Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wing Box: Hella Good Chicken Wings

Hella good chicken wings.

That's what it says on the sign for the San Jose restaurant, Wing Box. And, so far I have to agree! The Wing Box is a small chicken joint with a simple menu consisting of five asian-inspired sauce covered wings (and drumsticks). 

Located on Lundy Avenue in a small shopping center filled with various other asian restaurants (sushi, thai, etc - quite an assortment, among some other stores as well) the Wing Box is a stylish little spot.


The decor is industrial, sleek, and simple. A giant chalkboard shows you the limited menu.

Your options are:
(Four wings with the rice and pickled carrots and daikon.)
  • Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings
  • Singaporean Street Wings
  • Caramelized Tamarind Wings
  • Thai Basil Chili Wings
  • Red Sticky Wings
Your sides:
  • Garlic Noodles
  • Shoestring Fries
  • Sweet Potato Fries
The drinks are even a little different as well:
House specialty sparkling lemonades - freshly squeezed / exotic fruits.
  • Meyer Lemon
  • Guava
  • Lychee
  • Candied Kumquat)
They also have Southeast Asian Sweet Teas
  • Ginger-Mint, Lemongrass, Mango, Peach, or Pomegranate
  • Thai Iced Tea
  • Coca Cola (in a bottle)

and, the novelty item that caught my attention as much as it has some of the Yelpers out there - the Box Water.

Yes, they have a tall box of water (looks like a mini milk carton) for $2.50 
(However you can still get normal ice water for free.)

So - how'd this place make its way onto my radar? Well my husband and I work near the Wing Box (he's closer than I am by a few minutes) and he's been there a few times with coworkers. One day, the two of us were going to have lunch together and he suggested the Wing Box. Ok, I'm down. I've got mad chicken cravings so I wanted to give it a go. 

Alright so like I said, it's a little spot. Very little. There are two tables for four people, and a window seat bar with two seats. That's it. Thankfully the two times I've been there at lunch on a weekday, we were able to get seats. But if you get there and it's busy, have another idea of where you will eat your lunch. Don't skip out just because you can't find somewhere to sit! (Ok, this might be the food truck adventurer in me speaking, I'm pretty used to eating where I stand…)

My husband has had several of the flavors (if not all) and after a quick look at photos of the wings (that have more detailed ingredient listings) I chose the Singaporean Street Wings. 

Oh yeah - here's the thing. During the week, they have a special. For $5.80 you can get a large wing and drumstick, a scoop of rice, a small container of pickled carrots and daikon as well as a small scoop of their garlic noodles (you can sub fries if you like.) Perfect price! 

For me, this was plenty of food. If you are a lumberjack, skip that and go with the Wing Box Sampler: Two wings of each of the five flavors, four scoops of rice, and two trays of the pickled carrots and daikon. If you are with a small group, this would be a nice choice to try several of the flavors. 

I LOVED the chicken. It wasn't crazy soaked with the sauce (which was freakin' tasty) and that let the chicken stay crunchy. The inside was super juicy! The size of the wing and drumstick are larger than average as well. 

They have a few dipping sauces you can include as well. I like to have a small cup of the Sriracha sauce to mix with my white rice. Yum!

The second time I went, I chickened out (hah, see what I did there?) and ended up with the same flavor again. I didn't want to risk possibly not liking another flavor! I was craving the kind I had last time, so I had to go with that.

This just means I need to return a few more times to try the other flavors!

Oh and a small thing, that probably is just a detail for myself but -- the sparkling lemonades are mixed when you order. So I was able to try the Meyer Lemon lemonade without the carbonation (can't have it). It wasn't overly sweet which is a winner in my book. I think I'll try the Lychee version next time.

While I think it's great to have places outside of the downtown area - I really do think a place like this would fit perfectly either in the SoFA District or even better, at San Pedro Square Market.  

Have you been to the Wing Box yet? What did you think of the place?

1715 Lundy Ave #162
San Jose, CA 95131

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