Indy Chicken Wings

Steven Raichlen turns out some mighty great food. I love the tv shows he did – he got me interested in grilling and smoking. And I love the many books he has written. One of the biggest, thickest recipe books you can find is Steven’s BBQ USA. It is absolutely chock full of great foods and stories, like these Indy chicken wings. And since I live in Indy, I had to make them. Well that and because they sounded (and are) fantastic.
Indy Chicken WingsWe really enjoyed these wings. The seasoning has a nice garlicky celery flavor. I used our Italian vinaigrette for basting. It has great Italian herb flavor, with a hint of citrus. Note that the vinaigrette does contain oil, so it can cause flair-ups when cooking the wings on the grill.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Indy Chicken Wings
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8 servings
  • 4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded or saved for making broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon celery seed (or celery salt)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Homemade Italian vinaigrette (or substitute Italian salad dressing)
  1. Place wings in a large resealable bag or container.
  2. Add oil. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Combine the garlic salt, celery seed or celery salt and pepper. Add to container, seal, and toss to coat.
  4. Place wings in fridge for at least 2 hours, to overnight.
  5. Begin cooking wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy. After 15 minutes of cooking begin basting the wings with the Italian vinaigrette. Continue basting every 10 minutes until the wings are done. NOTE: The vinaigrette contains oil, which can cause flair-ups on a grill. Be careful when basting and do not over-baste the wings. If a flair-up does occur move the wings to another part of the grill until the flames die down.
  6. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

KG Slider Station Food Truck

Oh, how I dread colder days. Not so much because it’s grey and gloomy, but because most food trucks go into hibernation during winter. Fortunately, I took plenty of pics of the food from various Indy food trucks to help get me through. Like the wonderful sliders from the KG Slider Station, which I’ve visited many times.

KG Slider Station Food TruckAlthough their menu includes dishes other than sliders, I’m all over the sliders. The Cajun Pulled Pork (left) had just the right amount of sauce and spice, with a great slaw to cool it down. The Southern Belle Rosemary Chicken (right) is my favorite. Creamy roasted chicken with a sweet and tart mayonnaise sauce that is really great.

KG Slider Station Food TruckThe Station Turkey Burger (left) was a wonderful surprise. Turkey burgers can be tricky, but these are great. Topped with caramelized onions and my other favorite, a blackberry BBQ sauce (which probably should be sold by the bottle). And of course, there’s Grandma’s Old Timer Burger. A slider burger patty with the (fresh) toppings you’d expect from a great diner.

KG Slider Station Food TruckThe buns from the KG Slider Station are always sooooo fresh. They’re like little slider pillows. And I know it’s weird, but I really love that they have a TV screen showing the menu items and pictures above the ordering window. It’s very easy to read.

I’m a big fan of the KG Slider Station. As you can tell by my rating of them on the ‘Mater Rater.

'Mater Rater Restaurant Score 5-5-4-5

Der Pretzel Wagen Food Truck

One of my favorite food trucks in Indy isn’t a food truck. It’s a little wagon. Er, wagen. Der Pretzel Wagen. You can smell the wonderful pretzel bread as you get closer and closer. Warm, soft, salty… Perfect as buns for sandwiches, and of course, perfect as a pretzel.

Der Pretzel Wagen Food TruckMy favorite sandwich is probably the Ham Solo. Besides the great bread, there’s Bavarian ham, BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and a surprise crunch from crumbled Doritos.

Der Pretzel Wagen Food TruckI also recommend the Skywalker, The Big Helga, and the Das Fritz. If you’re into horseradish, they have several other sandwiches that are right up your alley. Me, I’m not so much the horseradish guy, but like I was with cilantro years ago, I’m working on it and I’m sure I’ll come to love it too.

You have to grab a pretzel from Der Pretzel Wagen. You can get one with a sandwich (part of the Uber Combo deal), or grab one by itself. They’re soooo good. Available in cinnamoned or salted. Do like I do and grab extras to take home. Pop them in the oven for a few minutes to get them all warm and soft, and then enjoy!

Der Pretzel Wagen Food Truck

Pretzels. Good. And rated high on the ‘Mater Rater. And make sure to tell the nice folks in the wagen Hi!

'Mater Rater Restaurant Score 5-5-5-5

Groovy Guys Fries Food Truck

“Love, peace and fry grease.” I’ll second that! That’s what is says on the side of the Groovy Guys Fries food truck here in Indianapolis. Before I tell you just how great the fries are, I have some advice on where to stand after the nice folks on the truck take your order. Near the back. In the picture below, it’d be to the far left (sadly, the guy in the photo isn’t aware of this, but if I’d told him then I wouldn’t have been able to stand there, so… gotta do what you gotta do).

Groovy Guys FriesWhy stand at the back of the truck? Well, because it smells WONDERFUL! Natural, fresh cut fries getting all happy in the truck, the aroma wafts out the back and you’ll just want to stand there and close your eyes and enjoy.

My first time at Groovy Guys Fries I ordered the steak and cheese fries. Perfectly seasoned and cooked fries topped with seasoned beef, cheese and a bit of A-1 sauce. The meat was tender and tasty, but the fries are the star.

Groovy Guys FriesThe next time I ordered the taco fries. These are winners for sure. Again, perfectly seasoned and cooked fries, topped with taco-seasoned tender ground beef, salsa, cheese sauce and a bit of sour cream. Not only good, but these fries get better as you go because all of the topping happiness sinks to the bottom of the container and everything gets all gooey and yummy and mixed together. I’ve read where some folks aren’t thrilled that some of the fry toppings are canned or jarred. I’m not really that hung up on that. Groovy Guys is a food truck with a friendly crew that cranks out really good fries that taste fantastic. I consider them a treat to eat, and I’d go back again. And again.

