I first heard about Buffalo Barbeque Wings (yes, Barbeque, not Wild) a few months ago when the Jackson Citizen-Patriot ran a blurb about it’s opening. I blogged about (here) and I have gotten hundreds of hits for that post. When you type “Buffalo Barbecue (sic) Wings” in Google, that post is the first hit you get. Seems there are a lot of people wanting to know more about this place but since they don’t have a website, they keep getting directed to my site.
My girlfriend and I were down in Brooklyn for the Sprint Cup race. I was doing some work and we both had garage passes. The concession stands in the pits suck and the media lunch was at noon, so by the time 6:00 rolled around, we were both starving. As we were waiting for Carl Edwards to make his way to the conference room, J asked about dinner. Since we were already going through Jackson, I asked her if she was up for some wings. I figured if people are going to come to this blog looking for information, I might as well give it to them.
We avoided the mess on US 127 by staying on US 12 after leaving the track and cutting through the country on Jackson Rd. We ended up only sitting in traffic for 20 minutes instead of the hour plus we did last time. Since we took Jackson Rd, we ended up going all the way through town to get to where we were going. That’s not necessary on a normal day. We found on the way home Buffalo Barbecue Wings is less than a mile from I-94 and US 127. We found the shop in a strip mall. There was just a sign that marked the spot. Had we not been looking for it, it would have been easy to miss. It’s behind Biggby and that’s how I knew to start looking. I saw the Biggby and turned into the parking lot. After a quick scan of the storefronts, we found the right one.
If you’re still reading, your probably still wondering if I’m an idiot and meant to write Buffalo Wild Wings. I would be if I were you, but I’m not. However, you suspicions are correct. It’s a total rip off of the more popular restaurant. We parked the car and made our way inside. As soon as you open the door, you start to see the similarities. Hell, not even similarities, but exact copies. The decor is exactly the same. We made our way down a long hallway that blocks off the dining room to the bar area. It is an exact copy. Same type of tables. Same bar. Same TV layout. Same everything as BW’s We took a seat at a pub table. The menus were already on the table and our waiter came over to take drink orders. I had been drinking Coke at the track all day and was craving a Pepsi really, really bad. Thank god they had Pepsi products. J just got an Iced Tea, but couldn’t find any sugar for it. She sucked it up because we were both thirsty and probably dehydrated.
J opened the menu and, I’m not kidding you, said, “Oh good. They have my favorite sandwich from Buffalo Wild Wings.” The thing is, the menu is not an exact replica. Yes, they have wings in multiple sauces, but they have much larger selection of burgers and appetizers. J’s sandwich is the Chicken Finger Wrap. The large flour tortilla comes filled with grilled crispy chicken fingers, a blend of cheeses, lettuce, tomato (which she left off) and onion (also left off). You also get your choice of a sauce which she asked for on the side. She asked for Honey BBQ and Ranch, but got Honey Mustard. The server noticed it right away and was going to take it back, but she asked to keep it and get Honey BBQ and forget the Ranch which he did. Unlike Buffalo Wild Wings, her sandwich came with fries and this is one spot where Buffalo Barbeque Wings totally outdoes it’s competition. Instead of “buffalo chips” she got a basket of beer battered, fresh cut fries. They were really delicious. Nice and crunchy which she likes and fresh cut like I like. She said her wrap was on par with the larger chain and the wrap and fries were enough to satisfy her appetite.
I went with the restaurants namesake. How could I pass up wings? I love Buffalo Wild Wings’. They’re easily my favorite chicken wing restaurant. I just couldn’t afford them as much as I wanted. I got a dozen Chipotle BBQ wings. The server said I could split the order in half and get another sauce, but for some reason I didn’t. The Sweet Habenero Pepper also sounded good, but after 12 wings, I’m glad I didn’t. The wings come a la cart. No fries. I thought about adding an order, but a side was $3, so I passed. The waiter brought out the wings, but didn’t bring me any napkins. That didn’t stop me though. The wings are cooked and taste just like BW’s. At first, I was disappointed in the Chipotle BBQ. There was no taste of it as all. It must have built up on my taste buds or something though because by the time I got to number ten, I was starting to wonder if I was going to be able to finish. They ended up being hot. After my first couple wings, the waiter noticed I was a mess and had sauce from ear to ear. He brought a handful of napkins for me to clean myself up so I didn’t totally embarrass J.
Buffalo Barbeque Wings was pretty much what I expected. It looks like someone broke into a Buffalo Wild Wings, stole all their furniture and moved it into a strip mall in Jackson. The food is similar which is a good thing in my book. J and I both enjoyed our meal. We both agreed the fries were much, much better at Buffalo Barbeque Wings. The waiter was a little annoying. It seemed like he came back every thirty seconds. Just about every time J took a bite, he would come by and ask a question. A little overbearing. Our bill was just over $20 which I’m not sure we had ever gotten out of Buffalo Wild Wings that cheap. Granted, we didn’t have any beer.
The old saying is “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and Buffalo Barbeque Wings imitates it’s national competitor down to the beer coolers behind the bar and the servers being allowed to wear sports t-shirts instead of a uniform. That’s not a bad thing. A group from Missouri did the same thing with Hooters and created a restaurant chain called Show-Me’s that does the exact same thing. Is Buffalo Barbeque Wings the start of a chain? I don’t know, but I will tell you since Buffalo Wild Wings will probably never come to Jackson, Buffalo Barbeque Wings is a great replacement and deserves a chance.