The original and famous Anchor Bar in Buffalo is the birthplace of the Buffalo (Chicken) Wing. The signature wings are extra meaty, super crispy and uber delicious (made that way with their secret sauce). There is simply no comparison!
They come in varying degrees of hotness that start with mild and go all the way to Suicide and Abandon Ship or as I like to call them; Death by Wing. The secret, explains restaurant manager Tal Adler is the freshness and plumpness of the wings. “We start with a great product. It all comes from the same supplier to the Buffalo location.”
There isn’t a chicken wing lover who isn’t part of the Anchor Bar cult. It all started in 1964 when, out of necessity, restaurant owner and cook, Theressa Bellissimo had to feed a group of hungry teenagers. It was late and there was very little left in the kitchen except the chicken wings that were destined for the soup pot. Theressa thought it was a shame to put such beautiful wings into a stock pot so she cooked them up and served them. What followed was not so much a movement of chicken wing lovers, but more a chicken wing religion with a growing and fiercely dedicated congregation.
When the Anchor Bar in Buffalo is full, people drive to Hamilton and vice versa. And if the Anchor Bar is the church of wings, then it should come as no surprise to find other chicken wing foods on the menu; Original Anchor Bar Spicy Chicken Wing Soup, Chicken Wing Lollipops (chicken wings flipped inside out and baked), Chicken Wing Crunch Melt (sandwich), Chicken Wing Pizza, Buffalo Chicken Wing Poutine, Frank’s Original Chicken Wing Salad, and Chicken Wing Ravioli. The only thing missing is a chicken wing cupcake (btw, I found them at Above + Beyond Cupcakes in Welland).
Beyond the worship of the Buffalo wing, you may notice the Canadianization of the Hamilton Anchor Bar. Adler says if Americans can eat it, they will fry it, but Canadians are a little more health conscious when it comes to food. So on the menu you’ll also find some unexpected dishes like Tabouli and Chick Pea Salad, Mediterranean Quinoa and Rack of Lamb. The other cultural difference Adler sees is that “Canadians can handle their heat”. Apparently we love hotter wings than our American counterpart. For more pictures click here.
The Anchor Bar, 2 King Street West, Jackson Square, Hamilton, Ontario