Buffalo Wing Fest Review

Taco WIngs!

Yesterday, Andy and I decided to hit up the Buffalo Wing Festival, since neither of us had been there before and we figured it might be a good time. Prior to this, I had never been there, so it seemed like something I had to do.  I’m pretty sure Andy had been at least once, but the call of the Buffalo Wing can be ignored by no man.  When we arrived, we ran into my friend Matt Reilly, who I hadn’t seen in years, so we decided to hang out and rate our wing experience as we went.

Parking: We ended up parking about a block from Coca Cola Park, which cost us $5. This wasn’t too bad, but it does contribute to the overall cost of the event so I decided to list it here.

Admission: Another $5 just to walk in the door. This wasn’t too bad either, since they have to pay for all the park support staff, EMTs, security, etc. I felt it was reasonable considering I never saw a garbage can filled to the point it was overflowing. The staff was very good about keeping things neat.

Crowd: We arrived around 6pm, and the crowds were reasonable considering it was around dinner time. We never waited more than maybe 5 minutes at any stand we were at throughout the evening, and we were there about 2 hours.

Beverages: This was something I was disappointed in. The beer tents were way overpriced – $5.25 for a can of beer, $3.25 for a bottle of soda, and $3.00 for a bottle of water.

Taco WIngs!

Taco WIngs!

The first place we tried was Swings from Buffalo, NY. I wanted to try their lemon pepper wings, but they were out. Apparently the people frying the wings for the entire event couldn’t keep up with the demand, which was rather aggrivating. They know what they were getting in to – expect to be able to cook enough wings! At any rate, they had a “taco” flavored wing. It was a very average wing. In all actuality, it tasted like a typical Buffalo wing sauce with a packet of McCormick Taco Seasoning dumped in it. I rated it a 3.5, Andy and Matt both rated it a 3.0. We all determined that it was a very average wing.

After Swings, we wandered over to The Wing Coup out of Salt Lake City, Utah. They had a Loco Lime flavored wing that smelled really good from a distance. Unfortunately, when we arrived they too were out of wings. Come on! We decided to swing back through after trying another place.

From The Wing Coup, we moved to Pesci’s Pizza out of Clarence, NY. We were all pretty pleased with these wings. They were very rib-like. Ultra tender, and fell right off the bone. Matt had the Cajun Bourbon wings, and described them as very smoky, more smoky than spicy. He rated them a 3.33333- you get the idea. Andy tried the Wild Turkey Bour-B-Q. When asked to describe them, all he could come up with was “Ribs.” I guess that gets the point across. He rated them a 4.2! I tried the Maple-Cini wings. They were pretty good. The best way to describe them was as a “dessert wing”. The sauce was super sticky, and it took a couple before I really started to enjoy them. I have them a 3.25, since they were good, but not something I would want a lot of.

Nasty Lime Wing

Nasty Lime Wing

After Pesci’s, we headed back over to The Wing Coup. In retrospect, this was the worst decision of the night thus far. We all tried the Loco Lime wings, which was regrettable in so many ways. They smelled very strong of lime. Too strong in fact. But that was really just foreshadowing. These wings looked as though someone had dropped them into a soiled diaper and used that as the sauce. Not pleasant. As we tried these wings, we all cringed. Eating these wings felt like punishment.  Basically, squeeze an entire lime into your mouth. Then dribble some chicken grease on top. Then swallow. Just plain gross. Please stay in Salt Lake City. Andy rated them a 0.7. Matt rated them a 0.05. I gave them a 1.2, which in hindsight was probably too kind.

After grabbing some $3 bottles of water to cleanse our palates from the garbage we had consumed, we moved on to Alliger’s House Of Wings, from Sayre, PA. I tried the honey mustard wings, which were very tasty. You could taste the separate honey and mustard components, and it aws enjoyable. I rated them a 3.75. Matt tired the Honey BBQ, which he said was a very solid 4.0. Very sweet, very tasty. Andy tried the Sicilian (Hot Traditional) wings. He gave them a 2.8, and said that they were just plain garbage. Not what a “traditional” Buffalo wing should be at all.

Our final stop of the night was Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar. The waitresses were stunningly hot. Sadly, this was the only worthwhile thing they had going for them. We each ordered a separate type of wing and passed them around. We tried the Tiger style first. Basically, these were onion powder, clove, and garlic flavored. They were so overpowering that none of us could stand them. I gave them a 1.2, Andy gave them a 0.2, and Matt refused to score them. They were that bad. After that we tried the Kangarooga flavored. I gave them a 0.37. Matt gave them a flat 1. Andy gave them a -5.0. These were just awful. Matt’s comment: “Is that carrot I taste?” They were that bad. The last wing of the night was the Mango Habanero. We all gave these wings a 0.0. They were hard, the sauce was thick and gooey, and really, they tasted more like fish than chicken. Arooga’s could do well by staying away from the Buffalo wing altogether.

Overall the experience was good.  The crowds were not too bad, the prices were reasonable (considering it was a festival), and I had a good time catching up with Matt, and hanging out with Andy.  Would I go again?  Maybe in a couple years, but I don’t know if this is an event I need to hit up every summer.

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3 comments to Buffalo Wing Fest Review

  • chip  says:

    your nuts….

    the loco lime where incredible, well balanced, spicy sweet and acidic. Maybe you guys got the bottom of the barrel or something.

  • Drew  says:

    It’s certainly possible. If they are there again next year, I’ll give them a shot.

  • Randy  says:

    Saturday 6pm:
    Parking $8-$10 Ouch!
    ticket $5 for the donation
    $1 per ticket -2 tickets for 3 wing samples
    66 cents per wing

    Most of the wings my wife and I ate were
    OLD, hard, dried out and cold.
    I’m sure the vendors tried to make sure there was plenty of wings
    ready for all in line (but they were having a hard time
    keeping them warm because of the cool and windy conditions today
    _at least it wasn’t raing- hoo-ray!!
    Too much time and cash to lay out
    for lousy food and ho-hum entertainment
    -So this is not what I would call one of the areas
    notable events-

    Best sauces we had were:
    Pecsi’s: Chipotle BBQ
    Hurricaine wings: Jamaican and Thai ginger
    Dorians (The best vender there): Christmas Island sauce

    Fallettas Chicken wing rice balls were a delicious novelty
    and the high point of out experience -$4 and worth it!!

    We watched a wing eating contest for 2 minutes and saw
    one person puking on the Jumbotron,
    (glad we had played out most of our wing tickets already.)

    We won’t be back in this lifetime……..

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