The first post of 2017 is also the first time I’ve visited Sonic on official blog business! Sonic’s reputation has long cast a farther shadow that its geographic reach. Sonic originated in southern areas because its drive in model was more conducive to warmer temperatures. Before this trip, I’d only eaten Sonic in places like Texas, California and Florida, because those climes were more suitable for year round drive-in sales. However, Sonic has recently made a push northward. Though we’ve seen their commercials for years, the chain has opened several locations in Massachusetts over the last several years. The franchise I visited had a much larger inside seating area, perhaps to compensate for people who didn’t want to sit in their cars in December or January, eating fast food.

My personal experiences have unfortunately been less than fulfilling. They boast an amazing milkshake and slush selection (Cherry Ocean Water!), but their insistence on slathering mayo on burgers and the discomfort of gorging on fast food while sitting in a parked car generally turn me away from the experience. This particular trip exacerbated the parked car predicament because it was cold, so not only was I in the car, but the windows were rolled up, creating a humid greenhouse of grease.

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Anyway, the first review from this trip will be Sonic’s Garlic Parmesan Boneless Wings. The boneless wings are “100% all white meat chicken … tossed in a buttery garlic parmesan sauce.” I ordered them as a side order to go with my meal, and it was $4.69 for six pieces. I thought that was insanely expensive until I actually received my order. These were not sized as a side order, so I got to overeat!

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My first impression of the wings was the smell. The odor was slightly sweet, like a packaged Italian dressing. When I pulled the box from the bag, I saw the wings were drenched in sauce, which is not how I generally like to order my fried chicken, but I should have known what I was ordering (I’m still angry at Denny’s in Reno for doing this to me unexpectedly). The problem is that it makes the wings soggy. The purpose of fried chicken in any form is that great crunch, and drenching the batter in sauce just makes it heavy and wet. It also created an acute problem with this particular meal because I had a burger to eat, so I couldn’t just concentrate on finishing the wings first. I decided to eat a wing first to get the proper experience, then alternate between the chicken and burger, which goes against my particular eating habits.

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The wings came with a plastic fork, which is weird for boneless wings; they should be finger food. I used the fork to pick up a wing to protect my hands from the sauce and make transitioning between the boneless wings and burger a seamless process. Of course, the thick breading combined with the weak structural integrity of a plastic fork to break one of the tines. That’s only the second time I’ve ever broken a plastic fork. When I finally got to eat the boneless wings, the taste was pretty good. The initial bites were still crispy, despite the sauce. The sauce itself was like a creamy Italian dressing, like a mid-range bottle. Nothing too fancy like Paul Newman, more like Wishbone. It was pleasant at first, but did get monotonous because none of the bites were sans sauce. It was tough to suss out the breading flavor from the dressing, but the wings at least looked well seasoned with pepper in the breading

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The chicken chunks were pretty big. I don’t regularly order boneless wings, but I’d compare them to thicker, more natural looking chicken nuggets. They were all white meat, and surprisingly juicy for a fast food boneless wing. In a genre of cuisine where the protein mainly serves as a sauce delivery vehicle, these more than hold their own. Of course, getting six large pieces of chicken as a side order was too much food, and I wish they had a smaller option.

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The two biggest issues with the Garlic Parmesan boneless wings were self inflicted: 1) despite my best efforts, I can only eat so fast, especially when taking notes and pictures, so they got too soggy and were kinda gross when I was only halfway through the order and 2) the burger I was also eating was quite spicy, and it definitely affected the flavor of the wings.

Overall, these were fine. It was a larger portion than I expected, but if I hadn’t ordered anything else, that would have been a plus. I initially liked the sauce, but if pressed to order again, I’d choose another flavor since I generally prefer hot sauce if I’m going to sauce chicken. I’d also ask for the sauce on the side because the chicken really didn’t need a sauce. So if you’re looking for a fast food chicken option that has good taste, decent sauce, and feels like eating real chicken, these are worth your time, though it seems the sauces are cycled every few months.

Bonus Fast Food Connoisseur Spouse Review: They looked good, but [I] didn’t like the taste. They were too salty and the sauce had a weird flavor.

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