There’s been a lot of buzz over what would land in the empty restaurant space at The Summit after Wasabi closed its doors last year. Fire Wings, a small chain specializing in chicken wings, made its debut this month. In fact, this spot is so new, when we went it hadn’t even celebrated its grand opening yet.
Fire Wings has locations all over California and a couple in Texas, and it’s no stranger to winning local awards for its creative, and often spicy, flavors. The Summit location is not only Reno’s first outpost of the wing giant, it’s also the first in the state of Nevada.
There are, of course, other wing spots in Reno—plenty, in fact. However, Fire Wings is different in large part because of its location.
Instead of offering quick, counter-serve wings and sides in a small space that caters mostly to to-go orders, Fire Wings has the same counter-serve service with a full restaurant of tables and a bar. Between its location, just steps away from the movie theater, and its abundance of space, Fire Wings is good for more than a quick bite.
If you came for the signature wings, you’re in for a treat. Variety is quite literally the spice of life at Fire Wings. If you want it mild, Original BBQ and Chipotle BBQ will both offer flavor and heat without a spicy kick. From there, the rest of the flavors are indicated with one to three “fires,” communicating just how much spice to expect.
Fusion flavors are among the most popular, including peanut butter wings, made with a creamy satay and a quiet kick. Other flavors include Peking, dragon, Saigon Street and other mostly Asian-style blends.
The dry rubs stand out because of their intense flavors. If you’ve ever ordered lemon pepper wings that fell flat, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Here, there is a very noticeable citrus flavor to the wings (which you can dip in honey mustard, blue cheese or ranch dressing). There is also a lot of salt and pepper to the flavor.
My favorite is the Cali Rub, the perfect combo of smoky and sweet, it evokes backyard BBQ vibes.
While wings may be the centerpiece of the menu—offered bone-in and boneless—they aren’t the only option for those dining in (or out). Hot chicken sandwiches, chicken strips, chicken tenders, salads and loaded fries fill out the rest of the menu. Those big sandwiches are sure to satisfy your desire for some Nashville-style hot chicken, while the tenders come with a Beyond Meat option perfect for vegetarians and (sometimes) vegans.
The French fries, often a throwaway side at wing joints, hold their own. The seasoned fries are cooked to perfection and offer a little something extra. However, those that like their fries loaded will enjoy options to add garlic and chili cheese.
The wings themselves come out juicy and meaty, two very important qualities for chicken wings. The boneless wings are shaped like nuggets and offer tender chicken, although they came out much drier on our visit than the bone-in.
A soda machine and options for beer are also available. But while I had a hankering to try the tender fries—a pile of French fries topped with tenders, sauces, spice and more—the soft opening menu is limited in some spaces. Keep in mind not everything may be available just yet.
For now, Fire Wings is open daily from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Keep an eye on their Instagram @firewingsreno to learn more about menu expansions and the grand opening—coming soon.
13963 S. Virginia St., Suite 900, Reno, Nev. 89511
Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday – Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.