Saturday February 12, Kathy Kirkpatrick and Matthew Kopel set up their table at Red Star Bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to compete in the second annual “Best Wings in Brooklyn” competition. This was Life’s first time in the competition, which was invitation only.
Positioned right by the front door, Life Café veteran server Matthew Kopel greeted each of the 1,500 attendees with a warm bearded smile. The wait for some to come in from the cold for the wing-stravaganza had been as long as 3 ½ hours.
As each wave of customers were allowed into the two-story bar, Matthew tossed Life Café’s famous “Brutal” wings (a secret recipe, guarded by our long-time chef Hector) while Kathy made sure everyone had the condiments and napkins they might require. Wing after wing was sauced and distributed, and many came around on their way out to finish as they had started, declaring “You guys were the best.”
As the day continued, it became clear that Life Café’s wings were more than just popular, they were great. The judges asked for a second round of wings, because, and the competition got even hotter.
Kathy brought reinforcements in the form of her husband John Sunderland and Life Café manager Andy Mills. Soon after, Matthew served the last of the 120 lbs. of wings, and they all shared an anticipatory beer.
Once the judges had announced third place (last year’s winner, Super Wings of Crown Heights) and second place (Bonnie’s of Park Slope) there was a pause where the Life Café posse knew that they had won. And they had!
Life Café 983 makes wings in a scale of flavors: Mild; Medium; Brutal; Suicidal; and Texas Barbeque. (NB: “Brutal” just means “Hot” and “Suicidal” is “Extra Hot” but neither are too extreme!)
While winning was great, the best things about the day were the contribution made to FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY, and the commoradarie amongst the contestants. Whether it was the amazing ladies at SuperWings, the “Ultimate Wingman” or the fine gentlemen of Keg and Lantern, Life Café made friends Saturday, and friends are what Life is all about.
Queens Ledger (Video! Watch for Matthew at 2:06)