In sports, it’s all about the numbers. The same could be said for Midtown’s new sports bar, Island Wing Company. The bright, open restaurant and bar offers 32 beers on tap, another 11 by the bottle, 15 styles of wing sauce, 10 burgers, 10 salad dressings, eight children’s menu items, six dipping sauces, six different dry rubs, five variations on mac and cheese, and 27 flat-screen televisions – so there is something for everyone. The casual eatery is part of a very small regional chain that originated in Auburn in 2012. It opened this past September in the spot long occupied by the beloved Lumberyard (most recently Ruby Tuesday’s). There are also locations in Gulf Shores and Destin.
The menu features a slew of standard sports bar fare from gargantuan nachos (suitable for sharing) and chili cheese fries to quesadillas and tacos. However, what sets the offerings apart is the preparation. “Our message is ‘Get baked, ’” says Nazmi Ozokur, one of the owners. “We do not have a fryer in our kitchen. Our wings, fries, battered green beans and more are all baked. We have all the favorites but healthier.” He says the signature wings are especially noteworthy. “They are crispy and amazing with three-times fewer calories.” Other options include the popular no-fry stir-fry and several salad selections. As their moniker implies, many of the dishes have a tropical flair, often with the addition of Sweet Hawaiian BBQ sauce or the homemade pineapple pico de gallo. Desserts are ample and run the gamut of sweet staples, such as key lime pie, coconut cream pie, piña colada cake, a warm rockslide brownie and the Coco Loco quesadilla.
The family friendly atmosphere is laid-back with colorful table, booth and bar seating, often with individual remotes so each table can control its own viewing. Ozokur says they are considering adding trivia and karaoke to entertain families and bring some spice to Midtown.
ON THE MENU
Slim potato fries are baked to perfection. With a crisp exterior and tender interior, the healthier take on a fast food favorite is served lightly seasoned and accompanied by a trio of dipping sauces of your choice.
Pineapple Coconut Rum Slaw
Creamy and sweet slaw comes loaded with pineapple, for a snappy foil to the fiery dishes.
Baked Boneless Chicken Wings
The restaurant’s signature dish is full-flavored and crisp without the extra fat or bones. You pick the number of wings you want, the level of heat and the sauces. They offer traditional wings as well, also baked not fried.
The Coco Loco
Tortilla wedges of gooey Nutella with fresh fruit slices (either banana or strawberries) are served with a sprinkling of granola and a drizzle of honey, all dusted with powdered sugar.
Island Wing Company Grill and Bar • 11 a.m. – until. Daily.
2617 Dauphin St. 476-9464
text by Sallye Irvine