By Drew Olson Special to Published Oct 22, 2009 at 12:55 AM

October is the third annual Dining Month on All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delicious features, chef profiles, unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2009."

I knew that our story revealing the reader's poll winner for Best Wings would draw a lot of attention.

Pardon the pun, but wings are hot these days.

While the Talkback mafia argues the merits of various purveyors -- and many wonder how a mega-chain like Buffalo Wild Wings took top honors over locals like Points East Pub, Steny's, Leff's or Club Garibaldi -- I'm marveling at how popular wings have become in the past few years and how much attention they are attracting in the media.

I recently saw a stunning story on CNBC and on the news wire. The lowly chicken wing, once an afterthought and an excuse for bars to sell beer, is becoming a dietary staple in the U.S.

Pizza Hut has sold 1 billion wings since 2003.

7-Eleven is getting ready to unveil three new varieties in its stores.

And, most shockingly, chicken wings are now more expensive than chicken breasts.

That's right.

The wholesale price of wings in much of the country is now $1.38 per pound, roughly 20 cents more than the price of a boneless breast. Some bar owners report paying $79 for a case of wings that cost $62 in the spring. A once-profitable item is suddenly losing its margin.

Wings that used to cost 10 cents each on "wing night" now cost as much as 60 cents at some places. Others are close to $1.

It's not surprising that the price hike came in the fall, at the beginning of wing, er, football season. Football fans love wings. We know people have their favorite wing restaurants, but who has the best deals?

Stay tuned to where we will pit two area favorites in an upcoming Milwaukee Challenge: wings!

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.