Sunday, July 19, 2009
BUFFALO WILD WINGS - HONOLULU, HAWAII
I have been waiting a year for Buffalo Wild Wings to open. While I have never been to one on the mainland, the thought of a good beer and wing joint in Hawaii was exciting. We ventured out on a Saturday night (5:00) to get our first taste of a Buffalo Wild Wing. The Honolulu location is on Ala Moana Boulevard on the second story of Discovery Bay. A tough location for any restaurant. Parking in the building is $1.00 for four hours. The lot is very tight and not meant for large trucks or SUV's. Despite the parking we arrived to find a line out the door. The wait was over one hour we were told by the host. I was not going to stand around for an hour just to try some wings so we left and returned on a Sunday around noon. Much better. There was no wait and the place was about half empty. We were seated in a booth surrounded by flat screen t.v.'s. There must be 40-50 flat screens in the joint. They are everywhere. Sports of all kinds to watch while you sip your cold brew and chew on some wings. The restaurant is very large with a small bar in the back. The ceilings and floor are black and lighting is minimal. This is probably so you can see the t.v.'s without glare. It works. The pictures are great. We reviewed the menu which includes burgers, ribs, fried shrimp, salads, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, flatbreads and other fried bar food. I was here for the wings and went directly to the wing choices. You can order your wings standard or boneless. There are 14 different wing sauces to choose from: Sweet BBQ, Teriyaki, Mild, Parmesan Garlic, Medium, Honey BBQ, Spicy Garlic, Asian Zing, Caribbean Jerk, Hot BBQ, Hot, Mango Habanero, Wild and Blazin. We went for the hot wings and ordered (6) each of the Hot, Mango Habanero and Wild. I held back on the hottest version until I sampled these. The wings are about $1 each. They come with bleu cheese or ranch dressing and celery according to the menu. We did not receive any celery on any of our orders. The wings are very small with just a little bit of meat. The Hot wings were covered in a red sauce and had the best flavor and a late kick heat that was good. The Mango Habanero had some heat but were really sweet. I did not like the sweet taste and moved onto the "Wild" wings. The Wild wings differ from the "Hot" wings a bit because there is not as much sauce on the Wild version. The heat comes slowly. With these three versions down, I asked the waitress to bring six of the "Blazin" wings. These are the hottest available and come with a warning to keep away from your eyes, pets and body parts. There is a warning sticker on the paper basket they serve them in. The waitress said good luck and I dug in with a knife and fork. You could smell the heat on these babies. The first bite reminded me of habanero peppers. The heat came fast and continued. After two I was hot. My mouth was on fire. The third one went down and I threw in the towel. I had met my heat limit for the day. Next time I will stick to the "Hot" and "Wild" and go at night so I can enjoy some of the ice cold Coors they were pushing on special. UPDATE: Went back on week night and had terrific service. The wings came out fast and included celery. Knocked back a few cold brews and they were great. Tried the flatbread. It is like a pizza served on a flour tortilla. We had it with chicken and wing sauce. It was good but had way too much cheese on it. Three people at the table could not take all the cheese. We left 3/4 of the thing on the table. Not worth taking home. I would order again but tell the waiter to go very easy on the cheese. The wings were really good the second time. I decided that the "hot" wings were the perfect combo of flavor and heat.