Happiness & Food: Buffalo Wings

Happiness & Food: Buffalo Wings

A plate of medium wings at The Anchor Bar.

A plate of medium wings at The Anchor Bar.

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 1Part 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.

Anchor bar 2I 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.

Anchor bar 1Happily 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.

duffs 1Duffs 3Duff’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.

duffs 4One 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









About revmichaelkane

Reverend Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His most recent book about hiking and happiness is Appalachian Trail Happiness available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon
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