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Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Letters from Leah: if you eat chicken wings with ranch instead of blue cheese, you are wrong

Leah Harrigan
Cajun honey butter barbeque wings with a side of blue cheese from The Barbill in East Aurora, NY.

My inaugural column is anything but serious. I’d love to provide something philosophical or thought-provoking, but this week, I just want to talk about chicken wings.

I’m from Buffalo, the origin of “Buffalo wings”. But, before we go into any detail, let’s start with the fact that these crispy, delightfully deep-fried pieces of meat are called “wings”, not “Buffalo wings” where I’m from. They’re bigger in Buffalo, they’re better in Buffalo and quite literally, the best wing you will ever consume in your existence on this earth.

It’s funny because I’m actually not an avid meat eater. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m just not always drawn to that form of protein. But, maybe it’s because I’ve been away from my Buffalo roots this past summer, or maybe it’s because I’m over having to cook for myself, but I think I’m in desperate need of wings.

For those who are looking for Buffalo’s best wings, I advise that you take a trip to The Barbill, a local joint in East Aurora, NY. Your best order of wings will either be the cajun honey butter barbeque or the medium-hot. And of course, dip them in blue cheese like your life depends on it. In fact, they normally don’t offer any other dip of choice, but if you ask for a side portion of ranch, just know that’s fundamentally wrong in Buffalo.

If your Buffalo “tour” is more than a day long, I’d recommend that you make your next stop at O’Neill’s Stadium Bar. There’s an abundance of flavors available, but my personal favorite is the “everything” wing, which is a combination of BBQ, garlic parmesan, cajun and hot sauce. It sounds absurd, but just trust me. Of course, please dunk your wings in blue cheese for this order as well.

Most of the time, the wings don’t even need an addition of flavor, but by all means, please make it blue cheese if needed. It sounds like a dramatic, completely over-the-top take to emphasize the importance of blue cheese on wings, but it’s something that’s engraved in Buffalo’s culture.

While Buffalo has a lot more to offer than just wings, it’s truly a staple of our city and its community. The dive bars, the places that look like they haven’t seen customers in 10 years because of outdated decor, and the spots with a history of Buffalonian camaraderie are the spots that do it best.

Don’t fall for the tourist traps, the high-class restaurants downtown. The sparkle and glimmer of expensive taste does nothing for you if you are looking for a quality order of wings. Swallow your judgment, throw on a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie and trust the craft of the small-town joints.

You won’t regret it. Please, with any authority I have, I’d advise blue cheese over ranch.

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