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Logan's Roadhouse makes it OK to order wings instead of a steak

I was looking over my list of places that I have written blog posts on and I realized I have not done one at a steakhouse chain yet.

You know these restaurants — their names usually consist of a southern state followed by either steakhouse or roadhouse.

I’ve got a little secret to getting good food at these places: never order the steak.

It’s not so much that the steaks are bad, but the other food is so much better. Have you ever gotten a burger from a chain steak place? It’s great. Ribs? Chicken? Some of the best I’ve eaten were ordered from these places.

Steak chains are also business trip dinner gold.

See, when you go out of town on a business trip, you are usually allowed to turn in your receipt at work to get a free dinner. You don’t really want to stop at fast food or a casual chain restaurant, since your company wants you to have a nice dinner as you are away from home and your family for a night.

They also don’t want you to take advantage and run up a tab at some fancy-schmancy place where you have to trick the maître d’ into thinking you are Abe Froman, the sausage king of Chicago.

Turning in a receipt from the “Mississippi Steakhouse,” on the other hand, will guarantee you get a decent meal without getting a disapproving look from the accounting manager.

I took the family out to the Logan’s Roadhouse in the Grape Road commercial district in Mishawaka last weekend. Logan’s has a country-style theme. Country music plays in the background and you are allowed to throw the shells of your free peanuts on the floor.

Frankly, it’s just the same as most of all the other steak chain restaurants. I couldn’t think of anything to distinguish it from all the other places until today, when I ordered the Smokin’ Hot Grilled Wings.

They do have regular buffalo-style wings here. I was going to order the Nashville Hot ones until the waiter talked me into getting the grilled ones with chipotle sauce.

They were a treat. It came out on a skewer looking like they had just been grilled on a barbecue. I will compare them to Nelson’s chicken, but much better. The sauce wasn’t as tangy/vinegary as Nelson’s sauce, but had more heat and was sweeter. I would give it a 2 out of 4 on the heat scale.

The blackened skin was the best part. It was very crispy and the caramelization gave a sweet taste as it ripped off the bone. They were “unbroken,” but very easy to separate. The size was pretty big too, especially for unbroken wings.

The chicken part was a little dry, but that didn’t even phase me, as the rest of the wing was so good to eat. In fact, on this wing I would rather have the meat a little more dry, as it yielded the good taste to the skin and sauce instead of diluting the flavor.

The price isn’t so bad, either. Nine bucks for six unbroken wings (12 regular wings) gives a CPW of 75 cents.

I’m going to put these up there as some of the best wings I have eaten. They are not traditional buffalo style wings, but they were some of the best chicken I have ever received on my plate.

The skewers make a neat addition and I would recommend getting the grilled wings either shared as an appetizer or as a meal on its own. I’m sure sometime in the future the accounting department in my office will be seeing a receipt for these.

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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