My nostrils flare to a familiar scent. The wafting acidity reaches my mouth before my mind and, involuntarily, it begins to water. The yellow and black room cradles my eyes. A pitcher ambles by, joyfully bubbling toward its destiny. I am as a sailor returning to sea; I am as a baker ready in the morning to make my daily bread; I am home, call it what you will.
BRETT: For example, Buffalo Wild Wings.
A friendly smile greets us at the door. Or, I think it does – I can hardly see for the intoxicating anticipation of wings. We are lead, after a brief (but not egregious) wait, to our wooden thrones where we will preside over a selection of sauces and suds.
BRETT: We begin the ritual.
JIM: Gentlemen, don your bibs and prepare for the feast.
BRETT: Many buffalo sacrificed their ability to fly for this moment.
JIM: You goof.
Now, I have been pinned as a traditionalist: wherever I go, wing spot-wise, I’m a medium, bone-in boy with whatever beer’s on special, with a preference for the bestest, local-est of brewskies. I always support the home team. But today is different. Today we eat while reclining – with a selection of sauces and brews.
BRETT: Why, Jim?
JIM: Because the people deserve to know my illustrious opinion on this fine establishment, say it with me-
BOTH: The North Clybourn Buffalo Wild Wings.
The cruel winds of Yelp have left it with but two stars, but I choose to see within it awesomeness. Or, I have in passing assumed awesome dwelled within – this isn’t my usual* location. I’ll see if the Yelpers are right or if, perhaps, this is a diamond in the rough. B-Dubs is an institution. People love it, I love it, let’s do this.
BRETT: Sue napkin tumbleweed crossing the slightly sticky floor.
JIM: (Wild West whistle)
*usual = every six months to a year. What am I, made out of money?
Here’s the order:
- Fried Pickles & Mini Corn Dogs to start (gotta whet the appetite)
- Traditional Medium (control sample!)
- Tradition Mango Habañero (spicy!)
- Traditional Lemon Pepper (had to try a dry seasoning, I guess)
- Boneless Parmesan Garlic (salty cheesy yum)
- Boneless Bourbon Honey Mustard (sweet with a kick)
- Pitcher of delightful Half Acre Daisy Cutter APA (like I said, home team) – and, full disclosure, then another one, and then some Coors Lights if you’re nasty.
- A garden side salad (we’re not animals)
We… probably shouldn’t have drank so much before we ordered.
JIM: A delectable and eclectic selection of their fine wares.
BRETT: And waaaaay too much for us to eat in one go.
JIM: We’ll have them for breakfast.
JIM: What, you’ve never done the true breakfast of champions? Black coffee and cold wings?
BRETT: Uhhh, I think my wife did that cleanse once.
JIM: Well, it’s much cheaper here.
BRETT: I’m sure!
And here’s the result:
BRETT: My tummy hurts.
JIM: Hurts so good?
BRETT: Not really.
But it was delicious and they played the Cubs game!The Yelp reviews were way off. This is at least a 3 star institution.
BRETT: Three. Solid three, though.
JIM: The rare 3/5, highly recommend.
We had a great night hanging out: the boys, some buffalo wings, and a few too many brews.
BRETT: Would do it again in a heart beat.
Plus, I found out I like boneless wings! Goodbye, dumb bones, papa’s only eating wings you can stick a fork through from now on! But I’ll be sticking to my medium classic, thanks. The other sauces were fun as a novelty but, let’s be honest, they’re not why I wing.
As we left, I felt a pang of familiar sadness. When will I see you again, B-Dubs?
And on the spicy-scented wind, I could almost hear a whispered response – “sooner than you think.”
10/10 certified awesome. Next time we’ll have to save room for dessert, gotta try those Cheesecake Bites.
JIM: Shhh. Back to sleep now.
BRETT: (mumbling incoherently in back of cab home)
Interested? Find your closest Buffalo Wild Wings and let us know your thoughts.