Blondie’s and The WingBar in NYC


A while back the Wing Authority visited New York City, and it was said that Blondie’s on West 79th Street in Manhattan was a must-try for wings.  Well, we saddled up, did our job, and the rumors were spot-on! Blondie’s is a busy sports bar that greets you with that sizzling, welcoming Buffalo wing aroma. You walk past tables of guests and see platters and – get this – buckets of wings. I just love that this place offers wings in buckets which is very old school. More on this later.

They are really tasty, the Hot sauce is not too runny and flavorful enough without being very spicy. Good thing the place was so crowded – otherwise I wouldn’t want to leave. With its devotion to serving hot wings in buckets with blue cheese, Blondie’s is a place that observes the Buffalo wings tradition!

Thanks to my anonymous menu model here

Blondie's menu close



Meanwhile over in Brooklyn, The WingBar is a cozy place that hustles, people coming and going , both the bar and kitchen just a few steps away from any of the high or low top tables. We stopped here on a dark night in October and unfortunately for us, could not get good photos. Fortunately for The WingBar, however, this was because the restaurant was packed and the Smith Street location had a jubilant atmosphere that spilled into the sidewalk. Good place for a drink and a snack, and the Wing Authority appreciates the limited sauce options on this menu. These were authentic and satisfying, if not outstanding. But hey, sometimes there is beauty in simplicity. Keep it simple, keep it classy, keep it totally Buffalo!

The WingBar WingBar hot wings

Mexican Buffalo? Indeed! (El Jalapenos, Cleveland)

Many of you have probably noticed that your nearby Mexican restaurant has chicken wings on the menu. The question is – are they Buffalo?

The Wing Authority paid a visit to a spot in Cleveland and even though lots of menu items looked tasty (and in fact were, according to my companions), the question of whether the wings were Buffalo or not had to be answered, so I ordered a delicious dozen. The server warned me they were hot and to be honest, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from the creamy dipping sauce that came along. No blue cheese? What the hell.

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El Jalapenos was not crowded or noisy, a perfect casual family dining experience. You can’t beat the price for 12 wings at $6.99. They were good. They were fried crispy and the tasty red sauce was far from overwhelming – despite the warning I received. The breading was a bit thick for my liking but the sauce was totally Buffalo.

Oh alright. We’ll give them a pass for not offering blue cheese since their wings are not a featured item and Mexican food as a whole doesn’t exactly make much of blue cheese.

Give these guys a shot. The Wing Authority is eager to explore more ethnic restaurants – Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Caribbean, etc. We’ll continue to let you know whether the wings are totally Buffalo, and we will continue to observe and preserve the Buffalo wing tradition!



Report – National Buffalo Wing Festival 2016

Another one in the books! The National Buffalo Wing Festival on September 3 – 4 in Buffalo, New York, delighted its attendees with a successful event with plenty of great food and fun entertainment.

There were vendors from mainly the northeastern U.S. and one from all the way out in Brisbane, Australia, that offered their versions of tasty chicken wings.

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What a great day in Buffalo! The Wing Authority got to sample some exceptional wings, at a reasonable $1 apiece, and saw a collectively enormous list of flavors. There were plenty of nuanced, complex Buffalo flavors including one extra hot sauce from Duff’s Wings that had my head spinning for a few minutes. Time for another beer.


If pressed, my favorites were the Hot flavors from Duff’s and The Anchor Bar. Maybe I’m biased toward the hometown favorites, but I think it’s due to another factor that we constantly mention at The Wing Authority, which is – sure, sampling chicken wings in a variety of sauces makes for a great afternoon, but when it comes to Buffalo wings there is a right way and a wrong way.

We shall observe and preserve the Buffalo wing tradition. Buffalo wings means red hot sauce and butter, blue cheese on the side.

We came across mango habanero, apple wings, Asian blends, and more. Fine. They’re worth a try. Just keep in mind – those are NOT BUFFALO. I’ll spend my tickets on wings that are TOTALLY BUFFALO!

Coca-Cola Field provided an open, sunny space for the event and despite the lines for wings, it was easy to get to the stage to check out all the entertainment and there were no lines for beverages. In addition, Marie’s had a stand for FREE blue cheese dressing. Our impression was that it lacked one or two qualities we look for in blue cheese dressing but hey – it’s pretty hard to complain about free cheese.  Extra props to Marie’s for supplying the blue cheese for the Bobbing for Wings contest!

There were several tents for much-needed shade and all the lines moved expediently. It was an extremely pleasant event and although we would have liked to see more vendors (possible suggestion: one set of vendors for Saturday, another set of vendors for Sunday), there was so much deliciousness and good vibes that we can’t wait for next year!

