Wing Trail Review #4: Doc Sullivan's

WBEN's Mike Baggerman reviews the chicken wing joints in WNY

Mike Baggerman
June 29, 2018 - 12:00 am

Doc Sullivan's in South Buffalo (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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DISCLAIMER: I'm just a guy who likes wings and happens to work at WBEN.

I started this project for two reasons. The first? My love for chicken wings. The second? A desire to try something new. I've already been to some of the places on the wing trail but my goal with this project is to rate the top-12 chicken wing joints. 

When I order the wings, I'll get one order of "medium" wings and another order of the "specialty" wing (if applicable). If the place has a local beer, I'll grab that.

One bite of each wing and a reaction. A perfect ten will send me into a state of euphoria. A one will make me puke.

"Smitty" Medium and Beef on Weck wings at Doc Sullivan's (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Doc Sullivan’s | 474 Abbott Road, South Buffalo

This is my second visit to Doc Sullivan’s but the first time I’ve been here for food. Doc Sullivan’s is located in South Buffalo relatively close to Cazenovia Park.

As you enter the double doors of the joint you’ll notice the big bar area front-and-center of the restaurant with dining seating flanked to the left and right of the bar itself. Towards the back of the restaurant they have darts, which I remain undefeated in during my two visits here.

Beer selection is vast. They don’t give you a drink menu but will direct you to this relatively large sign that can be read from the opposite direction that has everything from Ellicottville Brewery and Southern Tier to Guinness and other garbage popular beers.

The wings were the toughest I’ve reviewed yet only because of the uniqueness of each wing. Their standard wings are what’s known as the “Smitty Wings”. It’s got the standard mild, medium, and hot, but also add extra hot, BBQ or “Southie Gold” (Sorry, I have no idea what that is and neglected to ask). They also have a garlic parmesan wing which is an added $1 charge.

If you’ve read the first three reviews you get the gist of how I go about business. The first order of wings is always whatever the standard medium is but I also order the “specialty” wing. Initially, my gut told me that whatever the “Southie Gold” is was the specialty there, but my server told me they had a unique “beef on weck” wing.

It’s Buffalo…I can’t turn down a beef on weck.

Smitty Medium Wing: The Smitty wing was pitched to me as something a little spicy, similar to what Blackthorn gave to me in week three. On my first bite, I had to really study it because it wasn’t a spice that I tasted but, instead, a saltiness. If you’ve ever had chicken flavored ramen noodles, I felt like the seasoning was the same as those noodles. I’ve always enjoyed ramen noodles, but I know the salt is going to be overbearing for some. Maybe try the hot or very hot ones. For what it’s worth, my fiancée didn’t get the “ramen” vibe, so try it for yourself to come to your own conclusion. Smitty’s Medium Wing: 6/10 ($10 for single order)

Confession: I’ve never had a true Buffalo beef on weck….Sorryyyyyyyyyyy

Beef on Weck Wing: Anyone who has ever had horseradish knows that it’s an acquired taste. I’ve never had a problem with it because it’s GREAT to clear sinuses (ICYMI: I did an allergy story last Wednesday on why this season is so bad). But man…I was so torn about how to grade this wing. It tastes like a Beef on Weck that I’ve eaten at home before, but on a chicken wing, it’s difficult to grade because of how they go together. If you LOVE beef on weck, I’m sure you’ll LOVE the wing. I went into it wondering how you can merge the two together, like mixing ketchup and ice cream, and left still wondering if it’s something that can live together. I didn’t love it but I didn’t not like it. I’ll give it points for style, creativity, and the guts it takes to actually make this. Beef on Weck Wing: 5.5/10 ($11 for a single order).

If you get their bleu cheese, brace yourself for something different than what you’re used to. They have a homemade recipe which has a sour cream/dill pickle type taste to it. It’s nothing to be scared of, just different than what you’d expect a bleu cheese to be.

Final Verdict: 5.8/10

Power Rankings

1.     Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub – 7.3

2.     Mammoser's Tavern & Restaurant - 6.3

3.     Doc Sullivan’s – 5.8

4.     Gene McCarthy’s Old First Ward Brewery – 5.0

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