Happiness & Food: Buffalo Wings
I don’t mind hot and spicy. Actually find that appealing in a girl. And chicken wings ~ Julie James
So recently I noticed a two-part article in USA Today about Buffalo Chicken Wings, their origin and then a ranking of the best wings in Buffalo (Part 1, Part 2). And in case Jessica Simpson is reading this, they are made out of chicken darlin, buffalo don’t have wings. Given I was heading out to Canton, OH and then to Pittsburgh, I decided to make a stop into Buffalo for the night and hit the Anchor Bar (the origin place) and Duff’s (the place they said was best).
There are a couple of origin stories but the one thing everyone agrees on is that the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY absolutely made chicken wings famous. I do find it amusing that Frank’s Red Hot sauce works its way into every story and for the record I do like the taste of it.
I visited the Anchor Bar last week, I hadn’t been there in 33 years. You see I started my academic career in Rochester, about an hour east of Buffalo, and of course as a college student when wings were very popular, and being so close, we had to make the pilgrimage. Returning 33 years later I was pleasantly surprised to find not a lot had changed at the Anchor Bar in that time. Sure, it’s got a gift shop now and it’s a lot more well-known, but otherwise and the next photo will show you, things are still pretty much the same as they have been for a very long time.
Happily the other thing that hasn’t changed are the wings. I got an order of medium wings and they were excellent, flavorful with a little bit of kick. I really enjoyed the wings and my little trip down memory lane.
The second place I went to was the place USA Today said had the best wings in the city, Duff’s.
Duff’s is a more modern chain restaurant with several locations around the city. There were some interesting things I found immediately interesting, one was the chain restaurant feel. The second was that apparently the hiring policy for waitresses was that they be young, fit and attractive. I did a split order of mild and medium light as there are signs and notes on the menu that their wings are hot! They were not lying even a little bit, unfortunately it seems the way they make mild is by putting a couple of dabs of sauce on the bottom of the dish. The medium light were much better, good flavor and they carried a really nice kick. I seriously cannot conceive of ordering their hot wings, or the pain involved in eating their top-level, atomic, I think they were called. But if you are a spicy, hot food junky I think this would be the place to test yourself. Luckily, there were plenty of options to wash down the spice.
One last thing about Duff’s, I was in there at the bar during the Bills game. Definitely a fun place to be when the Bills are winning and when they score they pour free shots, it was definitely a fun atmosphere.
I have to say I liked the wing at the Anchor Bar better, more flavor a nice kick but nothing overtly trying to test my manhood. The wings at Duff’s were good, definitely a place worth eating at and especially if you like your wings HOT!
All in all it was a great little food pilgrimage and a very happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane