Top Place to Get an Ulcer: Wings to Go

Buffalo wings that aren't for the 'faint of heart'

By
Monday, March 10, 2008

Wings to Go77 Ives St., Providence (click for map)(401) 621-946411 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily

I first heard of the sauce on Super Bowl Sunday, when three of my housemates held what they dubbed “The Hundred Wing Party.” They bought beer, ordered a hundred buffalo wings and hunkered down for the big game. It seemed like the perfect dudes’ evening.

Until three to four bites in, when they realized getting the “homicide” sauce from Wings to Go was a mistake.

After the Super Bowl, I found the three incapicitated in their rooms. The wings had hurt, bad, and the consensus was, to paraphrase, that the wings hurt even more going out than in. One housemate, Ike, said he kept on waking up in a sweat after he went to sleep that night. Another Hundred Winger, Jin, asked me for a bottle of Tums. When he returned it two weeks later, it was nearly empty. He had had an upset stomach the entire time, and had fallen victim to hot flashes.

With that in mind, I headed to the restaurant on the corner of Ives and Wickenden streets. With a clean interior, tables for about 15 people, three flat-screen TVs and a magazine and newspaper rack, it was surprisingly hospitable. The menu included chicken wings and tenders, salads, shrimp, wraps and sandwiches. It also listed sauces for the chicken, which include Mild, Medium, Hot (“mouth watering”), Extra-hot (“mouth burning”), Suicide (“will make you sweat) and Homicide® (“Not for the faint of heart. Eat at your own risk!”), as well as other flavors, such as barbecue and teriyaki.

I asked the employee at the counter how hot the homicide wings were. He gave me a small capful to sample and I took a lick. Not too bad, I thought.

The employee seemed to read my mind. “You gotta let it marinate on your tongue for a bit,” he said, grinning mischievously.

But I was still doing fine, so I ordered 10 homicide wings and 10 hot ones for $14. But when he turned around to get my order, I felt a sudden burst of heat through my entire body.

I sat down and picked out a magazine from the rack, trying to play it cool. But the fire was spreading, and I couldn’t help but focus on my burning tongue and dripping forehead as I pretended to read Time.

My house is a 10-minute walk from the restaurant, but it took another five minutes after I got back before my tongue stopped throbbing and I stopped sweating.

I sat down to eat the wings, but when I opened the box, I took a whiff of the homicide sauce … and whoa! I couldn’t do it.

I offered them to my housemates, who laughed when they saw the reminder of their painful Super Bowl Sunday. I had the merely hot wings, which were surprisingly mild, especially when dipped in the bleu cheese dressing that came with the wings. They were delightfully crunchy on the outside, but tender within. The sauce had just the right amount of vinegar in it.

Meanwhile, my housemates were wondering why they were eating the homicide wings again. In two minutes, Ike, who usually orders extra spicy at restaurants, was completely drenched with sweat.

One housemate, Minsuk, hadn’t tried the wings before but ate one this time. He, too, was sweating in a minute.

“It’s like I just went running,” he said. “After the first few bites, it’s not so bad, and then – whoooosh!”