The first thing I want to discuss is this: I know where the “Wings”portion of the name of “Buffalo Browns Wings & Things” comes from. I get that.
But after seeing how immense of a dive this place is, I’m still slight wary that whatever the “Things” in the name are, I could have taken them home with me if I’d have sat down on a toilet seat there. I really don’t want to ask questions as to what the “Things” specifically are, I’m just glad I’m not one of those people that needs a restaurant to be immaculate.
I honestly don’t even need a place to be clean. I don’t even need it to be “sanitary”, per se, because I grew up in the ghetto and I’ll be damned if I didn’t ingest far worse by matter of consequence as a child. Roaches are my friends, dirt never hurt, and kill whitey…that was our motto. And really, thank Jeebus I don’t care because Buffalo Brown’s was the opposite of swank. I mean, there was a pool table in the back that looked like it was there more for storage than to actually be played, and the hand dryer in the bathroom had an actual external cord and was plugged into a wall outlet.
OK, I’m telling far too tall a tale. Buffalo Browns wasn’t dirty or anything, but if you were to look at this place from the outside, you could almost smell the Hantavirus brewing. It’s ugly, and it’s kind of in the ghetto, and there was one other car in the parking lot, and when we walked in there was a small bar that had an outdoor overhang…indoors. Like someone either moved the bar from outdoors to indoors and left the little spanish-tiled roof of it attached, or just built the building around the fucking thing and didn’t give enough of a damn to ever remove it.
None of this has anything to do with the wings, I realize, so I will shut my stupid mouth and get to them. We’ve been to several places since Buffalo Browns Wings & Things and it’s my opinion that these were the hottest ones of all. There were other places that had a secret specialty double homicide suicide challenge that could melt your face, asshole and jejunum but of the regular ol’ order-off-the-menu wings, I think these had the biggest heat.
You may remember that the last place we went, Mister G’s, were good but dry. Buffalo Browns had no such issues.
There was a combo for two dozen wings and a generous helping of freshly cooked curly fries for about $18, so Tyler and I took that and a pitcher of beer from their very inexpensive but relatively meager beer selection.
I could smell these wings coming, boy let me tell you. Drenched in sauce, packed with aroma, we dove in like two fat late-20′s nerds. Granted, we are two fat, late-20′s nerds, but that’s beside the point. The point was, we came to Buffalo Browns to eat some poultry-pops.
We had ordered one dozen hot and one dozen suicide.
The Buffalo Browns server (Mr. Brown? Mr. Buffalo? Jim?) brought us two dozen wings that were average in size, rich in color, hot and fresh out of the fryer. The texture wasn’t quite as crisp as I’d have liked but it was an obvious side effect of the extreme saucing and so I was fine with what I got. They weren’t soggy, but the texture wasn’t ideal. The sauce was unique, to say the least. The hot looked every bit the part, an orange-red with a thicker sauce than I’d ever seen, but not sticky at all. I wasn’t quite expecting the flavor that came out of these things, almost like a curry hot or something. Vinegar? Sure, but there was more than that. Curry might actually be the best comparison for texture as well, now that I think about it, but it wasn’t a fusion flavor or trendy thing. This was still definitely a Hot Wing at its very nature, just one with slightly different ingredients making up the sauce.
Note the Chinese restaurant plates that look like they were leftover from the previous owner that these things were served on. Classy. They also provided plentiful and not-too-thick ranch, carrots and celery to douse the heat. If you’re someone who normally orders medium, don’t try crossing into brave territory at Buffalo Browns by getting the hot, or you and your esophagus will be sorry because these do have a spice to them.
When I picked up my first Suicide though, I bit in and thought “…this is it?” No big deal. Unique flavor, even more so than the Hot wings, the suicide were imbued with a distinct chili pepper taste. Not sure which pepper, because I’m an unsophisticated cunt of a wing reviewer, but it definitely wasn’t just vinegar, butter and spices. No, there were some serious seeds and peppers mashed into this sauce and it was complex and thicker than the Hot.
So I sat there, contemplating these wings and asking Tyler his opinion when all of a sudden I realized my lips were screaming at me. After eating about a total of six wings, alternating between Hot and Suicide, I realized that these had a subtle, slow burn that built up immensely with almost no initial kick. It’s weird because most really hot wings, you can taste right away that they’re going to at least be “pretty spicy” but I had no warning here. None. THANKS FOR NOT WARNING ME, BUFFALO BROWNS.
For the heat-enthusiast (Tyler), this wing isn’t a problem at all, or even a challenge, but I’d imagine it’s a treat. For the medium-lover (henceforth to be called “Mid-Luv” which sounds like a terrible rapper, probably signed to Lil Wayne’s label, cranking out such hits as “I Could Replace Yo Fingaz Girl” and “Lemme Steep That Tea Bag 4 U”) these wings would actually be suicide. Hell, the hot would probably be enough to make a Mid-Luv want to quit wings for a while, so the Suicide here might actually encourage suicide.
By the time we drank the 3 pitchers of beer and ate the 2 dozen wings and munched on the curly fries by dipping them in the leftover sauce, we were satisfied and happy and impressed with this joint, but not at all done with the night. After some really good wings from Buffalo Browns, you can’t just say that’s that. But you also can’t just go to an Applebees and try to chill out amongst the cadre of middle-aged suburbanites and Mid-Luvs enjoying a sub-par meal with hard-earned money, so it took a little creativity to figure out what to do from there.
That’s when I dragged Tyler to a bar in the hidden back area of a strip mall that overlooked a public hockey rink called the Ice House Tavern. It was weird, dark, kinda creepy, and incredibly awesome. Where else can you watch minor league hockey players smash each other against the glass without having to be in the cold of the rink, while drinking from a huge selection of microbrews and drafts? This place is a goldmine, especially when they have a band playing there. It’s extremely easy to get drunk in a place like this.
And drunk we got.
It still wasn’t enough to call it a night. We went (stumbled) to an old college hangout and looked like the old guys in a club that don’t belong at all, and I made it a point to go up to a random pack of fresh faced guys that looked like they just turned 21 and were talking about how much better they were than their friend because they drink Guinness ooh la fucking la. So I walked up and started a convo, asking them what they like about Guinness, questions I didn’t even know an answer to like the hoppiness and the method of brewing and alcohol percentages and what good equivalents were and bullshit like that. I’m an asshole.
I ran into some people I went to school with, one of them an old acquaintance named Stoney with a fire-red beard and the Irish fortitude of a thousand potatoes aflame in a wash of Jameson, and Tyler and I told him why we were out. The reason I wrote about all this extra shit is because I need to thank this man, for it was his suggestion that we go to a place we had never even heard of, let alone seen, and on his suggestion alone we ventured to a place that shifted everything about our wing-eating careers.
So thank you Stoney, from the bottom of my stomach, for introducing us to NY Boyz that fateful night:
To conclude this, I want to make it known that while Buffalo Browns Wings & Things is off-putting at first sight (and at second and third and so on), give it a chance because the beer is cheap, the fries are fresh, and the wings are unique and spicy and great. I already want to go back and risk the cholera outbreak just to taste them again.