Nowadays you can find Buffalo wings pretty much anywhere you go, but back in the day the only place you could find them was in Buffalo at the Anchor Bar, where the dish was first created. The Anchor Bar hasn’t taken advantage of their reputation as creators of wings like other famous food progenitors have (Chicago deep dish specialists Pizzeria Uno formed a national chain), but they’re starting to branch out. Most of their handful of locations are in the Western New York area and there’s even one at the airport in Buffalo (BUF). Now, like James Madison’s Manifest Destiny, they’ve gone west.
Yesterday marked the beginning of Anchor Bar’s journey in Vegas. Now visitors to the Palazzo/Venetian can experience the unnerving sensation of going to a giant building that’s meant to feel like Italy while chowing down on wings that come from Buffalo square in the middle of the Nevada desert where a money-printing city shot up out of nowhere thanks to gangsters whose families came from Italy. It’s like an Escher painting covered in spicy sauce.
All of the Anchor Bar classics are here, including a big list of wing flavors (everything from extra mild to suicidal plus honey-ginger, salt & pepper, and teriyaki sesame), sandwiches like chicken cheesesteaks and regional New York favorite Beef on Weck (basically roast beef on a salty roll), and a full gelato bar.
If you’re going to Vegas and want a taste of Buffalo, you’ll either have to wait until they open a Bills/Sabre-themed hotel or you could just head to the Grand Canal Shoppes Food Court inside the Venetian/Palazzo complex to get an authentic taste of the Anchor Bar.
Photos: Edward Frey III