Not every restaurant we write about in these pages is a fancy, sit-down kind of place. In fact, we also are proud to promote places that cater to a different kind of crowd…in this case, a place that caters to the chicken wings, burgers and beer kind of crowd — especially for those looking for a new place after the recent closing of a nearby Beef O’Brady’s (the one on Cross Creek Blvd. at Morris Bridge Rd.; see page 47).
The good news is that the WingZone, located in the Publix-anchored New Tampa Center plaza (behind the Mobil station) is doing just fine here in New Tampa and owners Kyle and Toya Tucker do a great job of delivering this type of fare at very fair prices and my staff and I can highly recommend quite a few of the offerings.
When we last reviewed WingZone in these pages in February 2015, we hadn’t really sampled any of the appetizers, but the mozzarella sticks, fried pickles and the new mac-n-cheese wedges all made more than one person on my staff happy.
But of course, the most popular items at WingZone are still the wings, which are available boneless or “traditional” and with 15 different sauces available for smothering them with (or for dipping). I usually prefer my wings naked (unbreaded) with no sauce and extra crispy, but I’ll admit I really liked the boneless wings with the only slightly (a two-pepper rating in WingZone’s sauce spice rating system) spicy Thai Chili sauce.
Assistant editor John Cotey says the two-pepper-rated Buffalo Bliss sauce had the same heat as the average “medium” sauce at other eateries and Kyle says both are among the top-five favorite sauces at his WingZone. The other favorites are the Honey (Bar-B)-Cue, the Garlic Parmesan and the new Blackened Voodoo dry rub, which added a lot of flavor to WingZone’s grilled chicken sandwich. The spiciest sauces available are still the four-pepper Nuclear Habañero and three-pepper Hot Shot, Tokyo Dragon and Mango Fire sauces (we had a lot of votes for the latter as a favorite). “Our Flavor Zone has a taste to please every palette,” Kyle says.
Still A Burger Man
WingZone also offers “Flavor Fuzed” burgers and grilled or fried chicken sandwiches, where you add shots of any of the 15 sauces, but give me that delicious grilled burger with bacon and American cheese and a side of potato wedges with nothing else but lettuce and tomato — and maybe, some crispy bacon. Yes, the burgers at WingZone will likely make my Top-10 list in New Tampa this year, as they are sizable (graphic artist Blake Beatty liked the 1/2-lb double stack shown above) and very flavorful without being overly salty. These are definitely not your basic fast food burgers.
And, WingZone, which now has about 70 U.S. locations and nearly 20 locations everywhere from Russia to Saudi Arabia, has added some new burger options, including a mac-n-cheese burger, a make-your-own burger and favorites like the Lumberjack (with cinnamon, maple, bacon and cheese on Texas toast) and the Widowmaker (four patties, four slices of cheese and four pieces of bacon).
Other favorites on the WingZone menu include the hand-breaded fried chicken tenders (billing manager and WCNT-tv Wesley Chapel Chamber Featured Business Segment host Jill Reilly loved the tenders on her big Garden Salad). There’s also fried shrimp, which I still can’t sample, but I’ve heard people at WingZone say that you can’t beat 5 shrimp for just $3.99 or in a basket for just $5.99. Speaking of those baskets, I’ve already mentioned the crisp, yummy wedge fries, but I’m also partial to WingZone’s creamy (but not too creamy), sweet cole slaw.
And, whether you prefer to wash down your wings and/or burgers with a seasonal Yuengling or Miller Lite (or any of four or five other choices, WingZone has you covered. There also are wine coolers (but no glasses or bottles of wine) available, as well as sweet tea and fountain drinks.
Your National Wing Day & Football HQ
Don’t forget that Friday, July 29, is “National Wing Day,” when you can enjoy all-you-can-eat wings (boneless or original, served 20 at a time) at WingZone from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. (only) for just $17.99.
And, whether you prefer college or NFL football, both seasons are fast approaching and the WingZone should be your headquarters for tailgating at the game or for watching on your big screen TV at home. Try the 20-wing (boneless or traditional) Buddy Pack with two flavors, jumbo fries or cole slaw, two dressings (blue cheese or ranch) and celery for just $19.99, up to the 50-wing Party Pack for just $44.99. Or, try 60-cent wings (minimum order is 10) every Tuesday.
For other great coupon specials, see the ad on page 40 of our latest New Tampa issue and please tell Kyle, Toya and their crew that the Neighborhood News sent you!
WingZone is located at 19062 BBD Blvd. and is open seven days a week, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (until 11 p.m. on Friday & Saturday). For more info, call 558-WING (9464) or visit WingZone.com.