Flavors abound in Portland

Destination Dining

July 28, 2019

Story By: Elima Pangorang |

There’s much to be discovered when you hop on a plane and head for the Rose City, and one of those delights is some finger-lickin’-good hot wings. And, who knew they could come in all kinds of different styles and preparation — can you say chicken lollipop? (Because Portland sure can.) Here’s your guide to check out all the hot spots for these crispy charmers, whether looking for a meal or pupus to start off with.

1. Christina’s Cartel
13551 SE 145th Happy Valley

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Situated within Happy Valley Station Food Carts, Christina’s Cartel is a charming food truck that cooks up some serious flavor. Featuring a menu — and name — that is a play on a mafia theme, it’s the “sauce that’s boss” at this joint with more than 15 sauces made in-house comprised of the freshest ingredients. Take for example its sampler featuring cilantro garlic, spicy peanut, maple horseradish and spicy Korean gochujang. Owner Christina Goodall conceptualized her business from her infatuation with food and dire need to push herself creatively in the kitchen. Her “Gourmet Gangsta Wings,” are brined for at least 24 hours in a salt and sugar brine to maximize juciness and flavor. Following that, they are seasoned, baked and flash fried, according to Goodall.


2. Smallwares
25 N. Fremont St.

For a different take on wings, try out Smallwares’ Chicken Lollipops. Available on the happy hour menu, this French wing is marinated in garlic, ginger and Serrano chilis. As a neat twist, they are then dipped in tempura batter and fried — additionally, since the skin is inverted inside, it gives each wing a juicier texture. Dip these crunchy bad boys into the accompanying spicy mayo sauce for optimal flavor and your experience comes full circle. In addition to the chicken lollipops, Smallwares has much to munch on and sip on to complement the tasty sticks. This includes dumplings, crispy rice cakes and beverages like wine, sake, beer and more.


3. Canard
734 E. Burnside

Truffle lovers will especially be pleased with Canard’s chicken wings because of the double truffle, created by the restaurant’s chef de cuisine Taylor Daughtery. These lovable golden creations are dry-fried and loaded with truffle ranch plus shaved truffle. Boasting a stylish venue providing delectable cocktails and superb wine pairings, Canard is a must-try destination in Portland thanks to its award-winning cooking team and fine customer service.


4. Departure Restaurant and Lounge
525 SW Morrison St.,
15th floor

Here’s another take on the unique lollipop-style wings at Portland’s modern Asian kitchen that will tantalize taste buds with a grand ol’ time. With chef Gregory Gourdet at the helm, he and his Departure culinary team break down the chicken wing and add the bone back in as a holder. The wings are molded, fried and covered in a beloved sweet chili glaze for the ultimate finish. What’s more, enjoy these zesty poppers with a grand view as Departure is located 15 floors up at The Nines, a Luxury Collection Hotel.


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