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The World's First Buffalo Wings at Anchor Bar, Buffalo, New York


Photo credit: Wikipedia

More than a decade ago, when I spent a week in Buffalo, New York state, I had the opportunity to taste the original buffalo wings where the iconic dish was invented at Anchor Bar. But, I didn't take any pictures of it nor took any notes. (If I had photos, I have no idea where they are now - I forgot.) That was before the days of blogs and social media. It was one of the regrets of my foodie life 😂

I had always wanted to go back to settle that unfinished business.

So, when my daughter told me that she was going to visit Buffalo, I asked her to go visit Anchor Bar and write a guest post about their Buffalo Wings.

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Buffalo Wings was created in 1964 at Anchor Bar, Buffalo, New York by Frank and Teressa Bellissimo. Like many good things in life, it was an accidental creation, borne out of necessity.

One night, a group of hungry friends of Frank and Teressa's son Dominic came to the bar at midnight looking for supper. But, there was nothing left at that hour of the night except for chicken wings which was for making stock (olden time ang moh don't eat chicken wings one).

Teressa deep fried the chicken wings, doused, tossed and coated them evenly with their secret hot sauce. The wings were served with celery sticks and dressed with melted blue cheese. 

Boomz! it was an instant hit with the boys and Anchor Bar included it in their menu ever since. Soon, the dish was replicated throughout Buffalo, to New York state, the whole of USA and the whole wide world. Buffalo wings became the best known dish from New York state. They even have an annual Chicken Wings Day in Buffalo, on 29 July (since 1977). 

(And so, Americans discovered Korean fried chicken wings.... that's another story for another post 😝 )

Now, I hand you over to Anita.


Photo credit: Wikipedia

I left Buffalo, New York, 10 years ago.

Wow.

And, I have yet to try the original Buffalo wings from Anchor Bar… so I righted this wrong today.

There are Buffalo Wings at every corner of town, it’s as if Buffalonians can tell distance by how many Buffalo Wing eateries you need to pass by before you reach your destination. You can buy ready-to-eat Buffalo Wings in supermarkets, pubs, diners, pizzerias, delis, school cafeterias… Many of them claim themselves to be THE BEST in town, but only one can claim to be THE ORIGINAL.

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When I was living in Buffalo, Anchor Bar only had one location at Main Street in Downtown Buffalo. It was a hassle to get to and there were plenty of other options near me. Since then, Anchor Bar has opened up several stores around Buffalo and also in Canada! I guess I better give it a try to see what the hype is all about.

Buffalo_Wings_Anchor_Bar_New_York

Together with my Buffalo-Grandparents, we tried their newest location on Maple Road, Amherst. We were greeted with friendly staff and were ushered to our table within a minute (we went there on a Sunday late afternoon). They have a big menu, but we knew what we were there for…the Buffalo Wings, of course! And that’s what we ordered indeed – a double order (meaning 20 wings) of Honey Garlic, and also Mild wings.

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As I was waiting for the wings to come, I reminisced my first taste of Buffalo wings in Buffalo -  it was with my dad in TOPS supermarket. We sat in the supermarket’s cafeteria and reheated our wings with a microwave. It tasted as good as it sounds.

I must also add that this was before my dad started his Johor Kaki blog, so he can be forgiven for such mis-judged food choice. Anyways, for sure today’s Anchor Bar Buffalo wings will be much better than that!

Buffalo_Wings_Anchor_Bar_New_York

Our order arrived in a large platter, piled high with wings, a side of celery sticks and 2 containers of bleu cheese dipping sauce. Everything looks pretty standard for now. We dived right in for our wings. I reached for Honey Garlic first as this is my all-time favourite flavour.   

Yum.

Buffalo_Wings_Anchor_Bar_New_York

The Honey Garlic sauce is just the right sweetness with a hint of aromatic garlic. The chicken has a slightly crunchy skin, and is juicy inside. Just what I was hoping for. Dipped it into the bleu cheese sauce for an added creaminess and funky cheese taste.

The original recipe calls for deep fried wings, doused with a buttery vinegary hot sauce. Our order of Mild wings was just that. It was more vinegary than hot, but it’s not bad. I still prefer Honey Garlic though…

Pro Tip: If you really want to know which is THE BEST Buffalo Wings in Buffalo, I’ll tell you it’s at Elmo’s. They grill their wings instead of deep fry them. It may not be THE ORIGINAL, but it’s THE BEST. 

And, that’s what’s more important, right?

(Johor Kaki note to Anita: Next time write a guest post on Elmo's, ok?)

About Me



Hi Foodies of the Internet! 

Welcome to Anita's Spicy Column, a personal spice diary where I document my experiments with spice blends, share my experiences of cooking and baking with spice, and tell stories of my spicy life! I am a social scientist by profession, and assistant professor based in Toronto, Canada. 

Date: 6 Sep 2018



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