[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I feel safe in saying that Belly Shack is not the best place to watch a Bears game. First, there are no TVs attached to the restaurant's bare walls. Second, what other reason do you need? But perhaps you should think about getting your pre-game food here, because every Sunday during the NFL season Belly Shack is serving chicken wings.

As I've mentioned before, enjoying a Bill Kim restaurant requires you to put your preconceptions of a dish behind, and that's certainly the case here. Buffalo wing purists probably want to stay away. Instead of being tossed straight in the fryer, these wings are coated first, which results in an extra crispy exterior. They are then tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce, a potent mixture that sticks to your fingers. To cap off this untraditional melange, they are served with corn bread.

But purists probably have never encountered wings this deleriously crispy and astonishingly juicy. I impulsively ordered these, though I already had enough food, but devoured them completely—no Bears game required.

Belly Shack

1912 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 (map)


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