Pros: Great wings & sauce, relaxed atmosphere, good drinks, good prices, trivia
Cons: May be a bit too loud for some people
Buffalo Wild Wings (aka BW3) has locations all around the nation usually in college areas. They've expanded a great deal over the course of the last five years and as a result I've visited six in Michigan (Mt. Pleasant, East Lansing, Novi, Fenton, Howell, and Mt. Clemens) but I most often frequent the Fenton and newly opened Howell. BW3 is an easy, tasty, and inexpensive restaurant and bar. If you're looking for a relaxed atmosphere look no further than Buffalo Wild Wings.
With over 300 locations in 30 states, this is a hugely popular franchise. The menu is always the same with the signature items being hot wings and twelve distinctly flavored sauces. One word of caution--if you don't like large bar and grill settings (noise, smoke, etc) you should avoid BW3. Otherwise, I can think of no better place to eat, hang out with friends, play trivia, and drink. It's a fun place and easily my favorite low-key restaurant around. Is it gourmet? Nope. But most of the time I prefer a place where I don't have to get dressed up to enjoy a good meal.
Buffalo Wild Wings has the market cornered as far as wings go. Hooters wings are slop compared to these babies (yes, I've been to Hooters). The restaurant has an open and relaxed atmosphere with two different ordering options. You may choose to order traditionally from your table or at the counter for expedited service. I much prefer ordering from my table server as I find the service is more consistent, though I have only very rarely run into a sub par server. Patrons have the choice of sitting at booths, tables, or even at high tables/bar stools in the bar area of BW3. I always try to get a booth.
Another thing I always partake in while visiting BW3 is the NTN Trivia. I'm a sucker for trivia games and NTN provides a great release. If you're not sure what the system is, basically you get a wireless blue trivia machine to answer questions with. The questions are shown on television screens around the restaurant. You compete against other patrons at your location in addition to diners and drinkers from across the nation. If you sign up (for free) for Players Plus you can also enjoy the game at any other location offering NTN Trivia. It's a blast.
Obviously I love the atmosphere, appreciate the usually good service, and am generally comfortable at Buffalo Wild Wings. However if it wasn't for the food I wouldn't be there once or twice a month. The menu has something to offer for everybody from salads to burgers and from appetizers to wraps. Meals are relatively inexpensive and range from between $5 and $10 per person. Alcoholic beverages are pricier, but if you like beer there is usually some sort of special. Me? I stick to the Long Island Ice Tea which runs about $6 or so bucks. Not cheap by a long shot, but at least it is good (and strong).
If you are going to visit Buffalo Wild Wings, I can only recommend that you have their wings. I also suggest you go there with an open mind and a group of people. It's a noisy social gathering place, so the more the merrier. Also, if you're a real computer nerd they commonly (if not always) offer free wireless internet. Yes, I have seen many a computer at BW3. The wings (my suggested meal) are simply awesome. The sauces are yummy and the taste is fantastic. Of course it's by no means diet food, but I would hope that most patrons at BW3 would overlook their diet for at least an evening. I wouldn't want to be the poor person to miss out on this grub. Wings are available in a variety of different ways and numbers. Traditional wings come in 6, 12, 18, 24, 50, and 100-piece options. You can order any number of sauces in the larger options. You pay also get boneless wings (my personal favorite) in 8 and 12 piece, tenders in 4 or 6 piece, and legs in 2 or 4 piece. The chicken is all good, but the sauce is what really makes it special. Sauce is separated into three temperatures--mild, medium, and hot.
Mild: Teriyaki, Sweet BBQ, Smoky Southwestern, Mild
Medium: Medium, Spicy Garlic, Caribbean Jerk, Thai
Hot: Hot BBQ, Hot, Wild, Blazin'
I've eaten all the mild and medium flavors but have steered clear of the hot. Come on. Blazin'? You've got to be kidding. In any case, my favorites are Teriyaki, Sweet BBQ, and Thai. When ordering wings you may also (for a little bit extra) get celery sticky, extra sauce, and dipping sauces (ranch and blue cheese are my favorites). In addition to the wings, I also recommend many of their appetizers. My favorites are the cheesy potato wedges, potato skins, onion rings, and mozzarella sticks but I've sampled them all and they are all yummy.
BW3 offers up a unique dining experience, good and reasonably priced food, NTN Trivia, and good drinks. I couldn't ask for anything more out of a restaurant. I highly recommend Buffalo Wild Wings so long as it is clear that this is by no means gourmet, quiet, or high end in any way. It's just good, relaxed dining fun.
For more info about Buffalo Wild Wings, their history, their menu, locations, and franchise information visit the website at: