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Apr 19, 2006 02:24 AM

truly authentic Buffalo wings in San Diego

  • b

I had a great response to my post on this topic on the LA board. (See link.) I'm going to San Diego this weekend, and my pregnant wife is still craving wings. In fact she is mumbling something about wings to me literally right this second. Please help!

By the way, if you don't feel like clicking the link, here's a summary:

Only authentic Buffalo-style wings. If you think ranch is acceptable to be even offered as an alternative to bleu cheese to go with the wings, then don't respond. Don't dream about telling me about Hooters or El Torito or Tony Romas.

If you have been to Anchor Bar in Buffalo, or Ye Rustic in LA, or Three Dollar Cafe in Atlanta, or Wing It in Boston, and you know of a comparable place in San Diego, then I'm begging you to share your knowledge. Thank you thank you thank you!


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  1. Not having been to Buffalo, it's hard to know what is and isn't authentic in San Diego.

    However I have had wings that I've enjoyed at Liars' Club in Mission Beach (which also has a great selection of local craft brews to wash them down), where they are served with bleu cheese, not ranch. They give you a ton of wings, too.

    Also good are the wings at Nunu's - a dive bar up in Hillcrest. However be warned that they are not made with Frank's Red Hot, but with a house-made chili sauce that is so spicy it hurts to eat them.


    3 Replies
    1. re: JS

      I haven't had the wings at The Liar's Club, but I've had several good times there and much good food. Even though I am usually the oldest person in the place, it's my favorite tav in SD. A great beer selection, wonderful burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries (both russets and sweet potatoes), and a loud, eclectic juke box make the place special. Glad to see someone else on these boards likes it as well.


      1. re: JS

        Thank you for the recommendation. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at the Liars Club. Not your average dive bar. Call it your beach town bar for people with taste.

        Great vibe, great eclectic juke box, great local beer selection, huge wings. The waitress wore a shirt that said "I'm not that kind of girl" on the front and had a picture of crossed fingers on the back. Heh-heh!
        We schlepped our two kids under 6 years old in there, after an afternoon at the beach, and felt comfortable and welcome. No pretensions here at all.

        The wings were good enough, and really hit the spot -- but were not outstanding and not truly authentic.

        Fine points:
        (1) Huge portions. A lot of wings. This was good and bad. Good because we are gluttonous. Bad because the wings were actually a little too big. The flavors get out of balance when the wings are too big.
        (2) Only drums, no wings. I prefer wings personally. The purist would say that there should be both drums and wings. Maybe you can't get supersized wings. [See (1).]
        (3) The wings themselves were too chewy. This was the only flat-out negative comment I have. With that much flesh on the bones [see (1)], it should have been much more tender.
        (4) Sauce was slightly more complex than your authentic Buffalo wing. It had an Asian overtone. They did have an interesting collection of bottled hot sauces available, including the usual Mexican and Vietnamese offerings, plus some others you don't see every day. I didn't see Frank's. The taste was pleasing albeit a departure from authentic Buffalo.
        (5) Bleu cheese was executed properly.
        (6) Celery was fresh. Initial portion was small, but extras were available for the asking.

        Overall, a worthy place for a chowhound. The wings weren't truly authentic, but that doesn't mean they weren't very good. (I had 3 leftover and wolfed them down with great gusto for a midnight snack.) Perhaps this is the best that you can get in San Diego?

        1. re: bakersjoe

          Pardon the interruption for a quick request: we ask users not to frequently change subject titles. Doing so screws up the many chowhounds who read these boards via HotPosts (check it out, it's great, via link atop our home page), which are unthreaded.

          It is OK to change the title if the discussion has substantially digressed. For example if the thread started with a question about where to find good pizza downtown and the discussion morphed into a discussion of Thai food, that's a good place to change the subject line.

          What we want to avoid is subject changes like "I agree!" or, "Try the fish on Wednesdays", which really confuses many of our users who use HotPosts.

          Thanks a lot!

      2. My brother told me about a place called Callahan's in Mira Mesa that's supposed to have good, cheap wings.

        I don't trust my brother's judgment. Can someone verify?

        1 Reply
        1. re: okk

          callahan's wings in mira mesa are all right if you're just looking to fill up on wings. on Wednesday nights its wing night i think it starts at 6 or 7. wings are 30 cents each, must buy a drink and order in wings in multiples of 5. their hot wings come in Suicide, hot, or mild. and other flavors for the wings are bbq and terayaki. wings aren't the most flavorful though.

        2. Good wings are hard to come by in San Diego. Not sure why, Chicken + Frank's Red Hot + Butter = Wings. Aussie Pub in PB is my current favorite, (Wed. is wing night), good small wings, fried hard. You sound like a purist, so skip this place. If you do find some where good let me know. Love all the Liars Club fans here.

          1. I dig Aussie Pub wings too but they are definately NOT authentic. Wed is half price wings.


            3 Replies
            1. re: jkress

              Austrailian Pub in Pacific Beach is a good place to get wings, but not Buffalo-type 100%.

              They have about 7 levels of hotness, the hottest two are habenero based sauces. They also have good spicy garlic wings.

              For some reason though, this place has varied 360 degrees everytime we go. From big, plump, well cooked and sauced wings to tiny, pigeon wing type wings with no sauce.

              I think they often change management or something because it varies so much. We still go though.

              Expect a sports bar type atmosphere, they've been doing construction in the bar for 4 years now, and they are packed for green bay packers games and other major sports events (but curiously empty on friday/sat nights from 8-11).

              Wing night is packed as well, usually.

              1. re: stangoldsmith

                I go nearly every Wed. and am friendly with one of the bartenders. And I remember a few weeks where it was really hit or miss with the wings (big vs. pigeon wings) like you spoke of. I asked him about that and he said that they accidentally ordered the wrong shipment of chicken wings and they had to use them up. That's why they were so tiny. But from my experience, they've had normal sized wings as of late.

                I love the fact that it's not packed on Fri. and Sat. nights until later. You know you can always count on Aussie Pub when all the other bars have lines out the door.

              2. re: jkress

                I love Wing Wednesday. Being a somewhat of masochist I tend to go for the Hell's Bells (hottest) and DOA (second hottest). Gotta love the feeling when your lips go completely numb and your toungue is crying for relief. Then the feel good endorphins kick in and everyone asks why you're acting so goofy. The next morning is not as much a pleasant experience.