Check out the event website at:, where you can see a real-time countdown to the 2017 National Buffalo Wing Festival.

One Hot Mama’s (Hilton Head, South Carolina)

One thing the Wing Authority has picked up during the time we spent in Georgia and the Carolinas is that southerners have a wickedly tasty twist to the classic and sacred Buffalo wing recipe. Ask most wing-lovers in the south how they like their wings and you’ll often hear the same answer: smoked.

That’s not to say that fried chicken wings aren’t found in all manners of southern food joints. But what you’ll often notice in the southeastern U.S. is that some of the best Buffalo wings you’ll find around are sold in barbecue restaurants where the wings share the menu with cornbread and slow-cooked pork ribs.

Take One Hot Mama’s, for example. One of the first restaurants I ate at in Hilton Head, it took me only one glimpse at the list of wing sauce options to realize I was in a place that prided itself on its wings. I ordered Buffalo, among other flavors, and was pleased by how juicy, crispy, and authentically, totally Buffalo these wings were. Maybe next time I’ll even try the ribs.

The wing sauce choices are divided into fried and grilled options, and you won’t find many losers on this list. Of course, we at the Wing Authority are concerned with observing & preserving the Buffalo wing tradition – but that’s not to say that some honey mustard or their super hot “Devil” sauces aren’t worth a try. Be forewarned about that Devil sauce, however. They ain’t playing.

Nice work, One Hot Mama’s. These were some of the most delicious, most reliable wings I found in the lowcountry, and if you find yourself in Hilton Head, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to some of these totally Buffalo wings!

Basket and blue cheeseTasty crispy wings

The Winking Lizard (Lakewood, O-H-I-O) – Be there.

It must be said that the Wing Authority faces some reviews with a bit of reservation. Across the Buffalo wing nation there are some longstanding, well-loved establishments which can’t be fully covered in one single review here. Winking Lizard is one of these, and is a spot that wing-lovers know well (or ought to), offering piles of tasty Buffalo wings and gallons of beer over its proud history. Folks in the Ohio region count on Winking Lizard for wing night, game night, celebration night, and any night needing delicious food in a fun atmosphere. The Wing Authority would love to learn more about the history behind this tavern and eatery, so if you have a story or two, please share!

Nevertheless, the Wing Authority is on an endless journey of indulgence and when the idea for wings and drinks at Winking Lizard is proposed, it means it’s time to go Buffalo or go home.

IMG_0850 The Winking Lizard

Welcome to Lakewood

Any time at Winking Lizard is a great time with great company and some great wings. Winking Lizard takes its wings seriously – check out just a portion of the colorful & descriptive menu page full of flavors! This lets you know there are years of experience and dedication going into these flavors. Dedication, especially when it comes to Buffalo wings and whether or not a joint is truly Buffalo, is of paramount importance. Winking Lizard does not disappoint.

The wings are juicy, plump specimens and the hot flavor is totally Buffalo. One quick note? The hot is lacking a little in the wet category. Dry rub is to be avoided in all wings Buffalo, and I’m raising an eyebrow if there isn’t at least a small pool of sauce collecting beneath a stack of wings.

Notice the mandatory celery and blue cheese – the only way to do it properly. This may be Cleveland Browns territory but there is no doubt that Buffalo, New York is also represented in the way Winking Lizard boldly observes and preserves the Buffalo wing tradition coming from the other end of Lake Erie.

Are  Winking Lizard wings the best in Ohio? With so much competition, it’s hard to say. But the atmosphere is blue collar, fun, musical, and openly encourages getting your hands dirty with wing sauce. That means that if you find yourself in the Buckeye state with a wicked wing craving, Winking Lizard is the perfect spot to be.


Frosty Frog’s Totally Buffalo Wings

Frosty Frog’s Totally Buffalo Wings

Have you ever been to Wet Willie’s and had one of their strong, sweet icy slushies with grain alcohol? If you’ve had one or something similar, you know high-test slushies can do either one of two things: stir up an appetite or induce napping. If you’re awake enough afterward, you’ll want a hearty snack. I’m sure you catch my drift. It’s wing time.

Enter Frosty Frog Cafe. One day while killing time and grabbing a drink with a few friends in this vacation attraction beach town, I flipped through the menu. As the grain alcohol from my daiquiri settled in, my appetite grew. Immediately, my eyes landed on “Olivia’s Wings”, described as the plumpest around.

But what’s this?! I was shocked to see this sunny beachside tavern features straight up Buffalo wings by way of Erie, Pennsylvania. Take a look at the restaurant’s origin story.

