Foodie Stuffs

Buffalo Wild Wings- Downtown Venue

Buffalo Wild Wings on Urbanspoon
Let’s be honest. This selection for Dinner Club strays pretty far from the type of restaurant where we usually meet. But, we thought we would switch things up in honor of playoff hockey season. Any Wings’ fan knows their schedule will be occupied for a solid 1-2 months with intense playoff action, and there’s no better place to get rowdy than a good old fashioned sport’s bar. Our plan was to make our rounds of the local scene with one thing in mind: hockey watching, drink specials, exciting atmosphere, and probably some greasy food.
Turns out this series will be limited to one review though. As Nashville knocked us out in a measly five games (worst exit since 2006), the playoffs are officially over. Which means we can move on to patio season and skip right over two months of chicken wings.
Here’s what we did have to say about our one playoff visit. Oh- and for the record- we lost this game too.
Drinks and Mixology
Our group was a little larger than usual featuring visiting guests Jon and Dan. The boys all started with domestic specials, which were decent and expected during a playoff Wings game. Claire, who doesn’t really watch hockey, went with water. She thought her water was cool and refreshing, filled up regularly. Though, it could have used a bit more ice…..(okay she didn’t really say that). I went with my summer drink of choice: absolut, water, lemon, lime. I like to convince myself this Skinny B*, as it’s called, is better for me because I rehydrate while I dehydrate. Works pretty well. As expected with a corporate restaurant, the drink pour was weak, so I pretty much was just drinking water.
As soon as Dan arrived from work, we toasted with the obligatory Stoetzel Jager Bombs. It just happens. The shot put some hair on our chests, and we were set to get rowdy!  *Side note: Though Jon tried multiple times to encourage the waitress to drink with us, she declined.

Lindsay: “What are you, my Dad?          Jon: “I train with the best.”

Atmosphere
This category probably gets the highest rating. BWW did a great job transforming the dank and dark Taps into a bright and welcoming sports bar with a myriad of rooms. We actually got lost trying to find each other in all of the different sections and sat down at different tables. The outside decks are even more impressive, featuring full-service bars and televisions- the best of both worlds. I was really looking forward to doubling up on hockey and sunshine, but looks like that won’t really be in the cards anymore.
In place of the scantily clad go-go dancers previously parked in front of the upstairs windows (sorely missed), the many rooms hung multiple tvs, as you would expect. Nothing quite resembling the traditional jumbo screens, this is one of the most notable differences between this location and others. Typically, you get a large room where fans get loud and rowdy together. With all of the tiny rooms broken off in different areas, there are smaller screens and less people. So the exciting atmosphere, say when the Wings score their one goal for each game, doesn’t really build. However, you can actually hear yourself and the people you’re talking to.

Food
Good thing we weren’t expecting much. Because, this is what we got. Somewhat of a fanatic about my BBQ sauce, my mouth watered over this basket of Boneless Wings slathered in Honey BBQ Sauce (pictured on the left). Turns out that was a mistake. My actual order was dropped off three minutes later. Apparently, it had been sitting under the heat lamp all that time. These wings had a small spattering of sauce (Thai Curry and Honey BBQ) dried and caked into the crevices of the breading. They tasted about as appetizing as they look.
Marcos was satisfied with his chicken wings, citing “They’re chicken wings.” He broke his diet regulations in light of the playoffs. Good thing it was short lived.

Claire, taking up the Marcos diet for the evening, went with a chicken salad. She noted, “It’s a salad.” Dan ordered nachos, citing “Ugh, this is going to give me a stomach ache.” I can confirm that later it did just that. The portion size and presentation of the nachos were tempting. The resounding question was: What do you do to make your bar food more than just bar food? How do you do something “signature” or break out of the cycle of corporate restaurant repetition? We were left to ponder this question. * Sidenote: Jon had already eaten since he got to the restaurant so stinking early. So he just kept drinking instead.

Service
Service was friendly and *generally* quick. Pre-bussing was a bit slow, and there was an issue with dropping off the wrong food. But then again, this location only recently opened and the staff is somewhat new. I do give our server credit for rolling with the punches. Jon was in an exceptionally amiable mood, and she was able to keep us smiling.

Overall
While I do not foresee returning to this, or any other, BWW any time soon, there is one factor that could tip the scale. I’m still interested in sitting on that patio overlooking downtown, I just wish there was a game I wanted to watch enough to actually do so.

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