Michigan’s Best Local Foods: House Sauces Bring “Unmatched” Flavor and Heat to Wings and Seafood at Crazy Legs
FLINT, MI — If you can handle the heat, there are two new homemade sauces to take home to cook in your own kitchen at a popular Flint-based restaurant.
Crazy Legs now offers its homemade Ranch Lemon Pepper and Crazy Heat sauces for purchase in 12-ounce bottles. And they don’t disappoint, said Wilson Rogers III.
“With Ranch Lemon Pepper, everyone thinks it’s going to be ranch sauce,” said Rogers, co-owner of Crazy Legs. “I’m not going to get into the secrets of our sauce, but it’s our bestseller. Another main seller is Crazy Heat. We always want something distinct that separates us from everyone else, and our sauce is definitely that.
DeVante Powell, co-owner of Crazy Legs, said others have tried to imitate their house specialty sauces, and he considers it “a trophy.”
He said it’s a sign they’re doing something very good.
“People can’t duplicate these sauces,” Powell said. “If you like that taste, you can’t get it anywhere else. If you want Crazy Heat or Ranch Lemon Pepper, you have to get it here.
Rogers and Powell have been business partners in the Flint area for years, although they don’t plan to be in the food or restaurant industry.
The two met in ninth grade, graduating from Flint Southwestern Classical Academy in 2004.
Each then graduated locally from Baker College with a degree in business management and social services, respectively.
“We always want something distinct that separates us from everyone else. If you want something crazy, you come to us. It’s the Crazy Legs way,” Powell said. “You want chicken loaded with cheese, peppers and fries, you can’t go anywhere else to get it. You want a turkey leg loaded with a whole bunch of different sauces, you can only go to one place.
There are seven sauce styles available for the wings, including Lemon Ranch Pepper, Sweet BBQ, Korean Teriyaki, Peach Habanero, Hawaiian Meech, Garlic Cheese, and Crazy Heat. The wings can also be served plain.
The Garlic Parmesan Cheese flavor was added to the menu four months ago, and it has quickly become popular on the menu.
“You know, everywhere, traditional garlic parmesan is a wet sauce, but we actually add parmesan chips to it,” Powell said. “So when you hit it, you don’t just get plain old garlic parmesan. You get a whole new flavor with that added cheese. It’s different. It doesn’t taste like anything you’ve ever eaten.
Combos are also available with loaded fries.
Crazy Legs serves homemade Kool-Aid and smoothies. Salads and wraps are also available.
Loaded fries are also air fried as potatoes topped with queso blanc (cheese), jalapeño and sweet peppers with a choice of shrimp or chicken. The twist, Powell said, adds one of the flavors of the sauce on top.
“Everything you touch with us, you get guaranteed flavor,” Powell said. “It’s all word of mouth. It’s crazy how much business has picked up.
The budding young entrepreneurs, each 34, already have their footing in a number of local business ventures, including owning a facility that houses 10 businesses.
In September 2019, they realized the need to provide a snack at their Flint mall.
Initially wings weren’t even on the menu. It didn’t last long.
The two created a unique concept for frying wings, a technique not often produced in Eastern Michigan, which is exactly why they doubled down on making the idea a reality. They started with three air fryers and now have 20.
A chicken wing shortage in 2021 had a big impact on Crazy Legs, resulting in a 30% loss in business, Powell said.
The company pivoted at this time and began supplying chicken fillets, pushing their boneless products and their seafood sales hit an all-time high.
“The shortage of wings has hurt us a lot. We had to improvise,” Powell said. “Chicken tenderloins, boneless wings, etc. This is actually what started bringing new menu favorites like salmon and breaded shrimp. But the good news is that fenders never go out of style. The wings are now and bigger than ever.
“Salmon loaded fries and salmon salad have become popular. Salmon in the air fryer – it’s second to none,” he said. “Plus, we just added a shrimp wrap and a salmon wrap that you have to try.”
The increase in seafood sales is evident, Powell said.
Before the chicken wing shortage, sales were about 80% poultry and 20% seafood. Now the numbers are 68% poultry, 32% seafood.
“Seafood is booming and it’s good for business. It’s a balance,” Powell said.
RELATED: Crazy Legs Offers Tasty Wings and Loaded Fries in Flint and Grand Blanc
The business exploded by word of mouth in Flint, so much so that Crazy Legs opened a second location in Grand Blanc Township in 2021.
Powell said between the two locations, about 400 pounds of wings are served each week with customers from as far away as Illinois, Georgia and Canada.
His son was even approached in Jamaica recently, said Powell, known to work at the increasingly popular restaurant.
“It’s bite number 1. The wings are always there, whether you’re at a cocktail party or a house party. And good potatoes and fries are always a crowd favorite – whether you’re two years old to 90 years old,” Powell said.
Powell and Rogers continue to build on the dream as they expand, hoping eventually to have space to serve Crazy Legs in arenas like Dow Diamond in Midland and Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
Crazy Legs has two locations with its original location at 4526 Beecher Road in Flint and the new express location at 5417 S. Dort Highway in Grand Blanc Township.
The Flint site is open 12-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, while the Grand Blanc Township site is open 12-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 12-6 p.m. Sunday.
As for the reviews, Rogers was quick to note that one of their customers posted a raving comment about the food that read, “If you haven’t had Crazy Legs, you’re nuts!”
Interested parties can place an order online here.
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