Buffalo Wings & Beer takes second at national wing festival
by Andre L. Taylor | Staff Writer
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ira Levy thought his "Sweet & Tangy" Buffalo wing deserved more than second place in the creative sweet sauce category at the 2009 National Buffalo Wing Festival.
"I'm a little disappointed," said Levy, owner of Buffalo Wings & Beer in Gaithersburg and Cloverly. "I believe the people wanted to vote us the best overall wing at the festival."
The nation's 30 best buffalo-wing merchants were invited to the two-day festival. More than 91,000 people packed Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday to chow down more than 40 tons of wings, said festival founder Drew Cerza. The wings were given to the vendors already cooked.
Cerza said Levy is "a down-to-earth guy and he makes a good Buffalo wing."
Wing Zone from Atlanta, Ga., won first place in the creative sweet sauce category, said festival spokesman Brian Kahle. Hurricane Grill & Wings, from West Palm Beach, Fla., came in third. An overall best wing has not been decided yet, Kahle said.
Music entertained the thousands of hungry festival-goers milling from booth to booth, tasting wings from Louisiana to Buffalo. As vendors proclaimed their ownership of the best Buffalo wing, Levy sold hats chicken- shaped and T-shirts list his sauces.
He sold more than 40,000 wings including his original Rooster sauce, spicy barbecue, teriyaki and the "Sweet & Tangy."
"I have a blast up here," Levy said.
Keith Rammachel of West Seneca, N.Y., said Levy's award-winning "Sweet & Tangy" wings were phenomenal. Rammachel, 43, said he bought 12 wings so he wouldn't have to stand in line for more.
"They're nice and juicy," Rammachel said. "They make you want to roll your tongue around your lips."
Stacey Webb of Buffalo said she had never had a teriyaki Buffalo wing before trying Levy's.
"Those teriyaki wings are delicious," Webb said. "The sauce is just awesome."