Chicken Wing Tournament of Champions: Day Six Recap

 

Anchor Bar (1) lost to JP Fitzgerald’s (8) – UPSET

We knew this was going to happen, didn’t we? But did we know that favorite Anchor Bar would go down 40 to 60 by an 8 seeded tavern from Hamburg? An insightful Dan‏ @lengeld on twitter posted: “I hope this @BuffaloEats bracket brings some wing awareness to uninformed buffalonians. You don’t need to eat at tourist wing traps anymore!”

And he’s really right, isn’t he? Because in Buffalo, we have “Anyone but The Patriots” and “Anywhere but Anchor Bar.” It’s not snark. They’re just not really that good. And we all have our favorite place to take people that is NOT Anchor Bar. Hell, my picture is on the wall somewhere in that place with Walter Mondale and I’ll be damned if I’ve ever seen it. So it looks like it was JP Fitzgerald’s that put the final nail in the “wing awareness” plaque. Time to move on, and good luck JP’s in the next round.

(4) Mr.Goodbar defeated (5) Wiechec’s

Well this was a tight matchup of 4 seeded Goodbar over 5 seeded Wiechec’s. The reality is that you can’t go wrong at either place. I’ll defer to the Mayor of Kaisertown – Dennis Kozuch, with his take on Wiechec’s as we bid them farewell until next year:

“Wiechec’s Lounge in the Kaisertown section is not flashy or trendy, but what they are is remarkably consistent. The specialist of the Fish Fry, they draw hundreds of hungry folks every Friday looking for big slabs of beer battered haddock, and have a dedicated following from near and far. The reason people roll into Wiechec’s for chicken wings is the fact that they know what they’re going to get. There’s no secret ingredients, or no special bleu cheese recipe. But if you stop by for ten hot, chances are one of three people made your wings. The folks that man the kitchen are either the owner Mike Wiechec, or two long time employees Greg and Tim Jezioro. No high school kids, not the bartender doing double-duty. They churn out a solid basket of wings that you know are going to be crispy, nicely sauced and ready to go down the hatch with a cold pitcher of draft.” – Dennis Kozuch

La Nova (2) over Imperial (7)

I admittedly love my Imperial Pizza program and am very biased – but I knew they were in trouble going up against La Nova. Is anyone else surprised at the spread though? 52/48? That’s grounds for a recount in some states. It makes you wonder if number 2 seeded La Nova has as much clout as we think, or if they’re going to be the next big upset. Time will tell. For now, so long Imperial Pizza, and good luck on your multi-million dollar renovation. It will be the Crown Jewel of Lackawanna when you’re done.

Kelly’s Korner (3) over Bases Loaded (6)

My (Donnie) first memory of Kelly’s Korner was being told by a friend that they have the best wings in Buffalo. Now, this friend also has an undying love for Bruce Springsteen and view him as a deity… so I didn’t want to believe him. I tried the medium wings and thought they were fine… but it was their Hot wings with a delicious dry rub that got me. Alli and I were such fans of the bar that we even went there to watch the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Olympics which was a real treat with the North Buffalo crowd of regulars. Bases Loaded is a gem in the rare Woodlawn/Hamburg/Lackawanna neighborhood in the shadow of Bethlehem Steel. Their wings are incredibly solid, so much so that Alli and I were obsessed with them for a summer an have been meaning to go back.