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  • 1 month later...

Hey everyone!

 

Been a little while since my last update...would anyone be hungry for some chicken wings?

 

Every Labor Day weekend for the past 14 years, Buffalo has hosted it's annual Buffalo Wing Festival and every year, we have always been out of town (usually to a theme park) and missed it.

 

This year, I said that we really need to try to get there so we decided to not do the theme park, but go to Buffalo for Wingfest instead before heading South for a week-long vacation to Myrtle Beach.

 

While not quite as awesome as I was hoping for, they did offer a ton of different varieties of wings. I think that the biggest disappointment were the local wing places that I had always heard about, but never tried. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt at first because they were the first wings that we tried. I was cautious because I thought that maybe all of the wings would be greasy, flavor-less, soggy or too dried out - like these were. That was not the case though as we had several from other vendors that I considered to be excellent!

 

It is a bit pricey (but what food festival isn't?) as each wing sample is one ticket and each ticket costs one dollar. But I got paid $12 for 12 tickets...good enough for a dozen which I knew would be more than enough to fill me up. Michael also got a dozen so we could taste test more wings.

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We got to Buffalo a little early and had some time to kill after our Buffalo River/Silo City boat & walking tour (which was awesome by the way - highly recommended if you are visiting downtown Buffalo) so we decided to stop at 716 for a new brew they have on tap.

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It's called 'One Buffalo' and it is made by my local brewery Southern Tier. While it looks very light in color, it tastes like a full bodied beer with a very subtle hop flavor. I think that the Pegula family (that own the Bills and Sabres) may have had something to do with the making of this beer. I guess it has been a huge hit at the Bills games this year!

 

Myself? I prefer their IPA, 2XIPA, UnEarthly IPA and Gemini...but that's because I love me some really hoppy beer!

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Next up was Resurgence IPA which is another locally owned and operated brewery. This one had some interesting hop notes, but was not what I would consider one of the better IPA's that I have tasted. Maybe because I am spoiled by Southern Tier's IPA's?

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Here is there draft menu...lots of good stuff on here as well some not so good stuff (Coors Lite, Bud Light)!

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Now that we were well hydrated, it was time to head to Coca Cola field - home of the Bisons...and also the 2015 Buffalo Wing Fest!

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Not as crowded as I was thinking that it would be considering it was a Saturday evening and the weather was gorgeous.

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First up was the locally owned La Nova wings. I had heard lots of good things about their wings, but these were nothing special. The BBQ on the left was good, but a bit bland and the Chili Nacho on the right was just slathered in cheesy nacho goo similar to what you get on nachos at the fair.

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Michael opted for the peanut butter and jelly (on left) and a medium. He said that they were okay.

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Pic of the La Nova tent. I would probably try their barbeque again fresh from their store...perhaps the ones that we had just sat around too long or something.

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Next up were the Bocce Club wings. I had heard good things about this place, but was also a bit disappointed in the offerings.

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Top wing was Cajun and the bottom one was BBQ. Both horribly over-cooked and dry.

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Next stop was Legend Larry's from Shebougun, WI.

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Michael got the Thai Chili (he's holding) and the Spicy Bacon. I got the Ole Mole (my top wing) and the Spicy Bacon. While I couldn't really taste a lot of bacon, these were pretty good! The Mole one's were quite spicy and Michael really liked the Thai Chile wing!

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Next up was RuChDa from Georgia. Not sure what the name meant, but Spicy Chocolate wings? Count me in!

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I got one Spicy Chocolate and one Honey Curry. The chocolate was chocolate-ey but I didn't taste much spice - certainly unique though! The Honey Curry did not taste like curry at all...I think that they accidentally forgot to add it!

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On the big screen you could watch the pizza, beef on weck and wing eating contest. After watching this guy (and many others) stuffing their face to the verge of puking it all up, I decided that it wasn't in my best interest to watch this if I wanted to continue eating wings.

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Duffs is another local institution and in my opinion makes some of the best wings in Buffalo. Michael tried one of there Carmel Crunch wings and liked it. I snuck in a bite and thought it was good too!

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Here is the Duff's tent. I was going to try the Death wings but was a bit concerned about eating the extremely hot wings with a 12 hour drive to Myrtle Beach the following day. I probably made the right choice! ;-)

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Next was Boneheads from Warwick, RI.

 

These guys win the award for most original sauces...and all of the ones that I tried were really good. We are going to look this place up the next time we are in Rhode Island!

 

Boneheads also had the longest line of all of the restaurants represented. Was it the crazy wing flavors or the excessive cleavage on the serving ladies...or both? lol

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I opted for The Jack (top) which was a described as a Whiskey Bourbon BBQ. The bottom wing was called Wrong Side Of The Road and was a Honey Sriracha...both were excellent!

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Michael stepped way outside of the box and got the Creamsicle Sunset. I tried a bite and it was amazingly good!

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I went back and got the Down On The Farm which was a Buffalo Ranch...also very good!

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Lastly was a tent called Booty's from Surprise, AZ.

