Usually, my cravings are for desserts and random ethnic food. But every once in a while, somebody drops the ball and the American stereotype in my head gets his hands on the microphone. This time, pounding “Born in the USA” as he swerved his tractor around a bunch of panicked office workers, he howled through my brain’s speakers, “BEER AND WINGS!” Since Ivo probably initiated the whole craving episode by mentioning a new wings restaurant a few days ago, and since the apartment randomly had the gas off for the day (read: no stove or oven), he made the call: Beer and wings for lunch!
WingMan: Alitas Inc. (“alitas” is Spanish for wings – the kind you eat) is pretty much exactly what you want in a wings joint. It’s just quirky enough, taking advantage of its punny name to deck the whole place in vintage airplane-related magazine pages and photos. Yeah, the tables are a little small, but the building is great: Because the place is nicely divided into smaller spaces, I could envision the whole place packed with sports nuts, yet all of them still being able to comfortably see a television. When we went, as there wasn’t any event available at the moment featuring a bunch of sweaty dudes chucking a ball around, WingMan had Over the Top with Sylvester Stallone on in the background, which struck me as an appropriate alternative.
The two-part menu for WingMan was a thing of beauty. Literally, wings and “Para la sed” (“for the thirst”, i.e., BEER). Of their 13 wing varieties, we got to try two: Characato Oriental (for the guy at the table who exhibits great care in every menu selection) and Spicy BBQ (for the American who just wanted freaking wings). Growing up towards the south end of the States has biased me on bbq sauce: When I think spicy bbq sauce, I think thick, gooey, dark bbq sauce with cayenne and chili powder and pepper. WingMan went the route of using a sweet, slightly ketchupy bbq sauce doused in a trail of searing orange hot sauce. Not what I expected, but absolutely sufficient to douse my wing craving. Ivo’s Asian-style wings were knockout. Unsurprising, since I’m pretty sure he regularly sacrifices goats to the demigod of successful menu ordering.
Getting cravings in Peru can end in tragedy, because no matter how good it is, sometimes the food just isn’t exactly what you want. That’s totally fair: I’m in a different country. But super props to WingMan for making this American feel totally at home. The stereotype in my head can now chug happily off into the sunset. At least until he decides to pop back up to demand a chicken n’ waffle breakfast.