Pau Hana Patrol: Buffalo Wild Wings

Jun. 4, 2015 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition
The sports-themed, TV-centric Buffalo Wild Wings in Pearl City offers a variety of chicken wings coated in sauces or spices. ( Jamm Aquino / jaquino@staradvertiser.com)

The sports-themed, TV-centric Buffalo Wild Wings in Pearl City offers a variety of chicken wings coated in sauces or spices. ( Jamm Aquino / jaquino@staradvertiser.com)

BY NANCY ARCAYNA / narcayna@staradvertiser.com

A lively atmosphere, cold beer, yummy wings and tons of high-definition televisions draw nightly crowds at Buffalo Wild Wings in Pearl Highlands. When we arrived, on a Tuesday night around 10, the place was packed.

THE EXPERIENCE

This place is popular! Luckily someone left the bar just as late-night happy hour was beginning, so we grabbed a seat at a table in the corner of the bar. Otherwise, the dining room wait was more than 30 minutes.

Our server, Sam, who introduced himself as Sam-I-Am, was a font of knowledge. He knew the menu inside and out and was able to recite the nearly 50 beers available. Sam also handily answered all of our questions about the menu, and made our exchanges pleasant, despite the busy room. (We asked how he memorized everything. He told us that employees are schooled and tested on the menu and the establishment’s background as part of the restaurant’s training, and before servers begin to interact with customers.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

Pearl Highlands Shopping Center

(808) 260-9464
www.buffalowildwings.com

Happy Hour:
>> 10 p.m.-2 a.m., daily
>> $4 pupu: onion ring; corn dogs, mozzarella sticks; chips and salsa; chips and queso; fried garlic mushrooms
10 p.m.-2 a.m., Monday-Friday
>> $4 tall beers (Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light)
>> $4 Jack Daniels, Captain Morgan and all Absolut flavors
>> $4 pupu: onion rings; corn dogs; mozzarella sticks; chips and salsa; chips and queso; fried garlic mushrooms

The place has lots of regular customers, most of them locals who would rather not make a long drive downtown to hang out with friends, our server said.

Customers might also really like to be near a TV, since there are nearly 100 different screens at Buffalo Wild Wings — even a couple in the bathroom, so you shouldn’t miss a thing if you’re watching a sporting event.

Want to play a game yourself? If you’re in the mood for darts, you can bring your own darts or get a loaner from the bar.

The employees don football shirts with the number “82” to commemorate the story behind the establishment. In 1982, Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery scratched down some recipes for Buffalo-style wings after they moved from Buffalo, N.Y., to Kent, Ohio, and weren’t able to find options to satisfy their cravings. They opened their first establishment in Ohio, and the sports bar now has more than a thousand locations.

THE FOOD

Wings aren’t part of the late-night pau hana menu, but note that if this is your particular craving, 80-cent wings are available all day on Tuesdays and 80-cent boneless wings are up for grabs all day on Thursday. (A minimum of five wings must be ordered per sauce.) They were the top thing we sampled on our visit.

Hand-spun wings seasoned with both signature sauces and dry rub seasonings were tasty treats. We enjoyed the Honey BBQ wings and the Asian Zing, which has a sweet chile sauce. The lemon pepper dry rub seasoning was flavorful as well.

My companion dared to try the mango habanero sauce, the third-hottest sauce offered. Her response: “It was ridiculously hot and I can’t feel my tongue, but it was good.” I wasn’t so brave.

We also tried some of the late-night pau hana specials, which are about half price: roasted garlic mushrooms that are breaded, fried and served with a southwestern ranch sauce ($4, regularly $7.29); mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce ($4, regularly $8.79); and mini corn dogs served with a honey mustard dip ($4, regularly $7.99). Not bad, and went well with beer.

THE DRINKS

Buffalo Wild Wings offers a wide selection of beer, with 25 bottled options and 24 beers on draft.

The drink specials vary daily, but Jack Daniels, Captain Morgan and Absolut are discounted from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Friday.

THE VERDICT

If you’re looking for a late night option in the area or have a craving for wings, Buffalo Wild Wings is a great place to go. It’s a good location to catch up with friends and watch your favorite sports channels.

Because of the volume of people, you do wait a bit to get seated and served, so don’t go if you’re in a hurry. But the energy of the crowd also adds to the fun.

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