Mundelein eatery wins at national wing festival
Mundelein's Franks for the Memories restaurant claimed two prizes at this past weekend's National Buffalo Wing Festival.
The popular eatery, which introduced Buffalo-style chicken wings to Lake County in the mid-1980s, won the Chairman's Award for Festival Spirit and placed third for its recipe in the traditional medium sauce competition.
The festival was Saturday and Sunday in Buffalo, N.Y., birthplace of the spicy poultry dish. It was the first time Franks competed in the event.
"It was amazing," restaurant owner Jim Schultz Jr. said Wednesday. "I slept with (the trophy). I cuddled with it on the way home."
The twin honors for Franks drew congratulatory words from Mundelein Mayor Kenneth H. Kessler.
"They certainly offer a tasty product," Kessler said. "We're glad to have them (be) part of Mundelein."
Franks was the only Illinois restaurant invited to participate in the contest. Many others were from Buffalo, including the Anchor Bar, where the classic Buffalo wing recipe originated.
Schultz also competed in traditional barbecue sauce and creative spicy sauce categories but lost to other restaurants.
Schultz said he tried all of the other vendors' spicy wings on the final day.
"There were a couple that topped my hotness," he said.
All the prizes are listed on the festival's website, buffalowing.com.
Reports from the festival are up at the restaurant's Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Franks-for-the-Memories-Buffalo-Wings-Mundelein-IL/191393354205819.