Dining Out: Variety spices up Pow Pow Wings
Friday, June 1, 2012
Why: Pow Pow Wings is among the many fast-casual dining options on Fourth Plain Boulevard. Pow Pow specializes in buffalo wings, offering both traditional and boneless versions with 10 different sauces and three dry rubs. Though the focus is on the wings, there are burgers, wraps and salads on the menu, along with some appetizers one might not expect to find, such as Steak Bites and Egg Rolls.
Atmosphere: With five large TVs, two pinball machines, a beer pong table and a foosball table, the space is all about entertainment with food. A black ceiling and maroon walls are accented with bamboo wainscot and team motifs. Tables and chairs keep with the color scheme and provide seating in groups of two and four.
What I tried: My dining companion and I decided to try both versions of wings with three different sauces. The boneless wings, made of chicken breast pieces, are similar to Buffalo Wild Wings’ version, only with a somewhat lighter batter coating. Wing orders also come with carrot and celery sticks and your choice of dressing. In addition to the wings, we ordered Egg Rolls, which are handmade at Pow Pow, and traditional Onion Rings.
The sauces we chose were Sweet Teriyaki, which does not possess any spicy heat; Risky Raspberry Chipotle, which has the mildest amount of spicy heat; and Pineapple Punch, which is almost half-way up Pow Pow’s heat index. Of the three, my dining companion and I liked the unique flavor of the Risky Raspberry Chipotle the most. It was hot without interfering with the complex, sweet flavor of the ingredients -- no surprise that this is one of the popular sauces at Pow Pow.
The Sweet Teriyaki was true to its name, with a familiar flavor, whereas the Pineapple Punch did not impart the essence of pineapple. It had a slightly fruity taste with a small degree of spice found in the visible bits of red pepper.
My dining companion weighed in on the onions rings -- a favorite of hers. She enjoyed the crispiness of the batter and the slight crunch of the onions. I was impressed that the onion didn’t slide out of the coating with the first bite and that the batter didn’t overwhelm the onion. The spicy cajun dipping sauce that accompanied the rings was a perfect pairing for them.
The egg rolls were small and mild in flavor.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: The Super Pow sauce is the hottest wing sauce on the menu and might prove a challenge for heat seekers.
The Munchy Crunchy is Pow Pow’s most popular burger. The add-ons are bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and crunchy potato chips.
A Veggie Lover wrap made with cucumbers, avocado, tomato, red bell peppers, carrots, croutons and dressing is available as well.
Other observations: I stopped in for a midweek early dinner and the mood was mellow. Weekends or game days might be a bit livelier.
After a March 16 inspection, a county health report noted several problems at Pow Pow Wings, including 30 “red point” violations, the most serious. Staff members later completed a WSU Clark Extension Person in Charge course aimed at reducing such problems.
The service was friendly, attentive and very helpful with recommendations.
Cost: Traditional and boneless wings are available in 6-32 piece portions and range from $5.20 to $21.50. Salads, Wraps, and Burgers cost $8 to $10. Appetizers are $3 to $8. Kids selections are $4 to $4.50.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Happy Hour is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday.
Where: 5930 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Suite 101, Vancouver.
Health score: Pow Pow Wings received a score of 51. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.