Harlem Wing & Waffle: Where the Wings Need a Wingman

**Update: Harlem Wing tweeted that they were closing their doors. It really is sad to see. Perhaps I wasn’t the only one to have a few bad experiences there. Hopefully the restaurant owner got out without being in too bad of shape financially.**

Back when Harlem Wing opened in the later part of 2010, I was hoping it would fill the void for a decent wing place in Fresno.  Most of the local spots in town put little thought into their wings and typically serve commercially made sauce.  Don’t get me wrong, most of them are fine when chased with an ice cold beer… if I’m sitting on my couch.  I expect more when purchasing them by the dozen at a restaurant with the name “wing” in the title.

My first visit to Harlem Wing, which was actually the same month I started the blog, wasn’t a pleasant experience.  I had planned on starting out with a review of Harlem Wing but when I bit into my first wing and was greeted by a soggy, slimy, mouthful of skin, I decided to wait and give them another shot.  A few months have past and there I found myself staring down at jerk and bbq wings.  Surely they had improved?  I wish.

The jerk chicken wings were once again undercooked.  Not only is the seasoning just weirdly off, the skin wasn’t cooked even remotely close to edible.  The BBQ wings were strangely overcooked.  I guess that’s why I decided to write this post after all.  I think the owners need feedback because apparently they aren’t tasting what’s coming out of the kitchen and it’s frustrating to have below average wings at a wing shop.  **Note to the restaurant owner: you specialize in wings.  They should be perfect every time and an exact  science by now.  Please correct this stat so I can eat here instead of the chains.**

Unfortunately my frustration didn’t end there.  The two ladies running the shop at the time, even though very pleasant and accommodating, were over matched by even the small crowd that was there.  To complicate matters further they ran out of the rib tips but only informed me when they delivered our wings.  She said they were making a fresh batch for me.  I’m sure my readers are educated enough to understand that freshly prepared pork rib tips take pretty much a few hours to prepare correctly.

When they arrived about twenty minutes after our wings were served I just knew I wasn’t going to be happy.  The ribs were boiled, sauced, and had no texture.  That was it.  Fatty ribs that weren’t seasoned.  What a sad and inedible affair.  I took two bites and left.  Maybe one day a good wing shop will open in Fresno.  Or better yet maybe third time is a charm and Harlem will make some desperately needed adjustments.

Harlem Wing and Waffle on Urbanspoon

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12 Responses to Harlem Wing & Waffle: Where the Wings Need a Wingman

  1. Chris says:

    I’d considered trying this place, thanks for the heads up!

  2. Wings. I know we talked about it. Good try and fair warning. I like the title too.

  3. jenne says:

    Your mistake was not getting the fried chicken wings…which were some of the best I’ve had in a non-Asian place… we also loved the small crunchy waffles… my only beef with the place was the price for what you get….

    • fresnobites says:

      I had the fried wings at Harlem on my first visit. They were ok. Not much meat on the wings. Those were cooked correctly.

      I didn’t address the waffles. To me they’re just a little too dense. Mine have never been very light or crispy. But my issue has always been the wings.

  4. jenne says:

    how about that waffle place with the odd hours on Fulton?

  5. Borbality says:

    Did you ever try University Chicken? I loved that stuff, although it wasn’t BBQ.

    I tried Buffalo Wild Wings recently and wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t bad but nothing to go out of my way for. My wife can make better ones.

    Great reviews, btw! Top notch.

    • fresnobites says:

      I did go to University Chicken back when but ordered a sandwich. It was a big disappointment. Chickfila is way better.

      Never been to BWW. Haven’t heard one person I trust recommend it or say they had anything good.

      • Borbality says:

        The wings at Univ Chicken were incredible. Very sad they were poorly managed (and rumored to have stolen the recipe from an East Coast chain). The side dishes and anything non-wings were VERY inconsistent, and sometimes we’d even come home with stuff we didn’t order! But the wings…. huge and just totally slathered with the richest, hottest sauce ever.

  6. Borbality says:

    Furthermore, it’s disappointing to hear that Harlem Wing and Waffle isn’t worth bothering with. Most reviewers I trust seem to agree, with overall reviews mixed at best. Oh well.

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