Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY: Home of the Buffalo Wing

Not too long ago, on a road-trip across the country, I visited Anchor Bar in Buffalo NY, famous for its claim to have been the birthplace of the buffalo wing. Established back in 1964 by a woman Dominic Bellissimo and his mother Teressa, Anchor Bar’s buff wings are based on a secret sauce (the “Frank and Teressa’s Original Sauce) that has remained in the family since. It is precisely this sauce which makes these wings, according to some, “The Best Wings in the World.”

While the wings may have been invented here, they sure did leave a lot to be desired. I’ve definitely had better ones in many other places around the world, and Anchor Bar really didn’t live up to my through-the-roof expectations. The place itself was a bit too cool, over-advertising itself as the birthplace of the wings with license plates crowding the walls and neon red lighting casting an uncomfortably spooky glow over the food at 1 in the afternoon. The story of how the sauce was apparently invented here was plastered all over everything – menus, walls, bathroom stalls – it got kind of old. The music was too loud, the service a bit sloppy and not as friendly as I had expected. And the food was okay, but just okay.

The wings were crispy, didn’t have too much fatty skin and were coated with a thin layer of sauce, instead of being slathered in it. This was nice. The texture of the wings was great, although there wasn’t a particularly impressive amount of flesh on the bone, and from THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE BUFF WING I expected plumper, juicier, better quality poultry. Choosing from the 5 different levels of seasoning (mild, medium, hot, suicidal and spicy BBQ), we got half suicidal and half spicy BBQ but, really, none of them were quite spicy enough for my taste. They were just kind of bland with a numb sweetness. The blue cheese and ranch dips were, I think, actually salad dressings. The consistency of both was way too watery and they did not stick to the wings well enough when dipped. Again, not terrible, but far less than I was expecting. Maybe I just went on a bad day…

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