The Best Chicken Wings In Buffalo, NY | Best Of The Best
Alana: Can I just, like, lickthe sauce off this plate? Hey guys, I'm Alana.
Hi, I'm Herrine.
Alana: And today we arein Buffalo, New York, to find the best Buffalowings in the city.
Herrine: Now, if the namedoesn't give it away, Buffalo is the birthplaceof Buffalo wings.
In fact, they don't callthem Buffalo wings here.
They just call them chicken wings, And today we are going tobe starting our journey by visiting four places, one of which actuallyinvented the Buffalo wing, and three others thatare just highly revered local favorite spots to get chicken wings.
Alana: Right, and me andHerrine love our spice, but to make it fair, we'reonly gonna order medium in all four spots.
Then afterwards we're gonnadecide which Buffalo wing is Both: The best of the best.
Herrine: Alright, let's do it.
Alana: Let's go.
Alana: For our first stop, we had to visit the original Anchor Bar.
Herrine: We want a crispywing with a juicy inside and a sauce that isdecadent, yet still tangy, yet still has a bite and a kick.
Michelle: People love tocome to the Anchor Bar to eat our chicken wings, 'cause they originated here.
– I'm in sales, andwhenever I have customers that come in from out of town, of course, because we're from Buffalo, they think of chicken wings, and I bring them here.
Michelle: A great Buffalo sauceis ours at the Anchor Bar.
It's the original.
It's theone that was created in 1964.
Teressa Bellissimo was themom, cooking in the kitchen, and Dominic was the son, bartending at the bar, and his friends came inabout, like, 2 in the morning and were hungry.
Dominic asked Teressa ifshe could make something, and the wings were sittingnext to the stock of the soup.
She took those, friedthem up, made some sauce.
She was Italian, so shemade some nice sauce and seasoned them with the sauce, and we always say the restis history from there.
Some restaurants tend to just do a hot-sauce-and-butter mixture, but a true Buffalo sauce is acayenne blend of seasonings, and the original Buffalosauce is a medium sauce.
Herrine: As a Buffalo-wing lover, this is a pilgrimage we needed to take.
Herrine: Dig in? Alana: Yeah.
Herrine: Visually, lookslike the Buffalo wings we grew up eating.
Alana: Ooh, it has a nice heat.
Herrine: I don't get the heat.
Alana: Really? You don't get the heat? You sure? Herrine: I got the heat.
Alana: So what are yourthoughts on the wing? Herrine: I love the wings.
I think the sauce is really, really good.
I mean, there's nothing elsethat I've tried in the past that compares to this.
It's not as, like, butteryas I was expecting it to be.
Alana: It has a bite to it.
Herrine: It has a bite to it.
The heat kind of crawls.
The one thing that I will say, though, is I wish that the skinwas a little bit crispier than it is.
Herrine: Like, right here, maybe this is just one wing, but I feel like it's a little soggy.
What about you?Alana: So it was just very juicy to me, on the inside, which is super important to me, and I love this spice.
This is a medium.
The only thing, I agree, I need my crunch.
I'm not getting my crunch.
Herrine: Yeah, but thatsauce is everything.
That sauce is so good.
Now, the next stop that we're going to is an unofficial-official competitor of this place.
Herrine: Our second stopis Duff's Famous Wings.
They're famous for theiraward-winning sauce that hasn't changed for over 40 years.
Joe: We've won.
All the awards are on the wall.
All the awards are on the ceiling.
Joe: We've been winning local awards for chicken wings since.
Joe: The rivalry betweenus and Anchor Bar, which, obviously, invented the wings, I think is more of a city rivalry.
The city has pitted us against each other.
Most people feel like Duff'sis more of a local favorite than Anchor Bar, becauseAnchor Bar, I think, is more of a tourist trap.
– We're students from U of B, and they're the best wings I've had, so we always gotta stop by.
– Nothing compares.
– Nothing compares.
Joe: It's the oldest family-owned chicken-wing restaurant in America.
Ron: I'll take his word for that.
About '64, the wings went crazy, from Anchor Bar to everywhere.
And so we thought we'd put it in just to have a little snackfood for our drinking crowd.
Joe: So what makes ourchicken wings different from a lot of other places: We order a certain size of chicken wings, and there's a specific size of a wing that we want when we bringthem into the restaurant.
So then, when we get these wings in, they go through ameticulous sorting effort from our prepper.
A lot of wings don't make the cut.
Once they're prepped, we endup taking them to the kitchen, frying them for a perfect amount of time.
