Chicken Wing Tournament of Champions: Day One Recap

Day 1 Recap by Tom Przybylak

With day one coming to a close, there weren’t too many surprises. Two seeded world famous La Nova of West Side dominated underdog Strikers Bowling of West Seneca. Regarding La Nova, I’ve never thought their wings were anything particularly special and always found them to be small and boring, but the house made bleu cheese that really sets them apart. That stuff is a definite crust dipper, and an extra tub or two is requisite to any order. Lets see if scrawny wings and great dips can keep them alive in the next round.

8. JP Fitzgerald’s of Hamburg pulled off a close one against 9. Grover’s Bar and Grill of Clarence. I don’t think I’ve ever gone past the burger at Grover’s but I guess I’ll need to try their wings the next time I go there. Which probably won’t be for awhile because if I’m going that far for a burger, I’m going to Ruzzine’s across the street. Is that place still open? And hell, if I’m that far down Transit Road I may as well go another twenty minutes and hit Pizza Oven and One Eyed Jacks. But this is about wings. And it’s about you… not me. Anyway, I think JP Fitzgerald’s has good wings. Big, meaty, and crispy… way better than JP Bullfeathers on Elmwood, which thankfully is closed. JP Bullfeathers was always an awkward scene and never really gave me a good vibe. JP Fitzgerald’s however… great food.

1.Anchor Bar beat 16. Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar (don’t call it DBGB’s!). I can say that I’ve never had Duke’s Bohemian wings – but I was pulling for the little guy in this one. It will be interesting to see how many rounds Anchor Bar makes it before the Western NY native protest vote has its way and ousts them from the competition. For now, it looks like we have sufficient out of towners and ex-pats that will continue voting for Anchor Bar. I think Anchor Bar makes one more cut, and then is out.

7.Imperial Pizza vs. 10. Franco’s Pizza. Two of the most impactful pizza joints from my teenage years go head to head. Franco’s was the pizza of our lunch room at St Joe’s, and I spent more than enough missed periods sneaking cigarettes and slopping down slices in the Franco’s Parking Lot on Kenmore Ave. It will always be a nostalgic place for me, but my former employer and alma mater Imperial Pizza beat them out by almost 8 points. I recused myself from voting so that I could continue to speak unfiltered, and I think the Imperial Wing program will be tough to beat. They still buy the 8-per-pounders and stick to a pretty standard recipe – but the execution is consistently spot on. It may be their Char-B-Que that give them an edge when it comes down to it…

More to come after another day of voting.