NYC Best Wings, Harlem Edition: Just Wingin It’s “Super Nova” Sauce Burns Brightest

Date January 28, 2009

The quest for NYC’s best wings continues! For this post I joined Eating In Translation’s Dave Cook in Harlem where we followed his route from 110th street to 145th street trying wings at three take out spots.  This meant passing on soul food stalwarts Amy Ruth’s and Sylvia’s, but fear not, we’ll tackle those two on another adventure.  Of the 5 varieties of wings sampled, only one truly soared. Read on to learn which wings wowed and where you can find a place with 17 homemade sauce flavors.


Are those wisps of smoke coming from the sauce or the wings?

Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too (Website)

366 West 110th Street b/t Columbus Ave & Manhattan Ave
New York, NY 10025 (Google Map) 212-865-6744
Open until 10PM Sunday to Thursday and until 11PM Friday & Saturday

The scent of straight BBQ sauce was the first thing to infiltrate my nose, but I was pleased to find that this $7.95, 7-wing serving offered a meaty wing with home cooked chicken, all covered in a sweet and smoky sauce with a tiny bit of bite.  The tender, juicy meat separates easily from the bone, carrying tiny pieces of fatty, delicious skin.


I wouldn’t return to Miss Mamie’s for the wings alone, but the chicken itself was tasty enough to warrant a return trip to try it fried and the BBQ sauce would be great on ribs.  If that’s not enough, the coconut layer cake and the red velvet cake on the counter looked fresh and delicious.


Harlem Wing & Waffle (Website)

2394 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (7th Ave) at 140th Street
New York, NY 10030 (Google Map) 212-281-1446
Open until 10PM Sunday through Thursday and until 12AM Friday & Saturday

The olfactory sense took over once again, this time the sweet scent of waffles greeted Dave and I as we entered the orange hued storefront.  Unfortunately, the next scent we absorbed was an overabundance of vinegar in the buffalo sauce covering our 6 piece, $5.15 order of  hot wings.  The lone accompaniment, a single container of bleu cheese, wasn’t enough to subdue the offensive miscue.


I’m glad I was motivated to wipe the sauce off with a napkin because beneath it was a meaty and peppery wing that if sauced properly would have impressed.  If I was to return here, I’d make sure to follow the sign and go for wings and waffles; a “snack pack” of 2 wings with waffles is $4.75, the $7.75 “meal” features 4 wings with waffles.


Just Wingin It – Best Wings of the Harlem Tour

2190 Fredrick Douglas Blvd. (8th Ave) at West 118th Street
New York, NY 10026 (Google Map) 718-690-3639
Open until 9:30PM Monday through Saturday and until 7PM Sunday

17 varieties of homemade sauce would be enough to bring me back to Just Wingin It, but its the “Super Nova” sauce, featuring fresh garlic, habanero pepper, jalapeno pepper, cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper flakes that will really ignite my return.


Upon opening each of our $3.49 5-piece orders, the scent of the super novas roared from their container.  As you can see in the close up below, the surface of the wing is volcanic, each bite a treacherous step toward a fiery death for your tongue.  An initially tart flavor is immediately burned away by the flames of the 4-pepper/garlic concoction which unforgivably lingers after you’ve stripped the crispy but small wing.  The lingering heat is the strength of the super nova.  I recommend neutralizing the it with an accompanying celery or carrot stick dipped in the thimble-sized container of bleu cheese.


Five pieces may be the perfect order for wings this fiery, offering you a chance to try some of the other sauces.  You can pass on the manageable and mild “traditional hot” wings below on which the flavors of vinegar and butter outshine the peppery undertones.


Whichever route you choose to navigate Just Wingin It’s 17 sauces, it’s fitting to end with a dessert wing. such as the “sun kissed” wings below, which feature a tangy, sugary sauce with subtle hints of orange.


Just Wingin It’s sauces shine more than the actual wings which leaned toward the dry, over-fried side, particularly among the wingettes as opposed to the meatier drumsticks.  Below is a list of the 17 flavor options but upon returning I plan on trying the sweet and spicy “Cajun” and the “Honey Garlic”, both are recommendations from Jose and Ivan, the helpful guys behind the counter.

