Anchor Bar (Las Vegas) Review – The Inventors of Buffalo Wings!
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
If you’re a big fan of Buffalo wings, you may know that these tasty treats were invented in Buffalo, New York at a place called Anchor Bar. You may even know the story of how a bartender there asked his mother, the owner, to make something to eat for his hungry buddies one night and that her concoction of fried chicken wings covered in butter and Frank’s RedHot hot sauce (served with a blue cheese dip) became one of the world’s most well-known and loved American appetizers.
What you may not know is that you don’t have to go to Buffalo to have Anchor Bar chicken wings. If Las Vegas is closer, or if you happen to be going to Vegas anyway, just head to The Venetian (or The Palazzo) and walk through the Grand Canal Shoppes to the food court and there is an Anchor Bar right there! The franchise is expanding and there are also two locations in Ontario, Canada and two locations in Buffalo aside from the Anchor Bar itself.
Yes, the Las Vegas Anchor Bar is in a food court. That fact was a real disappointment, but it was pretty much the ONLY disappointment I encountered on my recent visit. I sat at the counter/bar and was very happy to be watching an English Championship League soccer game on one of the two TVs mounted on the wall behind the counter while I munched on their wonderful wings. The walls in their food court space are covered with licence plates, famous visitors to the Anchor Bar, available t-shirts, newspaper clippings and the like. Classic rock plays at a very comfortable volume. The wooden stool I sat on did become uncomfortable after about 25 minutes, despite what I thought was a decent amount of my own personal portable padding. One can also sit in the main food court seating area where the seats are much cushier, but I recommend the counter regardless of the composition of your rear end. You can watch wings and other things being prepared while you gnash and nosh away if the TVs aren’t showing you anything of interest.
(Photo credit and thanks to www.venetian.com)
I had a single serving of their World Famous Wings (8-10 wings…I got 9) with half of the wings done with their “medium” hot sauce and the other half done with a newer sauce creation called “Thai Chili.” I was encouraged to try several sauces with chunks of breaded chicken before placing my order by a very helpful and friendly cashier/hostess, although her thick accent made communication just a little challenging at times. The Medium sauce seemed to be the closest to what would I imagine the original recipe to be. The hostess could not say which sauce was closest to the one created that famous night, but agreed with my guesstimation. I got the wings “combo” which includes blue cheese (or ranch) dip, celery, a side of fries and a soda for $15.50 pre-tax. I also bought a side of their “Suicidal” sauce for an extra 75 cents.
The wings were awesome. I make no bones about it! They were awesome wings. Simple as that. Are they the best wings in the world? Who knows? That’s not what they are selling. The are selling wings as the folks who invented them and they did an excellent job of preparing mine. The Medium sauce was very tasty and packed a nice punch for a “medium.” The Thai Chili sauce was very, very good and the sprinkle of green onion atop was the perfect touch. The “Suicidal” sauce was an outrageous, fun flavor with a very elevated heat level, but not so much that it wasn’t enjoyable. (If you’ve ever been to Fire On The Mountain in my hometown of Portland, Oregon and had their “El Jefe” Sauce – the styles are very similar, but El Jefe is WAY hotter.) You absolutely must taste Anchor Bar’s Suicidal sauce for its incredible flavor – even if you are mild-mannered when it comes to wings.
Their fries have the optional seasonings of AB (Anchor Bar) Salt, Smokey Chipotle, Salt & Vinegar and Lemon-Pepper. The AB Salt fries I had were not only perfectly cooked, good-quality potatoes, but not at all too salty – something I had feared not being a major sodium freak. A very enjoyable seasoning. I actually wouldn’t have minded an extra sprinkle or two.
Aside from wings and fries, they also serve burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza and even lasagna. There are plenty of options for those not in the mood for wings and although I’ve not tried any of these additional items, I’m going to guess that you won’t be disappointed based on my experience.
Available beverages include several beers (including craft beers), wine, alcoholic drinks, sodas and others. Free refills on fountain soda. Unfortunately, I was not checking a bag on my flight home and could not grab a bottle of sauce to go. They are available there for $7.50 (currently $3.99 plus shipping on their website) or you can get a box of five for $30.00 (currently $21.99 plus shipping on their website). T-shirts and other gifts are also available.
There’s a lot to do in Vegas and there are hundreds upon hundreds of places to eat. If you like Buffalo wings, I’d put a stop at the Anchor Bar high on your list of priorities. It may not be as cool as saying you had wings at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, but I bet it’s just about as tasty.
(Photo credit and thanks to www.anchorbar.com)