Sunday, April 26, 2009

Original Buffalo Wings - Irvine

This one snuck right by me. And I usually keep a close and watchful eye on the goings-on at Diamond Jamboree. So when I finally noticed them this week, it was like Homer Simpson finding a twenty dollar bill between the couch cushions.
Homer: Aw, twenty dollars! I wanted a peanut!
Homer's Brain: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts!
Homer: Explain how!
Homer's Brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services!
Homer: Woo-hoo!
This, however, was much better than a peanut: a Buffalo wings restaurant, the first of its kind in Irvine, if I'm not mistaken. Not only that; it's perched just two doors down from BBQ Chicken, who's been roosting peacefully and serving fried hens of its own before this new business even hatched.

BBQ's reaction to the new chick in its turf? Hand-made signs on poster boards, which proclaim that they, too, make Buffalo wings!

But Original Buffalo Wings (which is part of Northern California franchise that's migrating south) shouldn't be seen as competition. As far as I'm concerned, they're doing very different things. Both fry their birds, yes. But the end products are as different as Blue Man Group and Penn & Teller. There's room in town for both.

We ordered OBW's Buffalo Dozen, which supplies you with 13 assorted upper arms and forearms of the animal ($11.95, chips & soda included). More meat, as everyone knows, surround the humerus, better known as the "drums". But both the "drums" and the "flats" start out as blank canvases, deep-fried plainly until their skins render to a crispy golden brown.

What paths they are to follow next, after their boiling oil bath, depends on your appetite for adventure and tolerance for pain.

There are a little less than a dozen saucing options to choose from, which include:
Mild
Original Spicy
Extra Spicy
Kamikaze
Spicy B.B.Q.
Spicy Teriyaki
Hawaiian Spicy
Non-Spicy (Plain)
Honey B.B.Q.
Teriyaki
Lemon Pepper

Since we had more than a few wings to flavor, they gave us the opportunity of choosing three. The Mild was hot enough to summon the sweat to bead on my brow. The Honey B.B.Q. was so sugary it practically rotted my teeth on contact. And the Hawaiian Spicy looked and tasted as though they just took the Mild Sauce and mixed it up with the Honey B.B.Q. sauce.

I'd recommend sticking with the original flavors at OBW's, especially if you're a wing aficionado. After all, there's a reason why the tried-and-true formula of hot sauce and melted butter (as originally concocted by the Anchor Bar in Buffalo) is now as ubiquitous in appetizer lists as Asian eateries are at Diamond Jamboree.

OBW's originals are just as good as all others. Including Anchor Bar's, which I can actually say I've had.

What was surprising here, though, were their homemade chips. As wide as coasters, these warm, greaseless, ameoba-shaped cross-sections sliced off an actual potato crunched as light as a wafer.

Hmm...on second thought, maybe there is something that potato-chip-less BBQ Chicken should worry about.

Original Buffalo Wings
(949)660-8989
2750 Alton Parkway, Ste. 131
Irvine, CA 92606

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16 Comments:

At 4:34 PM, Blogger melissa said...

Okay, I don't like wings, but I do like a challenge. I once ate an entire basket of boneless tenders from Wing Stop with that Atomic sauce and I felt like I was on drugs afterward. The capsaicin literally altered my chemistry for a couple of hours. It was awesome. Hehe.

I would be DOWN to try the Kamikaze at this place! Bring it on!

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger EatTravelEat said...

Wow...so many different saucing options to choose from. I wonder how spicy teriyaki would taste like!

Those potato chips look awesome. I rarely see fresh cut fries, and have never seen freshly cut potato chips before!

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger digkv said...

It's a really interesting chain edwin. I mean I went there and found it to be a bit overpriced but the food was decent enough. I still prefer Hooter's wings perhaps because those are breaded then fried. What's interesting to note is that they claim to make their sauce in house but truthfully it just tastes like Frank's Red Hot. I did however, enjoy the garlic fries.

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Juliet said...

mmm...I do like wings, and I like them spicy.

 
At 11:22 AM, Anonymous amourra said...

I've been meaning to go to this plaza for months...Wings will have me there sooner rather than later...I heart wings =) Can't wait to go now, it's just down the street.

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Candice said...