 

The top wing was Sonoran Heat which was like a regular hot wing with perhaps some extra chili powder. The bottom wing was called Et Tu Brute, which translates into "And You, Brutus?" which were supposedly the last words uttered by Julius Caesar before being executed. Not sure how this ties into wings, but this was the best wing that I had at Wingfest! The sauce was creamy - almost like an alfredo with seasoned bread crumbs and shredded cheese. Wonderful - very original and off the wall crafty, which is totally what I wanted to experience at Wingfest!

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Here is their sign...I wished that I would have had a couple more tickets so I could have tried their other flavors, but I was too full and empty handed. When I get back to Arizona, I may have to add this place to the itinerary.

 

I would be curious to know if any fellow TPR peeps have been to any of these out of state restaurants?

 

 

Thanks for reading!

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I've never been much of a fan of chicken wings of any kind. Period.

But this kind of setup could definitely let me try them, since there's so much variety.

 

Great report Phil. Now - go get some more wings!

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^ Chicken wings can be extremely hit or miss, Bill...and it amazes me at how many places don't know how to properly cook them. I recall back in the 80's and 90's when wings really took off, I found that no one could really cook them like they do in Western NY. I have tried wings in the south, mid-west and western US and had some pretty awful ones along the way.

 

Now with the crazy popularity of them, most places across the country are finally figuring out how to properly cook them. What I like are the places like the one's in RI and AZ that look to bring their local flavors into the mix.

 

The thing that sucks the most is that they are so popular now, the price of a dozen wings has sky-rocketed - and most orders are now ten versus the standard dozen. I remember when bars would have 5 to 10 cent wing nights and now you are lucky if you can find them as low as 50 cents per wing!

 

While it's hard to beat the traditional wing of Frank's Red Hot and melted butter over fresh (never frozen) wings, I do like trying the new, more exotic flavors of wings these days.

 

B-Dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings) has some really great flavors and while I usually end up bringing home a couple bottles of their sauces, I have experienced wing quality at several different stores that were both good and really bad (as in under-cooked/slimy because they were cooked still frozen). I usually make it a point to tell them extra crispy on the wings and then usually they aren't too bad.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I apologize if you did a full review before, but what was your general opinion of 716? I have been wanting to get there so bad, even my father got a "sneak preview" while he was working there when it was being built. Was the food worth the price, and is it generally a busy place?

 

Off topic, but fun fact about the 36 foot long projector screen. The bulb for it only lasts a couple of months and they cost on the thousands range to replace. That still astonishes me.

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^That is interesting about the bulbs in the giant TV...I didn't know that!

 

716 in terms of crowds is all dependent on when you go. Try going when there is a Sabres or Bandits game and you probably won't get a table unless you get there around 3-4:00 PM (or make reservations).

 

If it is a weeknight and there isn't anything going on downtown, you can probably walk right in and get a table with no wait. We went twice when there was a three hour wait (Bandits game one time and a concert on a weekend) but the other time was right before noon on a Sunday and the place was dead. The night of Wingfest was busy, but the wait time for a table wasn't long.

 

I have only had the beef on weck there and that was pretty good. I really liked their homemade pickles too, but the chips were "meh". I would like to go back to sample more food, so when I do, I will make sure to post the photos and my reviews on here!

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^Thanks for the info!

 

I was about to go this past Sunday for my birthday with a group of friends, but decided against it due to there being a Sabres preseason game, and nobody had the food there before. I'm definitely looking to give it a shot soon, though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi folks!

 

It's been a while since my last update so here are a couple recent explorations...

 

The first place we visit is Dinosaur BBQ in downtown Buffalo. Some of you from the NY area (especially Syracuse) probably well know about this popular BBQ joint. Although I don't consider myself a BBQ connoisseur by any means, if I had to rank the places that I have visited, I would say that Dinosaur and Famous Dave's are my two favorite chain BBQ joints.

 

Menu

 

 

The 2nd place on our tour is a stop at a place called Melt Bar and Grilled just outside of Cleveland, OH. After visiting CP on Friday night, this made a good stopping point on the 3.5 hour drive back.

 

I believe that this place was on Man Vs. Food where Adam tried to down 'The Melt Challenge' which is one of those insanely amount of food challenges. I think this one featured a grilled cheese with what seemed to be 100 slices of cheese along with fries and slaw.

 

We opted for the 'Chicken and Waffles' (which is exactly what it sounds like) and 'The Dude Abides' (which was the equivalent of a meatball parm sub). As we figured, both sandwiches were way too much to eat in one sitting so half of each one came home with us.

 

I had never had chicken and waffles but now I know why this is becoming more and more popular. While I am not a big fan of just plain waffles and syrup, the chicken definitely adds something here. I threw on a bit more Sriracha to give the sweet flavor a nice kick. The description mentioned Sriracha butter and pepper jack cheese on it, but I think that they both got lost within the other flavors.

 

The Dude Abides tasted just like a meatball parm sub so I wasn't as impressed with that. Good yes, but nothing extraordinary. Speaking of extraordinary, the fries were delicious! Fresh cut with salt and pepper seasoning tossed on them before ending up on your plate.

