Flame Broiler, like Subway and Panera, is one of those chains that exist for people who want the convenience of fast food but don’t really want to eat fast food. The menu is totally devoid of fried foods and it’s one of the rare national chains that didn’t jump on the Popeyes bandwagon and release a chicken sandwich in the wake of the great chicken sandwich wars (unlike Subway and Panera). Even Panda Express has a chicken sandwich! But what is one supposed to do if they want to eat healthily but still want to, you know, have a little fun with their food? Enter Flame Broiler’s new broiled chicken wings.
For a limited time only, participating Flame Broilers nationwide have started selling flame-broiled wings as a two-piece side, a dedicated plate with rice, and a single order of a dozen. The bone-in wings are made from the same antibiotic-free chicken made with zero oil or breading that makes Flame Broiler, you know, Flame Broiler but they offer a more hands-on form factor.
So are they any good? We decided to find out!
Flame Broiler — Flame Broiled Wings
For this taste test, I tried Flame Broiler’s five-piece charbroiled wings plate which features five wings over a bed of rice, a cabbage salad, and a big ass slice of orange. The wings are doused in what Flame Broiler calls “magic sauce” which as far as I can tell is some sort of simplified version of teriyaki sauce. Think teriyaki without the mirin or sake. If you like your wings light and crispy this, unfortunately, is not that. Since these are cooked over a flame and not fried, the skin never gets as crispy or thinned out as what you’d expect from wings, instead, the fat here stays… fatty.
That sounds like a bad thing, but if you can handle your wings being a bit chewier than you’re used to there is little to complain about — fat is flavor, after all! The chicken is incredibly tender, once I bit into it the meat easily tore off the bone, and that savory mix of sweet soy-based sauce and charbroiled flavor from the fire is a winning combination. These wings taste great and Flame Broiler didn’t cut any corners by ditching the fryers for this one.
If you’ve frequented a Flame Broiler you know that the menu is at its best when the dishes are elevated with the side sauces, and the charbroiled wings are no different. Flame Broiler has four side sauce options: Hot Sauce, Jalapeño Hot Sauce, Seoul Scorcher, and the Secret Korean Spicy Chicken Hot Sauce, I tried all four with the wings and each one elevates the dish with an extra hint of flavor. I like the vegetal and peppery quality of the Jalapeño Hot Sauce the most but the strong kick coming from the Seoul Scorcher is a close second.
If these wings end up being successful enough to earn permanent menu status, I hope Flame Broiler starts cooking the wings in the sauces. Then Flame Broiler would truly be competing with the big wing chains flavor-wise, and having a healthier option out there is a win for all of us.
The Bottom Line:
Flame Broiler took a big swing by introducing wings to its menu and frankly, I’d say they knocked it out of the park. While these aren’t the fried variety that comes to mind when you think “chicken wings,” no sacrifices have been made in the flavor department. Get ’em while you still can!
Find your nearest Flame Broiler here.