In Defense of Buffalo Wild Wings

I visited Buffalo Wild Wings last night to watch the NBA playoffs. It was, in a word, transcendent.

Buffalo Wild Wings is a really good restaurant. I am not being sarcastic or ironic. I’m being serious. I already want to go back.

To begin with, this place is filled, I mean filled, with televisions, all of them showing sporting events. The TVs are so constant and unspeakably gigantic that you can rotate your head 180 degrees and never stop looking at Steph Curry.

To make things even better, they play the audio from the game throughout the restaurant-even through the bathroom speakers. Need to take a hasty bathroom trip between trays of wings? You won’t miss a second of the action.

I was blessed to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings on a Thursday. On Thursdays, you can purchase unlimited boneless chicken wings at a stellar price of $0.70 per wing. Now let’s be clear-“boneless wing” is just a fancy name for a chicken nugget. This anti-nugget marketing strategy is fooling no one. Luckily, chicken nuggets are among the world’s best foods (they are far superior to actual chicken wings, which provide almost zero meat while requiring a lot of hard work). I ate 16 of them.

The presence of cheap chicken nuggets isn’t why ‘B-Dubs’ is special. It’s special because you can get those nuggets tossed in roughly 200 different sauces, ranging from “Garlic Parmesan” to “Azian Zing”. Every order of hand-tossed nugs comes with a generous cup of ranch or blue cheese.

The simple phrase “choose a sauce” fills me with a fluttery feeling of love that you’re only supposed to feel during your wedding vows. To enjoy an entire evening where the primary activity is “choosing a sauce”… I didn’t know that could happen on this side of the pearly gates.

Every little dish of wings comes with a helpful sticker to remind you which sauce you’re eating.

It’s hard to advocate for Buffalo Wild Wings without becoming entangled in a political conversation. Many people take issue with Buffalo Wild Wings’ presence downtown. Many people see it as an ominous sign of corporate influence. Their concerns are not without merit. But our position in the palm of Corporate America’s slowly closing hand is not, and never will be, Buffalo Wild Wings’ problem.

I don’t know who founded Buffalo Wild Wings, but I know it was not founded by greedy worshippers of the US dollar. Buffalo Wild Wings was built in tribute to the three pillars of the human experience: wings, beer, and sports. Every day waiters and waitresses across the nation don multicolored fake sports jerseys in service of that noble trinity. In a world where people dedicate their lives to so many ridiculous things, surely I can believe in this.

I cherish the unique character of Boise’s downtown. I hope small businesses thrive. I try to eat farm to table. But I will burn every “Buy Local” tote bag I own before I let this city take away a Buffalo Wild Wings that is walking distance from my house. I will slather myself in caustic “insanity wing sauce” and slowly dissolve in the Grove Plaza fountain before I let them replace my beloved B-Dubs with a family owned micro-brewery.

Some things you just can’t give up.

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