They may be more laborious to tackle down and eat, but wings are my most favorite part of fried chicken (then skin, too, but that's altogether another experience). Aaah, to ditch the fork and knife and grab with your fingers a piece of buffalo wing, glistening in oil and sauce; to struggle with the many bones and their lever-like dexterity. There are boneless counterparts, but I still prefer the original, because I know right after picking and pulling and bending those little fried beauties, a savory reward awaits.
I can eat chicken wings every day, if I can just simply ignore Recommended Dietary Allowance and the calorie intake. It's stuff of comfort food: rich and simple and makes you want to kick back and loosen up a bit. So when I heard about this new Buffalo's Wings N Things opening up shop at the Ortigas Home Depot complex (and just recently, in BF Homes Aguirre Street) I just had to try it and write about it. I just had to.
Their claim of "Voted Best Wings" in Buffalo, New York, of course has truth in it. The story is, one of the owners joined a recipe contest and submitted a recipe for buffalo wings. Lo and behold, it was chosen as the winner, and so fast forward to today, with a little tweaking here and there, the recipe lands in Pasig City straight into the hands of Chef and Wingman, Sonny Ong.
As expected from a comfort food joint serving buffalo wings (and other things!), the two-level restaurant is laid back, casual, with simple interiors and decor. A place I can imagine a big group of frat boys winging it for the night over buckets of beer and greasy, delicious food. Not that I'm a frat boy, but you get my drift. If you trace the history (or legend) of buffalo wings anyway, it goes back to some bar in Buffalo, New York, created by the owners wanting to serve patrons some food late at night.
Chips N Salsa
Before I got down to business with their army of wings, we first whetted our appetite with Chips N Salsa (P75), a basket of freshly fried, warm and crisp nachos served with a tangy and tomatoey salsa. They were addicting, but I had to control myself because I knew my adventure was just beginning.
For newbies or for those who'd like a little of everything, I recommend the Triple Sampler (P365) so you can pick out which flavors or sauces of wings to eat. We got a triple treat of New York's Finest, Honey BBQ, and Garlic Parmesan.
1/2 Pound wings (any signature sauce) cost P125, while a 1 Pound goes for P245.
Now, before trying out their version of the classic style of New York buffalo wings, I've had a couple of places already bookmarked in my mind whenever I get the craving for tangy and spicy wings. Oh, but now Buffalo's Wings N Things' New York's Finest has elevated to the top of the list.
I like my buffalo wing tangy -- really tangy, to the point that its sour flavors make me want to pucker up my lips. I like it spicy too -- just enough to balance the sourness. Let's not forget the generous sauce coating and crunchy skin. So when the basket of wings arrived, it was heaven.
New York's Finest
Wing after wing, its scent was delicious as its taste. My fingertips tinged an angry shade of orange, my lips buzzing with the hot and spicy sauce. Oh, it was such a treat!
Now, for those seeking the chicken wing experience but are iffy to try anything spicy, fret not because Buffalo's Wings N Things has other chicken wing flavors. The Honey BBQ is a classic take of chicken glazed with the more familiar sweet barbecue sauce, while the Garlic Parmesan has crunchy skin coating layered with a good combination of garlic and cheese that you may crave for some spaghetti to go with it.
At this point, Chef Sonny asks me if I can take in the Nuclear flavor of buffalo wings, but I initially chicken out for fear that it might literally set my tongue on fire. With a little more coaxing, I finally said yes, only after I've cooled down my palate a bit.
Chef Sonny also suggested pairing the wings with different dips to give it more kick, so we got ourselves Buffalo Ranch (P35) and Bleu Cheese (P35). The best pair for me was the bleu cheese -- with its little chunks of cheese in it -- and the New York style buffalo wings. The buffalo ranch has a similar taste to the New York wings, so you may want to pair it with a different style of wing, like the tamer garlic parmesan.
Buffalo Ranch and Bleu Cheese dips
The wings have enough flavor as it is (the New York most especially), so you may get these dips to tickle up your tastebuds a notch higher.
Aside from wings, they have 'things,' as their name suggests. These include different kinds of munchies like burgers, nachos, fries and sandwiches. I give their Philly Cheese Steak (P225) a thumbs up for its size and flavor. The bread bun is very soft and warm, and in between the bread is a deliciously messy and rich mix of onions, tender slivers of beef, bell peppers, cheese, and mayonnaise.
Philly Cheese Steak
And as I was just winding down my lunch, Chef Sonny reminds me that I have one piece of Nuclear buffalo wing all for the taking. Oops, I thought I was off the hook. There's no backing out now.
The Nuclear basket arrives on our table, freshly cooked, piping hot, and shining with bright red-orange sauce. I didn't even have to lean low just to get a whiff of its scent: it traveled on its own, right through my nostrils. It was so strong, I could almost taste its flavor. At first (very tiny, and hesitant) bite, I shrug and pass it off as like the New York wing. I was wrong. Several seconds later, the hotness crept up fast all over my mouth and tongue. I want my water now, please!!!
From just one piece, I was able to guzzle two glasses of ice cold water. My lips were red and raw, and it felt like a bee stung on them. Twice. Chef Sonny laughed, saying he too finds the Nuclear too spicy for his own taste. I must warn you, eating several of these may send fireworks straight to your stomachs (and most probably, the toilet too). But for those who dare, or for those who need to find a quick remedy for a clogged nose, by all means, try this spicy treat out.
I ain't a chicken when it comes to spicy buffalo wings, but Nuclear got the best of me. Good thing there are more treats in this resto, and less spicy ones to cater to everyone's taste. If you're ready to get Buffalo'ed, I highly recommend the restaurant. Ditch the utensils and chow down with your fingers, it will be a super comfort food experience!