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Fireside Tap & Grill in Edwardsburg, serves up some very hot and very delicious wings

For this week’s blog I traveled across the border for my first installment in the 269 by going out to Edwardsburg, Mich., and ordering up some wings at Fireside Tap & Grill.

It’s been a while since I hung out in the land of the Eddies. I used to play golf at Garver Lake with my neighbor; Legends was a popular bar hangout downtown; and there was another “pleasant” bar up there by a lake that I wouldn’t be allowed to visit since I got married.

But as time went on, someone took a match to Legends, the pleasant little bar found itself on the wrong side of the law and, most unfortunately, my neighbor passed away.

Although he was a little eccentric and kind of outspoken, I’d wish to just play one more round of golf with him down at Garver while drinking the Old Style beers he snuck into the course and hearing how this would be the year the Cubs would finally win the big one.

Even though the town is small, you might have a problem finding Fireside Tap & Grill. It looks just like a house on the side of the road. There is a little sign that says Fireside, but keep your eyes open — if you blink, you might miss it.

The inside is the exact opposite of what you would expect before walking in. This is a giant sports bar with many flat-screen TVs hanging on the wall, many high-top tables and booths, and a long bar.

It is a giant place — I felt like I walked into that wardrobe from that book we all read in fourth grade.

There were two big differences from sports bars in Indiana.

First, we were able to sit with kids in the “bar” section of the restaurant. We weren’t relegated to a sometimes isolated-feeling “family section.”

Secondly, there were a lot of Michigan sports team posters and memorabilia on the wall, so we weren’t forced to stare at a bunch of shamrocks and little green-bearded dwarfs.

I had my eye on the Hotter than Hot habanero wings, but since I was unsure of how hot they were, I also got some of the Asian ginger. Good thing, because the habanero wings were super-hot (4 out of 4 on the heat scale) — but more importantly, the Asian ginger was outstanding.

Most sauces, outside the buffalo, at local mom-and-pop wing places are thin, weak, sugary and similar in taste. This Asian ginger was like the Asian Zing at Bdubs; thick, not too sweet and with a little kick.

I’m glad I ate most of them before sacrificing my taste buds to the habanero wings — which, by the way, were also great.

The temperature of the wings was so-so. They still tasted good, but they may have been sitting around while the rest of the food was cooked. The size was pretty large, especially for a regular CPW of 86 cents.

I did eat on a Saturday when it advertised 39-cent wings on its website. Unfortunately, I could not get them at that price, as the special only runs till 5 p.m. I didn’t push the issue, but I bet if I’d pulled the website up on my phone they may have considered giving me the deal.

Either way, I really did enjoy the wings at Fireside. I’d love to drive up there and watch a game sometime, but most surprisingly, I have finally found another reason to go up to Edwardsburg again.

For more commentary on the chicken wings of Michiana from Mike Tomko, subscribe to the Taste These Broken Wings email newsletter.

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