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Wing Central

in The Great Hot Wing Chase  · 
 ·  101 W Umptanum Rd, Ellensburg, WA 98926

This is a review of the establishment's hot wings, not the spot as a whole.

Yes, we're still eating wings. We've just had to move a bit outside of our comfort zone. All the way to Ellensburg.

Here you can find Wing Central, with its reputation as sort of a Mecca for hot wings. Their more famous restaurant can be found in the U District in Seattle, though we hit one of their satellite locations, inside Road House Grill. (Mind you, they also have an honest to god Ellensburg restaurant.)

And, you know, I get it. I understand why the wings are popular. These are particularly spicy, and I'm only talking those with medium heat here. Wings like this are the type that can bring out the competitor in the best of us, and I can  completely see why their timed challenge is tempting.

The wings are also crunchy, and easily passed my bite test. Good. You don't want soggy wings.

Where Wing Central falls somewhat flat is on the flavor. Spicy as the wings may be, they're not particularly tasty. The sauce is somewhat generic, kind of like a better version of Frank's. That's all well and good, but not particularly exciting. Granted, we did not try the garlic wings, which apparently are better, but a wing place should have their basic flavors down better than this.

In that sense, Wing Central might score well with spice freaks. But as far as those of us who want a bit extra? I'm not so sure.

Wing Central is worth the stop, we won't be racing to get there again.

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Olympia Coffee Roasting Company

in Tripping  · 
 ·  108 Cherry Street NE, Olympia, WA 98501

Small as Olympia is, they sure seem to have that whole food and libation thing down there. Sage's is a good example. And if you like coffee, you probably should check out Olympia Coffee Roasting Company.

Really, we don't toss out "world class" hyperboles here too often, but that's exactly what you get at Olympia Coffee. The only spot with better cappuccinos we can think of is Tim Wendelboe. With the airplane prices being what they are right now, going to Olympia is probably your better, or at least cheaper, bet.

The coffee bar is located in a small portion of a building that also houses the roaster. A glass of sparkling water accompanies whatever coffee drink you choose, and the cups and glasses come served on a wooden tray. Classy stuff.

Now, the cappuccino is a fickle friend. Getting the coffee to milk ratio properly down is more of an art form than many realize, and too often the milk is there just to drown out poorly pulled espresso shots. Here they got it right, the coffee, the milk, and the foam, each one flanking the others perfectly. It's that holy balance that makes a cappuccino great, where each part is equal, yet they mix together to create something greater.

The employees are clearly coffee nerds, but they're also friendly coffee nerds which is… Well, frankly, almost unheard of.

Olympia Coffee Roasting Company is a destination, a spot any lover of coffee should stop by. We haven't visited every coffee destination in the Northwest, but this is our favorite, at least for now.

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