Ok, I have to make a confession here: I'm not really a girl who loves sports bars in general, but I have to say, this place is impressive.
The new Buffalo Wild Wings is huge, with 65 big-screen TVs, including massive 200 inch projection screens, with every kind of sport you’d ever want to see.
There are 30 brands of beer—domestic, imported and artisanal—and 20 flavors of wings, ranging from the mild, yet very delicious Parmesan-Garlic to the mouth-searing Blazing Saddles.
There are some decent-sized burgers in permutations that I have not yet personally encountered, such as topped with prime rib or pulled pork—a veritable meat-lovers paradise!
The franchise researches local teams as well, so you’ll find every fave from Sand Gnats to Falcons with their T-shirts framed up on the walls—now that’s dedication, folks!
The place is noisy, to put it mildly, packed to the hilt with guys in jerseys, enthusiastically throwin’ back the brewskis, gazing up in awe at the panorama of sports or packin’ away scores of wings in their many-flavored splendor.
Oh, yeah, and there’s a sprinkling of kiddos, as well as a gaggle of females attending, but this is a dude-a-licious haven of goodies like fried pickles, flavorful onion wings, jalapeño-laced cheese and seasoned fries with bacon on top.
The vibe is heartily masculine, and even includes the infamous Blazin’ or Bust Challenge: Consume a dozen of their hottest wings in six minutes or under—no napkins or drinks allowed!—and get yerself a free T-shirt and full coverage on the loudspeaker.
The wait staff was obviously chosen for good looks and sunny smiles, all of them wearing the regulation Buffalo Wild Wings jersey, and eager to help you make your best choice of the many sauces available. Just ask for a taste of the ones you’re interested in and they’ll bring you a small order of fries with a paper container alongside for dabs of any sauce you care to taste-test.
Everybody has their favorite—just grab’em and ask—and will be happy to show you the Gift Shop where all the sauces are bottled and up for sale (along with T-shirts, of course). A Guest Host goes around to the tables to ask if there is any particular TV that you’d like them to tune in for you—65 TVs but only one game blares on the loudspeaker at a time—guests can request a change to their favorites.
Wings come two styles: fresh wings deep-fried in beef tallow, no flour or breading—I checked their allergens list and found nothing under the Wheat or Gluten headings for the Traditional Wings, or Boneless Wings that are breaded and fried then drenched in sauce—followers of the Atkins program should love the Traditional wings—and they are all served with the traditional celery, carrot sticks & ranch/bleu cheese dressing.
The menu lists the sauces by heat, from Mild to Blazing—though truthfully, upon trying the Mango Habeñero, I found them to pack significantly more true heat than the Blazin’ Wings. The Parmesan Garlic have a deliciously creamy sauce with bits of parsley and garlic and make you think of an afternoon spent at a good Italian bistro, but the wings that really did it for me were the Thai Curry: it was love at first bite with a riveting combination of coconut milk, lemongrass, and a fine touch of yellow curry—not at all hot, just well-spiced!
Guys and Dolls both will dig the Build-Your-Own-Burger where you can choose Beef, Grilled or Fried Chicken, a vegetarian Black Bean Burger or Fish Filet, then pick your Cheese, Vegies, Protein (including Chili, pulled pork, bacon or prime rib) and finish up with condiments. Kids have their own menu with the kinds of typical ‘school lunch’ goodies that would make health-conscious moms roll their eyes: cheeseburgers, fried wings, mac n’ cheese and corndogs.
If you’re into salads, like I am, it’s good to know that they offer some decent ones—nothing wildly inventive, but sufficient to satisfy, like the Asian Zing Chicken Salad with its bright ring of mandarin orange slices or the Caesar or Mediterranean styles. The dessert menu is small but sufficient, and judging from the passing trays the Cheesecake Bites won the top prize.
Sign up with the hostess as you come in and prepare for a wait—this place is gonna be popular I can tell already—grab your beeper to let you know when the table is ready.
A warning only to the ladies—if you bring your guy here, he may never want to leave.
7700 Abercorn St., 912/355-6937
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11AM to 1AM
Fri-Sat: 11AM to 2AM
Sun: 11AM to midnight