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Tasting wings and reminiscing at Constant Spring in Goshen

Back in January 2007, I moved into an office above the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Goshen. This was right before First Fridays and the downtown revitalization the city.

I did have The Electric Brew to walk down to for a cup of coffee and a pretty good tamale place across the street, but the city was not full of the breweries, book stores, butcher shops and fine dining it has now.

I had noticed a sign reading “Constant Spring” in a building across the street, but I thought it was some sort of college hippy place where they might serve you bean pasta, coconut water or something to that measure. I couldn’t believe it when someone told me it was a bar.

My business partner and I started going there on Fridays. Soon it seemed like every office in Goshen went there on Fridays. By spring 2008, when I left that downtown office, Constant Spring was always packed on Fridays — especially the first one of the month.

I also met my wife in that place. Well, I actually met her in the lobby of the office where she worked, but Constant Spring was the first place I hung out with her for an extended period of time. I can’t remember what all we talked about that night, but whatever it was I guess I kept her laughing enough to fool her into seeing me again.

Constant Spring has always seemed to me the “cool bar.” It was one of the first in the area to sell microbrew on tap, it outlawed smoking before the government made it mandatory, and instead of plastering a bunch of TVs on the wall it focused more on live entertainment, social bar games (pool and darts) and local food.

I went back to Constant Spring one Wednesday to check out the wings. Even though management has changed since my days of hanging out there, nothing else seemed different. The drinks and specials were written above the bar, live trivia was going on and the building had that fresh popcorn smell from the popper by the pool tables.

I sat at the bar and ordered up the pound of wings and cheese curds, another favorite of mine. I joked to a bartender one time that when I finish with the chicken wing blog I’ll start one on cheese curds in the area. But, I’m sure my doctor wouldn’t recommend that diet.

The wings came out and they were pretty small. Last time I got wings this small, I made fun of them and called it a rip-off — but here, things are different. They sell them by the pound, so I got 14 of them. Plus, they were only $8. That gives a CPW of 57 cents. That is a very fair price for this size of wing.

My guess is that since Constant Spring prides itself on serving local and organically grown food, they’re not going to buy jumbo wings from chickens pumped with hormones (or at least look like they were pumped with hormones).

The wings were breaded and looked like they were deep-fried. I got the sauce, which was just a basic Frank’s sauce, on the side for dipping instead of having them spun in the sauce beforehand.

The breading could have used a little more seasoning, but overall they tasted pretty good. The outside was nice and crisp, like getting fresh fried chicken, while the inside stayed moist.

I’ll admit that I prefer the jumbo wings even if the chickens are pumped with as much juice as clean-up hitter for the Chicago Cubs, but I have nothing to complain about with these mini-wings.

I’m not saying the whole revitalization of Goshen was caused solely by Constant Spring bringing people to Main Street, but I don’t think it would have happened as fast without them being an “anchor of the new mall.”

So many more breweries, eateries and shops have opened since then, but I’m glad I can always feel comfortable walking in the door to hang out, drink some beer and even now eat some wings.

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