Baked, Not Fried: Destin’s Island Wing Co.

It’s a cool evening. Fall has set in, the crowds are low and the locals are out. It’s Friday night and I’m headed to Winn-Dixie but see the glow of the Island Wing Co. beckoning me. It’s a good logo, nice brand. Not sure why that makes a difference to me, but for some reason, I feel like people who have their brand together will have their food together, too.


The restaurant is located in the Destin Winn-Dixie shopping center, so it’s obvious people don’t come here for the view. Upon entering, no one greets me, but I’m happy to see a smattering of people in the booths and at the bar. An empty restaurant—even out of season—makes a person nervous.


I sit, and a regular starts chatting me up. She’s kind and sweet and has brought a book. She’s lived around the corner for 30 years, and I feel a little bit of old Destin is sitting next to me. The bartender asks if I know what I want or do I need to see a list.


A computerized list is brought to me. Happy hour is pretty good, lots of beers and 2 for 1 wine. It’s not fancy wine, but it’s a wing place so taps of beer are the norm. And boy, do they have the norm. A wall of taps of every beer you could imagine. I see the bartender questioning patrons who have tried beer on tap. It’s apparent that she wants them to be happy.


I finally order a cabernet. Not nearly as interesting as the coconut martinis, mai tais and mojitos on the menu, but I’m boring in my consumption. The bartender lets me know it’s BOGO.


My regular friend is chatting me up as I notice on the big screen that dogs are allowed on the patio. I immediately feel guilty that my dogs are locked up at home, but make a note for a future lunch. They would like it here, I think.


After looking over the menu, it’s a tough decision. Ahi poke nachos, happy hour sliders for $6, or wings. I’m assured that all are super delicious, but I’m guided towards the wings or nachos by both the bartender and the regular. I decide that I’m at the Island Wing Co., so I better do the wings.


Funny thing here—Island Wing Co. doesn’t have a fryer in the back. Everything is baked, the wings and the fries. How does this play out?  Deliciously, and in a low calorie format. Both big favorites of mine.


I’m glad I wandered into Island Wing Co., and I’ll definitely go again. The staff made me feel welcome even though I was by myself, the food was good and baked, and I still have to try those ahi nachos. Hope to see you in there, too.

– The Mystery Diner


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