Wow— so I started this blog about two weeks and then promptly neglected it. I guess that’s not the best business model nor it is the best way to attract new followers.
In my defense, this is one of our busiest times at work (the world of college admission) and I am gearing up for my move which happens 3 weeks from today. In other words, I have a lot on my plate (no pun intended). However, I promise to be more interactive and post more as things progress here.
With that in mind, I wanted to share an experience I had this past weekend. I went to see a friend of mine in Buffalo, New York. He travels with a show and they happened to be in town. I have known Toby since high school, so naturally, I was willing to drive the 3 hours to see him and hang out.
When I got there, I had some time to kill and I was hungry. Since I was in Buffalo, I figured why not stop in at the home of the original chicken wing, Anchor Bar. I’m sure you’re all aware of the history of the chicken wing, but if not, you can read about it on the National Chicken Council page. Interesting stuff.
At about 2:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday, I walked in and was immediately greeted by a line to the door. I made my way through the throngs of (likely) tourists, and asked for a table for one. They told me 30 minutes. Cool. I’ve waited 35 years to go so what’s 30 more minutes? The entire bar area to the immediate right of the entrance was under construction. This seemed to greatly diminish the seating capacity and likely contributed to the quoted long wait time in mid-afternoon. In any event, I grabbed a paper menu and perused it for reasons of which I am unsure. I came there for one thing— wings!
After only about 10 minutes (yay!), I was called and sat at my table for one. I knew I was going to order 20 wings but wasn’t entirely sure if I was going mild, medium, or hot. Thankfully, the waiter was just beginning to speak to the table next to me. They were visiting from Texas (as their sportsball uniforms clearly indicated). The waiter kindly and patiently explained to the gentleman that their mild was basically butter with a little vinegar, medium was a little bit kick-ier and that the hot was probably what would be considered medium elsewhere. Soon after, my waiter came over to take my order. Not wanting to take chances knowing that I would be sitting in a crowded theater in just a few hours, I opted for the medium.
Just a short time later, perhaps 6-8 minutes, there came my pile of wings with two empty bowls for bones. Also included was probably half a bunch of celery and two containers overflowing with super chunky blue cheese dressing. I quickly dug in. The wings…. they were crispy and pungent with vinegar. True to the waiter’s description, they were not overly spicy and were probably what other places would call mild. They still had the traditional flavor— they were the original after all— but no tremendous amount of heat. Dipped in blue cheese dressing made them even better. Certainly, they were tasty without the dressing, but I think you’ll agree that there is just something magical about the combination of the vinegary, buttery, tangy wing sauce with the creamy, soothing blue cheese yumminess.
It wasn’t until I was almost done that I thought to myself that this would make a great post on Jack Eats Jax and that’s why the ONE picture I took shows an almost empty plate. Even though this is going to focus on Jacksonville and Northeast Florida establishments, I figured I should include a place that has become an icon among foodies.
My next post is going to feature the list of suggestions I have received so far from friends for my first and future stops for Jack Eats Jax. They range from barbecue to “cracker cuisine.” I am excited to share them with you and then actually get to eat at them once I arrive in Jacksonville in JUST THREE WEEKS!
In the meantime, cheers and happy eating.