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The Flippin’ Cow’s wings taste good, but you’d find a better value elsewhere

About a mile north of Elkhart, on the west bank of Simonton Lake, there used to be a small bar called Lakeshore Grill. It just looked like a small shack on the side of the road.

In the early- to mid-2000s, it was a hot spot for twenty-somethings to enjoy a band, hang out on the patio overlooking the lake, play the “ring and hook” game and get some really good food. It was a favorite of my local friend’s, who would suggest skipping the toll road traffic-supplied Texas Roadhouse and Bennigan’s down the road for the smaller, secluded Lakeshore.

With 2013 came the re-branding of Lakeshore to the present Flippin’ Cow. The name was chosen to match a few of the owner’s other restaurants, like the Chubby Trout and Fat Tomato. (He no longer owns Fat Tomato.)

The updates have been very nice. The interior was redesigned to allow family seating, and one of the few table shuffleboard games in the area was added. The enclosed patio was even fixed up, as to not give the impression that it would fall into the lake at any given moment. The “ring and hook” game is still there too.

The menu, though, has been completely changed. Instead of a traditional restaurant menu of dinners and light lunches, it focuses on “bar food,” like burgers and sandwiches. The Stella Moo burger was a finalist in a local burger competition and has quite the reputation around Elkhart these days. The menu also comes inside an old album cover, which is pretty neat.

When my basket of wings came to the table, I couldn’t find them at first. I searched through the parchment paper thoroughly, and hidden in the creases were nine tiny little baby chicken wings. Apparently the cook had a hard time seeing them too, as I was supposed to get 10.

Seriously, they weren’t that small, but they were some of the smallest chicken wings I have ever seen. It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t $9. A cost per wing (CPW) of 90 cents is already on the high side, but for these miniatures, it is almost a rip-off.

The menu says a light breading, which would be accurate with a normal sized wing, but these are almost all breading.  The breading does do a good job of soaking up the “very hot” sauce, which tastes like a good Frank’s Hot Sauce mixture. It had about a 2 out of 4 on the heat scale.

Wings like this are not too bad to eat, but I just wish they had served them by weight – something like a half-pound of wings for X dollars. Or else they could have come up with some unique name for them, like mini-wings or something.

I went to Dallas, Tex., last week and got some wings in a little downtown bar that was supposed to have some of the best in the area. They ended up being nothing worth writing a blog post about, but they were about the size of The Flippin’ Cow’s wings. The big difference? Not only did the bartender warn me they were small, they also had a CPW of only 60 cents. If you account for the bar being in a large city where prices are supposed to be jacked up, you can see how bad of a deal the wings are at The Flippin’ Cow.

I did enjoy eating the wings, but it would have tasted so much better if there was a little – I mean a lot – more chicken on the bone.

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