I've never been there, but I'd recommend Buffalo Wild Wings in Chino or Rancho. It's amazing. And they have deals:
45 cent wing Tuesdays
55 cent any wing Wednesdays
60 cent boneless wing Thursdays

And then get Honey BBQ and Asian Zing. And I heard Mango-Habanero is good, although I've never tried it because I'm allergic to mangos.
And then you can write a blog on this =)

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Melissa,

Nuh uh. Even the thought of a drop of something called Kamikaze makes me break out in a sweat. I think my stomach would be in tatters. Though I'd love to watch you try it!

EatTravelEat,

I wonder too. Although since the Spicy Hawaiian turned out to be a combo of the Honey BBQ & Regular, I have a feeling the Teriyaki would be a combo of the Teriyaki & Regular.

The chips though! They're greeeeaat, to quote Tony the Tiger. I'd even say they're better than Jerry's Dogs.

digkv,

Franks! That's it! I was trying to remember what's traditional to the recipe. I knew it wasn't Tabasco, but I couldn't put my finger on it until you mentioned it. I think the originals in Buffalo's Anchor Bar uses Frank's and margarine...so I guess that means it is "authentic" or at the very least faithful to the "original".

Juliet,

I like wings, and I like 'em mild! HEH! HEH!

amourra,

It's nice to see something new like this in Irvine, especially in Diamond Jamboree...not that I was getting tired of the other stuff there.

Candice,

I've driven by that place in Chino Hills! I do need to try them. Though, darn it, I'm usually up there during the weekends. That Mango-Habanero sounds good. Not sure if I'm allergic to the habenero part if it's too hot.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger shavedicesundays said...

Can't get enough of buffalo wings. This one looks good but seems like a drive for me, but I think I'll check out that Chino one.

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger melissa said...

Okay, now I HAVE to go try it, even if it's on my own on a weekend. I'll report back.

By the by, that Simpsons quote up there? I actually knew that one. A rarity for me. But just to clarify from our conversation - I think the Simpsons was (and sometimes still is, though not like the old days) brilliant and hilarious and wonderful and I love Matt Groening for everything he did for animation and storytelling in that medium. I just never made time for it after a few years, sadly.

Futurama though, I have the whole set on DVD. Mix of good and bad episodes there. Mostly the series was good though.

I'll shut up now. :)

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous amourra said...

Went last night right about 8ish...Wow. The line for this place is ridiculous. I drove by looking at the rest of the plaza and everything was busy busy. Must be some good stuff. I'll be back during non-peak hours if they exists here...

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

ShavedIcedSundays,

Let us know what you think of BWW in Chino Hills. From what I've heard of the chain, it seems to do wings justice. I even saw one in Alabama.

Melissa,

I should be into Futurama more, because I think they aim for my demographic (science fiction dweebs), but I guess I never fawned over Star Wars or Star Trek, so perhaps I'm not part of that group after all.

I do like Bender though. He's like Robot Homer.

amourra,

Seriously?! What's with my timing? When I was there during prime eating hours, it was as empty as Jessica Simpson's head.

 
At 8:52 PM, Anonymous sawyer said...

nice. got to appreciate some freshly made in house potato chips. is this a chain? lately i see all these wing stops, buffalo wild wings, and now this. i do love me some wings tho. do they have a happy hour here?

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

sawyer,

It is a chain, but it's currently the only one of its clan down here in Southern Cal. I don't think it has a Happy Hour though. It does, however, have more than chicken wings.

 
At 8:31 PM, Anonymous DaninOC said...

I went to the "original buffalo wing" the other night after reading this post... wasn't that impressed with the wings. They were small and not much meat on them. Sauce was ok at best. The true highlight of the evening was the garlic frys!! Best I have had outside of SF Giants stadium. The chips were soggy and would have been great if crisp.

As for good wings, I recently introduced my wife to hot wings. She is from Indonesia orig and never had them. We find that Buffalo Wild Wings in Chino has the best .. Asian Zing is great (kind of like wings with Sambal on them but a little sweet) and the Mango Habinaro is great!.

We drive all the way out there from OC at least once a month if not twice!

 
At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Candice said...

Mmm.. love hearing that BWW is the place to be! Still have yet to try OBW, but I doubt it can replace BWW =)

You can't be disappointed. That's impossible. =)

Will be waiting for your post on it soon!

 
At 3:02 AM, Anonymous onno david said...

I cant eat chicken but I have a buffalo sauce addiction. I usually just dip my fries and burger into the sauce. This place was so-so compared to wing nuts. The Garlic fries weren't really anything special, and the buffalo sauce burger had the sauce on the side instead already dipped in the burger. Apparently the employees like the fries because they were eating them the whole time they were making out food when we were there. thanks for the wonderful entry.

 

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