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!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.
Homer's Brain: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts!
Homer: Explain how!
Homer's Brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services!
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:
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
2750 Alton Parkway, Ste. 131
Irvine, CA 92606
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