I had a lot of errands a few weeks ago and I needed a driver who I can
bully ask to drive me around Riyadh without complaining so I pleaded the men in our house to drive for me and accompany me in my errands. At least I just need to promise to feed them and they will gladly obey my orders the favors I’m asking them. I think they said yes before they even asked where I want to go. When I look back at it, I think all I ever said was, “Drive me and I’ll treat you!” Haha! So they were in for a surprise when I asked them to go somewhere in Exit 5 and then to Olaya after. (I think they just heard Olaya haha). But no matter how far I had ask them to drive me, I think the food was well worth their sacrifice for that night.
We went to Buffalo Wild Wings in King Fahd Road near the Burj Rafal Kempinski. It was newly-opened that time and the boys were happy to have tried this ahead of half the population haha. It’s quite easy to spot this buffalo wings joint because it has yellow and gold all over it. (Reminds me of my alma mater in the Philippines because that’s our school colors.) At first you’ll get confused if you’re supposed to go inside Burger King haha, because they’re just beside each other and the layout is a bit confusing. The family section of B-Dubs (the nickname of Buffalo Wild Wings) is located at the back. You can also go in their semi-basement parking and ride the elevator to the entrance of the family section. Because it was new, there were still balloons all over the place and the very enthusiastic waiters were wearing paper hats which I thought they would want us to wear too. The family area were divided into open areas and booths which can be closed if preferred. It was well-lit and the whole place has a sporty look owing to the fact that B-Dubs, since its first inception in 1982 in Columbus, Ohio, revolves around three things: Wings, Beer, and Sports. (Of course in KSA they had to cross out beer.) The concept is for families and friends to go here, eat wings, grab
a beer mocktails, and watch sports.
It just so happen that on the night we went to B-Dubs, their numerous television hung on their walls were tuned in to a game of football between Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal and Kuwait’s Al-Ahli teams. At first, we weren’t aware but everyone around us, especially the Saudi kids in the far corner of the restaurant, suddenly erupted in jubilation. Apparently, Al-Hilal made a goal and the score was tied to 2-2. Knowing that football takes time, we ordered and interviewed the waiter for his recommendations. Because it was a buffalo wings place, I was adamant to ignore the burgers and salads and starters that they have in the menu but the guys ordered the Sampler anyway.
When it came to the wings, they had this cool menu showing us how SPICY the sauces are. I’m a fan of spicy food but I can’t go beyond the atrocious levels of spicy like what they have in their Blazin’ Sauce. So basically, when you look at this spicy meter, all that are near the green levels are mild then the notch of spiciness kicks higher as you go to the bottom of the bottle. That’s where Blazin’ is. It’s said to be so hot they have a challenge for anyone who can eat 12 wings doused in their Blazin’ sauce in six minutes! I’m assuming whoever finished this challenge probably just shoved the wings in their mouths without chewing the food properly. In the end, they’re probably screaming their ears off. Oh well, this is one risk I’d rather not take.
There’s a choice between traditional wings (with bones) and boneless wings. I always go with the traditional because what’s a buffalo wings meal without eating the flesh off the bones and really getting it on with the whole shebang of oily lips and saucy fingers? That sounded so barbaric but really, I don’t want to be eating chicken wings in the safe, clean confines of boneless wings at the mercy of a fork. But, I have no complaints if you want to go for the all white meat chicken. It’s you who’s going to eat anyway. When it comes to the flavors, there’s the sauces and the dry seasoning like Salt and Vinegar, Lemon Pepper, etc.
We went with the “safe” flavor first: Sweet BBQ. It’s basically on top of the hot meter so it’s relatively sweet with so very little kick of spiciness. This is the traditional barbecue flavor you’ll find in most steakhouses. The sauce is honey brown and sticky. The chicken wing is meaty and warm when eaten. We also had the Parmesan Garlic in the Sampler that we got. The sauce was creamy but I find it salty. The sauce didn’t coat the chicken well but maybe I didn’t enjoy this one as much because it came in boneless wings.
We went up a notch with the Asian Zing, a mix of chili pepper, soy, and ginger sauce. I was expecting this one to taste like the Korean chicken but it’s more like chicken wings doused in sweet chili sauce, the kind you can buy in the grocery stores in bottles filled with sticky red orange sauce with bits of chili seeds. This sauce is probably something you can make at home. It’s spicy alright but on the normal level.
The waiter suggested we get wings without flavors and he’ll let us try the other sauces by giving us small saucers of them. The waiter also gave us small tubs of other flavors: Mango Habanero (sweet but hell spicy too), Caribbean Jerk (still spicy with an acquired taste) and Thai Curry (nicely paired).
Because we were so curious with the Blazin’ sauce, we ordered it but with the sauce on the side. We hate to waste good chicken just in case we couldn’t eat the Blazin’ and bail in our first bite. And so the guys dipped their chicken on the Blazin’ sauce which looks devilish in its deep red color. It’s the hottest sauce they have they actually have a warning in their tub to keep this away from children and pets. At first the guys weren’t reacting so I courageously dipped my finger oh so very lightly on the sauce and tried it. At first, there was nothing and then my taste buds started to burn. Oh my goodness! I couldn’t take it. I drank my soda in gulps. It was insanely hot especially for me who has normal tolerance levels for spicy food. The guys could only manage 1-2 wings (cowards lol joke). The spiciness builds up in the tongue until you cannot take it anymore. Once your tongue is “burnt” you can’t enjoy the other flavors already so don’t waste your time being brave by downing this and being numb after.
BUT! If you have a high tolerance for
pain spiciness, then go ahead and enter the Blazin’ Challenge! Like I wrote earlier, you just have to finish 12 Blazin’ wings in six minutes. If you done that, then you get a shirt which says you’re a survivor and unlimited bragging rights. If you’re up for it, you can even beat the shortest time it took someone else to do the challenge. If you beat it, you get a year-long supply of wings. So… who’s doing the challenge this weekend? Don’t worry, there are juices, mocktails, sodas and frappes to douse your tongue from the heat.
If that’s not enough, they also provide carrots and celery slices you can dip in sour cream. This is unlimited so cleanse your palate every after change in sauce. 😉
We had a good time trying out the sauces of Buffalo Wild Wings. We also enjoyed the ambiance. If it’s not too far from the city center we’ll be back here in no time.
PS. Unfortunately, Al-Hilal lost in the game. The Saudis watching i B-Dubs were stunned to silence because Al-Ahli made the winning goal just a few minutes before the end of the game. Awww.
Buffalo Wild Wings
As-Sahafa, King Fahd Road (before Burj Rafal Kempinski)
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia