Buffalo's culinary landmark, the Anchor Bar, off Main Street, seems to still be an excellent choice for a nice, after-work meal or a lively weekend gathering as the food compliments a very pleasant, classic Buffalonian setting. A longtime Western New York favorite, frequented by locals and celebrities alike, the Anchor Bar is mildly nostalgic, and offers a great plate of wings, just as it always has been.
However, that same atmosphere may, too, have been a detriment to the restaurant. Though the inside was pleasantly cool, contrary to the warm summer day outside, the lighting was a bit inadequate, and almost seemed more like a place I'd take a nap rather than eat a good dinner.
For a family, or even for a group of college kids looking for appetizing board and a night on the town, the bar is a quaint sit-down restaurant, absent of the noise that sometimes detracts from typical family eateries. A variety of customers can be found at the bar, ranging from passer-by professionals to tourists checking out the famed home of the Buffalo wing.
The servers quickly and politely tended to my needs, and within only fifteen minutes I had been seated, and my meal was served. Still, what matters most is always the food. The Anchor Bar offers a wide variety of grilled meals, as well as sandwiches and pastas. Most meals are priced between $6.00 and $15.00, and with wings, a moderate-sized meal will typically cost around $20.00.
If you are going to the bar for drinks, however, the bill won't seem quite as light. Most mixed drinks cost about $5.00, although the variety is diverse. Names like the "Island Dream," a fruit juice and cream cocktail with brandy, the "Irish Leprechaun," a drink made with Irish cream, and the "Galliano Fizz," a mix of Galliano with orange juice, cr?(c)me, and grenadine, all will tempt your taste buds to indulge.
My meal was a plate of ribs with a large serving of fries. The rib meat was not only soft and thick, but sweet, slightly spicy sauce coated the meal in a thick paste. Needless to say, along with an order of wings, it was more than enough, if not too much, for one person to eat.
For the wing lover, wings are served in four varieties: mild, medium, hot and "suicidal." Though the name is tempting, even I couldn't dare such an ominous warning. I do know, however, that suicidal probably stands by its intentions, as even my mild wings were a touch hot.
The smallest order of wings is a set of 10, which may be plenty for a conservative pair of eaters, although for myself, 10 was a bit too much, and I would have appreciated a half-order for half-cost.
As advertised, the wings surely are very good, although for the restaurant that invented the chicken wing, I almost expected an epiphany of good taste to grasp my senses. However, I found my mild sauce wings were average, considering the sauce was no more tasty than Pizza Hut's wings or any other restaurant serving the dish.
If you're looking for a warm, memorabilia-filled place to eat for not too much money, the Anchor Bar will do the trick. However, be warned that the bar is incredibly busy on the weekends, though during the week patronage is thin so service is much better.