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WING REVIEW: Santora's Pizza (Transit Road)
I Felt Florida Vibes... .Is That a Good Thing?
At least once per month I take a ride from my West Seneca home to my nearest Walmart, located on Transit Road. The route always takes me past Santora’s Pizza (3440 Transit Road). Each time I pass I think about adding them to my wings list. Well, this evening’s Walmart trip became that time.
I’ve had trepidations about going to Santora’s Pizzas for wings because quite frankly, I know plenty of wing aficionados yet never hear about this place. So either I’m about to discover a hidden gem or people who’ve been there don’t talk about them because their wings aren’t good.
Before offering my take, two things I want to preface:
1. There’s several variations of Santora’s Pizza with locations throughout Western New York. For this I’m referencing only 3440 Transit Road bordering West Seneca/Lancaster, which I’m told is the O.G. Santora’s Pizza.
2. I take absolutely zero pleasure in criticizing a business unless their staff treats the customers like shit. Last thing on earth I want to do is potentially take away from a business based on my personal take. Food perhaps more than anything else is subjective and one person’s trash is often another’s treasure. These are all merely my opinions and more cases than not, even if I don’t like the wings (the purpose of this series) there’s usually plenty of other appealing options at these restaurants. I encourage everyone to try wings/food anywhere possible and come up with your own opinions.
On that note here’s my honest thoughts and wing tier ranking for Santora’s Pizza….
PROS: If it’s size you’re looking for you’ve come to the right place. These wings were big, among the meatier I’ve had anywhere. Like, legitimately not a throwaway baby wing to be found. Also, service was great and the dining room is big enough (at least a dozen tables and a handful of large TV’s) to be comfortable.
CONS: There’s quite literally nothing about these wings that are pleasing by lofty Buffalo standards. The medium sauce was essentially flavorless----the epitome of equal parts butter, Frank’s and nothing else. I mean, not even a hint of some spice or mix to provide anything unique tasting good or bad. Also, if it’s plenty of crisp you like do not order without requesting extra crispy. I made the mistake of ordering feeling I didn’t need a special request and paid the price with wings that were borderline rubbery. Additionally, I don’t care for blue cheese but know most you do. Eat wings here and you’re getting a container of Ken’s, as they don’t have their own.
Also, as mentioned above I got a slice of pizza, something Santora’s is apparently well known for. Mind you, this is a wing review----not pizza but I must say this slice was miniscule-sized and I don’t think’s an anomaly either considering the box it came in was small. I’m talking like slices you’d get at a 7-Eleven. Quite honestly it wasn’t good either. Sorry fans of their pizza, I don’t get the hype.
Lastly, I wouldn’t classify Santora’s prices outrageous but a single order of wings, (sort of) slice of pizza and 20-ounce soda came to $24.80. That’s---not on the cheaper side. You’ll also pay $1.85 per generic extra side of blue cheese, more than you’ll pay at wing staples like Bar Bill or Imperial.
VERDICT/TIER: As I sat eating these wings and trying a slice, Florida kept coming to mind. That’s no compliment, unfortunately as I’m not referring to sunshine, beaches, bodies of water or amusements parks. I’m referring to bland, dime-per-dozen wings and pizza that felt like any run of the mill franchise joint I used to have in the sunshine state.
In fairness to Santora’s there’s plenty of options on their extensive menu, items I’ve never had. From subs to boneless wings, chicken fingers, calzones, salads and appetizers there’s no shortage of things to try and seeing this place is popular, I’d bet some entries are quite good. It’s also worth noting I ONLY got the traditional medium wings, whereas sometimes I hit up a place and get additional signature flavors as well. Who knows—maybe I would’ve liked their BBQ charred, Italian Baked or Honey Mustard flavors enough to make up for the bland traditional.
But first and foremost it’s always about traditional wings above all else and in regards those, maybe in another region Santora’s would stand ou positively but in an area rich in superb wing spots, they simply doesn’t measure up—at all. Tier: “Waiver Wire”
TRY THEM FOR YOURSELF: Santora’s Pizza, 3440 Transit Road
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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