Taste These Broken Wings: Frank's Place is a great neighborhood bar that serves up wings that shouldn't be missed while hanging out in South Bend


By: Michael Tomko

Michael Tomko

There’s a magical feeling about hanging out at a local bar on a Friday night. Everyone has just gotten out of work and is relaxed, looking forward to a couple days off. People are friendlier, the air smells cleaner and the beer tastes better.

If you take that feeling and multiply it by 10, you get a taste of the atmosphere in Frank’s Place on the Wednesday evening right before Thanksgiving. I took a half-day off and caught the last Hunger Games movie on the south side of South Bend. I then drove uptown and looked for some good wings in the little bar in the old neighborhood right by the hospital.

It brought back a lot of memories of hanging out with my dad at the local bars in Northwest Indiana during the holiday breaks when I was in college. It was reminiscent of the atmosphere at The Bulldog when it was still around back when I lived within the Elkhart city limits.

There’s no need to be a regular at Frank’s place to be treated like a neighbor. I had a great time: from ordering with the bartender and discussing the heat of the wings with the people sitting next to me.

When it comes to wings, some bars try too hard and get super jumbo fatty wings with some have odd flavors. On the other hand, they might see wings as an afterthought and put in no effort and just serve up over-fried dry chicken jerky with hot sauce thrown on top. But some, like Frank’s place, get it right and serve up some of the best wings the way they are supposed to be eaten.

Frank’s offers “10 jumbo rotisserie chicken wings.” Although I’m not so sure about the rotisserie part, they sure were jumbo, and cooked well enough to not be chewy and fatty as some giant wings turn out. Rotisserie usually involves a whole chicken cooked over heat while being turned around or rotated (hence rotisserie). I didn’t get that roasted taste in these wings. However, the wings were covered with sauce, so it may have taken over the rotisserie taste.

Speaking of sauce, I asked the bartender if they had a specialty and she suggested a mix of the barbecue and hot buffalo sauce. It was outstanding. The barbecue wasn’t overly sweet and the buffalo gave it a nice kick. (About a 2 out of 4 on the heat scale) The only drawback was that I should have gotten them plain with the sauce on the side in order to taste the spices from the rotisserie.

The price was on the high side – a CPW of 100 cents with 10 for $10. But the wings are good enough that it makes the extra money worth it. I didn’t see any advertised wing special, but if they run one it would be a great deal.

Frank’s is a great choice if you’re spending time in downtown South Bend.

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