 

I definitely want to go back here and try some of their other sandwich options soon. The Korean War Pig, Mighty Macaroni & Mushroom Melt all sounded really good!

 

 

Menu

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Dino BBQ is always "Om Nom Nom" inducing!

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I got the 1/2 rib and 1/2 chicken platter with cajun corn/roasted zucchini and BBQ fried rice with fried meats. One thing that I like about this place is their side dishes are almost as good as the BBQ'ed meats!

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Michael got the ribs and brisket with the same BBQ fried rice and the cucumber & sumpin' salad. Glad I didn't order this as I am not a big fan of the "sumpin'" which turned out to be raw tomatoes (yuk).

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As most BBQ places, they have three or four bottles of sauce that you can use as dip.

 

I really liked the Wango Tango Habanero.

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Next stop - Melt!

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The decor was interesting with a lot of Cleveland-related historical stuff. They even had an old Euclid Beach sign!

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It's hard to see, but I liked that their coolers had old school video game looks to them. You can sort of make out the Galaxian one.

 

I wonder if they have to pay Dairy Queen any royalties for having their sign up in their restaurant? Or vice versa? ;-)

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The menu's are printed on old album covers! I got the smooth styling's of Grover Washington Jr!

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Bit of an eye chart, but here is the menu. The link will show you one that is less blurry.

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Here is 'The Dude Abides'. No clue on where they came up with that name.

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And here is the more suitably titled 'Chicken & Waffles. Like how am I going to get my mouth around that???

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Throw on some Sriracha and dig into it with a fork and knife, that's how!!

 

Thanks for reading!

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^ Wow, I feel like anybody got totally gypped on the "chicken and waffle" we got at the PNE

last August. There were a few sauces to add to it, but on the whole, I found mine to be dry

and the chicken itself wasn't very good. Lacking in juiciness, I wouldn't go back to that one.

 

But yours shows there are others in the world....

 

It all, as usual, looks awesome, Phil.

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Here's mine. Not very exciting, huh? :p

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Have to agree with you there, Bill...that does look pretty dry!

 

Although I admitted to Michael that while I liked it, the waffle and the bread was just too much. My preference would have been for them to grill the waffle in butter and then use that for the bun and leave the bread out completely.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Last weekend we were bored so we decided to head up to Buffalo just for something to do. We ended up eating at a restaurant called Bar Bill in a town called East Aurora which is just outside of Buffalo. After reading a Yelp review, it sounded like the place to go for good beer and traditional Buffalo grub...or in simpler terms....WINGS!

 

One item that wasn't proudly displayed on the menu, but was raved about on Yelp were 'The Sicilians' or Parmesan garlic wings. When I saw this, I knew that I had to try them!

 

A word of advice if you visit...make reservations! We got there around 3:00 on a Saturday afternoon and there was an hour long wait at the door. We left and did a bit of Christmas shopping at the retro cool, Vidler's five and dime down the street.

 

Of note, Vidler's is actually in the bidding to win a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl as one of the "shop local" contests being run. From my understanding, Vidler's is down to the final three selections! I really hope that they win as this is one of the coolest stores that I have ever been in - quirky and just plain fun.

 

 

Here is the menu for Bar Bill if you happen to be in the area...just remember that the place is small and very busy!

 

Bar Bill

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Hi, my name is Bar Bill.

 

Nice to meet you Bar Bill, I am curious to try your wings and things.

 

(Photo from Google images)

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One hour for a table so we walked down to the ultra retro and very cool Vidler's 5 and 10.

 

Sure hope they win their Super Bowl commercial bid!!

 

(Photo from Google images)

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Upon our return, we still had to wait close to an hour for a table....this place is very popular!

 

Here you can see that we are seated right next to the kitchen where the wing preps actually take each wing and baste it with sauce versus shaking them all in a bucket. How cool is that?

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And this guy over here? He is carving up fresh roast beef for another Buffalo favorite - Beef On Weck....right at the bar!

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Michael split his order and got the Honey Butter BBQ (left) and the Teriyaki (right).

 

Love their presentation versus just throwing them in a pile.

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And here are 'The Sicilians' which is garlic sauce topped with grated parmesan. OMG...these are awesome! They also make their own bleu cheese, which was outstanding...two thumbs up!

 

Thanks for reading!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I must have to say - I'm sort of a 'breast guy' myself.

More meat. Less bone. Win Win. And you can still

 

hit them with all sorts of sauces etc, BBQ included.

 

It's an awesome update, Phil. Keep going till you drop!

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Took Friday off to do some shopping with a friend so we decided to stop by the U Pick 6 Public House in Erie. Once again, I was not disappointed in the food...this time it was a bacon grape flat-bread with caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, a white sauce base, mozzarella cheese and of course, bacon and grapes.

 

I know it sounds strange, but what a great combination...I could have probably eaten two of these it was so good!

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Mmmmmm....bacon grape!

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  • 3 weeks later...

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