Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wing Battle - Stop #2

Earlier this week, I started our second food battle on the Nittany Epicurean - the Wing Battle. Our first trip took us to Duff's Famous Wings in Orchard Park to establish a baseline for the competition. While the wings were above average, as I told you, I didn't think they were strong enough to go far in the battle.

For the second stop in the battle, I went to a bar in South Buffalo that has won all kinds of awards for the wings. They're proclaimed as the best in Buffalo and I've gotten many recommendations to stop by this place during the battle. I made sure that this was one of the first stops:




The Nine-Eleven Tavern.

The Nine-Eleven Tavern is on a side street in South Buffalo, Bloomfield Avenue between South Park and McKinley. It's a classic neighborhood corner bar that had all the traditional decorations alongside a few flat screen televisions. One thing that signaled it's authenticity as a corner bar was the classic shuffle board table that runs the length of the bar room.

Here's the bar:




The menu isn't large, but there's plenty to enjoy from wings and fingers, to a corned beef sandwich and burgers. I visited the Nine-Eleven with some friends and we, of course, came for the wings. We ordered them hot, with the Nine-Eleven's homemade sauce that's won it many competitions.

Here's what they looked like when they arrived at the bar:




As you can see, they were gorgeous. There was plenty of sauce and they were a distinctive red color. The wings were not small by any means and arrived piping hot. 

One thing that must be noted was how the wings were cooked. They were cooked perfectly and were the perfect example of this traditional Buffalo food. They were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It's hard to find a wing cooked this well and I'm told that the Nine-Eleven is famous for the consistency with which they cook their wings. To me, this is more important than the sauce.

Now to this interesting house-made sauce. Three of the four of us loved the sauce. The fourth, who shall remain nameless, didn't care for it, although he finished each wing he touched. The sauce definitely has a Red Hot base, but has several additions, along with the traditional butter or margarine. This sauce has an extra vinegar kick that seems to come from the addition of malt or cider vinegar...and plenty of it. There is also the addition of what seems to be ketchup as the sauce is a deep red color, has an increased viscosity and a little sweetness. There are also little flecks of some sort of grated cheese, mostly likely parmesan.

The sauce is certainly unique, and as one of my friends stated, may be an acquired taste. I had no problem in acquiring that taste, I'll tell you! Man, that sauce was delicious. Plenty of heat balanced with a nominal amount of sweet. I loved the vinegar bite and that the sauce coated the wings with its viscosity.

So, down to the battle. While Duff's produced a decent wing, the Nine-Eleven Tavern blew them away. These unique wings take the title to the wing battle! While the sauce was delicious, I think these wings are winners largely for the way they were cooked. They couldn't have been done better and that's incredibly important. There are so many places that just can't do this consistently or at all.

Well done, Nine-Eleven Tavern! Let's see how long you can hold on to this title!! Stay tuned for the next stop!!






~NE



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17 comments:

  1. One of my personal favorites! I find the one problem is that you want them constantly after. No wing really matches up.

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    1. Agreed, Katie! I can't wait to get back there!

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  2. Do you have Sal's in Depew on your list of wing stops?

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    1. This is the first anyone's suggested it, Danno. Where is it?

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  3. I just found your blog (love it!). Is Bar Bill in East Aurora on your list of places to stop? It's my favorite wing!!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Danielle! Bar Bill is a personal favorite as I've been going there for years. It will be a stop in the battle for sure, if not the next. Stay tuned!

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  4. My son in law is from Buffalo so on a visit we went there with his family, best wings I've ever had, but PLEASE try the Corned Beef sandwich, working in South Boston I'm exposed to some pretty good Corned Beef but this was by far the best sandwich I think i've ever had.

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  5. 9 - 11 Tavern is one of my 2 favorite Wings joints. I hope they visit Doc Sullivan's, my other favorite joint.

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    1. Doc Sullivan's on Abbott in South Buffalo has good wings, huh?

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    2. Awesome wings there...when the fam is craving wings, Doc's is always the first suggestion! Get them "Smitty's style"...mmm mmm!!! Thier bleu cheese is incredible; homemade, if I'm not mistaken

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    3. Sounds good! Tell me more about "Smitty's Style".

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  6. We have family in that area and every time we travel down there from Canada we have to make it a point to stop there and have the wings. Like one of the previous posts says no other wings compare once you have tried the nine eleven taverns wings.

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    1. I'm thinking you may be right, Missy. We'll see how the next stop on the battle fares. Stay tuned!

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  7. 911 is top 3 for me. Its a tie between Bar Bill in EA and Gabriels Gate. All 3 have their own perfect Characteristics that make them stand out.

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    1. Three great places! All three will be featured in this battle with one of those being the next stop. Stay tuned!

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  8. Thanks for the heads up on the 9-11 Tavern, we just added them to the Buffalo Wing Directory due to your review! http://buffalowingdirectory.com/item/nine-eleven-tavern/

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    1. Thanks, Scott! More to come in my Wing Battle. Stay tuned!

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