Archive for the ‘food’ tag
Photo via Buffalo Eats, who eats and shoots for all of us.
A reader (or maybe In Beta listener) wrote me an email recently, asking, as politely as possible for an out-of-the blue request, if the only guy he knew in Buffalo could recommend a few places for wings in a town known for them. This happens when you live here.
Here is what I wrote in response, lightly edited, with links added. I figure this is a good thing to post for posterity, so that I might answer with a simple link in the future.
First of all, you got that right: in Buffalo, they are just “wings.” I was contacted recently by an out-of-town reporter who wanted to reconnect with “chicken wings.” I refrained from mockery, but only just so. Then again, the Buffalo area was her hometown. Perhaps wings are something that drain out of the memory’s arteries after some time.
The TV/Wikipedia/history is that the wing was created at the Anchor Bar, on Main St. in Buffalo. The wings there are … okay. And the origin of the wing there is possibly apocryphal, as wings were very likely eaten by the African-American community here before an Italian-American bar owner claimed them as their own. Go to Anchor Bar for the ambiance and history, or if you’re nearby, but do not seek it out for culinary pursuit.
Here, then, is a list of my favorite wings in my town. I don’t know where you’re going to be in the greater Buffalo region, so I’ll widen out a bit. They are in rough order of preference.
- Grilled BBQ wings at La Nova (Main St., Williamsville, or W. Ferry St., Buffalo): They are a revelation. BBQ isn’t the traditional sauce, but, man, I can put a hurt on a box of these wings. Pizza ain’t bad, either.
- Gabriel’s Gate (Allen St. ["Allentown"], Buffalo): If this is where you happen to be, they are the best wings around. Not a destination spot, but considered by many to be a hidden gem in the art of crispy-skinned wings. They also have their own regionally brewed beer, a brown one. I have a special place in my heart for these wings, because I used to live next door. During the “October Surprise” ice storm, my one section of Allen Street never lost power. I brought my fiancee and a friend there for a dinner of wings, after a long day of hatch-battening, and those wings tasted like victory over nature.
- Bar Bill Tavern, Nine-Eleven Tavern (East Aurora, South Buffalo): The Nine-Eleven Tavern just happens to be at that address; it is not named after a national tragedy, naturally. What’s really interesting is that Nine-Eleven makes its own wing sauce, and it is different from the standard Frank’s Red Hot/butter/spice concoction that has been ably plied everywhere. People have offered the owner lots of money for his recipe, but he has demurred. Bar Bill is another great wing spot, more traditional, and has other good bar foods.
- Suicide Wings at Duff’s (many locations around area): Like any local spot that has “gotten big,” Duff’s garners both a lot of praise and a lot of “eh.” Duff’s in Cheektowaga is where President Obama stopped during a Buffalo visit in 2010. I almost went to that Duff’s for lunch with some friends that day, but we went to a different eatery near the airport to watch Air Force One fly in. Anyways. Some would like them meatier, and some laugh at Duff’s overplayed “Medium is Hot/Hot is Very Hot” warnings/marketing. But Duff’s has good wings, much better than chain restaurants or the Original Home of the Chicken Wing. Duff’s wings are served with buckets for bones, and the shoestring fries are hot and tasty, and there are specials involving pitchers of beer, including their own locally brewed stuff that is quite good. The Sheridan/Millersport location in Amherst also has a somewhat bare-bones/college feel, which can be nostalgic and appealing.
- Smoked wings at Essex Pub: This is a dive bar. The new-ish owner has started offering foods smoked right in the bar’s backyard, and these wings are pretty darned good. Also, really interesting food menu and draft selections.
- Buffalo Brewpub (Main St., Clarence/Williamsville): If you can’t make any of the other spots, the Brewpub has a huge range of beers, its own beers, and makes a very reliable standard of Buffalo-style wings. Also, free peanuts and popcorn.
- Caputi’s Sheridan Pub (Sheridan Drive, Kenmore/Tonawanda): The Grilled Cajun BBQ and regular wings are beloved by those who grew up in this particular part of town. Bonus: you order enough wings, and the cook will sometimes separate them into winglets and drumettes (the two common wing types) in different boxes. This may be closer to Niagara Falls than the other options, if that’s where you’ll likely end up.
I hope that helps. It was kind of cathartic to write.
“What’s your Twitter handle? Are you looking for VC money? On Foursquare? HELLOOOO?!?” (image via Wikimedia Commons).
Over a long weekend in September 2007, and right before I sent an overly earnest pitch letter to the editors at Lifehacker, I created this web site so that I might appear impressive, experienced, and engaged in the wider world of tech.
Once I’d made the jump to being actually engaged as a full-time, at-home, independent editor and freelancer, I made updates to the site so as to appear busy and important. Once I was busy, and at least self-important, I wanted to appear responsive, involved, and all kinds of quirky.
These days, I have no time to appear anything at all. Or appear most anywhere, unless it’s tangentially work-related or deductible from taxes. Free food, sure, but otherwise, no dice. Read the rest of this entry »
A single ShackBurger, crinkle-cut fries, and a glass of their own ale. This was a great moment to have a G1 camera handy.
I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya. Long time, like, since before the national health care debate started. Long time like, I still lived in Rochester. Long time like, everybody still thought the Bills had a great passing game ready to roll out.
So! Here’s the notable stuff. I’ll skip the minutiae of professional/Lifehacker-related material, since I should really be a good “personal brand” and round that stuff up on the professional page.