Ron: One of my things wasdon't be cheap on the sauce.
So a lot of people would comein from eating other places, and they would say, “This medium is hot!” Joe: A lot of places addcold sauce to hot wings, and that makes no sense.
So our sauce is always being heated.
The cooks are making sauce from scratch, pretty much for every order.
They use a base hot sauceand then adjust with butter.
When they come out, because the sauce is hot, it creates this, like, huge plume of steam.
Herrine: You would think that we would be kind of sick and tired of chicken wings because we went to thefirst stop and ate so much, but I'm so excited for this.
The steam is just billowing, basically, and it looks stunning.
Alana: First of all, these are the medium, and I already smell the spices coming off of this.
Alana: At the medium level.
Herrine: The acidity, the tanginess, it's like, wham, bam, in your face.
Herrine: That's very good sauce.
Alana: Yeah, is it? Herrine: That's such good sauce.
That's such good sauce.
Alana: Oh wow.
OK, there's definitely some heat on this, but the flavor is still there.
It's not just pure.
Are you OK? Herrine: No, I'm not.
Alana: It creeps up on you.
The spice does creep on you.
Herrine: I'm not getting any creep.
Nope, not getting any creep.
Alana: It's a lot smootherthan I'm used to, you know? “They ask you how you are, and you just have to say that you're fine.
” Herrine: It's so good.
Alana: Favorite thing aboutthis wing is how juicy the actual meat is underthe crispy exterior.
Herrine: It's still crispy.
Every nook and cranny of thewing is just doused in sauce, and it still retains itscrispiness even though it's kind of been sittinghere for a few minutes.
I don't know.
This sauce might be the deal-maker here.
I would say I have a high spice tolerance.
This is a good medium.
So we've had Duff's wings.
We've also had Anchor Bar wings.
Which do you think is better? Herrine: I think I havemy personal favorite, what I think is better, but I'm not gonna revealit to you just yet.
Alana: OK, all right.
Herrine: What about you?Alana: I don't know.
I think I have one too and I have a feelingwhat you're gonna say.
Herrine: I think we're gonna agree.
Alana: I think we are.
Ithink for the first time.
Herrine: For the first time ever.
Alana: Our third stop is Gabriel's Gate, a staple restaurant situatedin historic Allentown.
The menu has a spread of American flare, but the wings are the talk of the town.
Herrine: This is Chef Wayne Mosby.
He's been working at Gabriel'sGate for over 20 years.
Mosby: The secret of whatwe do before we toss them, and the way we cook them, and everything is timed.
Everything stays the same.
The only things changeis the day and the time.
We stand behind them.
Put a lot of pride, alot of love into them.
We're gonna pull themup out of the grease, gonna add a little margarineto it, turn around, we're gonna add a littlebit of Frank's hot sauce, toss them around in thebowl, and plate them up.
Add a little bit of ourextra-secret sauce to it, and there you have some ofour best famous chicken wings.
Herrine: All the otherplaces that we went to have really, really high reviews, and this place also does too, it's just.
Alana: Hearing it from locals.
This was the locals' favorite.
Herrine: The moment thesewings came to our table, it was like a plume ofsteam, kind of like Duff's.
Herrine: But the heat, the acidity, it just hits your nostrils.
Alana: In your nostrils.
Herrine: Right away.
Alana: Oh my God, it smells so good.
And we only ordered the medium.
Herrine: I know.
Alana: So imagine the spicier ones, like, I already smell thespices coming off of this.
Herrine: And they're saucy.
Alana: Ahh, yes.
Herrine: They're real saucy.
Alana: They don't hold back.
Herrine: But I do wanna pointout that some wings are not.
Alana: But I kind of like that.
It's kind of, like, charming, a little bit.
Herrine: I got bone.
That's why I don't like.
I like consistency.
Alana: Can I just, like, lickthe sauce off this plate? Oh my God! I see why this is recommended, man.
Like, this sauce, I'msorry, it's unparalleled, I'm gonna be honest.
Herrine: I was a little apprehensive.
Herrine: Because I thought that so much sauce would not allow the wings to be crispy.
Alana: It's so crispy.
And the chicken is juicy.
Herrine: Less juicy than other places.
Alana: Yes, it's lessjuicy than other places, but it's still really juicy.
Herrine: But still pretty juicy.
Of all the places we've been to, the medium here is the spiciest.
Alana: So far, I think that these are the most flavorful mediums that we've had.
Not talking about the consistency.
Herrine: When it comes to flavor, I think this has more of a vinegar taste.
