Everyone sins, and my gluttony manifests in shamelessly binging on a lavish array of boneless nuggets, drumsticks, and flats. If I were to die today, please bring me a plate of chicken wings.

Now, I wouldn't consider myself religious, but my newfound churches are that of Fire Wings and Bonchon. I need salvation from the dissatisfaction of spiceless meals, and I am saved by a deep red bucket of fried chicken. May my reverend, the wing hostess, guide me to eternal happiness by placing in each hand a basket of fries and a 16-ounce pink lemonade.

You’re probably thinking I’m romanticizing a cheap dish you can buy for as little as 10 cents at any bar—and be assured, my friend, I definitely am. 

During my cravings, I tend to gravitate towards my tried favorites, WingStop and Buffalo Wild Wings. However, now having been indoctrinated in true UC Berkeley culture, I would be considered a heretic if I didn’t escape corporate chain America. Thus here are the results of a Saturday afternoon wing crawl through Fire Wings and Bonchon... 

Fire Wings

Erika Zhang

A conglomerate of flats, drumsticks, and the occasional boneless nugget, my mouth salivates from the smell of the storefront alone. Dry rubs are far superior to any wet sauce, and Fire Wings creates dry rubs that reach an unheard level of perfection. My go-to? The Cali-Rub. Described as a “smokey and sweet mild heat backyard barbeque rub,” what Fire Wings forgot to mention is the seductive texture of the rub itself. The fine, soft powder has a buttery consistency that melts during that first tongue to bone contact. Take a friend, and pair a pink lemonade and a seasoned basket of fries with a 10 piece combo pack. Eat like kings.

Erika Zhang

It is luxurious, decadent, almost royal. The sting of hot buffalo sauce on my watering tongue was quick to be extinguished by the soothing sensation of the cool ranch that I could honestly drink when no one was looking. 


Erika Zhang

Bonchon was this mysterious location my floormates and every Asian Baby Girl I met mentioned in passing. Bonchon. Let’s get Bonchon. I am craving Bonchon. Korean fried chicken is a delicacy that is almost softer, even humbler, than traditional chicken wings. Entire wings were used for flats, requiring additional steps to pull off more meat off the bone. The smooth crispness of the soy garlic wings presented an almost homey taste as I could feel my mother frying these for me after a horrendous week.

Erika Zhang

To the uneducated, wings may seem like a quick midlife indulgence, but they are, in fact, the glue that can bind even the most distant of strangers together. There is something almost ritualistic about chicken wings. A not-so-hidden social aspect of greasing your fingers and your hearts amongst a group of equally avid fans. The mundane arguments of blue cheese or ranch quickly turn into a banding of “bros,” as with each bite another thought, another secret flows out.

You think it's extravagant, but wings give me hope. Chicken wings give me something to look forward to when I wake up on a dreary Wednesday morning. Driving to order wings provides a valid reason to gather all my friends for a 90-minute outing they otherwise would’ve rejected. By now if you couldn’t tell, wings are my love. Wings are my life.