Monday, February 12, 2007

Buffaloes Have Wings?

I'm getting pretty well-versed in the language of chicken-wing lingo. And I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I can throw around ordering terms like "wet" and "sloppy" almost like a pro; you can put the hottest flavors of sauces in front of me and I won't flinch or request an emergency beverage; and I've just recently done the research to discover what the mysterious third "W" stands for in the nickname "BW3" when referring to the popular national chain, "Buffalo Wild Wings."

This is a bit too much time spent on the subject of chicken wings, I fear. But yet...they're ohh, so gooood.

I first got the taste for chicken wings maybe a few years ago, but it wasn't until the last year or so that I think I've become addicted. If there's a place with wings within a few miles, I say let's go!

BW3's is gaining greater popularity, and is a cool place to go and hang for a sporting event, with their big-screen TVs and 23-oz. beers. And the cute waitresses aren't exactly a deterrent, either.

The hottest flavor at BW3's is called Blazin'. And they used to have a Blazin' Challenge, where if you could eat a dozen of those wings in six minutes or less, you'd get, like, a t-shirt. Alas, that challenge is no longer available at most locations. So I'm unfortunately sans free bright orange t-shirt.

A buddy and I were at the B-Dub's in Green Bay last fall, and I told him I thought I'd order a few Blazin' wings just for fun. And his response was, "You're not gonna eat thooose." Which, of course, made me more determined to order them. Our waitress, who was clearly being extra flirty to secure a bigger-than-20-percent tip at the end of our stay (which she got...I'm not saying, I'm just saying), saw that I was handling the Blazin's quite well, and told me about their "Atomic" wings, which weren't on the menu, but were even hotter than the Blazin'. I told her I'd keep those in mind for next time.

Next time came, and while the lovely Elizabeth (yes, I remember her name) wasn't working that night, I asked our waitress if they still had Atomic wings. And she told me they stopped serving those because of the lawsuits that had been threatened. Don't know if I believe that or not, but who am I to argue, right? I asked her, "If I promise not to sue, can I get some Atomic wings?" She, of course, said no. But she said she could serve me some "sloppy" Blazin's, which is just wing-speak for slathered around in the sauce a little bit more than normal.

Speaking of cute waitresses (scroll back's up there somewhere), I haven't been to Hooter's since I've been on my wing kick, and I think I've only had one or two of their 911s in my life, many many years someday I'll have to stop in there and compare Blazin's to 911s. Yeah, that's why I'll go in there. For, umm...research.

Down here near the end of this post, though, I'll share a little secret with you all. If it's the best wings you're after...not big-screen TVs, not a distracting waitstaff, but just plain ol' great wings...then Legend Larry's is the place to go. With locations in Manitowoc and Sheboygan, their wings are almost twice the size of BW3's. They don't have as many different flavors as B-Dub's, but if you want hot hot hot sauce, order the D.O.A.s, and get 'em "wet." And have a beverage handy. Or a sno-cone. Or a piece of dry ice.

If you value your lips and your tongue and would like to keep them a while longer, try their medium or hot flavors, and you'll be hooked.

It's kind of a sad commentary that I can write this much about...chicken wings...isn't it?

"Living at risk is
jumping off the cliff
and building your wings
on the way down."
—Ray Bradbury


  1. I love wings. I love hot, spicy wings! Although I don't eat them very often.

    I've been to Hooter's just once in my life. And it was only a brief stop for a soda. I'm dying to try their wings. And the view makes it even better.

    Come down to Milwaukee, it's a date for wings, boobs, and tight shorts. What more can you ask?

    By the way, 7 UP GOLD was sold in 1988 in selected markets. Two Rivers was one of those lucky markets. I guess we didn't drink enough of it. It's gone now.

  2. Good BLOG,... Good BLOG!!!

    Joel and I used to be huge fans of Hooters and would go often during my summer in Fitchburg. We'd go for a platter of the Three Mile Island's with a side of 911 sauce for dipping.

    Best Hooter's story. Joel and I on spring break in Myrtle Beach. Nice (read smokin' hot) waitress of course adheres to the practice and sits down with us to chat and fill up our beers. Where ya'll from? We tell her and Joel says bet you can't name two states that border WI? Her first guess (and it was a guess) was MI. OK, you're hot, the UP actually touches WI, so judges say good. Next guess...Oregon....did I mention how hot she was?

    Then we discovered BW's and that was it. Better for sports, 23 oz beers, NICE servers and in my humble opinion, better wings. BW's are not nearly as breaded as Hooters.

    Having successfully completed two Blazin' Challenges, you didn't miss much. Hard to even enjoy them as you're belting them down to beat the clock. And our second time around, they were out of t-shirts...

    I'll say this, now that i've had an opportunity to see your hot wing eating prowess, you'd have given Champ & The Wolfe a run for their money.

  3. I'm going to run the risk of coming off very boorish or just an uncool fop but...

    ...I don't understand the whole buffalo/chicken wing thingy.

    If I'm in the mood for trashy chicken, I have no problem toolin' on down to the Colonel's for a bucket of extra-crispy death.

    But wings? There's, like, no meat on the damn things. And then to extract the .0022 ounces of actual meat takes an enormous amount of oral dexterity that I'd rather, quite frankly, excercise on a Hooter's waitress than on a cluster of deep fried...bones.

    Again, perhaps the sport of fighting for your dinner is part of the thrill of wings, I dunno'. But I'm an intrisically lazy person and I like to be off the clock at dinner time, not workin' for my chow.

    Maybe I'll be convinced one day. Your post was certainly a step in the right direction, you make them SOUND terrific.

  4. Meff...I agree with your assessment. Even after all the nice things I said about chicken wings, I still know where you're coming from.

    I'm not a fan of high-maintenance foods myself. Except...there's just something special about wings, I guess.

    You can get boneless "wings" at B-Dub's and chicken tendery thingers at Larry's, but they're just not the same. And I don't know why.

    Like Mike Golic says on his ad on ESPN Radio: "No matter how many wings you eat, they're still an appetizer!" How true.

    Can't help myself...I still love 'em.

  5. I like wings to but not that much. I like mostly the sauce so I can handle either the boneless or regular wings, its the sauce that I like.

    I have not been to a BW3 yet, not one in my area but we do have wing stop and they are very good wings. I am intrigued by BW3's blazin sauce because wing stop's atomic sauce it's way up there in hotter than hell but tasty sauce. I think it has habaneros and the sauce itself is not all liquid but rather a thick chunky sauce that really sticks to the wings.

    If you guys have a chance try their atomic wings and be the judge as to which is hotter and tastier. I've never had hotter wings than their atomic ones.

    I'll be in Southern california this summer so I will try and visit BW3 and try their blazin sauce.

    Good eating.

  6. Thanks for the comment, Gil...and the recommendation for a new wing place. After doing a little research, I found that we only have two Wing Stops in Wisconsin, and they're in a part of the state that I rarely get to. (although I was just there a few weeks ago for a concert, ironically enough.)

    Someday I'll make a special trip down just to try the Atomic wings, because their website says they've won awards and I'm intrigued.

    The Legend Larry's that I mention in the blog post has also won national acclaim for a couple of their sauces. And their D.O.A. wings are the hottest things I've ever ever ever eaten. But they've only got two locations, and they're both in Wisconsin.

    I'm eager to give Wing Stop's Atomics a try.