What came first, the chicken or the egg? When it comes to chicken wings, the question is much easier because the answer is always Anchor Bar. No, not this Anchor Bar, this Anchor Bar in Buffalo, which somehow stumbled into one of the greatest culinary inventions of ever. Yet despite being the original, I haven’t met a person in Western New York that actually thinks Anchor Bar has the best wings. That distinction belongs elsewhere, but armed with this knowledge I still knew I had to get to Anchor Bar at least once in my summer of Buffalo and there was no better time than the present.
There was a long line for tables, but we were able to snag a spot at the bar and took a look at the menu. Based on the prices, I could tell this place was capitalizing on being the first. To make life reasonable, the three of us went with a bucket of 50 wings for 40 bucks (don’t be fooled by the prices on their site, as they have increased). We were able to pick two sauces and went with hot and spicy barbecue. The only thing hotter was suicide and this did not seem like a path we wanted to tread.
The wings came out pretty quickly, albeit not in a bucket. This was disappointing, but at least easier to eat (and not as disappointing as the pile of celery in the middle). Neither sauce proved to be very spicy, so I will never know if suicide was the right answer in this situation (you only get one chance for suicide, right?). Nonetheless, the sauces were not as bad as I had believed from my friends. Granted, neither of them were especially good, both being pretty generic. But what else could be expected from the original? They INVENTED generic wing sauce, fergodssake. And at least the wings were pretty meaty and juicy.
Yet, generic may be enough for a one-time visit, but not enough to keep me coming back. I respect Anchor Bar and strongly suggest going there to see how it all started, but I already know I can get better wings elsewhere.