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Are Buff's Pub wings really all that ?

  • Sasso Jun 15, 2010 08:56 AM
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Everyone seems to think Buffs Pub in Newton has the best wings in Boston ... Is it really worth the pilgrimage out there? Anyone know a restaurant in Boston with comparable wings?

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Buff's Pub
317 Washington St, Newtonville, MA 02458

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  1. I like Buffs. While I have had better, they are the best in the immediate Boston area. And pilgrimage? Not sure where you are located but Buffs is no more than 3-4 miles from the Boston city limits.

    1. Go! They're great. If you're on the South Shore, you only need to go as far as the Fat Cat in Quincy center. They're also great.
      Enjoy,
      CocoDan

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      Fat Cat
      24 Chestnut St, Quincy, MA 02169

      1 Reply
      1. re: CocoDan

        Tried Fat Cat for the 1st time this evening. Got the medium buffalo for take out. Decent but not impressed. My favorites are Whiskey's on Boylston and then Uno's. I have yet to try Buff's or real wings from Buffalo, NY.

      2. Buffalo wings as they're done in Buffalo, NY are pretty simple: deep-fried wings (no batter), sauced with butter and Frank's hot sauce, served with crudites and blue-cheese dressing on the side. Buff's does a very good version of this canonical style. I know people who prefer the wings at other places, but Buff's are my favorite. It doesn't hurt that they're served in the sort of casual, neighborhood tavern that wouldn't be out of place in Buffalo, either.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        1. Buff's is worth it IMO, in addition to the Buffalo wings I find the honey hots to be mildly addicting.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rr2035

            I actually like the honey hots better. They are quite addictive!

            1. re: Gabatta

              I prefer the classic Buffalo style, but the honey hots are tasty, and might be their best seller.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          2. They're good, but not great. If only they could figure out how to make a really crispy wing without turning the meat dry and hard.

            12 Replies
            1. re: LStaff

              Any thoughts on other worthy wing venues? I'm as likely to get them someplace that's merely convenient to me and has the game on (my neighborhood pub, for instance) as make the pilgrimage to a Buff's, but it's always nice to hear about people's favorites.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                i've had buff's wings dozens of times over the last 15 years, and the consistency has been phenomenal! i prefer the honey hot, but the regular have just enough heat to make you sweat but not enough to kill your palette. they also travel very well. i can't think of anyone in boston who blows them away. also - bartenders and servers are usually on top of their game at buffs. i'll give a shout out to quickies in springfield though, where i had my very first buffalo wing.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  FAT CAT in Quincy.

                  I used to like the wings at Orchard Park Grill in Watertown, but then we were always drinking a lot of beer at the time.

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                  Orchard Park Grill
                  208 Waverley Ave, Watertown, MA 02472

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    I was a fan of The Chicken bone - until my last visit. Really flabby wings - might as well have been steamed - and when I complained the bartender told me that's how they always make them - and if I wanted crispy, I had to ask for it. Then they refried the wings they served me and returned them overcooked with no sauce. Funny how I never asked for them to be crispy in the past, they always just came that way. If you are purposely serving flabby wings, you fail to understand what makes a good chicken wing. But it could have just been the kitchen staff that day that was more interested in quickly putting food out than putting quality food out - even though it wasn't all that busy. Either way, unnacceptable.

                    I have no favorite buffalo style wing in the area, but would agree that Buffs is one of the better places around. But I love the Spicy Carolina wings at Bison County in Waltham. Slightly smoked, then (slighlty) charred on the grill with a fruity habenero mustard sauce added and more on the side for sipping....er, I mean dipping.

                    1. re: LStaff

                      Flabby wings are gross, IMO. WINGS-MUST-BE-CRISPY

                    2. re: MC Slim JB

                      I am a frequent proponent of the wings at Wendell's in Norton. I actually prefer them to the ones at Buff's and have even driven down from Boston to get some of their sauce when making a large batch of my own wings!

                      1. re: TomH

                        That's a long way to go for wings! I know at least one other person who considers Wendell's the best in (Greater) Greater Boston and doesn't think Buff's is all that.

                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                        1. re: TomH

                          While we have only tried it once, I thought Wendell's was terrible in every way. The wings reminded me of Hooters for some reason. They weren't breaded, but heavily fried, not meaty and the sauce (while tasty) was strangely clumped on. An $8 order of wings wasn't enough to feed one person. They do note that they only have one fryer on the menu, but it still took 45+ min for the crappy wings to come out. Then after waiting another 30+ min while vainly trying to flag down the waitress for our check, we approximated the total from the menu and just left cash on the table.

