Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo’

My husband and I both love wings.  Spicy hot Buffalo wings!  YUM!  It isn’t just about the tender chicken and spicy sauce, at least not for me.  It’s the whole experience of wings:  the crisply fried wings that have been dredged in spicy hot sauce, and then dipping the wings generously in a cooling bath of creamy bleu cheese dressing and following it all up with a refreshing crunch of a celery stick.   So when I noticed that Living Social was offering a voucher to the newest wing joint in Vancouver, Pow! Pow! Wings, I couldn’t pass it up! 

Location:  5930 NE 4th Plain Blvd., Vancouver, Washington

Order:  for an appetizer, we ordered an order of Original Fries ($4) and a Veggie Boat ($3).  For the main event, we chose 24 Boneless Wings ($17.80) dredged in the Traditional Buffalo sauce.

What I Think:

My first impression of this place is that it is loud.  We went there on what appeared to be a slow afternoon, at the time we arrived there was only one other table that was occupied, but, that one table was noisy enough to compete with a bar full of drunks.

But then, their behavior wasn’t the fault of Pow! Pow! Wings so I’ll just leave it at that.  This place looks like it would be a good place to go to watch the game, it looked to be sporting a very sport-y theme with its decor and it has a bar and some of the best wings that I’ve ever tasted … so sports fans, take note!

Our appetizers came out first, but to be honest, since we were ordering items that were much more like side dishes than appetizers, I would have been fine with – and actually preferred – the appetizers to be brought out with the wings.  But we were hungry and a little pressed for time, so we started munching on the fries.  They were delicious, crisp and well, they were french fries.  Nothing all that special about them except that they were cooked until golden brown and delicious.

We ordered the veggie boat because I speculated that there wouldn’t be much in the way of celery sticks along with the wings if they were offering them as part of the appetizer.  So, I figured, just to be safe, I’d order the veggie boat.  We ate a few of the veggies, but saved most of them for the arrival of the wings.  The veggies were nice and fresh.

My only complaint about the Veggie Boat would be the carrots:  the carrots are too big.  Yes, they cut them into fairly decent sized planks and some are larger than others, but the problem is with the carrot itself.  They are starting out with whole carrots that are too large, which means that the carrots end up tasting less sweet and juicy and instead are a bit on the woody side.  They were still tasty enough, but they would have been so much better if the carrots were younger and smaller to begin with.

When it came to the wings, at first I was a little skeptical, because, I usually find that the boneless wings tend to be nothing more than glorified chicken nuggets.  You know, overly processed bits of chicken that have been lightly breaded and deep-fried.  Some places do this right (Applebee’s), others leave much to be desired.

However, THESE boneless wings from Pow!  Pow!  Wings are exceptional.  They actually look like wings.  They look like someone took the time to remove the bone and the skin from the wing while leaving the meat intact.  And what was left is amazing.  Usually the skin of a cooked chicken is my favorite part (love me some good, crispy, fried chicken skin!) but I didn’t even miss the skin on these.  In fact, at one point, I found myself questioning whether or not the skin was actually there.  Like I said, these boneless wings are exceptional!

The boneless wings were so plump and moist and meaty!  Juicy and flavorful, I didn’t miss the bones one bit.  In fact, the fact that there were no bones made these much less messy to eat, which is something I appreciate.  The sauce tasted very much like a classic wing sauce, it didn’t really stray much from the sauce that you’d get anywhere else, and was probably a blend of Tabasco (or some other hot pepper sauce) and butter. I’m sure my husband would have rather had a slightly hotter sauce, and I actually had my eye on a gentler sauce when we ordered, but, I’m glad that I stuck with the traditional sauce here.  It is hot, but, it isn’t so hot that I felt the need to constantly “extinguish the flames” in my mouth.

My Final Thoughts:

We will most definitely be returning, I think, because we both really loved these wings.  And if you go – and you really should! – I recommend ordering more than you think you can eat, because the left-overs are really good too.  I might even argue that the left-overs are better because I can use my favorite bleu cheese dressing on it (it’s the Marie’s brand, by the way, the one that you can find in the grocer’s produce section), and with wings, the bleu cheese is almost as important as the wings themselves!

I “discovered” The Buffalo Gap through Living Social.  After perusing their online menu I decided that this was a place I wanted to visit.  The atmosphere of this Saloon & Eatery is reminiscent of a tavern, with dark lighting and vintage signage serving as wall decor. 

Location:  6835 Macadam Avenue, Portland, OR

Buffalo Stroganoff

Order:  I ordered the “favorite” Buffalo Stroganoff ($13.99) and we took home one of Penny’s Gigantic Cinnamon Rolls ($4.99)

What I Think:

The Stroganoff came with a choice of soup or salad, and I chose a salad with bleu cheese dressing.  There really isn’t a whole lot to say about the salad.  It was a plate of greens topped with dressing.  The veggies were fresh and tasty.  I wish that I would have ordered the dressing on the side, because there was a little too much for my liking, but other than that, the salad was pretty ordinary:  nothing out of this world, but, certainly edible.

But, my rather ordinary impression of The Buffalo Gap changed when the main course was brought to the table.  WOW!  My mother made the most extraordinary beef stroganoff, and so I’m not easy to impress when it comes to stroganoff.  I may like a stroganoff, but, it takes a lot for me to think it WOW! … and this one has earned that exclamation.

A large bowl of tender cooked noodles topped with a creamy brown sauce and lots of chunks of buffalo and mushrooms, and a dollop of sour cream.  I am used to the sour cream being mixed right into the stroganoff sauce, so I was a little surprised to see just a dollop on top of the pile of food.  However, I must admit that I kind of liked being able to control the amount of sour cream that I could taste in each bite, as all too often too much sour cream is stirred into a stroganoff and it becomes rather overwhelming.

