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WING REVIEW: Belt Line Brewery (Buffalo)
Some of the Most Underrated Wings in WNY
I found myself near downtown Buffalo and in the mood for wings on a recent Saturday afternoon. I’ve been to Belt Line Brewery (545 Swan Street) previously, including a Talking Buffalo Podcast taping with Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sometimes though you can get swept away with a first-time spot because you’re surprised by how good the food is. It’s why I try to get back to as many places I evaluate extremely fondly (or poorly) as possible. Long story short, I went to Belt Line and had both their 716 (their version of traditional wing sauce) and All-Dressed wings along with some fries. Before you get all judgy, I wasn’t alone but anyway—here’s my biggest takeaways.
PROS: I’ve had both their 716 and All-Dressed wings multiple times now and they’re ridiculously good. Cooked to perfection with just the right amount of crisp. The 716 (medium) have plenty of kick to them and are WAY better than traditional medium/hot wings from most places. For me though, the All-Dressed \ are out this world flavory. We’re talking BBQ, salt, vinegar and a few ingredients I may or may not be privy to and promised not to disclose. I think they’re up there with the best signature flavor wings in all of Western New York. Bonus Pro--- the fries are absolutely amazing.
CONS: Like a lot of places downtown or near it, the parking sucks. If you’re lucky you’ll find a spot near the door on Hamburg Street but more than likely you’ll park somewhere around the corner(ish) on Swan Street. Also, the Sabres got scored on four times in like seven minutes in blowing a two-goal lead against Calgary immediately after I walked in, needless to say I’ll never be going here again when the Sabres are on. Oh, we’re supposed to be talking the cons of the wings here? Well, there really isn’t any with the wings.
OTHER OBSERVATIONS: At least to my knowledge there’s no dedicated servers, so you order food and pay upfront at the bar, get a buzzard that goes off when its ready and pick up from the kitchen window—a pretty cool concept. They have an amazing wing special on Tuesday night where $25 gets you not just 20 wings, but two draft beers. Also worth nothing if looking for a Sunday brunch/fun day spot they have $20 bottomless mimosas from 11am-3pm in addition to $5 Bloody Mary’s. I have to be honest with my readers about one perceived negative thing—I’ve yet to explore the majority of their craft draft selection but I’ve talked to multiple who have, and they tell me the Belt Line beer is just “alright.”
VERDICT/TIER: I feel supremely confident in touting Belt Line Brewery\ one of the most underrated kitchens in all of Western New York. I’ve had four flavors now (Jamaican Jerk & Dry Rubbed Cajun not mentioned in this review) and all have been top notch—no misses. The Pomme Frites (fries) are about as good as anywhere and at least from what I’ve seen visually, the burgers look awesome. This may be a dime per dozen spot when it comes the brewery portion, but part of a (very) small minority of spots I consider worthy of labeled “destination wings”, meaning worth a ride of 25-30 minutes or more purely for the wings. You’re doing your taste buds a huge disservice if you haven’t eaten here.
TIER RANKING: “The Elite”
LOCATION/WEBSITE: Belt Line Brewery, 545 Swan Street (Buffalo)
Here’s my seven tiers with a brief explanation of each.
Mt. Rushmore: The four undisputed championship wing spots of Western New York.
The Elite: The next best thing—right on the brink of being immortalized.
All-Pro: Perhaps not MVP material but categorically deserving of being discussed among the best.
Solid Starter: You certainly won’t be complaining. Exactly what the description reads—solid.
Depth Chart: You can do far worse but at this point — significantly better as well.
Roster Bubble: If left with few other options these places may suffice, but I can’t recommend them.
Waiver Wire: I’d rather eat pizza or something else.
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