Buffalo Wings & Rings is a Cincinnati-based chain of casual dining sports bars offering primarily – you guessed it – buffalo wings. Taking a lot of cues from certain competitors in the area, the restaurant sports a wide open atmosphere with a lot of televisions along the walls and many places to sit with friends. With around 40 locations, the place has still not lost its local charm. The locations sport lots of livery from local teams and are active supporters of area high school football. It’s a nice touch, I think, and gives a much more personal feel to a sports bar; traditionally they all seem to strive to seem the same.
Appetizers are good, the offerings are plenty for them. I, of course, have always been a fan of fried pickles, and the crispy spears are well accentuated with ranch sauce. There side dishes are decent, though the pickings seem a little slim for the prices we’re talking. Onion rings are good and come with a tangy sauce, while the french fries are only sort of average and a little bland. The side dishes are decent overall, but I fear there isn’t a lot of unique flavor to them.
The wings menu is customizable, though I have a complaint about a few of the sauces. The menu has about twelve distinct sauces as well as different levels of spiciness. I’m afraid I wasn’t a terrible fan of the low and medium spicy sauces (they don’t have a lot of flavor) while the hot spice is seemingly unbearable. The sauces were sort of questionable; rajun’ cajun is over the top and doesn’t taste great. Teriyaki is good, but the honey barbecue version tastes a little elementary. I could swear it tastes exactly like McDonald’s barbecue sauce. Either way, the different sauces make for different wings, but despite the generous size of each wing I can’t say I’m terribly impressed.
Dessert is a different story. There are a few different deserts which are excellent. What you see here is the Xango, pieces of cheesecake wrapped in pastry shells and fried before being served with whipped cream and some strawberry sauce. Outstanding. It’s worth coming out just for this dish. I’m not a sucker for desserts but this one strikes me as particularly good.
So overall, service is decent. In three or four trips here, I’ve always found it a little slow, even at times that aren’t terribly busy. Sometimes it’s slow to get me food, sometimes it’s slow to get me a bill, but either way, as polite at the waitresses are I do find them noticeably lagging. In spite of this, the atmosphere is so good, and the food good enough, to ensure I will be coming back here.
- Appetizers are good, but side dishes and wings are definitely only OK.
- Be sure to come in expecting to wait a little. Service can be slow at times.
- Definitely consider saving room for dessert; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.