The Great Wesleyan Wing-Off, 2010
Most everyone loves Buffalo Wings—except for vegetarians—and with the big game right around the corner, we, your beloved Features Editors and self-proclaimed poultry experts, have taken it upon ourselves to embark on a search for the best Buffalo wings on and around campus.
We visited three, easily accessible dining locations: WesWings, Summerfields, and The Cardinal’s Nest. All three are celebrating the Superbowl in style. WesWings will be selling fresh wings all day. Summerfields is selling wings in bulk, and The Cardinal’s Nest is throwing a Superbowl party, complete with free wings (and other finger foods) during the halftime show.
More important than special deals and promotions is the wing itself. What makes the Buffalo Wing so great? How did a recipe conceived late at night in a small bar in Buffalo, NY spread across the country and the world? Is it the chicken? The sauce? (A mixture of hot sauce and butter). Or the bleu cheese dressing? Join us in the journey to find out…
“Bring it on!”
-Karen Kaffen, Owner
Karen Kaffen and Ed Thorndike ’89 didn’t name their restaurant WesWings in honor of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles band. They claim they’ve got the best batch of Buffalo wings on campus. Each oversized wing is drenched in a fiery orange sauce that coats the chicken as well as your fingers. The wings came with a cup of bleu cheese dressing and a handful of celery sticks that provided a nice visual balance and made us feel less guilty for downing 12 wings in one sitting. Overall, the presentation was alluring and we couldn’t wait to put them to the test. The first bite coats the inside of your mouth with an explosion of spicy, tangy Buffalo sauce. The chicken is juicy, though the kickin’ sauce can overpower the taste of the meat. For the complete WesWings experience, dip your wings in some homemade bleu cheese dressing, which we feel deserves a special mention. The dressing was swimming with big chunks of cheese and is great on the wings or celery. The wings that we sampled were “hot,” which is the middle of five levels of spiciness.
8.5 out of 10 wings
“‘Bring it on,’ was that not a cheerleader movie that my daughter used to make me watch ad nauseum?”
-Michael Strumpf, Bon Appetit Resident District Manager
Summerfields is known on campus for many things, including delicious chicken Caesar salad wraps, and Susan, the über-friendly cashier, but one thing the Butts-adjacent dining hall isn’t known for is their Buffalo wings, which first appeared on the menu at the beginning of this semester. So far, there is definitely room for improvement. Let’s start with the presentation. Our wings were served on a bed of French fries, not a celery stick or dab of bleu cheese dressing in sight. The wings themselves were more brown than orange, and clearly suffering from a significant lack of sauce. One taste confirmed our suspicions; the sauce delivered a barely-spicy slap to the face, rather than a fiery sucker punch. The chicken was passable, but slightly rubbery. One benefit is that you can spend a meal at Summerfields instead of points or cash, but take our advice, don’t order the Buffalo wings.
3 out of 10 wings
“All the food here is fantastic. We’ve never had a complaint on the wings.”
-Diana Hull, Manager
The Cardinal’s Nest is a laid-back restaurant where the Buffalo wings are an appetizer, rather than the main course. We ordered the “monster bucket,” which includes 20 wings at about a buck a piece—on Middletown cash, not points or meals—and two sticks of celery and two sticks of carrots, somewhat meager considering the number of wings ordered, as well as a cup of bleu cheese dressing for dipping. The sauce is like a light glaze. It doesn’t hide the chicken beneath it, rather it paints it a pale orange. The sauce has a subtle, sophisticated taste, more sweet than spicy, and sprinkled with black pepper to give it a unique flavor. The Cardinal’s Nest offers a fresh take on the classic Buffalo wing, though we wouldn’t mind if they cranked up the heat.
6 out of 10 wings