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41 Degrees North in downtown Middlebury serves great wings when they're on the specials menu

I had taken a short break from Taste These Broken Wings. It’s not that I didn’t eat any wings over the last couple months, I had just gotten pretty busy at work, and with the cold weather it was tougher to travel to new places to sample their own take on buffalo wings.

More likely, when the wing cravings occurred, I ended up at one of my usual spots such as B-Dubs, Wings Etc., or Sports Time. But during that time I went to one new place. Let me recall… It was New Year’s Eve, way back in 2015.

Back then we still joked about the possibility that Donald Trump might actually become a presidential candidate, many were anticipating new songs from musical artists David Bowie and Prince, and everyone couldn’t wait for Batman to battle Superman in what was sure to be the best movie of the year.

On a cold night in the middle of downtown Middlebury, my family and I wandered into a small bar to scope out a new place — whose name was way too warm for what we were experiencing while crossing the street that night — 41 Degrees North.

41 Degrees is one of the few places in Middlebury where you can sit down and have a beer. While walking in the place it reminded me of some of the new bar renovations like Miles Lab or 523 Tap and Grille. They take an old bar, renovate the inside, update the menu, and then you have a place where you can keep the old-school restaurant/bar atmosphere while creating a more comfortable place for people to enjoy an evening out.

One of the more unique aspects of 41 Degrees is the old agricultural billboard that sits on the wall in the vaulted area of the dining room. It’s a small reminder of the Frankenstein-construction of the old downtown areas. What was once an alley now becomes a bar with lodging on the second story.

Unfortunately, wings are not on the menu here. But if you are lucky enough to come here when they are the special, you will be treated to a great dinner.

I ordered them up with the housemade BBQ sauce. The sauce is more tangy than sweet. It has a taste like the mustard-based Carolina barbecue sauce. It was really good and unique to the area. I haven’t found that type of sauce in many places outside of the southeast part of the country.

The chicken itself was also prepared perfectly. The jumbo-sized wings were cooked thorough enough to not be chewy and fatty, while not overdone as to make chicken-jerky.

The price was at nine wings for $10. A bit high at a CPW of 111 cents, but the quality stands up enough to not feel too costly. Since they were not buffalo-style wings, the heat rates at a one out of four. The flavor is good enough the carry the wing without utilizing the extra spice.

Most of the time the wings aren’t available here, but the good side is that there are other tasty options such as fish and steak. You can even get the house-made BBQ sauce on their burger called The Ringer, which also comes with bacon and an onion ring.

If you do walk in and the wings are on special, feel free to order them up to enjoy with a wide selection of micro-brew on tap.

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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