July 12th, 2014 | by MARTIN CIZMAR Food & Drink | Posted In: The 50 Plates

New York Buffalo Wings: The Empire State's Greatest Contribution to American Cuisine

Our Fifty Plates tour continues with the best Buffalo wings in Portland, from Fire on the Mountain.

buffalo wings fire mountain

Summer is road-trip season, so we're taking a culinary tour of America. But because Portland is a city of immigrants from other states, we don't have to leave town to do it. We're traveling to 50 Portland restaurants to try one distinctive food from each state. Our 50 Plates tour continues with Buffalo wings from New York, which joined the union on July 26, 1788.

The state: New York, America’s 27th largest state by area and third largest by population. New York City, the state’s largest city, is the second largest and third most diverse city in North America. All rather unimpressive, I know, however, from New York City’s central “Manhattan” neighborhood it’s a quick six hour drive to Buffalo, where Buffalo wings were invented. And from Buffalo, it’s only another two hours to Toronto, where you can get some culture.


The food: The state’s greatest contributaion to American cuisine, the Buffalo wing. Unlike most other foodstuffs that were invented in America and managed to find themselves over to, say, rural North Dakota, we know exactly where these wings came from. That’d be Anchor Bar, where, in 1964, someone had the crazy idea of taking the wings marked for the soup pot and turning them into an icon. The Anchor Bar’s owner deep fried them, slathered them in Frank’s Red Hot, and gave birth to an American classic.


Other foods considered and rejected: Substandard pizza, bagels with lox, eggs benedict, General Tso's chicken, Steak Diane, Manhattan clam chowder, Waldorf salad.

Get it from: Fire on the Mountain (3443 NE. 57th Ave., 894.8973, portlandwings.com). Always. Sure, Portland has its own Anchor Bar on Hayden Island that'll serve up low-cost "Buffalo spicy" wings near the Keno screens. But Fire on the Mountain has Portland’s best fried spicy chicken wings in a spread of twelve rich sauces. And at their Fremont location, they brew their own fresh, mild beers ideally suited for spicy fried food. Try the X-tinguisher wheat with a capicola-topped pie or wash your hot wings down with an Electric Mud, a hefty and mildly bitter oatmeal stout that won’t overpower anything on your plate but is creamy enough to wash off the burn.




Click on the map to see each state's distinctive food and where to get it in Portland.

Pennsylvania Maine Louisiana Texas West Virgina Nevada NC Colorado Alaska Mississippi Washington Minnesota Tennessee Nebraska Missouri Massachusetts Michigan Wisconsin Ohio Arizona south carolina newyork Connecticut rhode island Wyoming New Mexico Kentucky Idaho alabama new jersey georgia kansas california iowa montana oklahoma indiana vermont hawaii utah arkansas maryland Virginia oregon Illinois Florida New Hampshire South Dakota Delaware North Dakota
 
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