Monday, January 6, 2014

The Wing Battle Begins...

Last week, we stopped at Duff's Famous Wings in Orchard Park on the way back home because we were all starving and passing right by it. While we waited for our food to arrive, I had a moment to think about the most famous food from our fair city - chicken wings. There are so many places in Buffalo that do them well...and so many (probably more) that do them poorly. I thought that this classic Buffalo food may need to be showcased (as if it weren't already paid homage enough).

My Western New York Barbecue Competition continues here on the Nittany Epicurean and we had a great last stop at One-Eyed Jack's. Even though that competition is ongoing, I felt we could conduct another with just as much vigor simultaneously. The organic idea was very logical and had to be done - a wing battle!

So, dear readers, we begin our wing battle. This battle will be different from the Western New York Barbecue Competition in several respects. First, obviously, we not looking for barbecue (although barbecue wings could be entered in this competition). Second, I will not require the same dish to be sampled at each stop. While I'll try the wings at every place I visit on this battle, I won't require that the competitor be classic wings with a Red-Hot based sauce. I'm going to try to taste the best wings made at each location and see which joint reigns supreme. Whether it's a simple Red-Hot based sauce or double cajun not on the menu, I'm going to find the best in the area.

I've already asked for suggestions from the good folks in the Buffalo/Niagara Foodies group on Facebook. I'll also ask you to give me your thoughts as to where I should go.

The first stop, though, as you can already tell, was at Duff's Famous Wings in Orchard Park, New York. Many have already suggested that I try Duff's as they're a perennial favorite, but I've been reminded that the original location on Sheridan Drive is best. Well, since I was at the one in Orchard Park already, that had to be the first stop. Perhaps the original location will appear in the battle at a later point.

To start the competition, I got a classic Red-Hot based sauce at the medium level. Since I was with my wife and kids, it couldn't be any hotter. Here's how they looked when they arrived:

The wings arrived hot and crispy. There weren't overly big, but had a decent amount of sauce. I would have liked just a tad more sauce, but there was enough of that delicious Red Hot to make it enjoyable. The wings ended up being slightly overdone, but not a bad first stop on the wing battle. They were above average wings with great blue cheese on the side, but I don't think they have the strength to win this competition.

However, that's yet to be seen. The second stop on the battle will be up later this week. We'll see how well some well-renown wings from South Buffalo can stand up to Duff's. Stay tuned!


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  1. Yes! I am really looking forward to this battle. Yours definitely arrived in less sauce than ours did the last time we were at the OP location. We needed a fishing pole to get them out! Haha.

  2. Thanks for the support, Katie! You're right: Duff's usually drowns the wings in sauce...which I usually like. Stay tuned!

  3. FYI... Duffs in OP is not the real famous Duffs (not even close)... that would be on Sheridan Drive in Amherst; two very different places. But your visit to 911 sounds great, and I can't wait to visit. I, too, have heard great things about their wings. Other great places? Some people love Bar-bills in East aurora... although I love the wings at Tony romes in EA. And of course there is Gabrielle's Gate on Allen in Buffalo... fantastic! Keep up the writing... you're pretty amazing in that you are writing every day which is awesome.

    1. Thank you, sir! I know the original Duff's is on Sheridan and the one in OP is merely a franchise. I'll probably have to stop by the original for this battle. Bar Bill is on the list that I'll be stopping at as it's a personal favorite. Same thing with the Gate. Thanks for the support!!