Buffalo's Favorite Wing
In the February 2015 issue of Buffalo Spree, our food writers took on the task of rating thirty WNY wing joints, and using a bracket system, chose a favorite. Pick up a copy on stands today, or subscribe so you don't miss another issue.
It’s Buffalo’s most easily recognized cultural icon. It’s also the most popular appetizer and bar snack in the US. We’re talking about the chicken wing, or, if we must, the Buffalo wing. Thanks to Frank and Teressa Bellissimo of Anchor Bar, Buffalo’s mastery of spicy deep-fried chicken is not only common cultural knowledge in all fifty US states, but is conversational currency among travelers, be they visitors to the Nickel City or locals visiting elsewhere. Granted, if you are a Buffalonian who chooses to sample our hometown favorite outside of WNY, you’ll quickly discover that loose interpretations of our beloved wings are proffered as authentic all too easily—take for example the ubiquitous breaded wing, served with a slathering of ranch dressing. Just remember, as you pull away in horror—they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
So, as we at Spree moved forward with the idea of determining the area’s best chicken wing, we had to define what makes a wing superior, research as many of the local wing joints as we possibly could, narrow the list down to our top thirty, and then dispatch a team of discerning food writers to sort through the options. In order to create the fairest assessment possible, we limited our scope to medium wings, prepared in the classic “Buffalo” fashion, and ordered as such. Judges couldn’t make the types of requests many regular wing eaters do upon ordering—such as asking for extra crispness or sauce—we wanted to sample wings the way each restaurant felt they should be served. In order to maintain a clear tabulation of results, restaurants or bars that veered too far off the path of traditional wings weren’t included, which was unfortunate in that it left out some of our favorite wings options (look for articles on creative, barbecue, and smoked wings inside), but it was necessary to keep the median as clear as possible in order to determine which restaurant was serving the very best chicken wing.
As factors for choosing their favorites, judges took into account the spiciness of the sauce, ratio of sauce to meat, the tenderness of the meat, crispness of the skin, and overall appearance of each wing. While we cannot vouch that those who made our list can deliver the perfect wing with perfect consistency, we are pretty confident that we’ve done most of the hard work for our readers. Find the results in the February 2015 issue of Buffalo Spree.
Disagree with us? Want to share your favorite wing? Take Spree’s poll below and make your vote count!