Hot Wings from Marco’s Pizza – Not Really Buffalo

Marco’s Pizza joints are popping up everywhere and they serve some tasty pies. The Wing Authority, being on occasion a lover of delivery pizza chains, decided to check out its chicken wing selection and got some hot wings delivered.

Are they totally Buffalo or are they not Buffalo?


Well, they aren’t disgusting. Marco’s wings fall under their own section of the menu, and a customer can choose between 3 sauces: “Plain”, “BBQ”, or “Hot”. Given the two other options, my expectations weren’t set very high when I ordered the hot wings.

Let’s pause for a second to consider the term “hot wings”. Wings can be hot and NOT Buffalo (think mango habanero or spicy Cajun rub). Wings can be TOTALLY Buffalo and not hot (medium-heat sauces come to mind). The term hot wings tells you nothing about the flavor or sauce, and frequently you’ll see someone talking about hot wings go ahead and order something atrocious like lemon pepper, which is neither spicy nor Buffalo.

Then again, maybe hot wings just means chicken wings that aren’t cold.

Pizza delivery chains face a problem with bringing you Buffalo wings: the crisp. Unfortunately, the wings I ordered arrived lacking the crispness of freshly-cooked Buffalo wings you’d find at a restaurant, tavern or at home. I’m told Marco’s Pizza chicken wings are deep fried and then baked. Somehow they miss the crispness mark on both go-rounds. Oh well.

Those crispy-looking dark tips are deceiving. Notice also how these “Buffalo” wings have barely enough sauce to give the chicken any color other than a yellow hue that comes from too much grease and butter.

Look, you may be thinking that I’m expecting too much from a pizza delivery chain. But this is The Wing Authority. If we aren’t calling out restaurants in our aim to observe and preserve the Buffalo wings tradition, who will?

The Buffalo sauce was generally tasty but carried no heat punch, and the blue cheese was okay but not outstanding. Needless to say, I covered my wings in my own blend of red hot sauces and supplied my own blue cheese.

Is it Buffalo or is it not Buffalo? Greasy, not crispy, not spicy, not even sauced up right. That’ll be a NOPE.

“Italian-spiced Wings”

This one is quick. The Wing Authority stopped by a restaurant in Hilton Head for some pizza and – you guessed it – couldn’t help from ordering the wings. These “Italian-spiced” wings were really flavorful, smelled heavenly, and were served with some bad ass marinara sauce. Tasty stuff.

However, that’s not the question here. The Wing Authority is here to observe and preserve the Buffalo wing tradition. To be fair, the menu doesn’t offer Buffalo wings and doesn’t claim these are Buffalo. But it’s worth going on the record and I need to do my job here, lest there be any confusion about what is and what is not Buffalo.

Therefore, while these wings are delicious they are totally NOT BUFFALO.


Alfee’s in Erie – this is how it’s done.

Alfee’s has long been one of my favorite locations for picking up spicy, flavorful, authentic Buffalo wings. Standing proudly on the corner of Glenwood Park Avenue, this place has a reputation for a reliably well-executed pizza & wings combo. I fell in love with my first Alfee’s wings almost twenty years ago. This place is so Buffalo it’s actually in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Alfee’s specializes in pizza & wings combos that the blue collar people of Erie rely upon for reliable delivery services on game day, for parties, and those dark winter nights with the kind of snow and wind that suffocates most continental souls. In other words, when you want some Buffalo wings in Erie and you want them right, Alfee’s is a top choice.

I stopped by this spring after a couple of years of not having had the opportunity, and I was not disappointed. The aesthetic, energy level, menu, and even the prices all declared that Alfee’s is STILL perfectly Buffalo.



I order up a few different flavors: hot, suicide, and honey mustard. I’ve got so many good memories about this place it’s hard to decide where to start. On one particular occasion years ago, a friend of mine was so overtaken by the suicide wings and the pre-dinner happy hour that he put his head down on the table and remained that way through most of dinner. Delightful.

I’m hungry just looking at these saucy specimens. Alfee’s serves up crispy wings, fast and furious, with blue cheese and celery – as they should be. I just love seeing a Buffalo wing institution like Alfee’s running at full capacity, and this last visit was no exception – phones ringing, delivery drivers coming & going, and my order coming out promptly and perfect.

I’ll tell you what I will point out: the hot sauce is leaning a little toward the syrupy side. But it coats the wings much better than runnier versions of Buffalo sauce that I’ve come across. The chicken was tasty, the sauces were zesty, and they coated the wings with a really satisfying Buffalo sauce.

I love Alfee’s and after all its years of faithful service to Buffalo wing fanatics like myself, The Wing Authority will be just as faithful in declaring Alfee’s to be so damn TOTALLY BUFFALO.