                          At least the beer was cold, and luckily we were in the area (still were pissed to have gone even 10 min out of our way for this dump).

                          I meant to post about it at the time (a few months ago). Maybe we had an off experience, but everything about this place s*cked.

                          This thread is making me hungry for wingy though.

                          1. re: Gabatta

                            Over the years I have stopped and sampled the wings at Wendell's. As a small townie place, they're easily understaffed if the get a rush ==> the wait. The wings can also be inconsistent. I have had the overcooked, dried up wings there too, and have written it off as a bad day. But they also seemed to reduce the portion size and/or the wing size when the economic downturn hit.

                            Buff's may have raised the price, but they kept the portion and product size the same. That, and the fact that I have never had a bad wing there, keep me coming to Buff's.

                            Your mileage may vary. :)

                            -----
                            Buff's Pub
                            317 Washington St, Newtonville, MA 02458

                            Wendell's
                            30 W Main St, Norton, MA 02766

                        2. re: MC Slim JB

                          Buff's is approximately 1 mile from Oak Square in Brighton. Not really a pilgrimage if you can walk there. The wing are awesome, beer cold, staff friendly.

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                          Oak Square Cafe
                          433 Faneuil St, Brighton, MA 02135

                        3. re: LStaff

                          I've eaten at Buff's many times and never had that problem. But if you think about what you are asking for, it is actually impossible. You want crispy wings without being crispy???? The wings at Buff's are done perfectly. There is nothing worse than undercooked wings, and nothing better than a crispy, delicious, well sauced wing. Buff's delivers every time.

                          1. re: discodan

                            No, crispy exterior that still stays crispy until the last wing is finished, and a somewhat juicy interior that has not been overcooked. First time at Buff's, didn't ask for anything special, and the exterior came out a little crispy/ a little flabby, but the meat itself was in good shape. But by the time I was half done, they were all soggy. Next time asked for crispy wings, exterior was nicely crispy, but interior was dry and shriveled up as hard as a pencil eraser. Although I like their sauce, its the fry job that makes the difference between a good wing and a great wing imo. Still searching for a great buffalo wing in the area...

                        4. Buffs are about as good as it gets around here. I had pretty good BBQ wings the other day at Soul Fire (went at lunch and I got a HUGE mess of wings as an app - the full connected wing and drumette!) While chowhound is my favorite source for food recs, if you're into wings my friend's new website/iPhone app Kluckr.com is pretty neat as well...it is a user submitted wing joint review site.

                          www.kluckr.com

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                          Buff's Pub
                          317 Washington St, Newtonville, MA 02458

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Misterie

                            Your friend's site has potential, but it definitely needs a better search engine. And it might be a good idea to have them enable RSS feeds for their blog. I couldn't subscribe to it in my Google Reader.

                          2. Buff's wings are superb. I used to frequent the BusyBee in Watertown for their wings, but they've gone downhill a bit since the new owners took over. Donohues in East Watertown were OK. Just went to the Orchard Park Grill last night (see my review on Yelp here: http://tinyurl.com/2dvley2 ). They were OK, but not "buffalo" wings as I know & love them.

                            Having been to Duff's in suburban Buffalo (the one by the airport), all other wings will have to compare those from Duff's, which were a bit better than the Anchor Bar and by far better than any I've had anywhere else. Buff's is the closest to Duff's that I've had thus far, but need to get to the Fat Cat for further "research".

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                            Fat Cat
                            24 Chestnut St, Quincy, MA 02169

                            Orchard Park Grill
                            208 Waverley Ave, Watertown, MA 02472

                            1. Buff's & Duff's, that's what we do for wings. We have made going to Buff's on Mother's Day our tradition! Surprisingly, the wings at the S&S are v. good, as are their "S&S Wings". The problem is the sad state of the S&S. Just too depressing the last time we went.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: CookieLee

                                I haven't been to the S&S in a couple of years. What's changed? Why is it now sad and depressing?

                                1. re: katzzz

                                  I thought the place looked dirty. And tired and worn. The food was fine.

                              2. As a result of this thread, I had them last night. And the answer yes. Day after day, year after year, big fat juicy wings done perfectly right!

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                  what type/flavor of wings did you get SG? I'd like to try them today on your recommendation...

                                  1. re: CambridgeFoodie

                                    I can never get past the plain buffalo, but the honey-hot has some serious fans as well. Last night they also had something new, chipotle which I was a bit tempted to try.

                                    Just to put things in perspective, this place has been an excellent local joint serving great modest food since something like 1976.