The Legend of Frosty


Frosty's delicious Buffalo wings






These wings were delicious. Naturally, I ordered the Hot flavor. They were crispy and served in a basket with blue cheese as they should be. The red Buffalo sauce had the right amount of tang and gave the wings the perfect spicy glaze without being too thick. Not too hot, either, meaning anyone can (and everyone should) saddle up and give these TOTALLY BUFFALO wings a spin.

"Olivia's Wings"

I’m especially interested in how the Buffalo wing tradition made its way down to Hilton Head. According to the menu, Frosty left Erie for warmer weather. I don’t blame him. I know more than a few people who left Erie for the exact same reason. Erie has some of the best Buffalo wings to be found anywhere, but that lake effect snow is something serious.

But this migration has a great side effect, as we see. Hilton Head is hundreds of miles away from Lake Erie, far from Buffalo, New York and the Anchor Bar, yet Frosty Frog Cafe nails the Buffalo wing tradition perfectly, thanks in large part to its origins in Erie, PA.

The Wing Authority is eager to learn of all migrations and adaptations involving the glorious Buffalo wing tradition. If you have any stories to share, please do so on this website or by e-mail at

Thanks for spreading the gospel, Frosty!

Atlanta Wing Joints are Totally Buffalo

One day while driving around the great city of Atlanta, the Wing Authority noticed that every few miles there seemed to be signs that read, “Hot Wings”. I decided to explore this further. Atlanta is hundreds of miles from Buffalo, New York, where the Buffalo wing tradition began all those years ago. Given the distance and what I know about Southern pride, the Wing Authority can’t help but wonder how faithfully the southern style is to the original Buffalo tradition. Clearly they’re really popular, based on the sheer number of wing joints. If Atlanta traffic prevents you from stopping at one, just wait a minute and you may get another chance. Two of these spots are across the street from each other on the east side of Atlanta in Decatur.

What I’m talking about are the small wing joints all over Atlanta – the kinds of places that specialize in take-out and in addition to hot wings usually offer fish, fries, and maybe a Philly cheese steak. These are not family dining restaurants with appetizers and a draft beer list. The service is quick and prices are reasonable.

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I was delighted to find that each place had a hot flavor that was zesty and light, with heat around the level of Frank’s Red Hot. Southern folks can handle spicy food. Each batch saw a few pepper flakes swimming around in the bright red sauce. I did not come across a single batch of hot wings that was syrupy or dull.

I would feel comfortable walking into almost any Atlanta wings joint and getting a quick Buffalo wings fix. What makes them Buffalo? First you have to select a sauce. Check out the menus. With this many options, the safest way to compare is to get the same flavor – HOT. It is worth noting that no menus listed any sauce named “Buffalo”. Is there a difference between Buffalo and hot? Are Hot wings always Buffalo wings? The Wing Authority believes that in most cases there is not a difference. Some chefs might boast a certain type of Buffalo sauce that coats wings and is not at all runny. The Wing Authority believes the recipe is simpler, and that the Buffalo wing tradition is easy to follow. Atlanta proves that it isn’t hard to nail it: hot sauce, butter, and blue cheese.

Even though I was told by one young lady at the register that lemon pepper was one of the most popular flavors sold, lemon pepper is most definitely NOT BUFFALO. It’s a dry rub and weird, quite frankly. It is missing the hot sauce, it is dry and too salty. Most places overdo it and all you can do is hope for a bold beverage to level out the sour and savory attack. But honestly, whether lemon pepper is delicious or not is not the issue. Lemon pepper is merely a ready-made seasoning for anything from fried chicken to catfish. It lacks the adventure and tradition of Buffalo wings. Not all hot wings may be Buffalo, but all lemon pepper wings are most definitely NOT BUFFALO.

Some of my favorite saucy specimens were obtained from “Atlanta’s Best Wings”, a small place near a busy intersection in Decatur. The Wing Authority was extremely pleased to see blue cheese served with this batch, along with carrots and celery. TOTALLY BUFFALO.

I want to give a special acknowledgement and Buffalo wings shout-out to my friends at Taco Pete in East Point. The hospitality, warmth, and of course the food there was phenomenal. We ordered up just a small order of hot wings and they did not disappoint. I had a great conversation with the grandson of Taco Pete himself, who said that the restaurant started as a taco stand but eventually began serving hot wings in response to overwhelming customer demand. He also gave me one of the best quotes the Wing Authority has ever heard: “Blue cheese is for wings. Ranch is for salads.” So classic. So delicious. SO BUFFALO. Atlanta does it right.