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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Who Has the Best Wings in Omaha -- KING OF THE WING

The question WAS pretty simple a few years ago...who has the best Buffalo wings in Omaha?  As it turns out, my premise was somewhat flawed from the beginning.

You see, authentic Buffalo wings, and the wings more popular here in Omaha, vary somewhat. What's the biggest difference? The phenomenon we now know as "Char Buffed" wings.

First...let's have Omaha's Buffalo wing expert, and good friend, Ray Bullock of Ray's Original Buffalo Wings tell you what is technically a "Buffalo"wing.



The real difference is that technically Omaha wings do have sauce on them, but when they're char buffed, the sauce is is grilled into the wing to create the "char".

See, at Ray's you'll never get a char buffed wing, but at places where you can order an "Omaha wing" they also will "double dip" them back into sauce to give it a more traditional Buffalo feel. Confused? I think I am a little. But stick with me.

From here on out, HitThatDive will rate three types of wings...Buffalo-style as described by Ray. Omaha-style which originated, and are done to perfection daily at Addy's. And "Other" for when I run across wings like I had at Cruisers that were fantastic, but don't fit into either category.

What's missing from this list?  Let me know. But, as it stands for now...here is the most comprehensive list of wing reviews in Omaha!

Pheasant Tavern
13909 S St 
Omaha, NE 68137
(402) 859-3311


48 out of 50 points
Choo Choo's Bar  and Grill 
14240 U Street  
Omaha, NE 68137
(402) 895-6617

This place is under new ownership and word on the street that the wing quality has slipped dramatically since this review. But at one point they were damn good Buffalo wings. Who wants to do a updated review of this one for me?
48 out of 50 points
Addy's Sports Bar and Grill
14110 S Street
Omaha NE 68137
(402) 991-2663

Now we're talking!  Not sure I have enough flowery language in my limited vocabulary to describe just how perfectly Addy's wings are cooked.  They are super crispy on the outside, hot and juicy on the inside, they are easy to pull from the bone...you get it.

47 out of 50 points

Oscars's Pizza And Sports Grille
17330 Lakeside Hills Plaza
Omaha, NE 68130
(402) 758-1910

The first thing I noticed, because usually I’m here with a buzz and not really taking notes on about my food, are that these wings smell JUST like the wings we would make at tailgate parties in Pittsburgh.

47 out of 50 points
8100 Cass Street
Omaha, NE
402-390-9495

This was a perfect score. These were wings the size I remember growing up...the size where you can plow through 10 of them...and still complain about being hungry.  But, you fell like you go your money's worth too.

45 out of 50 points

The Good Life Sports Bar and Grill
1203 South 180th Street
Omaha NE 68130
(402) 933-2947

Another strong point of the wings here is that they're usually uniform in size (on the smaller side which is good) and I have yet to encounter any of the over-sized mutant buzzard wings that can NEVER be cooked properly with smaller pieces mixed into the fryer with them.
43 out of 50 points

Buffalo Company
4725 South 96th Street
Omaha NE 68127
(402) 592-9999

Some of the best sauce in town. All 10 wings were coated pretty uniformly but there may have been just a bit too much sauce for the ones on the bottom.  Not like they were totally drowning or anything, but, you run the risk if your wings aren't always crispy enough that this could potentially make the ones on the bottom a bit soggy.

40 out of 50 points

Oscar's ROUND TWO
17330 Lakeside Hills Plaza
Omaha, NE 68130
(402) 758-1910

I get out my stopwatch and hit "Go" just after the server enters my order. Seven minutes, 16 seconds and .4 hundredths of a second...my wings arrive.  HOLY DOG SHIT...that's fast by fast food standards!

38 out of 50 points

Cruisers
8634 F Street
Omaha NE 68127
402- 614-7445

* Keep in mind that Cruisers didn't even get points in the sauce category, and even with that hindrance, they scored better than a lot of wing places in the area who are far more well-known.  For the record, the sauce easily was an "8" which would have made these clock in at an impressive showing of 44 points. 

36* out of 50 points


Two Fine Irishmen
18101 R Plz  
Omaha, NE 68135
(402) 933-3990

Out of 13 wings, I would say just about half of them were the right size with a few mutant super-sized gristly bad boys thrown in the mix as well.
35 out of 50 points


Tanner's 
15505 Ruggles St # 106
Omaha, NE

(402) 884-5100

No celery…are you shitting me??  Look if I order spaghetti and meatballs, I already assume that you’re going to give me sauce with my order.  Celery and wings is like peanut butter and jelly for crying outloud!  No celery with wings is inexcusable!

