Atlanta natives love their chicken wings, and the lemon-pepper wings in particular, are often the favorite of the bunch. No one hates hot wings, or barbecue wings, but none can compare to the zesty and tangy flavor that exudes from the lemon-pepper wing.
First We Feast went to Atlanta to get the low down straight from ATLiens in the grand finale of Food Grails, and there’s not a person who could argue against the buttery, lemony wing.
The way these wings gained popularity are what might surprise you, though, as the best seem to come straight from a bit of an unsavory scene: the strip club.
“Strip clubs got the best wings,” rapper Wocka Flocka Flame said in the episode. “Lemon-pepper wings in Atlanta, is like an apple to New York, or like white boys in Croc shoes. It’s just gonna happen.”
As First We Feast and host Miss Info ventured into a popular Atlanta strip club called Magic City, the wings were dubbed “The show” and the “Opening act.” Even as your first thought might be to cringe when it comes to food and strip clubs, the food is a huge deal in Atlanta strip clubs.
“The strip clubs in Atlanta literally have the best food, and I’m not even exaggerating about it,” Nick Love of ATL Bite Life said. “Everybody in the city knows that. It’s the Atlanta way.”
As far as how the lemon-pepper wing was created, it’s pretty simple. When hot wings got too hot, Atlantans started sprinkling the lemon-pepper seasoning on top to curb the heat. It eventually evolved into its own special wing.
As you can tell by the Wocka Flocka quote above, hip-hop has had a major influence on wing culture as well, and rappers tend to have a bit of an affinity for strip clubs as well.
I don’t know if I’m going to immediately hop into a strip club, but I sure do have a sudden craving for lemon-pepper wings.