Dining out: Hop over to Jack Rabbit's for wings, to watch big game

January 14, 2009 

After my friends served a "bucket" of jumbo, fantastic Buffalo-style wings, I had to see the place from which these wonders came.

Jack Rabbit's Bar & Grill has plenty of parking and plenty of seating. There's a large wrap-around bar in the center and to the left are tables and booths, with the outer wall booths each having a personal flat-screen television. In fact, there are so many TVs, there's not a seat in this house where you'll miss any game action.

The relaxed neighborhood-bar atmosphere (business casual dress code enforced, according to the Web site) and friendly staff during our weekday dinner hour visit would be suitable for family, too. In fact, Little Jack's kids meals are all priced at $3.99.

But after 10 p.m., it's a 21 and older only crowd. Weekly events include Friday and Saturday dance party, karaoke on Wednesdays and poker league on Tuesdays. There's pool tables, foosball and more, and smoking is permitted. They also host private parties.

Jack Rabbit's could easily become a gotta-go-to place for wings on a trip to Gastonia, N.C., or a reason to go. The jumbo, "true" Buffalo-style wings are touted as "The Best in Town," and from where I sit, there's no argument here. The wings come covered in a variety of options from the usual mild, medium and hot to barbecue, teriyaki, lemon pepper and Jamaican jerk to honey hot, honey mustard and hot mustard.

The price is right, too. Ten cost $6.49; 20, $11.99; and check this out, 50 for $27.49 (that's about 55 cents each). Now, that's a party pleaser.

We tried the plain (not breaded) medium and teriyaki, and added a bowl of chili ($3.49), which we were told is another menu favorite (naturally, the wings being No. 1). The chili comes in a crock, smothered with melted cheese. The hamburger meat with onion mix is tasty, though I do like beans in my chili. It also packs heat. In fact, the chili was spicier than our medium wings. Be sure to have a drink on stand-by.

But don't get me wrong. The medium wings aren't weak. They have kick, too, what I'd expect in medium. As for the teriyaki sauce, it's extraordinary, too. No skimping on these lip-smacking morsels. Plus, there's so much meat on these bones, I over ate with five, definitely a filling meal.

The menu runs the gamut of appetizers ($2.49 for chips and salsa to blackened shrimp for $8.99), sandwiches and wraps ($4.99-$7.49), and all-angus burgers ($6.49-$6.99). There's also "Jack's Rabbit Food" of salads like Cobb, Chef and Caesar ($4.99-$7.49), and soups -- French onion, potato, and chicken and rice at a cup for $2.49 or a bowl for $3.49. Like any bar, Jack Rabbit's offers an array of domestic and imported beers, as well as wine selections.

During playoff season and especially for the big game Feb. 1, even if I opt to watch in the comfort of my home or on my friend's 52-inch screen, I know where my wings will be coming from. Go Giants!

Catherine Muccigrosso, Lake Wylie Pilot editor

JACK RABBIT'S BAR & GRILL

LOCATION: 1225 Union Road, Gastonia, N.C.

HOURS: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday and noon to 2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday; 21 and older only after 10 p.m.

PHONE: 704-864-1966

WEB SITE: jackrabbitsgastonia.com

AMBIANCE: Sports bar and grill

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