A Padded Resume – Buffalo Wild Wings

Ron says…

10.19.09

BW3 or the way I first heard it referred to –  “Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck” – I remember the first time I heard the word “Weck”, back in the early ’90s as I was stumbling down High Street in Morgantown, looking for the Hot Dog Man, I asked myself, what the hell does “Weck” mean?  My room mates were of no help, as if I was ripped they were surely torn.

As you can see from my opening intro for BW3 – well I have a soft spot for it.  Back then, to me, BW3 was nothing more than a bar where I could get cold beer, the food was served till past two AM, the wings were really hot, there were these great little round things like fries that they called “Buffalo Chips”, and if that didn’t satisfy you, well they had burgers too.  (plus I could sit and play trivia with various other losers throughout the land)

What’s not good at 2AM?   I don’t ever recall saying, “dudes, I don’t feel like drinking, let’s go to BW3, and get something to eat.” (course I probably never said “I don’t feel like drinking”, but that’s another story).

WELL – BW3 is now open out at Southridge, brand new large facility right next to Famous Daves.  Having to go spend our payday at Sams Club, Susan and I decided to go have a beer.  I love shopping at Sam’s with a buzz.

So, we go in, I go check out the little beer drinker’s room…  and well they’re nice and clean, good, pomptly back to Susan and we’re seated in the Bar area.

Tons of TV’s around the joint.   We’re at a high table, unfortunetly we’re on the end near a high traffic high congested area.  Oh well, $3 23oz drink is sitting there waiting.  ummmmmmmmmm

I browse through the menu.   I hate menus that have inserts, that fall out.   I HATE IT.  Just staple the damned thing to the menu.  (mental note to carry a Stapler and just do it for the establishment)

So I’m pretty familiar with BW3’s wing selection.  Their hottest is hot and good, they have a great selection of wing sauces, most of which I’ve tried and admit to liking.  Currently, the Mango Habanero is my choice.  Spicy – very, and sweet.   Has a great habanero taste and kick, but plenty of sweetness.

But I didn’t get wings….

As I’m perusing, Susan asks me “what are you going to get?”…  my response will say a lot about my familiarity with BW3.

“.. something I’ll regret…”   I respond.

Those three words say a lot.  Because I know this place.  Food is not their specialty.  Their specialty is atmosphere and hanging out.  As I stated, I never really came here for the sole purpose of eating. Other than getting friends to try the hottest of the hot wings, I don’t even think I’ve ever recommended a BW3 as a place to go eat.  It’s always been kind of like…. “yeah, plenty of TV’s there, and I can get something to eat while I’m there“.

So not wanting wings today, I choose a $7.99 Grilled Chicken Wrap – described as “Take The checkered flag with this large flour tortilla stuffed with our juicy, seasoned, grilled chicken, a blend of cheeses, lettuce, tomato, and your favorite “Buffalo Wild Wings” sauce“.   ~ you know what sauce I’m ordering.  That’s right, the Habanero Mango.

Also, it comes with salsa and chips, I could add fries or buffalo chips for an extra $0.50 or something like that.

I wanted the Buffalo Chips… I loved those things.  Still do.  I mean who wouldn’t?

You’ll have the green flag to enjoy these crisp natural cut potato slices“… the word “crisp” has me concerned as I never remember them being crisp, maybe they’ve changed some.  Oh well, I want the basket for $4.49 anyhow.  Forget the chips and salsa.  Negotiating with the waitress, she figures it out, and writes it all down.

RLS_091019_001_Bw3-FYouWe don’t really wait long before our meal is served, even though we did wait a little, but the crowd was pretty busy, surprising to me.   It looks as though Bw3 has done a good job of attracting the non-late night drinking crowd out here to South Ridge (btw, I don’t know what their hours are out here, I do know in Morgantown, and the Greater Barboursville Area that those Bw3’s stay open till around 2AM serving food or at least used to).

Well our food comes out, my meal is screwed up I didn’t get a basket of buffalo chips.  But the sandwich wrap is decently sized and thick.  My iPhone picture does not do it justice at all.  Plus I also recieved some salsa and chips (these were not supposed to be here so obviously I’m wondering about the itemized statement of our bill). 

But size and quantity is only half of what’s important – how does it taste? (well to some of you taste is all that matters)  It tastes like a Kroger or Wal-Mart wrap that’s sat in the refrigerated aisle, the only difference is that the meat was warmed up prior to wrapping.   Yes that sounds harsh to say, but it’s the truth.  The item just wasn’t that good.  I don’t think the chicken is grilled, if it’s grilled, it’s grilled like Tyson, and then shipped in shrink wrapped packages only to be warmed up.     There is no smoke and steam coming from the kitchen?  None coming from the building – looking across the street at Famous Daves – they have smoke coming off their grill – or at least they have the illusion that it is.  But not BW3 and my grilled chicken wrap.

