In Buffalo, we know where to get a great order of wings. If you’re going for the classics, head to Anchor Bar, Duff's or Gabriel’s Gate. Looking for fun flavors? Bar Bill, Elmo’s and Dalmatia Hotel have your back. Add your own favorites to the list – I have a new one.
I had not heard of Wingnutz as a place to get jumbo wings until recently. My first taste blew me away. My friends even asked me not to write about them to keep it a secret, but that wouldn’t be fair would it? The people deserve to know.
Inside the Knights of Columbus in Kenmore, Wingnutz is a small restaurant with round tables and paper towel rolls for centerpieces. The menu only has three items – wings, beef on weck and fries. But when you do them right like at Wingnutz, three is all you need.
When owners Ed and Alicia Wrazen were in search of the best wing in Buffalo, they identified three common problems they were determined to solve: size, sauce coverage and crunch. They've succeeded.
The jumbo wings are juicy and tender with a delicious crispy crunch on the outside. The cost $12 for 10 wings, $21 for 20 wings and $48 for 50 wings. These are plump, jumbo wings, so they’re much larger than you’re used to.
Each wing is generously slathered with sticky sauce packed with so much flavor, you almost don’t need blue cheese. The sauce varieties include specialty sauces ($1 upcharge) like honey garlic, Wingnutz mild (sweet with just a tiny little kick), Wingnutz medium (a sweet beginning with a building heat) and the Wingnutz hot (which gives you that nice tingle on your tongue but doesn’t take away from the flavor).
Plain and standard mild, medium, hot, Cajun and barbecue are available as well. The barbecue is my favorite, and stays crispy even when cold hours later. The key is letting the wings rest after they come out of the fryer, allowing the grease to drip off and then submerging the wings in sauce.
The Wingnutz blue cheese is special, too, with a tangy flavor from added white wine and extra blue cheese chunks.
Old-fashioned tavern-style roast beef was perfectly cooked and warmed in their signature gravy. The beef is served on either a salty caraway weck roll or a plain roll. A large roast beef sandwich is $9, a sandwich and fries is $12. Can't decide? The half-and-half ($10.50) is a small roast beef sandwich with five wings. Sinking your teeth into tender roast beef soaking in that salty gravy hits the spot.
Be sure to order fries with homemade gravy, or as they like to call it, a hug for your fries. The gravy is delicious – it's thick, creamy and full of flavor with a nice salty kick.
When my friends told me they have found the best wings and Buffalo, I was skeptical. I thought I had tried them all. But one visit to Wingnutz made me a believer.
Knights of Columbus, 1530 Kenmore Ave. (990-5438)
Hours: noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.