Trust me, this is not because I haven’t been eating my fair share of Buffalo wings since my return.
I mean, this is me we’re talking about here.
I’ve been eating my fair share of EVERYTHING since my return.
Except for maybe kale. I’m most definitely behind on my kale consumption. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten kale, like, EVER. I can’t say I feel too bad about that.The reason why I haven’t yet talked about Buffalo wings on my blog is because, well, I don’t like to sound all preachy and tell people they’re doing stuff wrong.
At least not on my blog.
In real life, I have absolutely no problem with being a preachy jerk and telling people they’re doing stuff wrong all the time.
I mean, seriously, you guys, someone needs to tell them.
And that someone might as well be me.
But in my bloggy life, I want people to like me.
So that’s why I never write posts like “Top Ten Things You’re Doing Wrong While Traveling” or “Reasons Why You’re Wrong. I Bet You Can’t Even Read This Right Because You Do Everything Wrong. In Fact, I Bet Your Name is Wrongity Wrongpants III. That’s How Wrong You Are ALL THE TIME.”
But, here’s the thing, guys, about the Buffalo wings?
YOU’RE TOTALLY DOING THEM ALL WRONG.
Unless, of course, you grew up in Buffalo or have spent considerable time in Buffalo.
In which case, you might be doing them right.
But we never can be too sure.
You may have to complete some kind of test or something to prove to me that you know what you’re doing.You see, in order to be considered a Buffalo wing, the wing needs to meet a number of strict requirements.
And these requirements go like this:
1. The wings must be deep-fried. There is no such thing as a “baked Buffalo wing.” Sure, you will see such a creation advertised on menus. You should probably just go ahead and burn that menu because it’s a LIAR.
2. The wings must be covered in hot sauce. Not barbecue sauce. Not Italian marinade. Not honey-soy-pineapple-pomegranate-Jamaican-Southwestern-jerk-STOP-IT-JUST-STOP-IT-YOU’RE-MAKING-MY-HEAD-HURT sauce.
3. The wings must have bones in them. Again, you may see something called “boneless Buffalo wings” on a menu here or there but that’s only because you didn’t burn the menu when I already expressly told you to. Sheez. Must I be the one forced to go around the world burning menus? Because I will. I really will.
4. The wings must be served with blue cheese dressing on the side. Do not even ask for ranch dressing. Just don’t. Listen to me. If you ask for ranch dressing instead of blue cheese dressing, this will be justification enough for the server to set you on fire. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
I know this all sounds a bit strict.
So I’m going to go easy on you guys.
First, I’ll totally let you order the mild wings. Because, honestly, I’m a mouth-wimp myself and can’t handle anything above a medium without my mouth threatening to leave my face.
I’ll also let you get your wings from any restaurant or bar or pizza joint or hole-in-the-wall you want. Whereas some Buffalonians I know are extremely particular about this kind of thing. Like, you have to get wings from “their place”, or they will probably never talk to you again. I’m not even kidding you.While pretty much any restaurant or bar in the city serves Buffalo wings, the two big Buffalo wing contenders are Anchor Bar and Duff’s.
If I have people in town visiting me, I usually take them to the Anchor Bar.
This is because Anchor Bar is where Buffalo wings were originally invented, and I’m all about the history.
I’m also all about cheesy statues and kitschy doodads, which Anchor Bar happens to have a lot of.
But many people I know swear by Duff’s, which is a local chain of chicken wing joints.
I’d only ever been to Duff’s once in my life, and I couldn’t really remember much about my visit. Probably because I’m blocking out the memory as I was in a lot of pain at the time. You see, I went with a friend who bullied me into ordering wings so hot my face started to melt off. It wasn’t pleasant.But I was excited to have a do-over with Duff’s this week when a friend invited me there for a get-together.
I was a bit worried, though, when I entered, and this sign was the very first thing that greeted me.
Apparently, this was not just a warning, but the restaurant’s motto, as it was all over the place – from the servers’ t-shirts to the menus.Is Still Totally Going to Melt Your Face Off.”
Despite my face-melting fears, I ended up going with something called “mild medium,” which was supposed to be a little bit hotter than the mild. I wasn’t going to, but everyone at the table around me was ordering medium and hot wings, and I felt like ordering just the mild would be way too wimpy. Even for me.
Besides, who needs a face?
My friend who was sitting next to me ordered the “medium light” wings – which were supposed to be a notch of hotness above my order. They came out slathered in so much hot sauce my eyes actually started to sting.
Seriously, you guys, it’s not just my mouth that’s a wimp — my entire face is a wuss. Even my eyes are like, “Ahh, ahh, too much hot! Why are you always trying to set us on fire?”
When my order came out, my wings looked decidedly less slathery. While they still had a nice kick to them, I was able to get through half of them without my face melting off.
That was a good thing.
Because, actually, as it turns out, I do kind of need my face.
I also really enjoyed the fact that the stalks of celery they served with the wings were HUGE. I’m usually not the type to rave about a vegetable – especially one as flavorless as celery — but, seriously, this celery was not messing around, you guys.And, while my order definitely lived up to the aforementioned set of Super Strict Buffalo Wing Rules and Regulations, I was a bit surprised to see that the menu at Duff’s included a barbecue wing option.
Which we all know is TOTALLY AGAINST THE RULES.
I was really hoping it was some kind of test or joke or something.
Like, if you ordered the barbecue wings, the floor would open up and swallow you whole or a bucket of blue cheese would land on your head like on some kind of Japanese game show.
But then my friend ordered the barbecue wings AND a side of ranch dressing.
Mind you, this is a friend who grew up in Buffalo and has spent much of her adult life here. She, of all people, should have known better.
(In her defense, she said the ranch dressing was for her fries. But I wasn’t so sure I could trust anything coming out of her mouth after the whole ordering-barbecue-wings incident. I now even suspect she’s been lying about growing up in Buffalo. It’s possible she grew up in some place like California, where all the Buffalo wings are made out of tofu and coated in honey-soy-ginger sauce and happy thoughts.)
Surprisingly, her order of barbecue wings came out, she ate them, and nothing bad happened to her.
You know, besides me totally losing all respect for her.
Ha, ha, just kidding.
Kind of.What’s your favorite hometown food? And are people in other parts of the world always getting it wrong?