34 out of 50 points

13806 P Street
Omaha NE 68137
(402) 933-6612

Sauce: In a word..pepper.  Actually, pepper bordering on being Mace.  The sauce contained enough pepper to make any montreal steak in town feel completely inadequate.   When I equate "Hot" with wings I think in terms of Scoville Units not anti-riot pepper spray. 

31 out of 50 points

Brick Street Tavern
4936 South 135th Street
Omaha NE 68137
(402) 359-1604

Some were pretty crispy, some of them weren't. Kind of a mixed bag on this one. But it seemed that as I worked my way from the smaller ones to the larger ones...they were decidedly less crispy. And then...IT HAPPENED!

27 out of 50 points

7101 South 84th Street
LaVista, Nebraska 
(402) 339-1606

Quite frankly, you'd have to intentionally try to make something this bad. Worse yet, it took them nearly 20 minutes to get them to me after I ordered.  I assume 18 of those minutes were fishing around the dumpster out back to find ones left over from the night before.

2 out of 50 points

58 comments:

  1. I am continually on this quest, have been disappointed by many places, so far i think the winners are choo choo's in millard (great boneless wings made from chopped chicken breast rolled in breading rather than heavy batter). and i think it is a small chain but buffalo wings and rings is pretty above average. still need to try oscar's

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  2. I've driven past Buffalo Wings and Rings a bunch of times but have never gone in...I'll have to give them a try. Thanks for the tip...I'm going to add Choo Choo's to the list.

    Let me know what you think when you finally get to Oscar's...get them char buffed and then dipped in their wing sauce...at least that's how I always order them.

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  3. Donohue's on 32nd & L have awesome wings. Awesome food there, also.

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  4. That is now on my list for this week. Thanks for the tip!

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  5. I am the owner of Stadium Dawgs in La Vista, and I would put our wings against anyone in town. Come in some time and give them a try! Please ask for Dave when you stop in! Hope to see you soon!

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  6. This is Dave again from Stadium Dawgs, we also have 22 beers on tap including 4 of La Vista's on Lucky Bucket Brews. We have happy hour M-F from 3-7pm, $1.50 domestic pints, $3 specialty pints and our new $3 appetizer menu which includes 6 of our jumbo wings for only $3. Cheers!

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  7. Hey Dave...let me know a good night to stop by! Cheap beer and good wings...sounds like my kind of place.

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  8. You have already hit some great spots for wings but one of my favorite is in Council Bluffs. The place is called The Spillway. Now I'm not saying that the wings are better (or even quite as good) as Oscars but the homemade bleu cheese makes up for it and puts them near the top of my list.

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  9. I never heard of that place...but if they have homemade bleu cheese...I need to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

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  10. There isn't shit since Ray's Buffalo Wings on 96th and Q closed about 10 years ago.

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    1. I agree, Ray's was the bomb!!! Wish I could remember what made them so special. They were all drummies and extra crispy if I recall.

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    2. What are your favorite wings in town now?

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    3. Wow, I am replying to your question late. Hands down, Pheasant is best in town now.

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  11. I didn't even live here 10 years ago...that's why I keep looking.

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  12. The Island Bar & Grill in Lavista has excellent Jumbo wings. 1 block off I80

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  13. Tanners "Blair Wings" are the best wings I've ever eaten.

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  14. Shevy's Sports and Steaks in downtown Elkhorn have the best buffalo charred wings. Fried, tossed in sauce, then charred on the grill. So yummy!

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  15. Someone just got done telling me I need to go there. Wings, steaks and beer in Elkhorn...see you this week!

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  16. Caddyshack in Council Bluffs has my favorite wings for sure.

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  17. I have to make it that way. I just had wings at the Caddy Shack in Omaha yesterday. And they were pretty good too.

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  18. Gotta be the Observatory Lounge.....awesome wings and amazing sauces!

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  19. I will second the OB!

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  20. Agreed...they are the best for sure. I think the sauces are made in house, anyway...they are good.

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  21. CHOO CHOOS!!!!!! BEST WINGS IN OMAHA, NO DOUBT.