Groovy Guys FriesGroovy Guys Fries also sells “just” fries (called Natty Fries), with a wide assortment of dipping sauces. Perfect as a side or main.

'Mater Rater Restaurant Score 5-5-4-5

Mac Genie Food Truck

Sadly, it appears that Mac Genie has closed it’s doors. I’m really going to miss their great service and of course, the mac and cheese. ~ Mike

I actually dreamed about mac-and-cheese the other night. That’s because I knew that Anita was going to swing by the Mac Genie food truck near her work the next day and pick up some Genie Mac. Mac-and-cheese from Mac Genie will make you dream about it again and again.

Mac Genie Food TruckI’ve had nothing but delicious goodness from the Mac Genie truck. They’re super-friendly folk with super-yummy food. You’ll find that same friendliness and good food at just about all of the food trucks around Indianapolis. We’re lucky to have so many!

Mac Genie Food TruckThe Genie Mac is topped with breadcrumbs, sour cream, and chives. And bacon. It’s just downright pretty and tastes even better than it looks, which is saying a lot.

Mac Genie Food TruckThe Buffalo Mac is crazy good. It combines two of my favorite things: creamy good mac and Buffalo chicken. Not hot, just spicy good. Breadcrumbs and cool Ranch top it off.

Mac Genie Food TruckThe Mac Genie truck is out and about Indianapolis, and well worth the visit! The fine food and folk rate this truck high on the ‘Mater Rater.

'Mater Rater Restaurant Score 5-5-5-5

Serendipity Food Truck

The Serendipity food truck is another one of my favorite Indianapolis-area food trucks. Like many of the trucks here, Serendipity offers really great food with really pleasant service. Serendipity Food TruckThe main items on the Serendipity menu are arranged by geographical region: The North East (crab cake sliders), South East (Cuban sandwich), Mid West (rotating grilled cheese), North West (elk sliders), and South West (mole tacos). Now, here’s where I have to admit I’ve only had the North East. I so love their crab cakes that I have to order them. Each and every time (and I’ve been there several times). The toppings are fresh, the buns are fresh, and the red pepper aioli is perfect with the crab. The cakes are very lightly fried. You get two in an order. You’ll want eight. I will try the tacos next time, I promise. I usually get my North East with the truffle fries, which are so addictingly good. The fries are hand cut, cooked fresh. They have super great potato flavor by themselves. Add truffle oil and Parmesan and well, they’re just silly good. Serendipity Food TruckA friend of mine recently stopped by Serendipity and had the Mid West. The evening he was there the Mid West was a grilled spinach and artichoke cheese sandwich. I liked the idea so much that I made my own version (that I’ll post tomorrow). Oh, and don’t forget that you can add a mini taco or elk slider for just a few bucks more! Serendipity Food TruckI’ve spent time watching the folks on the truck do their thing (but not like stalking in a creepy way), from taking orders to cooking to serving, and they do it all right. So, I gave them the highest marks on the ‘Mater Rater. 'Mater Rater Restaurant Score 5-5-5-5

The NY Slice Pizza Food Truck

Mmmmm. Real NY-style pizza, right here in Indy from the NY Slice Pizza food truck. Big ole slices that look, smell and taste so good. Yummy gooey cheese and great toppings. And yes, you do have to fold them. It’s the proper thing to do.

The NY Slice Pizza Food TruckHave you ever licked your cell phone case? Well, I had to. I was driving home with a couple slices of NY Slice pepperoni pizza when I had to make a sudden stop. My phone popped out of the console onto one of the slices of pizza. When I lifted it up it was dripping with yummy cheese. What, did you think I’d just wipe it off? Heck no, that’s good eats!

Pepperoni slice. Man, doesn’t that look good?

The NY Slice Pizza Food TruckSupreme slice. Fresh toppings, steaming hot right out of the oven on the truck.

The NY Slice Pizza Food TruckI give NY Slice (find them on Twitter, Facebook and the web) high marks on the ‘Mater Rater. My only complaint is that boxes for the pizza weren’t available on the truck. No biggie, but it made taking 8 slices home a little difficult. I would’ve gladly paid a bit extra for a box.

Next time I will give their wings a try!

'Mater Rater Restaurant Score 5-4-5-5

Little Eataly Food Truck

Oh, where to begin? I so love the food from the Little Eataly Food Truck here in Indianapolis. I’ve eaten at Little Eataly a few times in just the last few weeks, and everything I’ve had was fantastic.

Little Eataly Food TruckI started with the Italian Beef sandwich, described as local Indiana beef roasted to perfection, thinly sliced and dripping with our house made au jus in crusty dense Italian bread and topped with giardiniera. I can tell ya, the beef is tender beyond description and oh so tasty. I got my sandwich topped with hot giardiniera. Yeah, it had some kick, but it was a great kick. Fantastic!

Little Eataly Food TruckNext up, I ordered the muffuletta. If you follow this blog at all you know I’m a big fan of anything New Orleans. I make my own muffulettas and they are great if I say so myself. But the muffuletta from Little Eataly was absolutely fantastic. Great meats, soft tasty bread, and perfect olive salad. The thing I really liked about their olive salad was that it is very finely chopped, unlike mine (still great!) which is chunkier. I’ll be making mine the same way as Little Eataly does next time, that’s for sure!

Little Eataly Food TruckOf course, you have to grab dessert too. I highly recommend grabbing a few cannolis.

Little Eataly Food TruckService at Little Eataly is always fast, and always friendly. They rate high on our ‘Mater Rater.

'Mater Rater Restaurant Score 5-5-5-5