Hamburg is a half-hour drive south from the city of Buffalo, but if you are on a wing quest, it’s a trip worth making. Here you find Mammoser’s Tavern, a dark, pubby place in what began as a stable over 100 years ago. Mammoser’s wings aren’t goopy, but the meat inside is as juicy as can be, enveloped in chewy-crisp skin and radiant sauce packed with pepper. If you want sloppier wings with a whole other character, have them painted with bourbon BBQ sauce, a marvelous teeter-totter of heat and sweet. Of course, they’re served the traditional way, with a dip of blue cheese and crunchy celery sticks and carrots to provide cool tongue relief.
Mammoser’s is a blue-collar tavern with upstate personality. It’s dark and atmospheric inside, where a long, well-worn bar dominates proceedings (the bar overseen by a mounted deer trophy). Although it is an extremely welcoming place for tipplers, I’ve also seen whole families on bar stools, the young ones having hamburgers and Cokes. In fact, there is a full menu of bar snacks, sandwiches, and Friday/Saturday seafood dinners. While the burger and French fries I have tried are quite alright, they are not in the same league as Mammoser’s world-class wings.