On our eternal quest for the perfect chicken wing, my wife and I found ourselves at Potter’s Field… finally. For quite some time, we had heard that the place served up some of the best wings in the city, but we continually find ourselves heading to Conlon’s or 911 Tavern every time we pay a visit to South Buffalo. Today, we decided to veer in a new direction, and we’re happy that we did.
We weren’t sure what to expect from Potter’s Field, other than good wings (so we have heard). The inside of the place is not large. Including barstools, it seats around 40. The decor is pretty bar-basic – there are a bunch of framed photos on the wall, featuring a number of presumably South Buffalo baseball and football teams.
We pulled up to the bar and were greeted by a barkeep by the name Nancy. She told us about a couple of specials, but she might as well have been talking in the jargon of a Peanuts cartoon teacher, as we were determined to try the wings, and that was that. In order to mix it up a little bit, we both ordered the chef salad, to whet our palates so to speak. We also indulged in a couple of cheap beers.
As we awaited the arrival of our wings, we both began to warm up to the place. Nancy made it easy. So did the non-stop chitchat at the bar between patrons, who were no doubt regulars. In typical South Buffalo fashion, everyone knew each other, which to me and my wife, was great. We were happy to be left to out own devices, scoping out the place and listening to the music. Scratch that. Actually, the music was grating on me, because I just can’t stand acts like Adele (my wife told me who she was), and X Ambassadors (I had to Shazam). I tried to tune out the poppy beats, to no avail. Judging by the characters in the place, the music was simply out of place.
Aside from the popchart tunes, the rest of the establishment was great. It was super laid back, and everyone was having a good time. When we first arrived, around eight members from a neighborhood fire department were discussing a broomball league. By the time we left, the bar had been overrun by retired gentlemen who appeared to be friends with the owner. Throughout our stint at the bar, everyone we encountered was happy-go-lucky, and considered the bar a sanctuary from the rigors of daily life.
There’s something about South Buffalo that appeals to me and my wife. The more that we visit, the more that we love it. Many of the neighborhood pubs in the Elmwood Village and the West Side have vanished. There are fewer and fewer dive bars. The out of the way places (taverns and pubs) in South Buffalo make us happy. The servers are always super helpful, talkative and friendly. These are ‘beer and a shot’ types of places, with solid food and warm corner pub atmospheres. Although there are mostly regulars in spots such as Potter’s Field, I am of the belief that the regulars love to see some new faces – it’s a South Buffalo pride sort of thing.
When our wings arrived, they looked picture perfect. We were very excited to dive in. We had already eaten our chef salads, which were excellent. As far as these types of salads go, they are either variations of lame or good. Ours were really good – crisp lettuce and a medley of sliced veggies with dressing on the side. As for the wings, man, were they awesome – possibly the best in Buffalo, and on par with Bar Bill Tavern in East Aurora, which we have found to be the best in the WNY. My wife partially attributed the greatness of the wings to the fresh fryer oil. Nancy (our barkeep) noted that the wings were immense in size. They were large, but not like some of the GMO-looking samples that we have come across. They were perfectly sized, sauced, and crisped (we ordered them crispy). If we had one minor suggestion, it would be to offer an even hotter version that is on the menu. Although these could have been hotter, they did leave my lips tingling for a spell after I was finished. The taste of the wings made up for the lack of hotness. They were superb.
In the end, we were so happy to find what we consider are some of the best wings in all of Buffalo. Plus, we felt right at home at Potter’s Field, and can’t wait to go back. In fact, had we stayed any longer, I’m sure that we would have been invited to join a sports league, or attend a stag party, or play a round of golf – Cazenovia Golf Course is literally across the street, and there was a colorful array of Masters and Polo shirts being worn by the regulars at the bar. As for the music, I can’t wait for the day that old fashioned jukeboxes make a comeback. We’ve seen it happen with vinyl, and bar arcade games are the next rage, so I can only cross my fingers and hope. Even though Potter’s Field does have one of the snazzy WiFi music wall units, it’s just not the same. Other than that (I’m a stickler for music, I admit), Potter’s Field is the type of place that most people wish was in their own backyard. The only problem is that it’s going to be hard to divert from the wings, because the rest of menu looks super tempting. Alas, worse issues could be at hand.
Potter’s Field Restaurant and Pub | 425 Potters Road | Buffalo, NY 14220 | (716) 824-1353 | Facebook | Patio