I’ve been in a wing slump lately. Three times earlier in the week I went out for chicken wings during this binge (which will end on August 17) and three times I’ve left disappointed. Hoping to end this funk, I hit Sal’s Lounge, 283 Olmstead Avenue in Depew on Saturday night.
Here’s the lowdown on how it went…
The Good: There’s a ton to like about Sal’s Lounge. While some don’t give a shit, I’m a huge proponent of mowing down wings in an atmosphere I enjoy being at. That’s certainly the case here. The joint straight-up looks like someone decided to take their house and fully convert it into a bar and eatery. The bar is small (I only counted eight bar stools) and there’s only a handful of decent-sized booths and smaller bar tables as well as one large table in the area. I really liked the bartender, who was friendly and didn’t look at me funny when I acted clueless to what flavors they offered. Speaking of friendly, the patrons, mostly older all seemed to be in a great mood. It looked like everyone in attendance had eaten there a million times before. In fact, I’m not sure anyone needed a menu. I also heard Elvis on the jukebox twice and that shit just f’n rocks. If you don’t like eating chicken wings and listening to Elvis the I don’t want to know you. As for the food itself I’ll say this much—I really enjoyed the sauce. I got medium BBQ and the sauce didn’t lack for taste. Nine times out of 10 wing sauce is make or break for me because let’s face it, it’s not terribly hard to throw a decent chicken wing in the fryer for a preplanned amount of time. However, this is that rare 10% where the sauce wasn’t the biggest factor.
The Bad: If you don’t like breaded wings there’s nothing that can be done to change your mind. I don’t loathe them with every fiber of my being like many others I know, but I’m not a breaded wing guy and can’t pretend otherwise. It is what it is. Subsequently a great atmosphere and far above average tasting sauce was overshadowed by a style of wing I just don’t enjoy. Sorry, but for me breaded wings smothered in sauce (my preference) ends up feeling like much fancier chicken nuggets.
That’s my take on the breaded wing and hopefully you disagree because if you do, you’ll really enjoy these. That’s literally the only negative I have albeit an insurmountable one if you can’t get past the style. I’d prefer an option to have breaded or traditional types of wings. I can’t help but feel having em exclusively breaded excludes a decent percentage of the wing devouring community.
QB Comparison: Sal’s Lounge is the 2006 Mike Vick of chicken wings. Let’s be crystal clear — this is based on football field only Mike Vick. Talking purely football here, I used Vick because of his unique talents few others in the league possessed, but that dude definitely wasn’t for everyone. Some prefer for the traditional pocket passer, a brilliant football metaphor here if may so for the regular old traditional chicken wing.
The verdict: It can’t be more cut and dry than this – if you enjoy breaded wings you’re going to love them at Sal’s and if you don’t you’re going to hate ‘em. If you’ve never had them and are willing to give breaded wings a go, I cant’ recommend highly enough this being the spot you do. Even if you don’t like the wings this place is still a fun little spot to hit up for a drink. I can’t in good conscious put them in my Top 10 because I don’t like breaded wings but if you’re on the other side of the fence with that, I now see why so many Buffalo Bills fans on Twitter rave about them.
The Others (I’ve had): Anchor Bar, Kelly’s Corner, Duffs, Steel City, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sal’s Lounge, Bella Pizza, Biergarten, Vinnys, Geckos, Rusty Buffalo, Pour House, Danny South, Doc Sullivans, Pappas, Nino’s Pizza, Blasdell Pizza