Food News

Wanted: Buffalo-Style Chicken Wings

It's a lousy obsession but the burden is mine to bear. I've loved tearing into chicken wings since I discovered them in college. A small chain originally called BW3's that's gone on to become a Chicken Wing Walmart served decently fried renditions with about a dozen sauces. Buffalo Wild Wings, as it's now called, pretty much sucks now that it's more of a McDonald's than a pub, but I've gone on to find decent wings at lots of smaller bars in almost every town I visit.

Until I moved to Dallas.

It's still early, but I don't see them on bar menus quite as often down here. Perhaps it's a matter of geography? The wings I love were born in Buffalo, New York before they worked their way south, becoming popular enough to warrant a feature in the New Yorker. Since then they've been subjected to an endless number of treatments and flavorings, some delightful (I love you, jerk wings) and others a victim of excessive creativity (please make the garlic butter stop).

The perfect wing is deep fried to a crunchy crispness. This imperative texture is only achieved when all of the fat beneath the skin has rendered away but the remaining moist, flavorful meat is far from desiccation. Being a traditionalist, I prefer butter-laced hot sauces based in Frank's Red Hot, or Crystal, brightened with the slightest tinge of vinegar. Blue Cheese dressing is necessary, and bonus points are awarded if it's handmade and loaded with hunks of quality moldy funk.

When I wrote my introductory blog post, a commenter thanked me for not indulging the obligatory "where should I eat" question that's guarantees a Jessica Black-level comment orgy. But I'd be foolish to not lean on my fellow Aters for guidance in a city you clearly know better than I do. (Also, we like it when you guys orgy.)

So instead of a blanket question I'll be more precise: Where do I go for the deep fried, Frank's laced wings I describe above? A side of cold beer and baseball on a decent TV would seal the deal.