe a few weeks ago to try the wings and have a few beers…there was an awesome band and i think the server told me they play every thursday. we will for sure be back on a thursday! our server was awesome! her name was courtney. she was awesome…not only was she gorgeous, she was a blast. she helped us find the good food and we ordered a few buckets of beer. when we wanted another bucket of coors light and they ran out, she got us each a free beer. it really made it better, ive never went to a bar and had a waitress give us a free beer because they ran out of one kind. the food was bitchin! we got a lot of wings and every flavor was good! new bar to become a usual bar!

9 09 2009

i think you mean wild wing cafe dude! but yeah our waitress was hot and felt like she was one of our friends just hanging out. gotta go back soon for some good food! i think she said every monday they have cheap buckets of beer

12 08 2010
Bernie B

I heard that this place will be closing down at the end of the week. Apparently sales haven’t been too robust during the summer. It’s a college town and the students come back in the fall. Duh!

Also, there are other established Wings places in and around campus that offer similar quality for a much lower price. That corner would be great for a microbrew pub.

1 10 2010
Bernie B

Just some really good news. The old WW Cafe location in Okemos is now a new Leo’s location. In the same vein as Leo’s Outpost, Leo’s Lodge..

I’m excited about this as the other Leo’s locations have always been excellent.

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