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  22. You really need to try the wings at The Warehouse in Bennington. They are awesome!! Show up on a Friday night for the "Double Bubble" drink special - two domestic draws for $3 or two well drinks for $4.

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  23. The Longhorn Bar in Fort Calhoun has the best wings in Omaha by far... Not those "puny" things you get at BWW. 10.00 for a dozen, but you can't eat them all in one sitting.

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  24. Just did Choo Choos tonight. The wings reminded me of Ray's. I miss Ray's. Thanks for the review!!!

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  25. I too was shocked just how good they were! Great little, under the radar, place.

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  26. The wings from Crescent Moon are the standard bearer in my opinion. Where would you rate these?

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    Replies
    1. I ate the inferno wings there last week over lunch... They came out cold, and had a funny taste like the chicken was old. Inferno was very... un-inferno. Crescent Moon would be last on my list.

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    2. Crescent Moon is great for a lot of things, but I agree, wings are not their strong-suit at all. However, great Rubens

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  27. I'll have to check them out again, I don't remember being overwhelmed...but that was a few years ago.

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  28. Ate tonight at Quaker Steak and Lube, disappointed I didn't see this list first. Side note: This is in the wrong location but if you're on I-80 the best wings are in Des Moines at a place called Gerri's. 5 lbs and a domestic pitcher for $20. I order wings off every menu that has them and I've lived in Chicago, Omaha, Minneapolis and Denver and have eaten wings all over the country including Buffalo, NY... I'm telling you Gerri's has the best wings I've ever had, by a lot.

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  29. I'm from the Pittsburgh-area originally, where the original Quaker Steak and Lube is located, and I have always been disappointed with their wings. If you've had wings in Buffalo, and still like Gerri's better, I will have to give them a try next time I'm in that area. Thanks for the tip!

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  30. Not known for their wings, but Grandmother's in Ralston has great wings. Great bleu cheese dressing as well. I've had many wings, including Choo Choo's, and these rank right up there.

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  31. For got to add that you need to order them as EXTREME if you like a little heat.

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  32. Never heard of it..but thanks for the tip! If they compare with Choo Choo's...I will have to give them a try for sure.

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  33. The ones off my grill are pretty tasty. I got tired of 'searching' and being disappointed. For me it's not all about the sauce...it's the seasoning applied before they're grilled, (yes, grilled). My neighbor used to judge BBQ contests and told me they're the best he can get in town, (hopefully he isn't just being a 'nice neighbor'...lol).

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    Replies
    1. I love wings on the grill. I've been messing around with different ways to grill them since the early 90's.

      Well hell, next time you grill up a batch invite me over and I will review them too!

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  34. J-Birds in La-Vista are AWESOME! When they say Super Jumbo on their menu, they mean it.

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  35. For those of you that still like the full chicken wing check out the new Anchor Inn off of 72nd. Full wing, good sauce. I don't care about celery and carrots so I cant speak to that but I really do like these wings.

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  36. BTW, another vote for the Choo Choo/Pheasant wing for "non full wings".

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  37. mouth of the south in north omaha, on 30th street. best i have ever eaten. try them!

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  38. Got to give Tanners a "Round 2"..Try the Blair Wings...Blair is their house sauce and they are double dipped and also double charred...served with celery*

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  39. Tracks lounge has amazing wings. Especially the jalapeno ones

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  40. McFlys! $.60 wing Wednesdays. Not too saucy, not greasy and super delicious! You can also order charred of you want. Fyi, only order half of what you would normally because they give you the whole wing. Enjoy ... you're welcome in advance ;)

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  41. Mouth of the South...NORTH 30th in Florence...amazing!!!!

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  42. Farnam House Brewing Company is my pick for #1, but choo choo has been fantastic in the past

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  43. Ray's hands down. Lemondrop bar is now the home of Ray's. Thank you Ray for bringing them back . Not sure how i made it this long without them.

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  44. Where does Ray's rate on your list.

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  45. Go to Mouth of the South in Florence. GREAT wings.

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  46. Go to Mouth of the South in Florence. GREAT wings.

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  47. Hit up Langdons in Gretna. Had the habanero BBQ wings there. Pretty damn good. Spicy garlic char buff was decent also.

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  48. This may sound crazy, but, I love my wings. One place that as wild as it seems. Wall Mart wing dings, great flavor nice and meaty.

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