71-22 Roosevelt Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 205-6662

Chicken wings, once the exclusive playground to bars catering to guys watching football, have seen a rebranding from "food" to "cuisine", thanks in almost exclusive part to the Koreans. South Korea has had a crush on the Buffalo wing for a while now and NYC has seen a micro-explosion of Korean wing places in the past couple of years (and lets not not forget Korean BBQ). So I decided to hop on the F train to Jackson Heights, to try out Unidentified Flying Chickens, just a few blocks away from the station along the aviary that is the above-ground 7 line.

It should be noted that Jackson Heights, the neighborhood and the massive Roosevelt Avenue station, is a maze. Bring a GPS.

This late Saturday afternoon, UFC was pretty empty downstairs where the seating is. Upstairs is the takeout part and there were a few people there waiting. And wait they will. If you go with a date, bring along an extra half hour's worth of conversation. KFC this is not.

I sampled all four of the wing flavors UFC offers, Soy Garlic, Hot, BBQ Mustard, and Sweet N Spicy, and here's my breakdown. They were all good, so no complaints there. The best was the Soy Garlic. The Sweet N Spicy was my least favorite and it wasn't spicy in the least. Speaking of spicy, the Hot was far from hot. A little tangy, perhaps, but they don't hold a candle to the power of the the spices at The Dutch, my alma mater's de facto campus bar. It was closer to a tangy BBQ. Finally, the BBQ Mustard, which was also good, but not as good as the Soy Garlic. I also ordered a side of fries, which came with a seasoned salt and a sauce that was just like what I imagine ketchup would taste like with Tobasco in it. I liked it.

The main difference between Korean wings and the wings you might get elsewhere, like maybe Atomic Wings, is the texture of the batter. It's very smooth in comparison and crunchy, like the coating of a corn dog. It's very good, but it has a flavor that overpowers the taste of the chicken under it and even the sauce. Now, don't get me wrong. Nine times out of ten, normal wings overpower everything with spice or sugary honey BBQ sauce. There's a softness to traditional wings that these don't have. At first, this is a nice change, but I don't know that I'll find myself with a craving for Korean wings the same way I occasionally do with the ye olde fashioned kind.

But I still suggest everyone give them a shot. And since I'll probably wind up in another Korean wing place before long, maybe they'll generate that craving.

A ten piece wing plate will cost $10, a twenty piece will cost $18. They're big wings. Big. And the menu has other items like salads, sandwiches, and some traditional Korean dishes like bulgogi.

UFC - Unidentified Flying Chickens on Urbanspoon

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