new york buffalo wings & ribs / la mesa – san diego, ca
Last weekend I had a craving for some wings. I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been craving wings left and right. I also only like the “wing” part. I’ll eat a drumette if that’s all that’s left but I’d much rather eat the wing. You keep those drumettes to yourself and we’ll be good. I use Yelp a lot to find places but I always take the reviews with a grain of salt. Just because something’s popular doesn’t necessarily mean that I will like it so I’m always wary of Yelp reviews. I still use the darn thing though to find new places and just judge for myself. Maybe I’ll agree. Maybe I won’t.
New York Buffalo Wings & Ribs is what came up as a nearby wing spot near Jake’s house. They claim to be the best in San Diego and I was surprised that I had never heard of them before. They have seven locations in San Diego and one in Tijuana. They boost that their food is fresh and never frozen.
[15 wings / $14.70]
New York Buffalo Wings & Ribs has a variety of wing sauces that you can choose from: Mild, Medium, Chiptole, Original Hot, Very Hot, Atomic Hot, Honey BBQ, Sweet and Sour, Teriyaki and Lemon Pepper.
We got Original Hot (left), Teriyaki (middle) and Honey BBQ (right) .
I grabbed a wing and dug in with the Original Hot first, dunking it in their vat of blue cheese dressing.
This probably looks like it’s just a little cup, but I kid you not, it’s like cream cheese container sized. Plenty of room for drenching your entire wing into the sauce.
The hot sauce wasn’t really anything inspired and didn’t taste much different than Frank’s Hot Sauce. It was highly vinegary, a bit hot (but not too much) and just okay. The outside wasn’t crispy and the inside of the wing was quite dry and tasted a bit overcooked. The wings were not pipping hot either, but tasted like they were at just above room temperature.
The other two sauced wings didn’t really fare much better. The teriyaki had a weird bitter aftertaste along with the same dryness from the first wing. Of the three, the honey BBQ was maybe the “best” but it kind of just tasted like store bought BBQ sauce was poured on top of the wings. No crunchiness. No delicious skin. Just flat and borderline rubbery. Everything tasted manufactured, dry, and incredibly unexciting to eat.
[3 breadsticks / $1.29]
We ordered the wings a la carte so I decided to try the breadsticks as well. Bread is probably one of my most favorite foods ever – I love a good, freshly made breadstick… but that’s now what we have here. The breadsticks were cold with a Parmesan cheese dust on top. It was also dry – if a breadstick can be dry – and just unexciting to eat. If they served these hot and fresh I’m sure it would make an incredible difference but these tasted like maybe they were made a long time ago. Perhaps even in a galaxy far, far away.
[buffalo chipotle fries / $8.49]
Due to the other mediocre food, I wasn’t expecting too much from this dish but thankfully it turned out to be the one enjoyable item that I liked. The french fries were actually hot and freshly prepared with bits of hot buffalo seasoned chicken tenders on top. The tenders were much juicier than their wing counterparts. There’s a sauce that’s drenched all over the fries (chipotle ranch sauce, maybe?) that packs a punch of flavor. The sauce helps tone down the spiciness level and since the fries were fresh and hot, this turned out to be the only tasty thing we had that evening.
Jake wants to come back to try the ribs but I’m feeling pretty skeptical on this one. Maybe we’ll come back and give it another shot sometime but I’m not really feeling the need to do that any time soon. Eating lackluster food makes me feel a little sad inside, like I spent money on food but I don’t feel really happy and satisfied with the food I ate. It’s like some kind of foodie depression knowing you could have had something better (or even made it better yourself) and you just can’t take it back.
New York Buffalo Wings & Ribs
7520 El Cajon Blvd
La Mesa, CA91942