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On the Buffalo Trail in the Big Apple

By Aaron Bartley

In
preparation for PUSH’s annual “Buffalo Takes Manhattan” party, I
spent last Monday crisscrossing NYC in search of chicken wings, Labatts and
other Buffalo cultural treasures.  My pilgrimage took me to five different
establishments that serve as homes away from home for the thousands of
Buffalonians living in the Big Apple as part of the worldwide Buffalo diaspora.

My quest to
garner chicken wing donations for Buffalo Takes Manhattan–to be held in Times
Square on Saturday, September 19th–began at Kelly’s in the East
Village.  I’ve walked past Kelly’s, located at 12 Avenue A near Tomkins
Square Park, many times on previous trips, never realizing that Buffalo had a
beachhead in one of America’s most historic bohemian districts. 

Kelly’s was
founded two years ago by a Dubliner and a Buffalonian.  The bar is
festooned with Bills and Sabres pennants, serves Labatts, and shows Bills and
Sabres games.  Although they don’t make their own wings, Kelly’s draws
boisterous crowds on game days. 

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After
crossing Avenue A, I noticed a mural with a flying Buffalo on the side
of Nice Guy Eddie’s at 5 Avenue A.  Upon entering to investigate the
meaning of the Buffalo, I met Alie, a bartender, who claimed that Nice Guy
Eddie’s makes the best wings in the city.  Alie should know, as she’s
spent the better part of the last ten years in Buffalo, having moved to NYC in
March.

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Next, we
visited McFadden’s on 2nd Avenue at the corner of 43rd, the capital
of Buffalove in Manhattan. All you need to know about McFadden’s, you can see
is this incredible Youtube video:

 

The NYC Buffalo Bills Backers,
ably led by Matt Kabel and Matt Soreco, use McFadden’s as their clubhouse on
game days.  John Ciciaa, the owner of McFadden’s as well as Calico Jacks,
is an affable guy who’s proud of his role in supporting Bufflao culture in
exile.   

Then on to
Atomic Wings, headquartered on 9th Avenue near 39th, which, is the largest
purveyor of authentic wings in NYC, with three locations.  Owner and
Founder Adam went to college in Buffalo and saw an opportunity to introduce our
sacred culinary art to a larger audience. Adam was in the south of France when I
visited Atomic on Monday and couldn’t be reached for comment, but more than a
thousand of his wings were well received and quickly devoured at last year’s
Buffalo Takes Manhattan party.

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Finally, I
crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to reach Bonnie’s, celebrating its 10th anniversary
as Buffalo’s bastion in Park Slope.  Mike Naber, the owner and founder, is
a North Tonawanda native who has helped to lead the revitalization of Park
Slope’s 5th Avenue shopping district.   Bonnie’s wings are highly
regarded among Buffalonians living in Brooklyn, and they draw healthy crowds on
game days.

Thanks to donations from McFadden’s, Bonnie’s, Kelly’s and Atomic, this year’s Buffalo Takes
Manhattan extravaganza will be well-stocked with wings, along with Labatts and
Flying Bison, and wine from Kelly’s.  Come taste the Buffalo goodness on Saturday, September 19th
in Times Square.  For Buffalonians making the trip to NYC, there’s also
the option of watching the Bills play Tampa the following day in any of the
above establishments.

For tickets
and more information, see PUSH’s website at
www.pushbuffalo.org


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image: The author at Kelly’s


Written by WCPerspective

WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

View All Articles by WCPerspective
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