Albany Tour de Buffalo Wing Nominations
Did I mention something about being addicted to buffalo sauce and blue cheese dip recently? Because it’s totally true. It’s dangerous for me to have tater tots in the house. I’m totally serious about turning over a new leaf in March.
But it’s still February. So when it come to fat, it’s fair game. That means we better get this winter tour on the books, and do it fast.
Mark the date. Saturday, February 18. It’s the day after the General Strike on the 17th, so that will give you a chance to work up an appetite.
As is our custom, before going into one of these tours, I open up the floor to nominations. Because invariably, when the winner was announced, someone will say, “Why didn’t you go to this other awesome place?”
No, it’s not a democracy. The final slate is decided neither by popular vote nor an electoral college. To paraphrase a past president, I am the decider. So there’s no need to rally your friends to bolster your claims. But you should be prepared to explain with some detail, exactly why you think your favorite spot deserves a stop on the tour.
Before we get to that, let’s back up just a little bit, and then I’ll give you a lay of the land.
History. This whole tour thing started many years ago when Stanford Steph thought it would be a good idea to go out to local orchards and try several apple cider donuts from different places back-to-back.
Well, we tried that and it was a lot of fun. So I’ve been keeping the tradition rolling. But we’ve moved on to other foods, since one cannot live on apple cider donuts alone. The goal, however, is to try foods that are somehow special to our little corner of the earth.
Now, you may say buffalo wings are a Buffalo thing. And you would have an excellent point. That said, wings are a big thing here too. While our wings may not be as consistently brilliant as the wings to our
east west, the buffalo wings in the Capital Region are some of the best you can find in the country.
It’s true. Most of the country has terrible, terrible wings. It’s a travesty.
Going on a Tour de Buffalo Wing in the Capital Region would be an act of sheer folly. These tours only stop at five different places. Any more and it would start to feel like work. Any fewer, and the scope of the survey just feels incomplete.
So what we’ve been doing is breaking down the Tour de Wing into walkable micro-geographies. We may choose to drive a leg or two, but for the most part, we try to keep the geography tight. In the past, we’ve done the wings of Downtown Troy and the wings of Downtown Schenectady.
But I’m not sure Downtown Albany is quite as compelling as, let’s say, Pine Hills.
A Downtown Albany Tour might put us at:
1) Hill Street Cafe
2) The Hollow
3) The Olde English
5) Pinto & Hobbs
But a Pine Hills Tour might put us at:
1) The Washington Tavern
2) Graney’s Bar & Grill
3) The Fountain
Andy’s Place might find it’s way onto a Pine Hills tour too, perhaps squeezing out Crave. There also could be a case made for Recovery Room, and I’m sure there are others I’m missing too.
The above aren’t final lists. Rather they are presented as thought starters. Because now is the time to weigh in. Do you think we should hit Downtown or Pine Hills? Or should we be looking elsewhere in Albany? And what places should get elevated to make the cut?
Now is your time to speak out. I’m looking forward to the input. And I’m really looking forward to eating wings with you on February 18. You know, for science. Not to feed my addiction. Definitely not to feed the addiction.
Excuse me for a moment while I heat up another batch of tots.