Review: Wing Ding Dong

first impression | As COVID-19 has altered our dining habits, local restaurants have responded by upping their takeout game, some even creating special menus to cater to those who don’t want to dine indoors. That’s what Baileys’ Restaurants did with Wing Ding Dong, a concept launched last fall that’s available for pickup and delivery only. The ghost kitchen operates out of Baileys’ Range downtown and focuses on one thing: chicken.

wash it down
There are a number of carry-out cocktails available, including a selection of boozy lemonades. We picked up the Habanero Chili Margarita ($9), which had a fun kick but was still at an easily drinkable spice level. Non-boozy lemonade, tea and soda round out the beverage offerings.

must try
» wing ding salad: $13; The only non-chicken option, the Fried Tofu Salad, was unavailable when we ordered, but we were offered this salad without the chicken strips as a replacement. Served with ranch dressing, it includes mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, red onion, croutons and cheddar. While perhaps not the most exciting option, it was fresh with nice flavors.

» smoked wings : $12.99/10; They’re in the name, so we had to try them. Dry rubbed, smoked and finished in the oven, these have an awesome smoky flavor. There are a variety of sauces available on the side, including buffalo, Texas barbecue, Caribbean jerk and peach habanero. Every sauce we tried worked well with the wings, but they aren’t necessary to enjoy them.

» crispy chicken fingers: $6/three; While the wings are smoked, fans of the fryer need not worry. There are plenty of fried chicken offerings. These white-meat tenders aren’t overly breaded, which is a major plus. They were fried a little hard but weren’t so overdone that the chicken was dry. A solid choice if wings aren’t your thing.

» spicy chicken sandwich: $12; There are two fried chicken sandwich offerings. The spicy one has a nice kick, but the heat isn’t too intense. It’s served on a beer bun with traditional fixings (i.e. lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayo). It also was fried hard, ensuring the breading was very crispy, but the chicken was still juicy.

» tater tot: $5; The only side option, these were golden brown, crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. What more do you want from a tater tot? A serving easily offers enough potato goodness for two or three people.

The menu may be small, but if you’re in the mood for wings or fried chicken, Wing Ding Dong is a great option for dinner or lunch. The Baileys’ Restaurants chose wisely with this ghost kitchen concept, and it has to be said, the name is a real winner.

920 Olive St. | 314.241.8121

Pictured at top: Crispy Chicken Sandwich with house pickles, lettuce and Rooster mayo sauce on a beer bun
Photo: Bill Barrett