Winging it at Bon Bon Wings and Grill
By: Jennifer Zeleski
When it comes to wings, there are plenty of factors to consider. Breaded or naked? Drums or flats? Bone-in or boneless? Tossed in sauce or nicely spiced? Not to mention how many to order, what will appease the table, and calculating just how many napkins are needed.
Bon Bon Wings and Grill knows a little something about one of America’s favorite finger foods. With 25 different choices for just the flavor alone, choosing what’s right might just be a challenge you weren’t prepared for. I’ll try my best to lead you in the right direction.
With the NFC Championship airing on a handful of the flat screen televisions, my boyfriend Peyton and I took our seats close enough to the bar to hear the rallying camaraderie of the Los Angeles Rams hopefuls and New Orleans Saints standouts.
Bon Bon’s two large dining rooms were filled with more than enough seating, which felt welcoming and comfortable for families, friends and fans alike. Those surrounding the bar with beer and hot chips were courteous with their cheers, but the space still felt open enough for them to express their frustration or excitement either way.
It seemed to find a good balance between a sports bar atmosphere, which might be a little more present in the later hours of the night, and a sit-down restaurant for everyone to enjoy.
And based on the menu, there are enough options for everyone to choose from. (If you can’t find something, turn the page.)
The restaurant recently added a handful of new items to the menu, such as the Chicken Parmesan, the Reuben Sandwich, and the Green Machine Quesadilla. All of which were tempting, but we knew we wouldn’t be pulled away from the prospect of good wings.
We decided to start with a new addition to the appetizer menu, the Spinach Artichoke Jalapeño Dip. Not only do I love a good dip, I had never considered adding jalapeño to give it spice, and make it a little less focused on the overall artichoke flavor.
The plate came out promptly, with the cheese still melting on top, creating a top layer thick enough to dig into with the edges of the thin tortilla chips. It was addicting from the first bite. Cheesy, creamy and textured from the chopped spinach, it wasn’t overly greasy or too reliant on one flavor alone.
If you’re not a fan of spinach, I dare you to try it with your eyes closed. The artichoke has a presence mixed with the cheese, and the jalapeño is mellow but just a little spicy depending on the bite. The chips made it all the better, tasting exactly like the Nacho Cheese Doritos I used to love. Sure, you can still buy them, but this was my opportunity to indulge without shoving them in my next shopping cart.
(If spinach and artichoke dip still isn’t your forte, another new favorite could be the Buffalo Chicken Dip.)
The wings came our way not long after. We had decided to order 15, bone-in, naked wings to share, which came automatically with our choice of two flavors. We took the chance and added an extra flavor for a dollar more just to make things interesting.
Five were the traditional hot sauce, only one step down from a sauce labeled “Toxic,” which we saved for next time, as well as five of the Bon Bon Daytona sauce, and five of the honey garlic. We covered the spectrum from mild to spicy, and barbecue to basic.
We made a rookie mistake and started with the hot, which was spicy enough to make your nose run, and make you reach for the ranch or bleu cheese (depending on which you opt for). It was easily our top choice. The sauce wasn’t sticky and was thin enough to hold its heat on every part of the wing, making it a go-to for those who like it hot.
Our second, the Bon Bon Daytona, could not have been more opposite to the hot, but it was good in a different way. Smoky, a little sweet, and very sticky, it was a barbecue sauce that reminded me of a well-done rib sauce. Despite it being on a chicken wing rather than a pork rib, it was still one I would recommend for the barbecue lover, or someone looking to cool down from a much hotter sauce on the menu.
Last was the honey garlic, which was about what we expected based on the name. It was mild and very sweet, with hints of garlic here and there. It wasn’t one we would necessarily go back to but could be a great starter wing sauce for someone who is more comfortable with mild, savory and sweet sauces.
It was no surprise that there was more than enough food with 15 wings, with them all being “trim but not skimpy,” as Peyton put it. They had very little fat if any, and were substantial enough to be filling after a few.
We had to try just one more new item, the hush puppies, which can be found on the side item list. They were extra crispy with undertones of onion and served with whipped butter. They might not have been the best hush puppies we’ve ever had (we are, in fact, in North Carolina after all) but they were a good deterrent from eating too many wings at once.
After we used up all of our napkins and after several refills, we were stuffed. We found that the wings were superior to that of other locations around the Piedmont Triad and that we would be quick to order them to go for a night with friends, or simply to enjoy as a snack.
The Saints may have lost their chance to head to the Super Bowl to the Rams, but hey, there’s always time for a new team, or some new menu items, to take the stage.
Jennifer Zeleski is a student contributor to YES! Weekly. She is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communications at High Point University.