When in Buffalo….

(ELTW is a finalist in the “Best New Blog” category at the Foodbuzz Food Blogger Awards. Click here to vote for me!)

go for buffalo wings, right???

This was Neil’s mission this particular Saturday night in Buffalo – introduce Mardi to the place where Buffalo wings originated – the Anchor Bar.

According to their website:

On a Friday night in 1964, Dominic Bellissimo was tending bar at the now famous Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, NY. Late that evening, a group of Dominic’s friends arrived at the bar with ravenous appetites. Dominic asked his mother, Teressa, to prepare something for his friends to eat. They looked like chicken wings, a part of the chicken that usually went into the stock pot for soup. Teressa had deep fried the wings and flavored them with a secret sauce. The wings were an instant hit and it didn’t take long for people to flock to the bar to experience this new taste sensation. From that evening on, Buffalo Wings became a regular part of the menu at the Anchor Bar. The phenomenon created in 1964 by Teressa Bellissimo has spread across the globe. Although many have tried to duplicate Buffalo Wings, the closely guarded secret recipe is what makes Frank & Teressa’s the proclaimed “Best Wings in the World.”

And here they are:

Theresa and Frank, of the Anchor Bar.

We took a cab and arrived to this:

On entering the place, it was sheer madness – both in terms of the crowd and the décor:

and of course, the ubiquitous buffalo head:

We saw this:

and were told that it would be a TWO HOUR wait! Since it was 8.45pm at that point, we were a bit upset. But we figured that was probably a bit of an overestimation so we soldiered on and had a couple of these:

Finally (after only an hour and much amusing people watching – we felt very out of place since we seemed to be the only people not wearing baseball caps!!!) we were seated:

and out came the main event:

Ok, I will admit here that I am not much of a wing person but these were phenomenal. Big and juicy and meaty and flavourful, not just wildly hot for the sake of it. LOVED these. Didn’t so much love the coleslaw that we ordered and the fries were just so-so. Still, as it IS a wing place, I guess you can’t expect too much of the other menu items…

Around 11.30 we rolled out of there… Neil clearly had enjoyed his meal:

(errr… this is a statue with some very gross looking fake wings…)

And I noticed that the great JB had graced the place with his presence:

Intrigued, I googled this info and found out that: In April 2003, the Anchor Bar was given the “James Beard Foundation Award.” This is given to restaurants “that have timeless appeal, beloved for quality food that reflect the history and character of the community. It is for an American classic.”

For history and character, I give the Anchor Bar an A+. It most certainly is an American classic. The next wings I eat will have a lot to live up to!!

Anchor Bar on Urbanspoon

19 Responses to When in Buffalo….

  1. Martha October 12, 2009 at 13:54 #

    Looks like a place Wayne and UD should visit!

  2. Divina Pe October 12, 2009 at 13:57 #

    I guess waiting for 1 hour is worth the wait. The place and the chicken wings look fabulous.

  3. Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 12, 2009 at 15:17 #

    OK, well I'm not a wing person either but maybe you've convinced me they are worth a try. Next time I'm in Buffalo. If ever I find myself in Buffalo. Why would I go to Buffalo? Well, for the wings, I guess!

  4. Yvonne October 12, 2009 at 16:00 #

    Looks really yummy!!! I'll definitely try it next time I'm there…btw, I hope that Neil didn't get Herpes from kissing that "thing" – actually I wouldn't worry because alcohol kills all germs 🙂

  5. Fresh Local and Best October 12, 2009 at 18:58 #

    What an interesting place! I imagine tons of people knocking into each other because they're observing all those memorabilias hanging from the ceiling!

  6. The Duo Dishes October 12, 2009 at 19:20 #

    Sending our thanks to the creators of the buffalo wing!

  7. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 12, 2009 at 20:51 #

    Martha – absolutely!

    Divina – one hour wait – definitely worth it. If it had been two hours, we might have passed out from hunger!

    Conor – well there's the Albright Knox gallery too…

    Yvonne – LOL!

    Fresh Local – it was totally like that!!

    Duo – Amen to that!

  8. 5 Star Foodie October 12, 2009 at 20:54 #

    Haven't been to Buffalo yet but when I do, I'll definitely have some of those fabulous wings, yum!

  9. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 12, 2009 at 21:02 #

    5 Star – you should totally go there!

  10. penny aka jeroxie October 12, 2009 at 22:39 #

    What an interesting place! Looks fun but I do have a thing about queueing though.

  11. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 13, 2009 at 00:44 #

    Penny – it was more like hanging out having a few beers actually, rather than queuing so it was bearable…

  12. The Best Family October 13, 2009 at 03:16 #

    love the story behind the wings! and i didn't know there was a james beard prize for a restaurant like this – i tend to think of those as being more high end. glad it was fun!

  13. Carolyn Jung October 13, 2009 at 05:51 #

    You are good. If I was told it was a two-hour wait, I would have just about keeled over from starvation. The wings to look like they were worth the wait, though.

  14. k a b l o o e y October 13, 2009 at 15:44 #

    Mardi: This was such a great post. You really seemed to capture the place. (Having never been, if it actually looks like The Taj Mahal, I wouldn't know.) The pictures were of well-chosen details (I want that red bike), and just when you think you have the place mentally sorted out, you hit us with James Beard info. Really nice job, and love the shot of Neil kissing that broad. She seemed like a stiff, though.

  15. Neil C. Phillips October 13, 2009 at 17:53 #

    In my defence (again – seems to be a theme), I did it for the blog.

    AND, I must quickly add a clarification, as Mardi may have inadvertently led people astray. We did NOT have Genessee Cream Ale (yuck)! No, we were enjoying McSorley's IPA.

    She also did not mention the wonderful Cuban band playing, which added to the general sense of mayhem. (In the back room – meanwhile college football playing on screens above the bar.)

    To be honest, even more chaotic than these few pics can show.

  16. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 13, 2009 at 18:09 #

    Best family – thanks

    Carolyn – well at least it wasn't two hours!!

    Neil – well I had at least ONE Cream Ale – didn't much like the IPA.

    Kablooey – isn't he great the way he does things for the blog? Thanks for the compliment.

  17. ericriveracooks October 14, 2009 at 20:03 #

    Perfect timing! 🙂

  18. Jeremy Horwitz October 15, 2009 at 05:16 #

    Mardi, next time you visit Buffalo, let us know. There are better wings (and much more) in Western New York. 🙂


  19. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 15, 2009 at 12:09 #

    Jeremy – thanks for stopping by my blog! I wish I would have known about your site before I went to Buffalo but didn't really have much time to research stuff. Next time….

    How did you find my site, by the way?

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