I would have thought that they expected the Habanero Mango sauce to grill it and heat it up, except BW3 forgot to add the sauce to my wrap.   Normally I would be having a shit fit over all these blatant fouls, but today, I’m just going with, well it’s BW3 and it’s par for the course.

I didn’t like my chips… I’m like a cat and finiky when it comes to tortilla chips.   These didn’t pass my finicky muster.  

My Buffalo Chips were just like I remembered them.  NOT CRISPY.  lol.   (woohoo thank god for false advertisment)

Our server (forget her name) was very kind, she caught some of the mistakes at first site without being told and promptly made corrections.  She quickly brought out the Habanero Mango Sauce for the wrap.  No, I was nice today, I didn’t complain about the faux grilling.  

So how was it fork wise?  I cannot with a straight face give this meal three forks.  It really came off as not grilled, they get by on a technicality with the Buffalo Chips.  There’s just a lot of hype, and not much substance with the meal I had today.   TWO FORKS.

That being said, I saw several trays of wings, I did not have any, but the wings looked small.  IE the smallest order of six wings, still made the serving container look empty.  They were very small, and it’s a rather steep price to pay for wings in my opinion.   My Habanero Mango sauce though was very good, and I can only assume the rest of their sauces I like are still delicious.  Plus you can purchase them to take home for a reasonable price.   I highly recommend you try the Habanero Mango Sauce.

I hope some of the experience I had are just because of this being a new establishment and still working out the kinks as I’d really like to give it three forks just for sentimental reasons, even if the food never blows my skirt.   

But as I said today – TWO FORKS.

Susan says…

I knew coming in that this would be all about the TVs and the beer and the food would be incidental.  The only hope for “excellence” with the food was the wings.  I don’t eat wings – too messy, too primal and the sauce gets under my fingernails.  But I know they offer boneless wings, so that was a possibility.

The new location is large.  The parking lot and entrance are set up kind of weird – if you park near the access road, you’re in the back of the restaurant, so drive around toward the Corridor for a better spot.

Unfortunately we were seated right in the traffic lane beside the waitstaff’s holding area.  The seats were really comfy, though.  At least mine was.  We were at a high-top table with one tall chair and a bench.  I slid into the bench quickly before Ron could. 

They must have 50 beers on draft.  The only one I cared about, Michelob Ultra, was available so I didn’t pay too much attention to the rest except to note there was a whole lot of them.  I asked Ron where they kept all those kegs – the bar was one tap after another.  We theorized that they were behind the bar wall and therefore, out of sight.

bw3 generic ketchup

My 23 oz Unbeer was $3.07, the same price as Ron’s Bud Light.  I was glad not to get ripped off on the pricing – a lot of places charge more for Mich Ultra.  I once was charged the import price at another restaurant – I politely explained to the server that Michelob is indeed made in this country and is therefore not an import.  Unfortunately, the geography lesson did not impact my bill.  But BW3 does not discriminate.

They have mystery ketchup at BW3 – they put their own label on it so you couldn’t tell who the manufacturer is.  I asked Emily if she knew if it was Heinz and she did not know. 

I have been mildly obsessed with Southwest Eggrolls lately.  I love, LOVE the ones from Chili’s.  Last football season, I would call an order into Chili’s when we reached Clarksburg for southwest eggrolls and the spinach-artichoke dip, picked it up on our way into Morgantown and that was my tailgate food.  Ron could eat all the grody brats he wanted.  I was in bliss.

I tried southwest eggrolls at Bellacino’s and they were okay.  Kind of small and therefore skimpy on the fillings, and they are baked, not fried.  Better for the waistline but you can’t beat some deep-fried grub.

I made my own southwest eggrolls for a tailgate earlier in the season this year and will be making them again for the matchup with Pitt.  My filling rocks!  Based on user reviews on the recipe sites, I used wonton wrappers instead of flour tortillas for the exterior.  Next time, I am going to try flour tortillas because mine weren’t quite as good as Chili’s.  I’ll report on it and share the recipe later.

BW3 offers an item called Southwest Dippers.  The menu description is as follows:  Golden-crisp tortilla dippers filled with fajita-spiced chicken, Pepper Jack cheese, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, corn and black beans.

That’s sounds a lot like the Chili’s version.  To heck with boneless wings.  For $4.99, I was hopeful that I would have some great, crispy southwest goodness.

My hopes were immediately dashed when I received the basket of half-moon shaped little nuggets.  It didn’t look like there was any type of tortilla involved in this dish.  I broke one in half to examine the cross-section.  Nope – looks like regular ol’ breading to me…no tortilla.  And they are so small, the breading to filling ratio would be all wrong. 

bw3 sw eggrolls

The filling was hot and cheesy.  In a typical “nugget” you might find one black bean and two kernels of corn.  I occasionally found a small bit of chicken, but since the nuggets were so tiny, you couldn’t fit a hunk of meat inside them anyway.

