Monday, April 09, 2007 by Ospite.

We trekked to Buffalo for Easter Sunday this year. The In-Laws live there, and seeing that it had been awhile since we'd visited, they found us at their dining room table for a nice meal of steak and potatoes. Not your normal Easter dinner, but they did have a butter lamb on the table, which my brother-in-law happily decapitated. While warmly digesting in the living room, we enjoyed the Master's and some of the most off-balance greens work I've seen in a long time. Not to mention Tiger's almost-crying losing face. Sprawled out on a comfy leather couch, my mobile rang. My good friend, and tax-accountant, whom we've nicknamed Winkle. It was time for chicken wings.

For those of you uneducated in Buffalo Wings, let me link you to the Anchor Bar. Buffalo's oldest wing joint with the best sauces sits right on Main St. near downtown. Now, I'm not a fan of Buffalo. It's a sad little city that I can't spend more than a day in without feeling mildly depressed...not to mention the annual snowfall is ridiculous. My apologies to readers who might live there. BUT the wings are fabulous.

So the wife stayed behind to help plan her sister's wedding while I took to the streets with Winkle.

We pulled in to the Anchor Bar and saw 3 cars at 850pm. Not a good sign. We walked in, finding the bartender and one other customer, so we hit the bar.

"Hi guys. Listen, we already did last call, so no alcohol, but I can get you wings."
"I called earlier, the guy said you closed at midnight..."
"Yeah, sorry about that, he was misinformed. But you want wings?"

So we ordered 30 wings and some ginger ale, caught up on goings on, and watched Family Guy (say "cool." now say "whip." now say "coolwhip."). As soon as we were her last open check and the last customers in the place, we closed out our bill while she refilled our ginger ale. She was kind enough to let us hang out till she was ready to lock up, which was exceptional. I hate being That Guy who shows up as the kitchen closes.

Here's how this is supposed to go. When you walk in somewhere right before close, remember that they aren't obligated to serve you after closing hours. So if they close at 9pm and you came in at 850, technically they have every right to kick out. Be nice to them, because you've ruined their night. So when Family Guy was over, I left $10 on our $25 bill and we made our way out the door. Waiters, you of all people should know how to play the game.


Blogger Talula said...

Hey man, back off Buffalo! It does have a lot to offer. But I'll forgive you. Thanks for the wing plug.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Augs Casa said...

I may go just for the wings. I love them wings that's for sure.

10:31 AM  
Blogger 6th Floor blog said...

Buffalo has a lot to offer? Not that i'm aware of..And i went there three years for school.

I love the anchor bar. Duff's is also very good.

Luckily down here in New York (city) there are some decent wing places out there, but everytime i go back to visit Buffalo it puts them to shame.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent four months in Buffalo on assignment, and loved it. 'Course I'm from the midwest, and find the city much more to my taste than other NY locations, such as Westchester, etc.

"Sad"? A bit, and the downtown area is in the middle of a sorely needed fix-up. And it's been three years since I was there, so I'm not current on the state of the city.

The Anchor Bar is _exceptional_, far exceeding in quality the other wing places that base their fame on slathers of sauce (Uh, Duff's?).

6:34 PM  
Blogger Ospite said...

Let me clarify by saying that Duff's is also very very good, but their wings have recently shrunk in size. Duff's is located in Amherst closer to UB.

6:59 PM  
Blogger 6th Floor blog said...

Hmm, incredibly shrinking wings!

Dammit, now i've got a wing craving. Going to be at Shea Stadium tomorrow though, so won't be able to partake in the 10cent wings at Croxley's Ale House.

10:36 PM  
Blogger D said...

Unbelievably true. I work at a hotel bar. It's technically 24 hours, but I leave when there aren't enough people for it to be worth keeping me there. At that point, the night manager takes over.

There is nothing more irritating, than when you've just convinced the manager to let you close, and 3 more people walk into the bar and order drinks. If they leave you a good tip though, It just completes your night on a nice high.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous NYC ex-patriate said...

I used to think the same thing about Buffalo. The only time I ever saw it was from the back of a Greyhound bus in the middle of bleak snowy nights. When my wife and I moved up here from NYC, it was quite the culture shock. Now that I have lived here long enough, I have found the most of the "required" cultural elements are in the area, but I have to look a little harder for them. All said, 4 years later, and I wish we didn't have to leave. Thanks for the great blog.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Manuel said...

True but in my 18 waiting and associated services, I have found other wait/bar staff amongst the worst to serve. Well that is the ones that make themselves known as such. I am, of course, a joy to serve.

Very nice blog by the way.

6:32 AM  

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At your service, Ospite

I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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