As a way to pay tribute to the history of the chicken wing – no, it has not been done impartial justice in the past – Marc Moscato of Buffalo Bike Tours is preparing to tell a significant part of the story. You see, Moscato is an evangelist for John Young (1935-1998), who some people believe discovered the original chicken wing. Young was the owner of Wings ‘n’ Things on Jefferson back in the day – he opened sometime between 1960 and 1963, thus predating The Anchor Bar. His claim to fame as the ‘King of the Wings’ was coming up with his famous hot and spicy ‘mambo’ sauce, which he applied to the wings. The sauce was considered “lip smacking and liver quivering.”
“You don’t know Buffalo until you’ve tried mambo wings,” stated Buffalo Bike Tours owner Marc Moscato. “Chicken wings are inextricably linked to soul food and black culture – and John Young deserves a greater place in our understanding of Buffalo’s most famous dish.”
Currently, Moscato is working with Lina Brown-Young, who wants people to recognize her fathers hand in the creation of the wing, for which Buffalo is now famous. “I’m now working with Lina,” said Moscato. “To make available her father’s mambo wings for the first time in 20 years. We’ll be doing a socially distant ‘event’ on Saturday to raise awareness of Buffalo Bike Tours’ Wing Ride, a food tour where we stop and sample wings while exploring the history of chicken wings on bikes.”
While Wings N’ Things was wildly popular in Buffalo’s black community, it has been largely omitted from official city narratives.
Watch the video (below) to learn about the Buffalo Bike tours, as well as the upcoming event dedicated to John Young and his mambo chicken wings. Then, join the gang for a free chicken wing sample at Canalside on Saturday, June 27, from 12:30PM to 2:30PM. According to Moscato, these chicken wings have not been available for 20 years, which means that this is going to be one heck of a chicken wing tasting – the first 100 people will get a free sample (one wing per customer).
Lina Brown-Young will be on hand at the event, serving up the soon-to-be-famous (again) wings.
Wing lovers can also sign up for Buffalo Bike Tours’ Wing Rides that take place throughout the summer. Wing stops include The Oakk Room and Lenox Hotel.
Riders will learn culinary and neighborhood history – from Buffalo’s working class origins to its present-day resurgence.
Tours can be booked online, in person at the Buffalo Bike Tours kiosk, or by calling (716) 328-8432. Participants may bring their own bikes or rent Buffalo Bike Tours’ bikes.
Where: Buffalo Bike Tours Canalside Kiosk, 1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY 14202
When: Saturday, June 27, 2020, 12:30PM-2:30PM
How: First come, first served