If you’re a real Wildcat, you know that football season isn’t just about the game; it’s also about the tailgate food. Buffalo wings are always a fan favorite, but with so many options in Evanston, it can be hard to choose. We sat down with wing aficionados Eric Weberman, Grant Wilson and Peter Horner of Northwestern’s Men’s Soccer Team to find out who offers the best boneless in town.
Buffalo Wild Wings: No Ranch, No Deal
Buffalo Wild Wings looks great in the box, but this popular wings chain turned out to be a flop, both in sauce and chicken quality (though there was some disagreement among our taste testers). Horner testified, “I like the B-Dubs because I love the different consistency of the wing,” while his teammate Wllson disagreed, “Buffalo Wild Wings tries to cover their lack of chicken with a ton of breading.” He also commented that their heavy sauce is disappointing. “Buffalo Wild Wings is smooth but plain, like if you just went to a store and threw barbecue sauce on them.” And while B-Dubs offered the best presentation, the boys were horrified to discover that a crucial element was missing: the side of ranch. Buffalo Wild Wings is the most expensive option on this list, and with no delivery, it may be best to skip it.
Medium Boneless (approximately 1 pound): $15.75
Address: 1741 Maple Avenue, Evanston, IL
Hours of operation: Mon-Thurs: 11am to 1am, Fri-Sat: 11am to 2am, Sun: 11am to midnight
Buffalo Joe’s: Worth the Extra Mile
Though it may be the least convenient option with no delivery and cash only payment, Buffalo Joe’s offers tasty tenders at a reasonable price. What Buffalo Joe’s lacks in breading, it makes up for in soft, tender chicken and a bold sauce. “It’s definitely higher quality chicken than I would have expected and not as greasy,” Wilson said. “Buff Joe’s sauce has a little more of a tangy taste, but it’s a good kind of tangy.” Weberman raved about the tender breaded chicken, “You don’t even have to bite, it just melts right in there, you know?” Buffalo Joe’s wings come with ranch dip and celery sticks, albeit in a less-than-impressive Styrofoam container. It may take some effort to get your hands on Buff Joe’s, but these juicy tenders are well worth it.
Double Order (approximately 1 pound): $14.59
Address: 812 Clark Street, Evanston, IL
Hours of operation: Mon-Sun: 11am to midnight
Wings Over Evanston: Best Overall
These soccer players consider wings to be a food group, so take their word for it that the boneless wings at Wings Over Evanston are the best in town. With 20 delicious sauce options, you can easily try a new one (or two) for each football game and never get bored. Wings Over thoroughly coats each wing with the perfect amount of sauce; they never overwhelm the chicken with breading. Their high-quality, all-white-meat chicken comes in “big, nice, meaty strips,” reported Wilson, who orders Sweet Chili wings regularly. Weberman said the sauce is, “potent in the nostrils, a traditional wings smell from Wings Over.” Much to the experts’ delight, a pound of boneless with wings comes with a hefty side of ranch for dipping. Best of all? They’re the only guys on the list who deliver.
DC-10 (approximately 1 pound) Boneless Wings: $11.49
Address: 1115 Emerson Street, Evanston, IL
Hours of operation: Mon-Wed: 4pm to 1am, Thurs-Sun: 11am to 1am