And thus the Holy Trinity of chicken wings was complete. What happens when you turn the two parts of the wing into one giant meaty lollipop and double fry it for extra crispiness and dip it into General Tso’s Chicken sauce?
After dodging growling panhandlers on the deep south side at Wings Around the World and watching ice cream workers get hazed post-wings after Crisp it was time to make my inaugural appearance at Great Seas Chinese Restaurant. Great Seas is in the heart of Albany Park off the end of the Kimball Brown Line CTA (yes, I am the mayor!). My foodies friends have always recommended Great Seas, but sometimes you just can’t go by yourself. That’s what friends are for and I had eleven fellow guinea pigs to come along for the wild adventure!
Trying to be a conscientious host, I called a week in advance to make reservations for ten. The manager told me that they don’t normally take reservations for the weekend, but made an exception and took down my info. Showing up on time for a big lunch usually means that people will have to wait, so I made sure to get to the Great Seas twenty minutes early and came just in time to see a party of ten clear out. After this, the servers came in like NASCAR disposing of the evidence and setting up anew and I sat myself down once they were done.
In came the Yelpers and the party was ready to begin. My first instinct was to go try to house 2 orders of wings on my own but discretion proved the better part of honor as our resident Yelp CM took over ordering responsibilities and picked 4 chicken wing orders, 1 order of spicy cuttle fish, 2 orders of crab rangoon, 1 black noodle, and one giant order of egg drop soup to get the party started!
The servers summoned tea, dropped down a pitcher of water and the lazy susan was spinning round and round like a carousel in no time. There was room and I didn’t hit elbows with anyone or struggle for room. I even had enough room to keep my backpack under the table. There were families and people on dates and one old lady with a fuzzy hat chowing down. Finally our food ARRIVED!
Hoooo eeeeeeeeeee! This thing was laced with fireballs and plenty of specks of pepper galore marked its path. To play with this cuttlefish was to dance a dance of death as taste buds died from the oppressive heat of the cuttlefish. Mixed with rice, the spiciness subsided and made for good eating as the texture of the cuttlefish was delightful to the tongue and there were plenty of veggies for the health nuts in the party.
****Egg Drop Soup****
While others in the group commented that it wasn’t too salty, I prefer my soups very salty and very hot! The soup was warm but I ended up eating the heck out of my soup quickly since it wasn’t hot and piping when it arrived. Good texture of egg and the soup was very yellow. I prefer the whites a little more hardened in my egg drop but the soup was good enough to feed the dozen of us at the table!
Underwhelming, I’d have to say. While high on the crisp factor (just the way I like it), the stuffing was a bit too dense and not spread out enough. Also the stuffing had only the oil flavor and lacked any special oomph that I have marked in other crab rangoon. Still decent, but lacks the great nomnomnom factor that leaves you grabbing the next piece without fear of engulfing the whole thing.
I had heard from many that this was a go-to sort of dish. Down came black noodle and it looked like a giant pile of goo. Remember that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation when Lieutenant Yar get pwned by the black tar goo? That’s completely what this black noodle looked like! The server let us know that we had to mash it up before it all stuck together which threw me off, but once she mixed it up for us, the black noodle looked like chow mein noodles with the black sauce which was absorbed rendering the noodle brown. Delicious with smooth texture it was a comfy snack to have on our way to the main event.
****Hot n’ Spicy Chicken Wings****
Like Michael’s Jackson’s last stand: This is IT!
Welcome to Great Seas Chinese Restaurant 101, these are the bestest chicken wings on all of the north side. Challenge and appeal all you’d like but all applications would be red stamped DENIED in the face of these beasts.
I was not only owned, but I was pwned! It was hot out the kitchen, it was c-r-i-s-p and begging to be eaten again and again and again. There’s nothing like watching four plates of chicken wings vanish into nothingness and having to call in reinforcements. I don’t know how they manufacture this special lollipopped chicken wing, but they had ALL of the meat all on one piece of bone! Imagine a perfect world: chicken wing meat on the bone without having to bite and chew around crazed edges and ripping off pieces to get more meat. What you saw was what you got and all of the wing was there.
In the end it cost of all of $12 apiece between 12 people! GO NOW!