Where to Get It: Boundary Stone, 116 Rhode Island Ave. NW
What It Is: The vegetarian alternative to Boundary Stone’s award-winning chicken wings (a frequent flyer in City Paper’s annual “Best Of” issues). The seitan version isn’t any more complicated than its poultry cousin. Chunks of seitan shaped like home fries are perfectly fried and smothered with the bar’s honey hot sauce. Their crispy outsides give way to a satisfactory springiness and wheat flavor. These wings are pub grub that prove that bars don’t have to treat all vegetarians like crunchy stereotypes always in search of something healthy. It’s nearly peak basketball and hockey season, and vegetarians love to lick hot sauce off their fingers as much as the next fan.
The Story: “Our original chef [Vince Campaniello] had a local place [in Philadelphia] that did seitan wings,” co-owner Colin McDonough says, “and he actually chose to eat the seitan wings over the traditional chicken wings.” The seitan wings have been on the menu since Boundary Stone opened in 2011. When they were planning the restaurant, McDonough says they wanted vegetarians to feel comfortable. “It’s important for us to take care of our neighborhood. We have to, as a neighborhood pub, wear many hats. It’s why you can walk in here and get a can of Busch Light, but you can also get a glass of Yamazaki whisky.”
Why Even Meat Eaters Will Like It: It’s the sauce, hands down. The sweetness from the honey pops on first bite, helping to ease in the sustained but not overwhelming spiciness. Honestly, you could put it on a pile of nickels and still be tempted to lick it off. Putting it on a pile of fried gluten? Go ahead and order seconds.