But one other place comes to mind when it comes to, like, bold flavors.
Alana: OK, I know exactlywhat you're talking about.
Alana: Our final stop is Bar-Bill Tavern.
It's a popular restaurant equally famous for its beef on weck as itis for its chicken wings.
Clark: So at the Bar-Bill, what's unique is that you can have both Buffalospecialties at one visit.
So beef on weck and the chicken wing, neither of which we inventedhere at the Bar-Bill.
We just like to say we've perfected both.
– I literally prettymuch bought a house here because of the Bar-Bill.
Basically, the pleasure dome of all wings.
Clark: Bar-Bill was founded in 1967, and my wife's Uncle Joe was a mechanical engineerat Bell Aerospace, and he actually had norestaurant experience but always wanted to run a bar.
Bought this bar and basicallymade it what it is today.
He was very technical when it came to how he made chicken wings.
So instead of pouring thechicken wings into a bowl is that we apply thesauce with a paintbrush, so you get the same amount of sauce on each side of the chicken wing.
So each time you bite intoa Bar-Bill chicken wing, the flavor is exactly the same.
Our medium flavor is reallyunique and really special but holds true to theoriginal Buffalo formula, incorporating Frank's hot sauce.
The wings do not sit in sauce.
They actually are presentedfive flats, five wings, so you get to, you know, experience, you know, the chicken wing in an extra, you know, what we could consider a reverent way.
Alana: OK, this is our last stop.
Herrine: I'm chickened out.
Alana: My insides hate me.
Alana: Alright, we've gotta do this.
Herrine: I'm really curious to see how the hand-painted aspect of it will, like, add to the actualwing, or if it doesn't.
I don't know.
Like, the plating itself is gorgeous.
Alana: They look likethey put a lot of care into each and every wing.
Hello? Herrine: I have to get my vegetable intake somehow or another.
Sorry, folks, I need that fiber.
Alana: Oh! It's like there's sauce on every inch, every crevice of this wing.
Herrine: I don't know where the heat is.
Herrine: I think this wing is probably one of the crispiest wings we've had.
Alana: Right, and I'm hearing the crunch every time I take a bite, which isn't usually possiblewith super-saucy wings, because, you know, thesauce kind of, like, lessens the crunch factor.
Herrine: That's the thing.
I want more sauce on these wings.
They're crispy, but the sauceis so good I want more of it.
I think Iagree with you on that one.
Herrine: I think if we wereto do this trip over again, we would've just gotten spicier wings, 'cause I feel like we justboth like spicier wings.
Alana: Sorry, just the thoughtof doing this trip over again is hurting me.
Herrine: Oh yeah, absolutely.
No, we will not do this again.
Herrine: We will do this maybeat another time on leisure, but we will be only going to one place instead of, like, 10.
We went to four.
There's a torrential downpour outside, so we couldn't do our conclusion outside.
We're actually stuck in anairport waiting for our flight.
But we have a decision to make.
Um, going in, I thought one thing.
My mind completely changed.
However, I'm reallyconfident with my decision.
Herrine: I am too.
Let's go for it.
Herrine: Alright, let's do it.
Alana: One, two, three.
Herrine: We finally agree.
Herrine: That means something.
Alana: When I firstwent in there, I'm like, how can anything beat Anchor Bar? Because, you know, theyinvented the Buffalo wing.
For me, Duff's just hit all my markers.
It was super crispy on the outside, super juicy on the inside, and the sauce.
Herrine: It was saucy.
Herrine: That did it for me.
I was torn betweenGabriel's Gate and Duff's.
Herrine: Because they'reboth very saucy wings, but Duff's had a littlebit more of a point for me, because they actually madetheir sauces from scratch.
And also the wings at Gabriel's Gate are not as.
Alana: You don't knowwhat you're gonna get.
Alana: The painting was cute, the selection was cute at Bar-Bill's.
Herrine: Yeah, it tasted familiar.
Alana: The taste is familiar, but I wanted to be wowed.
Herrine: It was.
Alana: Duff's did it for me.
Herrine: Yeah, that wasa good way of putting it.
So here you have it.
Duff's is our winner.
Alana: We made our choice of Duff's.
Let us know if you think weshould have picked another spot.
Herrine: Or if it was aplace that we actually just didn't end up visiting.
Let us know in the comment section below.
Both: Bye! Herrine: Twice now.
Twice! Our flight got canceled twice now! We're just, we're stuck in Buffalo now.
We're gonna live here now, I guess.
We have no other option.
Alana: I just don't want themto not put me in first class.