Hot Mama’s Wings-Not Your Average Wing Joint.
by Lindsey Asay
Driving down 13th Ave, I was approaching Lawrence St. when something unfamiliar caught my eye. I immediately pulled over and parked, curiosity getting the better of me. From across the street, it looks like a bar. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s not only a bar, it’s a hot wing’s joint. Hot Mama’s Wings to be exact. Located at 420 W 13th Ave, Hot Mama’s Wings opened for business less than a month ago. Walking in the door, I am greeted with the familiar smells of spices and sauces that make up all good wing joints. I soon find out that there is something different about Hot Mama’s Wings and not just in how they prepare their food.
The building is small, but I hardly notice it after a few minutes. The long center table giving the place a much larger feel. Bar stools line it on either side, directing your gaze to the full bar at the back of the restaurant. Standing behind the bar is Joel Poston, the head chef and general manager of Hot Mama’s. Poston, a native Eugenian has worked at other places in town such as Marche, and admits this is a change for him. “This is a place for you and your buddies to come and hang out, eat some wings” says Poston. Judging from the tables filled with happy wing eaters, it is just that.
Hot Mama’s Wings boasts an impressive menu. Besides their traditional wings, with over a dozen sauces to choose from like bacon blue cheese or chipotle bourbon, they have a little something for everyone. They offer starters like their bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers with pineapple mint dipping sauce to sandwiches with names like the Juicy Lucy (2 patties stuffed with your choice of cheese). If you’re a comfort foodie like me, they also have homemade macaroni and cheese. Vegetarians and Vegans, don’t fret, Hot Mama’s has tempeh “wings” on the menu just for you.
The atmosphere may be laid back, but the food is a labor of love. Hot Mama’s menu is 90% gluten free and every dish is made from scratch. No, that’s not a misprint. You won’t find any canned sauces here, Poston takes pride in the fact that their food is “home-made and almost 100% of our ingredients are local. I try and stay within a 200-300 mile radius, if possible.”
Being a local restaurant, Hot Mama’s has not only set the bar high when it comes to their food, but with their dedication to sustainability. One of the first things I noticed when I walked in the door, were the striking wood booths. Made of reclaimed timber from the Nike store, the booths are just one example of Hot Mama’s green ethics. Look a little closer and you’ll see lane arrows on the bar and center table. This is because the wood was reclaimed from a bowling alley in Portland. Other signs of the restaurants re-use/recycle philosophy are more obvious. From blow dryers instead of paper-towels in the bathroom, to the energy efficient lighting designed for Hot Mama’s by EWEB. Hot Mama’s Wings is so energy efficient (duct-less heating and air unit which measures C02 levels and adjusts accordingly) that EWEB will be conducting a 2 week study on the restaurants specialized hood system in the kitchen.
The only thing I didn’t have time to find out about this soon to be Eugene hot-spot, is how good the food is first hand. Short on time (this being an unexpected stop in my day) I had to leave before I could sink my teeth in to any of the fantastic food coming out of the kitchen. I will say this about Hot Mama’s, I haven’t been able to get the fantastic smells or just how comfortable I felt being there, off my mind. Be assured, I will be going back very soon to slide into a booth and sink my teeth into some of their home-made offerings. I just may even bring the kids along, after all Hot Mama’s is all about local and family friendly.
Hot Mama’s Wings
OPEN DAILY 11am–11pm
420 W 13th Ave, Eugene