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Roxie's Manhattan Bar and Grill joins the elite status of superior local wing places

Last week on National Chicken Wing Day, I decided to head out to Mishawaka and visit a bar that a reader had recommended to me on Facebook. The place was called Roxie’s Manhattan and it had all you can eat wings for $8 on Wednesdays.

I drove to what looked like a residential neighborhood and found a small downtown area on Seventh Street with commercial buildings from the early 20th century with a small pub tucked inside at 424 W. Seventh St. Even though it was a bright, sunny day outside, you wouldn’t be able to tell when you walked inside the place. It was dark. 

I’ll admit I was little intimidated at first. The bar was lined with old ashtrays, country music was blaring on the jukebox, and Cubs posters were plastered all over the walls.

All essences of discomfort subsided as the friendly bartender took my drink order and wrote my last name on my ticket while checking my ID.

For the rest of the visit I was called by my last name, which was cool as I don’t think anyone’s called me “Tomko” since I was in high school. It also helped that, after about four blaring country songs, someone chose some more popular Top 40 type of music. (I never thought I’d be so happy to hear Bruno Mars singing “Uptown Funk” in my life.)

I started this blog after finding some of the best wings while eating regularly at Rulli’s and Miles Lab. I’ve tasted some great wings over the last year, but the only place I have found wings that compare to the original two was at Pete’s Simonton Lake Tavern.

I can now add a fourth place to the list of elite local wings, as Roxie’s were outstanding.

The bartender brought out twelve wings. Six were extra hot and the others were a habanero mango. They came out in a basket, but separated from each other. The perfect amount sauce was drizzled over each one. There was enough sauce to flavor the wing, but not too much as to soggy-up the crispy breading.

The extra hot sauce was a Franks-type sauce, but instead of drowning the flavor of the breading and chicken, it complemented the taste. Every bite had an equal share of chicken, crispy breading and buffalo sauce. The chicken part was not only perfectly cooked, giving a stiff but juicy texture, but it was also huge. These are true jumbo wings.

The mango habanero had more fruit flavor than pepper, but tasted awesome. I don’t usually get the sweet wings, but these were so sweet and tangy I enjoyed them more than the buffalo flavored ones.

The heat on the wings wasn’t very hot – I’d give a 2 out of 4 on both sauces – but when the wings are prepared this well, you do not need a burning mouth to enjoy.

The CPW would vary from person to person, since it’s all-you-can-eat and the amount of wings you consume is up to you. On Wednesdays it is $8, but even on other days you can get the deal for $10. Most places only do all-you-can-eat one day a week and charge around $15.

Right before I finished my last wing of the twelve, the bartender came by and asked if I wanted them to throw in some more for me. That may have been the easiest question I have ever had to answer — I responded with an enthusiastic, “Yes, please.” I even got the mango habanero since they were so good.

Roxie’s is truly an awesome place. I would buy a house in this neighborhood for the sole reason that I could walk home after eating all those wings and drinking all that beer.

It’s kind of amazing that I’ve never heard of this place until a couple weeks ago. It’s so quiet and so out of the way, I’m almost afraid to write about it and have it get so crowded it takes away from the ambiance of a small local neighborhood bar that sits empty even during the best wing deal on the planet.

It is perfect for those who are looking for the small local place away from the bustle of all the chain restaurants a couple miles away, especially if you like wings.

For more commentary on the chicken wings of Michiana from Tomko, sign up for the Taste These Broken Wings email newsletter. You can also follow his adventures on Facebook by following the Taste These Broken Wings page.

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