Earning my wings…

At the risk of seeming un-American, I’ll just come out with it; wings, as in Buffalo Wings, as in quintessential bar food, as in the Superbowl staple, are, well…overrated. Yeah, I know, it’s a personal opinion. Lord knows I’ve tried them (usually via peer-group force-feeding) from Maine to Mexico, from LA to the Upper Eastside. But the truth is, I never met a Wing that I liked.

Until today. And I didn’t have to travel to Buffalo – in fact, it was in my favorite Pizza joint, Rosedale in Naples, Florida run by two guys from Brooklyn named “Joe”.  My guess is that they both have last names, but I don’t know them by any name(s) other than Joe. To be honest it’s rather convenient. When you’re in the restaurant and need something,  you just holler for Joe. Usually they both turn around, but you’re always guaranteed to have one of them respond.

So, we’re sitting there on a busy Friday night at the counter in front of the wood-burning oven manned by Joe (the taller Joe; the shorter Joe runs the front of the house), and one of the waitresses screws up an order – or maybe it was one of cooks; I suspect neither Joe ever makes a mistake, at least that they’d admit to. Anyway, the “mistake” is a plate of unclaimed wings that Joe (the service-side Joe) slides in front of me and proclaims “here, these are the best wings you’ll ever taste.

I mask my smirk by stuffing another slice of their incredible Margahrita pizza in my mouth. When neither Joe was looking, I grab a wing and bite in.

It was the best wing – the only wing – I ever had that I liked. No, that I loved!  I push my pizza aside and proceed to gnawl each wing down to the bone. No BBQ or hot sauce here, just lemon, rosemary and a kiss of garlic.

Buffalo move over, you have some serious competition!

Rosedale is located on Pine Ridge Road in Naples. Check them out @ (239) 325-9653 or http://www.rosedalepizza.com/

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