Sunday, March 15, 2009

Boneless Buffalo Chicken.

Buffalo chicken is without a doubt the biggest barrier between me and vegetarianism. In general I don't eat meat much. I think I could probably even give up pepperoni pizza. Maybe. But any time I see a buffalo chicken entry on a restaurant's menu, the same thing happens - I debate between other food options on the menu, and then the waiter comes over and I order the buffalo chicken. I would go so far as to say that boneless buffalo chicken - other than ice cream, good pasta, and potato soup - is my favorite food. One would think it'd be easier just to say "buffalo wings," but the thing is I don't like buffalo wings because I can't eat any meat with bones. Yeah. I know. Call me a wussy, I've accepted it. The more I try to man up about it and eat something with bones in it the more thoroughly disgusted I feel. But if there is some highly processed, boneless buffalo chicken up in here, I am ALL. IN.

One night this week for a basketball game we ordered probably a ridiculous amount of boneless buffalo chicken strips from Wing Stop (they were okay) and after eating way too many I couldn't sleep well that night. So I laid awake for a long time and thought about my favorite buffalo chicken experiences. I came up with:

1) Boneless buffalo wings & fries, Pizzanini *, **
2) Buffalo chicken sandwich, Bennigan's
3) Buffalo chicken wrap, Viga
4) Buffalo chicken salad, Pizzeria Uno

After coming up with this list, I became sort of depressed, because:
1) Pizzanini and Viga only exist in Boston. To be specific, Pizzanini only exists in Brighton & Marlborough, and Viga only exists in the Financial District, as far as I know. It is one of those amazing deli/eateries which only exist in big city financial centers, which seems unfair. Like, not only do the people in suits have all the money, but they have all the best lunch, too!
2) Bennigan's went out of business. At least the one around the corner from Emerson in City Place, and no other store matters.
3) Pizzeria Uno is a huge restaurant chain but for some reason doesn't exist on the West Coast, or at least not the Northwest. I know. I was shocked by this discovery, too.

So this means that right now I am awash, without any primo buffalo chicken availability. I do enjoy places like Wing Stop and Buffalo Wild Wings but they're not as memorable. I am always really pumped about going to Buffalo Wild Wings but then once we get there I feel overwhelmed by all the different choices of sauces and when I finally decide on one and order I immediately feel regret and doubt over all the other choices I could have gotten. So if there is someone out there in the Portland world who has any advice for some good boneless buffalo that'll leave my lips burning, please, do let me know.

* Pizzanini's boneless buffalo wings should always reign #1 on my list, because I definitely consumed more of those than any other, but they are complicated. When they were good, they were REALLY GOOD, and it seemed like in the beginning they always were. The chicken fingers and the fries - the BEST steak fries - were all together, fries on the bottom so that the buffalo sauce from the chicken dripped down and saturated a good amount of them too. And then their blue cheese was and always will be the best blue cheese I have ever had. We got into the habit of asking for extra blue cheese, even though we had to pay extra, and we're cheap, but it was that good. Kathy often licked the little plastic containers dry. But then, increasingly, you'd get highly questionable chicken - like, REALLY questionable - and sometimes there'd be hardly any buffalo thrown on at all. So the question of whether the chicken would be highly questionable or not became too big of a liability after awhile, and in our last year in Boston, most of the time when we ordered from Pizzanini, it was, sadly, just pizza.
** Pizzanini deserves its very own entry and will get it some time soon.


  1. one of the most important things to note about pizzanini is that me kim and shane called it pizzanni for a year until cliff was like "you guys know it's pizzanini, right?"

  2. Stupid Cliff.

    Boston was where I learned to love buffalo wings too, and Pizzanini's were damn good, but the best wings I've had BY FAR come from an Irish cornershop in Dorchester called Paddy's Pantry. I'd get them so often I didn't even have to order when I got there and they sometimes gave me extra.

  3. next time you come to kentucky we'll go to ramsey's and you can get the buffalo chicken sandwich, it's delicious. and i too, have problems at bw's in picking a sauce, there's so many!

  4. When you come to Philly I will introduce you to:

    (1) the buffalo chicken fingers at McGillan's, by far the best I have ever had (and I have had alot).

    (2) the buffalo chicken cheesesteak at Bill's Luncheonette.

    (3) the buffalo chicken pizza at Zio's.

    All of which are fantastic. Mmmm, buffalo chicken.

  5. BUFFALO CHICKEN. I also cannot tolerate bones with my meat. Gabe taunts me at the grocery store with the little cornish hens. The bodies!! So gross.

    So the discovery of boneless wings made my love affair with buffalo all the more powerful. There are truly some subpar pizza places near Gabe's in Dorchester, and it makes me miss Pizzanini.

  6. I did a little bit of research for you. None of this is personal, so I cannot attest to it!

    There's this place called Fire on the Mountain. Two locations in Portland. Their website takes awhile to load. Menu sounds delicious, but it's a little more than I'd like to spend this kind of food. But I bet it tastes really good.

    I'm so hungry now. Bring on the buffalo stuff!

  7. sara - all of those sound delicious! mmm. i am still holding out the faintest of hopes for visiting philly with kathy sometime this summer, but especially now with school, i'm not sure. although airline tickets to pretty much everywhere are weirdly low at the very moment which makes me want to jump on it and just buy one.

    shannon - (i think bliss mistress is shannon? how embarrasing if i'm wrong) - thank you so much for that research!! i am definitely going to look into this fire on the mountain place! awesome!

    everyone else - mmmmmm. buffalo.