Restaurant review: Wing Wednesday at Flatiron Bar and Diner

G.A. Benton, Columbus Alive
Nashville hot, Alabama white, and Sichuan wings

Chicken wing connoisseurs, bargain hunters and doldrums-eschewers take notice: "Wing Wednesday" (aka "Wengsday") at Flatiron Bar and Diner is a mark-your-calendar-worthy special that can transform a humdrum hump day into a midweek triumph.

The fast facts: All day, every Wednesday, Flatiron's wings - they're accurately described as "jumbo" - are discounted to five for $5, and the exceptionally crispy flappers (they're both baked and fried) are available in five standout homemade sauces.

Want even more of a deal? Then parlay your wing snacking into a cost-cutting bonanza by coinciding your Flatiron visit with one of the better happy hours in the area (3 -7 p.m., more details provided after the next paragraph).

Only a short walk from Nationwide Arena, Flatiron is nonetheless a bit off the beaten path. But this hip and convivial establishment with so much to offer - stylish food and drinks, a winningly eclectic soundtrack (Sun Ra might segue into the Magnetic Fields), a charmingly eccentric building with a more-than-century-long history and a Downtown patio - shouldn't fly under your radar.

Nor should its happy hour, when excellent homemade nibbles such as pimento cheese toast, fried chickpeas or crisp house chips all go for a ridiculous $2 apiece, and delicious cocktails like a rye Manhattan or Bombay Sapphire martini are only $5. Draft beers, which are regularly $5, are also marked down, so a limited-release seasonal star such as Hustle - a rye pale ale from Rhinegeist - is $4 during happy hour.

That brew made a fine match for the three batches of wings I recently sampled coated in Alabama white, Sichuan and Nashville hot sauces (house barbecue and sweet chili sauces are also available). All of those wings featured the kind of crackly, audible crunch and nuanced flavor punch that makes wing-eating so popular.

If "spicy" isn't your thing, target the tangy, mildly sweet and distinctly compelling Alabama white sauce, which delivers a pleasant horseradish tickle. On the other hand, Flatiron's Sichuan condiment brings the heat - along with a hoisin-fueled umami-richness and extra textural interest from ground, toasted nuts. For the real burn, though, go with the killer Nashville hot - a piquant, sweet and fiery sauce presented with thick, homemade pickles.

Flatiron Bar and Diner

129 E. Nationwide Blvd., Downtown