Beast Butcher & Block's David Sandusky is excited for the endless possibilities with he sees for Wing Runner.
Chicken wing lovers, rejoice! David and Meggan Sandusky, the talented husband and wife duo behind BEAST Craft BBQ, are embarking on a new, wing-focused venture, Wing Runner. The new concept opens tomorrow inside their Grove restaurant, BEAST Butcher & Block, featuring a creative assortment of jumbo chicken wings — some even for vegetarians.
According to David, the idea for Wing Runner came to him after he was thinking of ways to pivot is business to meet the new reality imposed on the restaurant industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With BEAST Butcher & Block's large dining room shuttered (the Sanduskys have made the decision to do curbside, delivery and patio service only), the business needed a new revenue stream to help it weather the storm. Chicken wings just made sense.
"We love chicken wings, plain and simple," David says. "I figured, why not have fun doing the things you love?"
Working with BEAST's corporate chef, Ryan McDonald, the Sanduskys came up with several different wings styles, including classic Buffalo, fish sauce caramel, habanero-jerk and a St. Louis-style version, topped with chicharrones, that is basted in barbecue sauce and finished in the oven to mimic a backyard pork steak.
"We're not just creating flavors for the sake of doing the latest gimmick in chicken wings," Sandusky says. "We want to create the best flavors and put the best thing out there all the time. We have this opportunity to be super creative and do whatever we want to do with specials and seasonal flavors. The whole theme is that we want to do things at a higher level. That's what we're all about."
David is especially excited about Wing Runner's vegetarian option: Smoked cauliflower "wings." Tossed in the same sauces that are available on the chicken wings, he believes that the cauliflower is so good, it will appeal to meat-eaters as much as to vegetarians.
"The cauliflower wings with the garlic parmesan are off the chain," Davis says. "I'm telling you, I think the cauliflower is even better than the chicken wings. It's such a vehicle for flavor."
Wing Runner will launch tomorrow out of the BEAST Butcher & Block location, and is available for carryout from the restaurant's pickup window. Online orders can be made starting August 11 at www.wingrunnerstl.com.
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