Shameless self-promotion: A while back, we launched a weekly newsletter, The Awesomeness Digest. Focused on food, restaurants, and culture, we have covered topics like eating Belizean rat; working as a cook in a Viking-themed park; the baffling concepts of Lørdagspizzaen and Fredagstacoen; other oddities. Feel free to read and/or subscribe over at Substack.

Flamin' Joe's


Flamin' Joe's cover

OK, so here's a spot I didn't have that great memories from, but that clearly has improved over time. It is a decidedly good sign when the Godfather of Spiceavore proclaimed he wants to move to Spokane after trying Flamin' Joe's.

Because the selection here is any wing-head's wet, semi-spicy dream. You pick your quantity -- three of us went with the 50-Wing Combo for $41, as well as three Code Reds -- and pick your sauces. The latter is where Flamin' Joe's shines. You have your standard spicy sauces, ranging from 1-6.5 and then Code Red, the latter being spicy, though not insanely so. The 6.5s, which ten of our wings were served with, bring forth the sweat, but not in an uncomfortable way.

In that sense Flamin' Joe's might not be top of the list as far as insane spiciness is concerned, but there's a large list to choose from if you want a good selection of flavorful sauces.

The Mango Habanero, for example, is nowhere as crazy as it might sound, but is rather refreshing. The Thai Peanut reminds me of what we tried at Jones, though not quite as creative as their PBJ.

And so on and so forth.

There are about 20 sauces to choose from, as well as a handful of dry-rubs, and you can pick and choose with your order. Make sure you get at least one Code Red, as you can use the leftover sauce to kick up some of the milder wings.

The only real downfall here is the chicken. It's not bad, and "downfall" might be too strong of a word, but it just barely passes the bite-and-pull quick-eating technique.

Definitely go for the wings, then, but stay away from the other Applebee's Lite style food choices. The beer selection is good, however, so if you don't like wings, at least that's worth checking out.