There are three reasons for a Torontonian to go to Buffalo. In no particular order:
- cheap shopping (and cheap booze!)
- bands who can’t cross the border due to criminal records
- The Anchor Bar
Sure, there are also the Bills and the Sabres, but nobody cares about the Sabres unless they’re playing the Leafs, and the Bills come to Toronto once or twice a year now, so neither is deserving of a spot on my list. Although it was a band with criminal records (Black Pyramid) that brought me below the border, I made sure to arrive extra early to grab some grub at the Anchor Bar.
When you’re in Buffalo, head down Main St, past all the theatres and cathedrals (including the sizable Church of Scientology), past the hospitals and the Allen St taverns till you get to an area fulla homeless shelters, banks and one dilapidated body shop. The Anchor Bar, a sizable structure in its own right, is pretty hard to miss. It’s the place where the Buffalo wing was invented, and they sell ’em in 10s–unless you order from the kiddie menu.
The Anchor Bar doesn’t try to be classy. It’s a place where motorcycles and license plates dominate the decor. A variety of police and fire departments have left their crests behind the bar, including the O.P.P., Mississauga Fire and Rescue and the Sûreté du Québec. They aren’t priced like a fancy restaurant, either. 20 bucks gets you 10 wings and three pints (pints!) of Blue.
The hot wings aren’t too spicy, but have a decent kick and leave a strong aftertaste. They’re served with blue cheese and a generous helping of celery sticks. What’s in the secret sauce? Well, I bought a bottle of it myself to spice up the bland frozen wings that I bought on sale at Metro. Now I just gotta get me some blue cheese…
Oh, and Black Pyramid wasn’t bad, either.
P.S.: Smokin’ Green tonite features brand new music from BP tour-mates Let the Night Roar, along with some Montréal thrash, punk and heavy rock, tabarnak! Be sure to tune in from 1 till 3 am at 88.1 fm on yer radio, channel 947 on yer TV or www.ckln.fm on yer computer!