Even though the place hadn’t been open for long, our server was great.  She was friendly and joked around with us.  Good job, Emily.

I tasted the chips and salsa that came with Ron’s wrap even though he ordered a substitution.  Trust me, it was no bonus that we received them.  You could bend these chips in half backward and they are not breaking.  You could see the oil glazing each chip.  They reminded me of those awful chips we got at the Town Center Chili’s after seeing Sex & The City.   I agree with him about the buffalo chips – they weren’t crispy by any stretch of the imagination.  I thought they tasted good anyway, but if you describe them as crispy in the menu, then they ought to arrive at my table crispy.  We received two different orders at two different times – both were thick-cut and soft potato slices, barely golden brown.

This was a case of false advertising.  The item I received was nothing like the menu description.  Talk about a padded resume….  They need to just tell it like it is – people are coming there to drink and watch the game, not eat gourmet food.  There is no reason to fabricate the menu – it only builds expectations that will not be met.  TWO FORKS. 

Buffalo Wild Wings
2501 Mountaineer Blvd.
Charleston, WV 25309-9439
304-744-0801
Buffalo Wild Wings on Urbanspoon
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11 responses to “A Padded Resume – Buffalo Wild Wings

  1. Said it before, will say again: you willingly order Michelob Ultra you deserve to get stuck paying out the nose for it.

    But at least you recognize it as “Unbeer.”

    And BW3 ketchup used t be relabeled Hunt’s, but that was a few years back. Today? Who knows?

  2. I have been waiting for a review of BW3 by Fork You. Wanted to find out if I was the only one not overly thrilled with the place. Yes, there are lots of TV’s, but none are closed captioned and table speakers are not offered. Our waiter was friendly, but did not offer much encouragement regarding food choices. He even said, I have worked at so many wing places and they all claim to be the best. My husband and I both ordered the pulled pork sandwich. The meat was slightly above room temperature and dry. The fries were ok, but my onion rings were over battered as most onion rings seem to be.
    We won’t be going back.

  3. Linda…

    good point about the Closed Captioning and lack of speakers.

    I’ve always been a fan of having the closed captioning on while watching a game in an establishment where the background noise is real loud. I can follow the game pretty good that way.

  4. I thought it was okay, but there are definitely kinks to be worked out. A more poetic review can be found here:

    http://www.wvgourmet.com/2009/11/20/buffalo-wild-wings-haiku-edition/

  5. Hunts is a bastard ketchup

  6. Pingback: Happy New Year 2010! @ MattKendrick.com

  7. Just another guy

    Not a big point, but since I worked for Anheuser Busch, I figured I might be of some help. The Michelob family of beers is not an import, but rather a domesticated “Premium” beer. The hops are indeed imported from afar, as the label used to state (not sure if it still does). A fair number of sales pitches used to push this beer to market were that it was an import because of the ingredients. But in the end, it is nothing more than the Premium Domestic beer.

  8. Sproston Green

    Grease pit. Poor man’s version of Quaker Steak but “poor” is meant in terms of food quality. We need two of these? Anyone want to bet on when the novelty rubs off which location goes under first? I know that’s an awful thing to say and I loved Bw3 in Morgantown but I won’t be back. If you’ve got a good fryer go to Sam’s club and find some frozen food and fry it up because that’s exactly what this place tastes like sadly.

  9. The atmosphere is the main reason I go there. For my husband, it’s the Yuengling Light on draft. The wings are the best food on the menu, IMO. We especially love the mango habanero sauce out of four flavors we’ve tried. We got the ribs on our last trip and they were decent. The bbq sliders weren’t bad either (but the buns were blah.) The fries and “chips” are always just barely warm. From now on, I’m sticking to just wings.

  10. Not a single glowing review. Exactly what I expected, and the last one was from over a year ago. It’s not gotten any better in case you are wondering. My biggest problem is with the wait staff. I walked in and waited to be seated and three servers by-passed me. Finally, I see a girl roll her eyes and leave the conversation she is having 10 feet from me and asked where I would like to sit. My friend and I chose the dining room instead of the bar area. I got the pork sliders with the Asian sauce and John got the crispy chicken salad with the medium sauce. Mine were OK, but John’s salad was limp looking lettuce from a bag and just a couple pieces of chicken. Definitely overpriced for the quality we received and we don’t tip servers who huff when asked for napkins and then throws them on the table when she returns. If all you want is some mediocre wings and overpriced beer in front of a TV with no volume it’s perfect for you. If I want to drink beer and watch the game, I will do it in my living room. It may not be a monster big screen but I can listen to whatever volume I want and when I need a refill the fridge is in the next room. I will never return of my own volition.

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