                                    http://buffspubofnewton.com/

                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                      I noticed the Anchor Bar is at a food festival this weeked at Gillette. But I have no idea who in their right mind would pay $52 just for admission to be able to pay $13 for a order of wings. I think i would just drive to Buffalo 1st... www.greatamericanfoodandmusicfest.com
                                      And people complain about the Phantom events!

                                      1. re: hargau

                                        Once you've had anchor bar, there's no comparison.

                                        That's a pilgrimage worth making.

                                        1. re: hargau

                                          That's nuts.

                                          Windy City Eats is selling their chicago dogs for $5 a pop. They're $2.59 at their store - and no cover.

                                          Although I think a food festival that brought in all the famous food seen on TV profiles or the best vendors for regional food around the country could be a big hit (with a much smaller cover). Unless you're a big Melinda Doolittle fan, this one doesn't seem to be worth the $.

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                                          Windy City Eats
                                          407A Middle St, Weymouth, MA 02189

                                          1. re: LStaff

                                            Churros - $6!! LOLOLOLOL

                                          2. re: hargau

                                            holy cow. when I saw the admission price i assumed the food would be free or something

                                            1. re: jgg13

                                              the food is included if you get the $600/pp tickets ;)

                                          3. re: StriperGuy

                                            thanks, tried the wings tonight - excellent!

                                            1. re: CambridgeFoodie

                                              Yah, that place is an institution. Believe it or not, there other bar food also ranges from good to superb as well. I've had pasta dishes and soups in the winter that really hit the spot.

                                              Glad you liked it.

                                        2. re: StriperGuy

                                          Buff's are about as good as it gets in terms of classic "Buffalo" wings - the others are good - but just like any place that has their own versions of chicken wings which are tasty. I have yet to find a Buffalo wing in the Boston area that BEATS Buff's -- a few are close to being as good -- but none that I have tried are better. I agree with Cookie Lee and others -- if you are in Cambridge and don't want to trek to Newton Corner -- S & S makes very respectable Buffalo Wings (not quite as good as Buff's - but right up there as a #2 in the area in my humble opinion).

                                          1. re: PhuKew2

                                            And Buff's are good day in, day out, year after year. They execute, the place is a well oiled machine.

                                        3. Try Harry's up in Brighton either 1430 or 1340 comm ave (just past Jacky's table away from the city) Apparently most of the staff is from upstate ny and got the kitchen to change wing styles. I am not an upstater and was skeptical, however the butter/franks blend makes plain hot sauce seem so weak now. In addition they confit the wings as the pre cooking method whereas most local bars pre bake or deep fry.

                                          1. Kerry Byrne of the Herald swears by the wings at Wendell's Pub in Norton, MA, raves about them regularly, but I've never traveled that far for a plate of wings.

                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                              I have friends who also rave about Wendell's, but they've never been to Buff's, so I don't know anyone who's been to both for a head to head comparison.

                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                I've had Buff's and Wendell's and they are different species. Wendell's are tiny and I think it's the 3.5 sauce that people are really raving about. I even had tried their double dare and could only eat 2 1/2. Don't get that. It's impossible.

                                                My favorite wings are from Conley's in Watertown. They claim they are fresh and never frozen. I just found my second favorite at Daddy's in Hull. But the Garlic Hot sauce is the way to go, so I don't know if that counts.

                                                -----
                                                Conley's Pub
                                                164 Belmont St, Watertown, MA 02472

                                                Daddy's Beach Club
                                                Hull, Hull, MA 02045

                                                1. re: CityPork

                                                  Conley's over Buff's; will have to give Conley's another whirl.

                                              2. Had some Buff's wings on Thurs. at lunch time. They rushed the fry job as the wings were a little flabby. I have asked for them "crispy" in the past but they came out really dry and dense, so I don't request them to be crispy - shouldn't have to really.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: LStaff

                                                  Been eating Buffs wings for years..they're consistent, tasty and never "flabby"
                                                  It seems to me that you (OP) need to get over this issue and just stop going to Buffs..thus ending the crispy (over-done) vs " flabby " issue

                                                  1. re: Harry527

                                                    You know "OP" means Original Poster, right?

                                                    1. re: justbeingpolite

                                                      Uh..I think so.....guess I'm an Internet failure ..
                                                      I thought LStaff was the "original poster" ...(or OP right?)... That's who I was responding to

                                                      1. re: Harry527

                                                        Not sure if I have the etiquette right, but I believe only Sasso can be the OP, as the originator of the thread. Maybe LStaff would be the LP?

                                                        1. re: justbeingpolite

                                                          OP can refer to not just the originator of the thread but also the first person to say a particular thing. I still wouldn't use the phrase in this exact situation though.