Just Wingin It’s 17 Sauce Flavors

  1. BBQ
  2. Cajun
  3. Caribbean Spice
  4. Lemon Garlic
  5. Honey Garlic
  6. Honey Mustard
  7. Jerk Mild
  8. Jerk Very Hot
  9. Mandarin Orange
  10. Margarita
  11. Smoked Spicy BBQ
  12. Sun Kissed
  13. Teriyaki
  14. Traditional Mild
  15. Traditional Hot
  16. Traditional Super Nova
  17. Zen

18 Responses to “NYC Best Wings, Harlem Edition: Just Wingin It’s “Super Nova” Sauce Burns Brightest”

  1. Phil said:

    OMG 17 sauces??????? I need to get there ASAP!

  2. Ulla said:

    The garlic in the sauce sounds amazing!
    I always make wings for the Superbowl. I am starting to think I should make the hot sauce too..Usually it is butter, hot sauce and vinegar. SO good:)

  3. phil-ate said:

    phil ate a buffalo.

  4. Phil said:

    Yeah buffalo is pretty good actually!! Hey Ulla, you should try putting a little (very very little) bit of tomato sauce in your wing sauce… oh man my mouth is watering….

  5. Master said:

    Mmmm, I’m having wings for lunch today…this got me in the mood.

  6. Phil said:

    nevermind my post on the mexican, clearly you didn’t take this down and my internet is crapped out.

    hey master, do you prefer “wing” or “drumstick”?

  7. Adam said:

    For my money, the best wings in New York are at Dinosaur BBQ. But these sound good too.

  8. Anonymous said:

    Mmm Honey Mustard

  9. Clucker said:

    Awesome post, can we add your reviews to our chicken wing resource over at

    – Clucker

  10. NYC Best Wings, Harlem Edition: Just Wingin It’s “Super Nova” Sauce Burns Brightest « NYC Food Guy « HARLEM HAPPENINGS said:

    […] January 28, 2009 · No Comments NYC Best Wings, Harlem Edition: Just Wingin It’s “Super Nova” Sauce Burns Brightest « NYC Foo…. […]

  11. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Definitely worth a trip but make sure to also stop by Lee Lee’s Bake Shop on 118th off of Frederick Douglass, they make amazing rugelach, which apparently, they’re usually sold out of. The red velvet also looked great though, really bright red.

    The super nova sauce was pretty serious. Will you be making wings again this year? Looking forward to seeing photos.

    Interesting you suggest adding tomato sauce to buffalo wings. The wings I had at Great Jones Cafe were delicious and definitely contained tomato, the first time I encountered that. I also think tomato may appear in the wings at Waterfront Ale House, but I’m not sure, tough to tell through the delicious habanero burn. I’ll have reviews of both those places in the next wing tour.

    Did you end up getting wings for lunch, if so, where?

    Dude, can’t really disagree. Dinosaur has awesome wings. I have two reviews on the site about them alone and I mention that they’re my favorite so far in Wing Tour Part 1. Where do you go for Buffalo wings though?

    Awesome site you’ve got yourself Clucker. My posts are absolutely up for grabs as long as you link back to me. Thanks. Where are the best wings in Cananda?

  12. Phil said:

    Wow I haven’t had the wings at waterfront ale house but i’ve been there several times and the food is great. I’ve contemplated purchasing some of their in-house hot sauce which I LOVE. That stuff has some SERIOUS kick to it, don’t ya think?

  13. Master said:

    Wings all the way, Phil…I’m all about the white meat. Foodguy, I ate my favorite sauce at Wings Over….Afterburner style (spicy level 5).

    I keep misreading phil-ate’s name and thinking its pilates.

  14. stevenp said:

    You never called or emailed, and I missed out on yet another wing safari. *sob*

  15. Tanayia W. said:

    next time you’re in harlem try new wing city

  16. Chris C. said:

    I can’t believe Dinosaur BBQ wasn’t even mentioned in this article! Dinosaur has the best wings in NYC by far!!!

  17. Inna said:

    Succulent!!! The best wings are definitely at Dinosaur BBQ! They are the perfect smoky flavor with just the right amount of their very own “Dinosaur” bbq sauce. Of course, all kinds of booz to choose from and the ambiance is a great place of Harlem flavor!

  18. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    Take it from someone who travels an hour and a half to Syracuse while up at school for Dino BBQ wings, the Food Guy appreciates and loves them. I’m pretty sure he skipped them on this post because he’s already reviewed them twice: and

    I go with the Hot Wango Tango everytime, but also enjoyed the wild garlic chipotle the last time I went.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>