Sunday, August 31, 2008

National Buffalo Wing Festival, New York

Anchor Bar at the National Buffalo Wing Festival

It might be an amusing story if I said that I got so scared of that Swiss Chalet place that I quickly fled the next day to get some chicken stateside. But the truth is that this quick run across the border was planned all along. I barely caught the tail end of this annual weekend festival today, thus missing shows like the buffalo wing eating contest. Fortunately, there was still enough food for me to introduce quite a few varieties of wings to my belly.

The shop that I had to target first was Anchor Bar, the supposed inventor of buffalo wings. True to form, their wings were exactly as I like them: small yet full of tasty skin, not breaded, and with a quintessential sauce that could even be upgraded to a darker suicidal version should you so choose. A couple of shops down, a local shop called Danny's was selling buffalo wing soup, which was richer and more hearty than it sounded.

But perhaps what got me the most excited was Sean's Booyah sauce a couple of booths on the other side of Anchor Bar, and allegedly an award winner at that. I was a bit disturbed by how artificially orange the sauce looked when I first got it, but after one taste I realized that the reason why it was so bright in color was probably the same reason why it won that award: the thing was loaded up with so much butter that you could almost taste more butter than hot sauce. It was rich, sinful, and totally delicious.

Yes, other stuff was available at the festival too, including corn grilled directly over a flame, as well as some sandwiches and drinks. But clearly the variety of chicken wings was the focus. There were a number of regional chains there (and even corporate giant KFC - hmmm), but I mainly stuck to the booths that were from Buffalo itself. In that sense, I had to be sure to hit Swings Wings, a stall with some of the longest lines this afternoon, perhaps because they featured a number of atypical sauces like garlic butter. Call me traditional, but I didn't care for those too much, especially since some of them were rather sweet. But I'll go back for more Anchor, Danny's, or Sean's Booyah any day. Those were truly finger lickin' good.

10 comments:

Erich Pfeiffer said...

I am just disapointed you didn't mention the winner of the amature wing sauce competition....ME Erich Pfeiffer. Really I went and spoke to shawn and he had won the sauce competition for the 3 years prior to my victory. Nice guy great sauce as well. It was a blast

Sean Tierney said...

Hey, i'm glad you were diggin my sauce but If you want your blog to be accurate - my sauce isn't any variety of alleged - it is in fact the '06 amateur national champion (winning right here at wing fest) and 2 time 2nd runner up, The trophies were all on display and i'll happily send you the pics. Also this was my very first weekend turning pro in the wing business - I served my first customer ever at 12:05 on sat. and based on my lines, i think a lot of folks agreed with you about the "sinful & totally delicious" thanks for the good words right sean

mcgyyvr said...

This was our first year attending the wing festival and look forward to next year! I found this blog while searching for Sean's website which I have not been able to locate yet. I need to buy some of your sauce! I'm having withdrawals! My personal picks from the fest are 1-Sean's booYah! 2-Arooga's 3-Legend Larry's. Contact info would be greatly appreciated!
Dave W. Monroe, MI

Sean Tierney said...

Dave, it's great to hear you are having withdrawals... umm... i mean i'm so sorry to hear you're having withdrawals i'm working hard to remedy that situation. it was so great meeting all of you guys, and i can't thank all of you enough for being willing to wait in my crazy long line. Drop me an email at seansbooyah.com you have to actually enter the address, google can't find me yet - i spent my time getting the sauce together, the internet had to suffer, all will be up and running soon. i've got my first franchise kicking off tonight - waterfront tavern in freeport long island will now proudly be serving seans booYah! sauces!!! thanks again. right. sean

Brian Roth said...

Sean, I was searching for your wing sauce on the internet as well. Glad I found you here! I'm also thankful that you posted your website because like Dave, I'm going through withdrawls as well. Your sauce kicked ass, it had a slightly different taste which made me want to eat about 1000 wings. I don't know if that's a good thing? It was definitely worth the wait on your line (there was a reason why there was a line for your's and not anybody else. I look forward to buying sauce and good luck in your venture.

Brian R.,Buffalo, NY

Pete from NYC said...

I agree: best wings at the festival. Amazing to see so many people from Buffalo going crazy for Booyah as well. I almost couldn't take the long line. But I'm glad I did...

Sean Tierney said...

Damn, thanks for the good words guys. There's no higher authority in the wing realm than a dude from Buffalo - right on. Regarding your withdrawals - I'm talking with a couple of restaurants in Buffalo about serving my sauce on their wings so hopefully soon you can just order a little booYah! from your neighborhood pizza shop etc. Do you have a local favorite I should contact? Also sorry about the website it'll be rocking soon. right. sean.

Sean Tierney said...

Thanks Pete, yeah I freaked out that the folks from Buffalo were freaking out. People wanted to take the sauce home, they lined up til after the festival closed, we even had a few that came back 4 & 5 times. one girl wanted to empty her pocketbook and fill it up with sauce but i suspect she had first been on the beer line. like I said to Brian, there's no higher compliment in the world than to have Buffalo give the thumbs up. What an awesome time. Thanks all.

Anonymous said...

Thank God I found this site! LOVED your wings! BOOYAH! First timer at the Festival and your wing sauce was THE BEST in my opinion. Wanted to buy some on the spot and was disappointed when I couldn't locate you on line. Looking forward to ordering when your site is up and running. Also, you and everyone working the booth were soooo kind. We went on Sunday and I am sure all of you were hot and tired, but took the time to say thanks to everyone. Between such a great product and caring service, I'm sure your resturant will be a big success! All the best!

Sean Tierney said...

thank you so much masked man (or woman) it's our pleasure to serve