- I got to eat at Shake Shack. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was part of a very nice two-day jaunt to New York City, wherein I got to work at the Gawker office, see three old friends, and enjoy Manhattan in the not-too-cold-to-walk fall. But I’ve been fiending for this particular combination of meat, sauce, bread, and greenery since I posted about making your own at home. It did not disappoint. Honest food and good ingredients, cooked well and served up straight, and I’m totally in love.
- Among other media appearances, I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, following a very fun interview with Alexandra Levit. This is important mostly because the WSJ is something my parents and relatives can say they’ve actually heard of, so family get-togethers now have one gimme conversation point.
- My wife and I moved back to Buffalo, so now I’ve got new home office digs and an endless tab at Home Depot. I miss many things about Rochester, but overall, it’s been great to get back to the business of shivering, connecting, and eating with the great people here.
- Having settled in a bit, I’ve been writing material for Buffalo Spree (ooh, new web site!), a twice-monthly tip column for ITworld, and the occasional piece somewhere else, like Popular Science.
- I have started watching The Wire, sequentially from the first episode, for the third time. This is notable mainly because it represents an approximate, cumulative total of 150 hours dedicated to the study of this five-season masterpiece, being early into Season 3, and not counting Season 5 episodes I totally watched twice, because I downloaded them early and then pretended I hadn’t when they aired on HBO, which I subscribed to solely for the purpose of getting on-demand Season 5 episodes, and yes I’m aware this is a comically overlong sentence.
Since you asked, yes, I find Season 2 to be vastly underrated, and Season 3 to be very loose and faulty at points, despite having two of the strongest plot arcs (Hamsterdam and Stringer Bell’s quest to “go straight”). I could certainly go on–and I have in the past–but let’s just say that I’m very eager to discuss this with you at any point when we meet. Midway through your surgery? Tie off that morphine drip, fellow watcher, and let’s get down to brass tacks.
Maybe the vegetarian meal on Ajira Airlways is some kind of curry dish? That’d be sweet.
Personal blogging is hard when you’re updating another blog at least five times per day, and often more. As I put it to my editor recently, it feels like my Who Cares Filter is completely closed up by the time I find myself with time to write in this space. I don’t have to write about software, productivity, gadgets, or time management here, of course; it’s just a vague feeling that I’ve linked and updated everything I need to on the net each day.
But! Now it’s way too early on a Sunday, and I’ve got a few things that need sharin’.
- The headline: Yep. Less than six months after moving to Rochester, the wife and I are moving back to our home of more nine years. I defer my feelings on this to an upcoming Roc/Buff open comparison chart I’ll be posting (seriously) later this month.
- Food Week at Lifehacker: That was seriously fun. I earned some experience doing solo video shoots, interviewing Art Rogers of Lento restaurant about slicing and dicing onions and fileting a fish.
What did I learn? Per @jordanconway, I might find a bolt that fits in the tripod mount of my Zi6 and attach it to a lanyard for steadier shots. When shots go wrong (“Macro Mode” my butt), I’ll politely ask my subject to back up and re-explain, and I’ll keep the camera on the subject (food!) more often.
- Rockin’ the G1: Finally joined the realm of folks who can complain about two different kinds of cellular reception. I dig the open nature, the browser is pretty snappy when the bandwidth’s there, and certain apps are total killers (Locale, for one). Many reviewers and iPhone purists have knocked on the hardware, but I see a clear trade-off for the “bulk” and “design choices.” Namely, having 3.2 megapixels in your pocket at all times, to shoot ridiculously clear photos and video:
- Firefox add-ons for journalists: Titled Journalist Picks for now, and it’s a work in progress. Got an extension that would help with research, note-taking, or tracking beat subjects online? Drop them in the comments or hit me up on email.
I was a contributor at Buffalo Buffet, the Western-New-York-centric food blog run by my good friend Andrew Galarneau, from its earliest inception.
Buffalo Buffet, however, is no more. Now the focus is wider, the posts meatier, and the site a bit more agile and active. I’m helping him launch One Big Kitchen, and so far, it’s been a great learning experience, and a good deal of fun.
Right now, I’m managing the “News Bites”–little links and tips, updated nearly-daily, in the left-hand sidebar–and helping out with a lot of the back-end design and WordPress tweaking. In the not-too-distant future, I’m hoping to get some seriously juicy posts up over there, and inviting anyone with similar passions to do the same.
Got a tip, an awesome food link, or an inkling to write your own gastro-post? Email me at kevin [at] onebigkitchen.com.
Photo by surrealist303.
Before heading out on a week’s vacation, I had to point out the awesomeness of “The Munchie Box,” picked up by my friend Andrew at Buffalo Buffet. The “standard” size costs about 5 British pounds, comes in a 10-inch pizza box, and includes doner kebab meat, nan bread, chicken tikka, pakora, onion rings, fries, some kind of slaw-type salad, and two kinds of sauce.
I mean, seriously. We in Buffalo have Jim’s SteakOut, Mighty Taco, and roughly 6,387 bars open until at least 2 a.m. serving beef, wings, and all kinds of so-terrible-it’s-fantastic food–not to mention Nick Tahou’s just a short hop away. But it seems a challenge has been issued, one involving whose populace can find the grease-soaked bottom of the culinary barrel first. Let’s get to work on this when I return, shall we?
One man, alone (actually, accompanied by a patient wife and/or a friend or two) and unarmed (except with a camera, wallet, iPod touch, keys, a water bottle, pre-applied sunscreen and sunglasses) against a horde (nearly 60, actually) of Buffalo’s restaurants, all lined up on one avenue, for two days.
This epic tale can be found over at Buffalo Buffet, where I described my adventures at Taste of Buffalo 2008. The festival is one of many reasons that a city known for its shovel-thumping winters is a secret treasure in the summer.