Deep-fried Chico love

Twinkies and wings and beautiful things.

Jedrek Speer’s Park Avenue beautification project.

Jedrek Speer’s Park Avenue beautification project.

Photo by Meredith J. Cooper

When was the last time you had a deep-fried Twinkie? I can’t remember the last time I had a Twinkie period. Before the deep-fried one I tried earlier this week, that is. It wouldn’t have been so bad—while being so, so good—if I hadn’t also decided to order the deep-fried Oreos. At least I shared one of those.

Where, oh where, did I find such delectable treats? No, the fair isn’t in town. I just popped on over to Wingman Chico, the newest eatery to open up in the Safeway shopping center on Nord Avenue.

Of course, you can guess by the name that deep-fried is not the restaurant’s specialty. The wings are the real stars here. And the play on words is a clever one—each flavor is named after a different duo (pop-culture wingmen, if you will). The menu includes wet sauces and dry rubs, with packages ranging from three ($6.85) to 16 ($34.60). I opted for three Milli Vanillis (super cheesy, get it?). They were extremely messy—to be expected—but good. And a good size, too. Three wings was more than enough for me. (Well, plus a Twinkie and an Oreo ….) My only complaint: My to-go order came with no napkins!

The mastermind mixing the wing sauce when I visited was Sonny Lee, brother of Jimmy Lee, sushi chef and owner of Aonami Sustainable Sushi. This all comes together because Wingman Chico took over the spot left vacant when Aonami moved downtown last month. I stuck my head in the new Second Street eatery the other day—formerly Monks Wine Bistro—and it was hopping. Best of luck to the Lee brothers.

Get crafty As part of a new recycling initiative, the Chico Mall is offering an incentive to those with some woodworking skills. Between now and May 14, stop by the mall between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and pick up pallets for free. Then take them home and do something cool with them (I personally like the dog bed idea on the mall’s Facebook page) and post photos to Instagram (#chicomallpallets). A randomly selected winner will receive a $100 gift card.

Beautify Chico The coolest thing I’ve seen just appear overnight in this town is the rad mural that spans 110 feet down the length of the building, where it faces Park Avenue at the corner of Humboldt. This thing makes me happy. I contacted the local online clothing store to find out who the artist behind the mural is and was informed that his name is Jedrek Speer. I wasn’t able to get hold of Speer, but according to social media, he’s a Pleasant Valley High School alum who runs Seizer-One Designs. Two words for ya, Jedrek: Love it!