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DINING: Buffalo Wild Wings offers lots of flavorful sauces

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Dining - A&E

Buffalo Wild Wings made a fresh foray into downtown late last year, moving into long-vacant at 7 E. Washington St.—just a block north of the Maryland Street location another franchisee gave up on in 2007.

What a difference a block makes.

The new B-Dubs (951-9464) is much more welcoming than its predecessor, in large part because of the seater/ greeter stationed near the door. And it's a big space, so there's rarely a wait even on 50-cent wing day.

Inside, the décor runs to the traditional wing joint: no-frills seating and enough flat-screen TVs to make concentration difficult. Most feature some sort of sport, but a few are dedicated to diner-participation activities like trivia and Texas Hold-Em.

The menu is standard fare. Wings dominate, naturally, although other forms of chicken and a few other meats also offer a bit of variety. We tried a little of this and a little of that, starting with the obvious.

Our visit just happened to be on a Tuesday, when wings are 50 cents each. We ordered a dozen ($6 instead of the usual $8.99) in two flavors: Spicy Garlic and Asian Zing. Aside from a service glitch or two (our wings were delivered without napkins, utensils or anywhere to dispose of the bones), it was an expectedly solid choice. The wings were crisp without being crunchy and covered in sauce but not drenched. Our requested napkins came in particularly handy with the sticky Asian wings, but the mess was well worth the pleasant sweet and hot flavor combo.

Next up were the Grilled Chicken Buffalitos ($7.99), a somewhat healthier just-as-tasty choice: Two flour tortillas were filled with grilled chicken strips, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream and wing sauce (I picked hot); tortilla chips and a shot of salsa came on the side.

Our final item was neither fried nor chicken—risky for a wing joint, I know. Nevertheless, the Pulled Pork Sandwich ($8.99) was a success, with mounds of hickory-smoked meat drenched in any B-Dub's sauce (we followed the server's advice and got honey barbecue). Yum. Less successful were the French fry-like Buffalo Chips served with the sandwich. The potato coins were soggy and bland—not a good combo.

There were few surprises on our trip to this old standby, but we did learn something: When trying several items that each come with a flavorful sauce, less is more. By the end of our experiment, our taste buds were begging for a break.

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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