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Real Buffalo Wings Needed

Greetings… I have been searching for authentic Buffalo wings and have been coming up short. Every place I’ve tried either bakes their wings (yuck) or breads them. I’m looking for real WNY style, deep-fried, crispy served with blue cheese. Is there anywhere in Montgomery County or DC that actually serves real wings? Tried Fire Station in Silver Spring and was not thrilled. No Buffalo Wild Wings please. Thanks!

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  1. I'm a Buffalo native, and I have not found them. Eventually I gave up and just started making my own. Its a giant pain in the ass but at least they are excellent.

    Nowhere around here fries them long enough.

    1 Reply
    1. re: reiflame

      When I make my own, I put them into the oven and let them oven-fry until they're crispy enough. Since I usually start with frozen wings, that usually takes about 45 minutes at 375. Of course that time will be shorter if you start fresh or thawed. They thaw, then the water boils off, then they 'fry' in their own fat.
      I think the only reason wing places deep-fry them is because it's faster.

    2. I agree with making your own. However, I will vouch for Bungalow Billiards as well as Jimmy's in oldtown Herndon. At BB, get the 3 mile island sauce as a side. Not a traditional Buffalo style (you'll largely get that with the wings), but it's great. Jimmy in Herndon is from Buffalo and so if you have any issues, ask for Jimmy and talk with him. He's cool.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dennis S

        I have heard of Jimmy's; do they also make a beef on weck? Herndon is a huge hike for me, but maybe next time I'm out that way, I'll give them a try.

        1. re: reiflame

          Yes, they have beef on weck, and that was the sandwich I've ordered the most. It has been a while since I've had it, though.

      2. Since you mention Silver Spring, have you tried the wings at The Quarry House? Had them a couple of times and thought they were good.

        1. I'm also a past New York resident, and I can't find good wings in this area either. Nobody seems to know how to cook them properly! They have the sauces down, but the wings are cooked until they're done, not until they're crispy. What gives?

          1. Boundary Stone, which won the City Paper's March Madness wing competition, makes unbelievably crispy, not-greasy wings. I won't eat them elsewhere now that I've discovered them, because everything else seems so greasy and soft and chewy.

            1. Black Finn on I St. Does a respectable job - I assume the one in Bethesda does too, but I've ner been there.

              1. You all need to come up to Baltimore, so many places have awesome wings, not breaded, not baked but fried and tossed in buffalo sauce!

                2 Replies
                1. re: hon

                  I always found the wings at WINGS TO GO to be very good, they are franchises, so location to location can vary!!
                  Deep Fried then into the sauce

                  1. re: Hue

                    I was going to mention Wings to Go. Used to get ten in Columbia about 10 years ago.

                2. Out of curiosity, how many places "back home" made really good wings? Were they all good, or were some, like here, better than others, and some, like here, unacceptable?

                  Sure, I'll bet. Like barbecue and chili, it's both a regional and a cultural thing, It probably took you a while for your taste preferences and sources for wings at home to meld. Maybe you need to get used to DC wings.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: MikeR

                    I don't know much about wings, but I can tell you that in Memphis, even Tops (similar in level to a McDonalds) chops their bbq to order. In the DC area, there isn't a single place that does that.

                    The standards are just so much higher.

                    1. re: Steve

                      Doesn't Hill Country chop their BBQ to order?

                      As for wings, I've never been to Buffalo, but I think Clyde's actually makes some pretty good ones. If you want them crispy, you can ask to have them "double-dipped" (fried twice).

                      1. re: Guy Incognito

                        I don't think Hill Country serves pork shoulder at all, chopped or otherwise.

                    2. re: MikeR

                      If you're a restaurant in Buffalo and you make crappy wings, you don't stay in business long (or you just stop selling wings). Everybody has their favorite wing joint, but I really haven't had downright bad wings in Buffalo.

                      I don't think it's a matter of getting used to DC wings; they're really just bad here. It's not like BBQ or chili - this is a one true wing. It's fried hard (12 minutes at least; 15 is better) and tossed with a butter/Frank's mix. The only variance is if you like them saucy or drier. Nothing else is negotiable.

                      1. re: reiflame

                        Frying something with as little meat on it as a wing for 15 minutes doesn't sound very appetizing to me. I guess it's what you get used to. If you were to open a shop that cooked wings like that, you probably would get most of your traffic from homesick Buffalonians.

                        1. re: MikeR

                          The point is to turn the skin to cracklins on the bone. If you've never had real Buffalo wings and are satisfied with the soggy abominations that they serve around here, then I highly suggest a long weekend to Buffalo to try real wings. It's night and day.

                          1. re: reiflame

                            Second this. If the skin's still pliable, it's not fried crispy enough. Nobody seems to fry them hard enough. I've had good luck cooking wings in a Weber smoker with the water pan removed. They literally fry in their own fat. After about 60-90 minutes, the skin is like a pork rind, and you just toss them with Franks Hot Sauce and butter.

                            I've also heard good things about J Bell's Wing House near Howard University. Dude's a Buffalo expat which adds an air of legitimacy.


                            1. re: reiflame

                              I don't really like wings very much. I'll nibble at them at a happy hour but I never order them. They're messy and there's so little meat on them that they're just too much trouble. Do wings in Buffalo have a worthwhile amount of meat on them? And is it still tender after all of that hard frying?

                              1. re: MikeR

                                You don't like them very much because the wings around here suck. It's ok, I told you that a few days ago. Take a long weekend to Buffalo and get real wings (my recommendations are Duff's or Hacienda in Niagara Falls). My preference for wings is to get them "dry" - sauced but not sloppy. I accomplish this at home by tossing them in sauce and then sticking them in the oven for a few minutes.

                                Of course they're still tender; wings are basically all dark meat, and if you fry them right (start the oil at 375; don't let it get below 350 once you drop the wings) then the skin gets crispy fast and the meat is protected.

                                1. re: reiflame

                                  Chicken wings are white meat regardless of you getting them in your dark meat order at KFC. Those donkeys don't know anything.

                                  Chickens don't fly often or well thus not much myoglobin stored in their wing muscles. They do have a high percentage of fat so should be treated more like thighs than breasts when cooking.

                              2. re: reiflame

                                Cracklin on the bone is an excellent analogy! I'm from Buffalo, too, but I visit family often enough that I don't even bother with the "soggy abominations" found in many other areas. I am, however, noting places mentioned in this thread, and will check some of them out eventually.

                                I've tried DanielK's suggestion of asking for "extra crispy" which has had mixed results.

                                And stop trying to give me Ranch dressing!!!! It's wrong, I tell you, just wrong!!!!

                                And I agree, everyone has their favorite wing joints, but I've never had bad ones in Buffalo. My favorite wing joint closed a couple years ago (devastating!) so I've been seeking out others when I'm there. I typically go for a friend or family member's recommendation, which is often a corner bar.

                            2. re: reiflame

                              I've had some luck at local places by simply asking for "extra crispy".

                          2. Now I remember!! Bateman's!! When I worked up in Aberdeen, we used to get wings from Bateman's, and the were *very* acceptable by my New York State standards. Are they still around? Oh why can't they open a place down here in Laurel??
                            I do make my own wings at home. They're pretty good.

                            1. I agree that the buffalo wing crisis parallels the sad state of barbeque in this area. But try Wingo's in Georgetown (www.wingos.com). As calculated from wing crispiness to sauce, it is the real deal in my opinion (and the only such place I have found in the area). Wingo's is a hole-in-the wall with no seating and primarily does take-out, although there is a bench you can sit on in front of the street-side window. The hottest sauce is dubbed "suicidal," and as a hardened spice fanatic I can tell you that the lower category of "nuclear" truly tested my capabilities. But there are many other gradations from mild up.

                              1. Hard Times Cafe has credible wings. Fried and then grilled, if you wish.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: nickdanger

                                  Hard Times' wings are fabulous, but not sure that someone looking for "authentic" Buffalo style would find them authentic.

                                  Outta the Way Cafe in Derwood (Redland Rd. & Muncaster Mill Rd.) has very good Buffalo style wings (I ask for them to cook them crispy as the skin is a little wet for my taste otherwise). One night of the week is all you can eat wings (I think Tuesday). They also have good music.

                                2. I tried the wings from Buffalo Billiards 2 weeks ago. Being a native from MD, I'm used to the flavored wings and also the breading a lot of places do. I forgot how much I love traditional buffalo wings with blue cheese and celery. They were cooked perfectly and had a nice crunch on the outside. If you're near Silver Spring, Stained-Glass Pub on Georgia Ave has decent wings. I stopped ordering them after I ordered for delivery and received them undercooked. Prior to that, never had any issues and they were the best traditional in the area. I did go a few days ago, did not have time to order them, but saw many people ordering them, and they did look and smell really good. If you find a decent place, please post and let us know!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: hypnoteyez_713

                                    Just to clarify, you went to Buffalo Billiards or Bungalow Billiards? The first is in DuPont while the latter is in a few places (Shirlington, Chantilly, one other place?). Anyway, just trying to clarify. I've been to Buffalo Billiards, but that was years ago and only for snooker, not food (so I can't say about food).

                                    1. re: Dennis S

                                      I was referring to Buffalo billiards in dupont.

                                  2. Has anyone ever ordered from Anchor Bar or Duffy's? I see that they both ship and not sure or too familiar with Duffy's, but see rhat Anchor Bar ships for free.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: hypnoteyez_713

                                      It's Duff's, not Duffy's. Duff's has far superior wings to Anchor Bar.

                                      What do they ship? Frozen wings and pre-made sauce?

                                    2. Do we have any updates on real buffalo wings in DC? I went to Duffy's in Shaw. They were very peppery and not buffalo wings IMHO.