The buffalo meat was incredibly tender.  It seemed to melt in my mouth like butter!  The sauce was very flavorful.  It had a creamy consistency, and it was a bit tannic from the wine.  The sour cream balanced that out so that it didn’t become the main focus of the dish.

The mushrooms are perhaps the most important aspect of a stroganoff for me – maybe even more so than the meat.  I don’t like mushy or slimy mushrooms.  This can be easily avoided by not cutting the mushrooms too thin – and these mushrooms were quartered, making for a meaty kind of texture rather than mush.  Hooray for mushrooms done right!

The noodles were not extraordinary, in fact, I thought they were almost overcooked.  They weren’t mushy, but they weren’t al dente either.  I think that a minute less cook time would have given the noodles a much better taste and texture.  But, this didn’t detract from the rest of the dish, which was delicious and very filling.  I couldn’t finish my bowl, but the left0vers made a great lunch the next day.

The rosemary artisan bread was also delicious.  It had a pleasantly chewy texture and there wasn’t too much rosemary in it – just enough to add a savory element to the bread.  It was a perfect palate cleanser.

As for the cinnamon roll… this thing was indeed gigantic, and I’m glad we took it to go.  It was almost the size of a dinner plate!  It was deliciously sweet and cinnamon-y and to my surprise, it was not doughy or raw in the center.  (I figured a cinnamon roll that big was bound to be undercooked in the center)   It was almost shamefully sinful, though, which is why I am glad we took it to go.  I would not want to eat one of these in front of others!  Next time, I will order one of these sprinkled with bacon!

My Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed my visit to The Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery, and this is someplace I’d be willing to visit again sometime in the future, if for no other reason than to get one of those cinnamon rolls (or perhaps 2) to go.

Special thanks to my husband for taking the photo!

Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery on Urbanspoon

One of our (hubby -n- me!) favorite go-to places is Buffalo Wild Wings.  We can always count on them to deliver a power-packed punch of flavor when our taste buds are craving something hot and spicy, but they will also have something our daughter (or possibly daughters … if our oldest is joining us too) will also enjoy.

Location:  9810 NE Cascades Parkway in Portland, OR

Order:  Hubby ordered 12 boneless wings in Medium sauce and my youngest daughter ordered the chicken tenders with french fries.  I ordered six boneless wings with Caribbean Jerk sauce and six boneless wings with Salt & Vinegar seasoning.  We ordered an order of Soft Pretzels and Roasted Garlic Mushrooms to share.

What I think:

I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed when visiting Buffalo Wild Wings.  Their wings always taste fresh and their sauces are tasty.  My favorite sauce is the Caribbean Jerk Sauce which is about as high as my spice tolerance will go.  I used to be much less of a wimp and could probably have gone for their Mango Habanero (and I’m tempted, let me tell you), but I think that my taste buds have mellowed significantly as the years have crept up on me.

Roasted Garlic Mushrooms

I like the Caribbean Jerk Sauce because it starts out hot, but not too wildly hot.  It offers some delicious fruity notes at the start including the fruit flavors of the peppers.  The contrast of flavors is really delightful; although the heat does build rather rapidly.  By the second wing, my mouth is quite warm and I’m beginning to feel a bead or two of sweat on my forehead.  But even at their spiciest, I still can taste the contrasting sweetness.  They get so warm, that I probably couldn’t eat more than six of these, and on this occasion, I ate three and brought the rest home for another day.

How I discovered the Caribbean Jerk Sauce is kind of a funny story – one visit, I ordered the “medium” wings, and my husband was sure he’d want something spicier than the medium, so he ordered the Caribbean Jerk.  Shortly after our food had been delivered to our table, I was eating from his basket, while he was eating from mine.  But… I digress!

On this occasion, I happened to discover a new favorite:  Salt & Vinegar seasoned wings.  Unlike the sauced wings, these are not quite as messy to eat because they’re not coated in sauce.  If you like Salt & Vinegar potato chips … you’ll like these.  I followed up my three Caribbean Jerk wings with a couple of these, and found that while these are not hot or spicy, the salt and vinegar flavors seem to add definition and dimension to the Caribbean Jerk spices.  I could taste the layers of flavors!  It was a very interesting experience!

One minor glitch – no celery was brought with our wings.  I don’t know if they’ve decided to forgo the celery these days or not, but I happen to enjoy the side of celery.  It not only is a hint of healthy in this otherwise fat-laden affair, it also helps to tame the heat from the lively sauces.

soft pretzels

On this visit, I also enjoyed another tried-and-true favorite:  Roasted Garlic Mushrooms.  These are very similar to deep fried mushrooms, except that the mushrooms have been infused with roasted garlic flavor.  The roasting of the garlic mellows out the pungent, aggressive tones of the garlic, leaving a mild, sweet flavor that really makes all the difference.  The garlic highlights the meatier characteristics of the mushrooms, giving them a depth that is not normally experienced.  These are so delicious that I’d be quite satisfied with just a plate of these for lunch.

While the soft pretzels were not bad, they weren’t anything spectacular, either.  They were just… soft pretzels.  Soft and fluffy interior.  Lightly crisped exterior.  Not too much salt.  Tasty, but not something I’d order again.  Next time, though, I think we should try the Fried Pickles!

My Final Thoughts:

I love Buffalo Wild Wings.  While the atmosphere leaves a little to be desired (I’m not a sports fan, but my hubby is, so he likes it just fine), I go there for the eats and I leave with my cravings for hot & spicy satisfied and my hunger appeased.   The service is pleasant and the food is tasty.

Buffalo Wild Wings on Urbanspoon