We were back at Shenandoah Pizza this weekend and owner/chef Johnnie Huggins made me some buffalo wings. These things were amazing. We ran into Johnnie out on Beverly Street and I had some Moravian cookies for him that he asked that I bring him next time I was in town. He had family in Winston-Salem and was fond of Moravian cookies, so me living in Moravian cookie Heaven made it an easy proposition. Anyway, we chatted with him and a friend and Wayne Luhn of Mockingbird awhile before moving on. Well, my wife was feeling bad and didn't feel like she could eat, so we went to Shenandoah Pizza and I had a couple of slices of the great veggie pizza (fantastic assortment of mushrooms, tomatoes, & spinach on wheat), and the legendary Chicken Florentine (which now has feta as well).
Well, Johnnie came in and we started talking and he mentioned buffalo wings. He asked me how I liked mine & went back into the kitchen & concocted some ingredients. He basically went with a medium Texas Pete base, with some General Tso's spice among others, and a little of his homemade pizza sauce. Johnnie bakes his jumbo, meaty wings rather than deep frying them & it really makes a dramatic difference. They are much juicier and tender and they have an almost grilled chicken taste/texture and smell. So, next time you are in, ask Johnnie to make you some wings. If you want them like mine, I guess just ask for the ones he made Adrian. You won't be sorry. You won't even need or want ranch or blue cheese. I am not exaggerating when I say these are the absolute best wings I've had (and I love wings). He can go with any heat you want & he also does a barbecue style wing. Bring him some cookies and he might come up with something extra special for you too!
Johnnie is also promoting the Shenandoah Blues Festival which will be held at the Oak Grove Theater, 812 Quick's Mill Rd. in Verona on Saturday, May 8 from 11AM until 11PM- that's right, 12 hours of smokin' blues that'll turn the Oak Grove into the Oak Groove! The headliner will be Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin. Other great acts include the Nicholson Brothers, Lisa Miller and the All-Stars, The Biscuit Rollers, Bryan Elijah Smith, Stephen Michael Smith, Boston Shilling and Co., J.D. and the Shenandoahs, the Marino Brothers, Douglas Day Turner, Rev. Bill Howard, Hound Dog Hill, Pops Walker, Eli Cook, Marla Pamla, and several local artists. Food & drinks will be available from local vendors (including Shenandoah Pizza), tailgating is allowed, and the gates open at 11:00 AM. Tickets are $25. For more info see http://www.shenblues.com/