By: Bob Gourley
I’m not sure how many people have actually tasted Buffalo wings from the original Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. But if you haven’t, you should motor your way quickly to the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian because the first western location has opened in the past few months.
The space is part of a busy, upscale food court within the shops. And yes there is a bar, a well-polished wood one where visitors can sit a spell and enjoy spicy creations that were invented in 1964.
Their website says that the first wings were produced when Dominic Bellissimo asked his mom to prepare something for his friends. She made the first batch from a part of the chicken that was mostly used for making stockpot for soup.
She deep-fried them and immersed them in secret sauce. They have become an international phenomenon with a ton of different versions popping up everywhere.
The local Anchor Bar prepares each order individually frying them in the finest oils. There are five temperatures of original sauce, ranging from mild to suicidal.
I ordered the mild and it was still a notch above hot, but very flavorful. The wings themselves had a nice crunch on the outside but were tender and juicy inside.
They were definitely the best I have ever had. Visitors can order them separately or as a combo with a choice of fries and soda. Some reviewers have commented on the limpness of the fries, but I found them to have the right balance between firm and soft.
If you want to experiment, there are other sauces to contemplate. Chipotle, honey-ginger, salt and pepper, spicy Italian, lemon-pepper and teriyaki-sesame are all available. They usually keep samples on the counter so you can taste before you order.
They have other choices, including a Buffalo Chicken Spring Roll with fresh veggies and mild sauce rolled into a crispy roll. Blue cheese sauce is delivered on the side.
Spicy Chicken Meatballs are a creation that is only found at this location. Mini-sized balls are served in a large cone with celery sticks that help to defuse the spiciness.
Another creation is the Beef on Weck featuring thin-sliced roast beef dipped in au jus and served on a freshly-baked Kimmelweck roll. Cole slaw helps to fill up the plate.
A trio of salads includes a Kale offering with apples, raisins, candied walnuts, Blue cheese and citrus vinaigrette. A chicken Caesar and chopped chicken are other choices.
For dessert bite into an Anchor Bar, a refreshing vanilla ice cream bar coated with puffed rice and marshmallow glaze dipped in chocolate.
Six beers on tap will help to quench the thirst. Choices like Brooklyn Brown Ale and Firestone Seasonal are there along with cans of Genesee Cream Ale from New York. A couple of wines by the glass are available along with premium cocktails like Ruby Fresca, Southern Hospitality and Anchor Bar Pineapple Express.
Buffalo wings without travelling back east..now that’s the ticket! Anchor Bar, Venetian Hotel, 3377 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Suite 2258. Las Vegas. (702) 545-0050. www.anchorbar.com.