C’mon now, you know buffaloes don’t fly. Buffalo wings, however, soar. Some 1.45 billion of these messy, comfort food staples were said to have been gnawed on during the latest Super Bowl game alone. It’s generally agreed they first took flight in the 1960s at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.
Either co-owner Teressa Bellissimo improvised when wings got delivered instead of her regular chicken order or her son asked her to whip something up special for the barflies, so she paired the deep-fried, hot sauce-slathered snacks with celery and blue cheese from the salad bar. Whatever, today there are wing throwdowns and wing festivals, and there was even an Anchor Bar franchise in Las Vegas for a while.
No time for a pilgrimage to the original Anchor Bar while in Buffalo? There’s a franchise in Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) but, perhaps better still, a short shuttle ride to this hotel and its Sports 365 Bar & Grill rewards with wings in a choice of six sauces and three heat levels plus a Buffalo Wing Soup and a Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip.
Wings are Seoul food, too. Buffalo-style wings can be had throughout Sin City, yet the tastiest Asian-style take may be found at Best Friend, chef Roy Choi’s mashup of bodega, bar and restaurant that dishes his famed L.A. Koreatown food truck barbecue. The sesame-seed dusted wings have a chili and citrus vibe that pairs seamlessly with the DJ-spun soundtrack.
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At Glenn’s Kitchen in this downtown boutique property, a 1920s landmark, American favs with a Southern accent includes wings with a bourbon-kissed hot sauce paired with buttermilk herb dressing. Like a side of cheddar grits with that? The hotel’s 2,250 sq. ft. of meeting space boasts an events floor divided into rooms named for Southern literary lions.
You might expect a Southwestern slant to the alitas de pollo (wings, amigos) at Legends Bar & Grill in this newly renovated golf resort, and you won’t be disappointed. Those options include smoked jalapeno and lime, hot tomatillo, and a Cholula-based sauce. But also check out other unconventional choices: salt and vinegar, butter and garlic, and dry rub ranch or blue cheese.