Don't let the lop-sided score fool you: both of these competitors faired very well and were above average in most cases. OIP was able to pull out perfectly tender char-grilled chicken coated in a hot sauce that had a great peppery flavor. Change of Pace was highlighted by jumbo chicken wings covered in an excellent and traditional Buffalo sauce with a lingering heat that, in terms of this bracket, was refreshing to taste. I'd do OIP again for take-out wings, but this one goes to Change of Pace. While their brand contained an above average amount of tendons, it's hard to resist their classic flavor and what were otherwise perfect and traditional Buffalo wings in all other aspects.
Winner: Change of Pace
Northside / Eastwood Second Round: Championship Game
(2) Change of Pace's "Hot / Extra Crispy" wings: 4 points
(1) Shifty's Bar & Grill's "hot" wings: 3 points
Shifty's sure likes a close match-up, but it just wasn't enough to surpass Change of Pace. Both even had excellent blue cheese (some of the best in the tournament) with a slight edge going to Shifty's for a chunky style, which I'm a fan of. Honestly, I was hoping Shifty's would bring the heat with their wings, seeing as how they come in various styles like fatal, xtra hot, and f-bomb, to name a few. But Change of Pace's were actually hotter. Shifty's great chicken meat and excellent homemade sauce flavor wasn't enough to pass Change of Pace's jumbo wings the contained a slightly crispy skin covered in a great classic wing sauce.
Winner and champion of the Northside / Eastwood bracket: Change of Pace
There you have it. Change of Pace will take on Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in the Final Four. Stay tuned for the remaining 2 brackets. And Pulled Into Syracuse's 2011 Wing Tournament Champion will be crowned within the next couple weeks.
Josef Lorenz is a Syracuse resident and blogger who contributes bi-weekly to The Eagle. His extensive list of restaurant reviews are online at