When Buffalo Wild Wings opened up in Missoula one year ago, I am pretty embarrassed to admit that I had never dined, or even stepped foot into, one of their numerous locations nationwide. I know, right? How could an obsessed sports guy like me never have taken the time to walk into what is widely considered as the Mecca of sports themed casual dining?
Probably the main reason for my prior absence to BWW centers solely on the fact that I have just never really cared that much for wings. My basic attitude throughout my life was that wings were messy and they never really did the job at filling me up. If I went to Hooters or Pizza Hut, I would always pass on both places self-proclaimed “famous wings” and order a burger, or, big surprise, a pizza.
Buffalo Wild Wings opened up to large fanfare in Missoula. The grand opening was built up with lots of advertising and much anticipation. A promotion was staged that guaranteed a year’s supply of wings to the first 100 people that walked through the doors. The media covered the event aggressively. Customers crowded the restaurant non-stop. Everyone I knew could not stop talking about it. Despite all of this that was going on right underneath my nose, I never really felt a strong desire to go eat there. I stayed away.
A couple weeks passed and the buzz continued to swirl. In my opinion it felt like people were going a little overboard on how awesome this place was. As part of my internal backlash, I somehow managed to block out the endless praises of the place and latch onto the minor criticisms I heard whispered, namely that it was too crowded, the food came in box trays, and there were few healthy options on the menu (like I eat healthy anyway). However, after lasting a month with never entering Missoula’s newest dining gem, I entered BDubbs for the first time.
A couple of my friends had developed a little obsession with the place. They had developed a schedule where they were going there a few times each week to eat wings, watch their favorite teams, and banter with the wait staff, many of whom they were on a first name basis with. After some convincing, I decided to join them.
My reaction upon walking into Buffalo Wild Wings for the first time? THIS PLACE IS COOL! Televisions are plastered on every piece of real estate those walls hold. Better yet, each TV is set to a game (or other sports programming). The booths come with mini built-in televisions and the volume is set in a way that you can clearly hear the announcers of the featured game yet you can comfortably have a conversation with the people at your table. My first go-around at Buffalo Wild Wings I followed my preconceived idea of what my taste buds like and I ordered a burger. I got chastised by my friends for committing such a heinous act in a place where wings are king. But let me tell you what, I had no complaints about that burger. It was at least a ½ pound and came topped with bacon, pulled pork, and an onion ring!! I couldn’t believe I had neglected this place for a month.
After another visit of ordering something other than wings, I finally took the plunge and ordered twelve spicy garlic wings the third time I went. My whole life I have ate food that was supposedly supposed to be so good that it might make you live forever only to be let down at something that failed to meet expectations. Expecting to not fall in love with the famous delicacy in front of me, I chewed the first wing skeptically. About two seconds after I chomped down, I became a believer. Let me attest to you, the wings at BDubbs are the truth.
It just took that first wing to make me realize why people love this place so much. I don’t want to get too deep into the taste, texture, flavor, etc. about the wings themselves but please just believe me when I say they are the real deal. In fact, Buffalo Wild Wings made me become much more accepting to wings in general. I have now ordered wings at other restaurants and I use BWW to compare them (which is totally unfair because nothing comes close to Buffalo Wild Wings). At the restaurant you can choose from numerous different types of wing sauce, you name it and they probably got it. Spicy garlic is still my number one favorite but their mango habanero is a close second.
How good is this place? My parents even liked it! Whenever they come to Missoula I usually take them to a less casual place with more, how shall I put it, fine dining options. However, this past time they came up we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and had an enjoyable time as we munched on wings and watched Stanford upset USC. We left the place with my mom saying she wants to go back another time.
If you are a wing fan and you have not tried Buffalo Wild Wings, what are you waiting for?! If you are not a wing fan, still try the place….you will be a wing fan afterwards. When I travel to other cities and eat out, I tend to avoid the chain restaurants that I have in my own town. One of the few exceptions I make is for Buffalo Wild Wings. Man, I just got myself very hungry. Don’t Blink