Tuesday, 10 October 2006


The Great Wing Tour 2006
Sunday October 8th
Day 3

We left BW3's on time, but what seemed to be very late. It was a long drive on the highway, where we saw all sorts of road kill (about 3 carcasses every 1 minute - so many raccoons, ground hogs and deer). We even saw some live deer. But we were more interested in dead chicken than anything else.

We made a brief stop to see some more of Rick's relatives and then it was Sunday evening. The Buffalo skyway, a highway that raises quite high above the city, gave a breathtaking night time view of Buffalo. As we came into the city, the one way streets gave us some minor trouble, but in the end Rick came through in bringing us to our final destination: The Anchor Bar.

Found in not the nicest area of the city (at least at night) this place was a Mecca for me - this was the place where the modern chicken wing, the Buffalo wing, was founded. This was a holy pilgrimage for me, and after a string of disappointments, I put my faith in the Anchor Bar.

The founding of the chicken wing came about over 30 years ago:

Buffalo, NY (1964)-On a Friday night, Dominic Bellissimo was tending bar
at the now infamous Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, NY. Late that evening
a group of Dominic's friends arrived at the bar touting a ravenous appetite.
Dominic asked his mother, Teressa to prepare something for his friends to eat.

At about midnight, Teressa brought out two plates she had prepared in the
kitchen and placed them on the bar. The aroma from the plates captured the
attention of Dom and his friends and everyone asked, "What are these?"
they looked like chicken wings, a part of the chicken that usually went
into the stock pot for soup. Teressa had deep fried the wings and flavored
them with a secret sauce. The wings were an instant hit and it didn't take
long for people to flock to the bar to experience this new eating sensation.
From that point on, Buffalo Wings became a regular part of the menu at
the Anchor Bar.

Wow - what a humble beginning to such a phenomenal food.

This place was packed for a later Sunday night. Made up of mostly families, this place was hustle and bustle with activity. Like Duff's, this place was quite loud inside, not because of thumping music but because of the general chatter among the patrons. It was hot inside too - way too warm for comfort. We even checked for a heater or radiator but there was none. Was it simply the heat of the wings? Only time would tell . . .


SIZE of WINGS: large
HEAT: 3/10
PRICE: $8.00(US) for 10 wings, $12 for 20, $27 for 50 (add a$1 for suicide)


SAUCE CHOICE: mild/medium/hot/suicidal/spicy bbq
SIDES: celery & blue cheese dip
deep fried
WING NIGHT: none advertised
OTHER: they ship wings all over the world

I didn't want to review these wings. I almost felt sacrilegious doing so. Why was that?
Because my messiah, the one institution I had hoped to restore my wing faith, shattered it and not in a good way.

But lets start with the good. These wings were big. With no breading, they were the right size of wing. The skin was crispy and there was just the right amount of crunch and the smell texture totally reminded me of my childhood wing experiences that converted me to the wing. There was also what I consider the perfect amount of sauce on the wings - they were wet, but not enough to make the wings soggy.
The downside? The sauce. It was really really really mild. I ordered hot with a side of suicide (I asked about the suicide sauce and she said it was not the same flavour, that it was a pepper flavour). Suicide was a pepper sauce, that was maybe a medium in heat. The hot wings themselves were definitely mild. And to make matters worse, the flavour itself was so mild there was almost no taste to speak of. Say it ain't so Teressa, say it ain't so.

Rick ordered a side of deep fried veggies - which are an excellent side to chicken wings (I will do a review some day on the best sides to have with wings). Our neighbor table also had a great looking pizza that I really wanted to steal a slice from.

So, like with all religions, my faith was somewhat shattered. Fortunately, I have had excellent wings elsewhere in the world. Don't get me wrong, The Anchor Bar is a cherished site, it has given a gift to the world that the world can never repay. But in the evolutionary chart, the wing has definitely grown up since leaving Buffalo.
3 out of 5 Flappers

The Anchor Bar
1047 Main Street Buffalo New York


Anonymous said...

I feel for you jeff! It's like finding out that Santa isn't real . . . what a dissapointment!

Oh well . . . it's only dead chicken carcass!

Love Amanda the Vegetarian

Anonymous said...

Anchor Bar is a great place to visit... but not to eat. The next time you're visiting Buffalo, I recommend trying Barbill (in the southtowns) or Gabriel's Gate. I won't argue that the chicken wing has outgrown Anchor Bar (Duff's is usually equally disappointing) - they spend their money on marketing and not on their wings anymore.
But I promise you, the natives in the corner bars and neighborhood pizzerias in Erie County still make them the best.

Lord of the Wings said...

@Amanda - it was a slightly sad

@Anonymous - Barbill or Gabriel's Gate eh? Sounds like I need to go back to Buffalo!