This one goes out to all the folks who get on me for always talking about how eating local is the best way to go.
I went to Buffalo Wild Wings. And it was decent. Sort of.
But there are issues with the place, and they start with the drinks menu. Which is completely backward. See, B-Dubs (their terminology, not mine) makes a big deal out of talking about beer styles but they don’t give much info on the actual beers they carry. Confused? Well here’s how it works: The beer menu has huge, long-winded discussions about pale ales, IPAs, and stouts, describing each style in loving detail without any information about the specific pale ales, IPAs, and stouts actually on tap. Then, at the bottom of each section, a microscopic selection of logos serves as an indication of what is actually carried. Again, sort of.
The result is a drinks menu that is both pretentious and stupid at the same time. Should places like Buffalo Wild Wings educate folks about types of beer? Sure, why not? Should places like Buffalo Wild Wings do a better job of telling diners what they actually serve? Yes, indeed. Sticking a Corona logo underneath a long spiel about India Pale Ales makes no sense at all — and it defeats the purpose of all that purple prose about beer styles. So when it came time to order, we weren’t really sure what was actually on draft.
Our server was a sweet girl who tried her best to help. We asked, “What IPAs do you have on tap?” She looked panicked but then seemed to brighten. “I wrote that down today!” she said…and proceeded to read us an entire list of every kind of beer on tap. That’s okay, I suppose, she wasn’t even old enough to drink beer so I don’t hold it against her that she had no idea what we were talking about. When she said “Stone’s Throw IPA” we stopped her and ordered it. I’m happy that a national chain like Buffalo Wild Wings is putting local beer on their menus, but what arrived at our table was not an IPA; and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t even Stone’s Throw. So yeah. Whatever. We drank it anyway.
So how about the wings? They were tasty, I must admit. The Caribbean Jerk wings were a good blend of sweet and spicy, and the medium-hot buffalo wings were tangy and good. The skins were cooked crisp and the chicken itself had a nice flavor. They aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re as good as any wings served in a paper basket are probably going to be. The dried out carrots and celery served to the side were ignored, but I’ve got no complaints about the chicken.
In the end, it was a perfectly acceptable meal, although there was nothing that hit my table that makes me want to go back. I make a big deal out of the beer thing because the restaurant itself makes a big deal out of how wonderful their selection is and how knowledgeable their people are about tasty brews. As a place to watch sports on TV and get your face messy with a variety of sauces, Buffalo Wild Wings is a good option, and if you stick to domestic light beers, it’s a good place to get a buzz while doing it. As for me and my house, there’s nothing at B-Dubs to sway me from my ongoing quest to get you all to eat local.