9 Items You Should Think Twice About Ordering From Buffalo Wild Wings

Various Buffalo Wild Wings items by sign
Various Buffalo Wild Wings items by sign - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty
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You have to give Buffalo Wild Wings some credit: it lives up to its name. From traditional chicken wings slathered in one of its numerous delicious sauces to classic cheese curds and beer-battered onion rings, it's hard to leave Buffalo Wild Wings (one of the most popular chicken wing restaurant chains) without a barbecue sauce-covered smile on your face ... or isn't it?

Some wing lovers aren't so sure. In fact, while the restaurant chain serves some unexpected offerings (such as burgers, tacos, and even salads), not every menu item deserves praise -- at least according to those aforementioned wing fans. With that in mind, we dove deep into the Buffalo Wild Wings trenches and researched consumer reviews in various online forums (including Reddit and other sites) to determine which menu items should give you pause.

No food is safe from the wrath of a disappointed wing fan -- so you've been warned. Whether you're a novice or a Buffalo Wild Wings connoisseur, take note of those products that aren't necessarily worth your money (or your taste buds' time). Here are items you should think twice about ordering from Buffalo Wild Wings.

Read more: Restaurant Foods That Always Taste Better Than What You Make At Home

Naked Tenders

Crispy chicken tenders and fries
Crispy chicken tenders and fries - Buffalo Wild Wings / Facebook

Given Buffalo Wild Wings' sizzling standards, it may be surprising to see something as simple as Naked Tenders on the restaurant's menu. Of course, the chain's chicken strips are as far from its flavor-packed wings as you can get. The Naked Tenders scale back on the sauces and seasonings that the restaurant is known for in favor of a simple salt and pepper dry rub. Without sauces or seasonings to do the talking, all you're left with is a pale, muted chicken tender.

If Buffalo Wild Wings enthusiasts are to be believed, the problem largely lies with the chicken itself rather than the seasoning that's used in the recipe. Some speculate the Naked Tenders' issues began when BWW allegedly changed chicken suppliers in the not-so-distant past. Unlike previous chicken tenders that were hand-breaded in-house, the current Naked Tenders may arrive already cut, breaded, and frozen. Along those lines, one customer commented on Reddit that the "new tenders don't have the right meat-to-breading ratio."

The Naked Tenders aren't merely less appetizing taste-wise according to many customers, but less visually appealing, as well. The stripped-back style may work for those hoping to avoid flavor overload, but the average BWW customer won't get their spice fix with the Naked Tenders. Simply put, the next time you visit B-Dubs? Stick to bone-in wings -- or at least order tenders with sauce.

Blazin' Knockout Sauce

Hot wings with peppers
Hot wings with peppers - Buffalo Wild Wings / Facebook

Buffalo Wild Wings trademarked the word Blazin' in the mid-2000s, and the rest was history. The restaurant's made good use of the term, of course, and you'll find it all over the company's website from "Blazin' Rewards" to the "Blazin' Challenge." It even released a "Blazin' Knockout" sauce -- though don't take the name too lightly. The Blazin' Knockout sauce is the spiciest option at the chain according to its flavor gauge. Since it wallops you with intense heat and overwhelming spice, it appears to live up to that promise ... but not necessarily in a good way.

The overwhelming consensus regarding the Blazin' Knockout sauce is that it's simply too spicy.  "I love spicy food," one user noted on a Reddit thread, "but it's just spicy for the sake of being spicy with zero regard for flavor." The overwhelming intensity of its spice dominates the taste buds, with countless customers complaining about the utter lack of flavor alongside the heat. Perhaps pain is gain for some Buffalo Wild Wings fans. But for the vast majority of us? It's simply not worth the burn, so feel free to skip over the Blazin' Knockout on your next B-Dubs trip.

Mozzarella Sticks

BWW mozzarella sticks with marinara
BWW mozzarella sticks with marinara - bwwings / Instagram

Most people visit BWW for tear-inducing spice and piles of delectable chicken wings. Yet there are plenty of top-notch appetizers available to kick things off, including its Wisconsin white cheddar cheese curds dipped in southwestern ranch, or its classic breaded dill pickles. Even the everything pretzel knots -– soft pretzels coated with everything bagel seasoning –- provide unexpectedly complex flavors. Now, mozzarella sticks may seem like a reliable option, but Buffalo Wild Wings' version can't compete with its other unique offerings. Just ask the good foodies of Reddit.

"I don't think I've ever had a solid mozzarella stick," one customer wrote on Reddit regarding the chain's appetizer option. Beyond the fairly flat and lackluster flavor profile compared to other BWW appetizers, many letdown consumers have pointed out that this menu item struggles to look appealing on the plate when served.

Don't get us wrong: when the timing's right? Mozzarella sticks can be the tiny cheese-filled apps of your dreams. But when placed next to the more exciting appetizers on the Buffalo Wild Wings menu, this variety of deep-fried breaded mozzarella pieces simply pales in comparison.

Cheese Curd Bacon Burger

Cheese Curd Bacon Burger
Cheese Curd Bacon Burger - Buffalo Wild Wings (Warrensville Heights, OH) / Facebook

Cheese is one of Buffalo Wild Wings' greatest assets, and it packs a particularly strong punch in curd form. Eating just one of its cheese curds is like a mini cheese explosion. Now imagine piling a bunch of those cheese curds onto a big, greasy burger. This sounds like heaven for cheese lovers, right? But it can easily turn into hell for anyone hoping to taste the actual burger -- which is where the issues with the chain's cheese curd bacon burger come into play.

It's undoubtedly covered in plenty of rich, flavorful ingredients including bacon, onions, and pickles (to name a few). But the curds tend to overpower the entire burger, and "the whole thing just feels like a soggy death mess," according to a YouTube review from WrecklessEating. Perhaps that sounds intriguing to a certain segment of the population, but we don't find that description very enticing.

Additionally, according to numerous frustrated former BWW customers, the cheese curds aren't always consistent in terms of quality, quantity, or availability. In fact, complaints about the lack of cheese curds being in stock at Buffalo Wild Wings locations when ordering was another running theme surrounding this burger option. Consequently, heed our advice when it comes to B-Dubs cheese curds and order them on the side (if they're available at all, that is).

Chicken Caesar Salad

Plate of salad with protein
Plate of salad with protein - Buffalo Wild Wings / Facebook

We're not about to chastise anyone for ordering salad at a wing joint. Everyone has different dietary restrictions, after all. But you may want to steer clear of BWW's chicken Caesar salad given the romaine lettuce and grilled chicken simply can't compete against a heaping plate of succulent wings. Now, a great hack for heightening the flavor of Caesar salad involves lightly grilling a head of romaine lettuce until it's tender. However, at Buffalo Wild Wings, the romaine doesn't look tender so much as wilted and unappetizing. More than that, the flavor is far from heightened.

The crisp, fresh salad ingredients and perfectly seasoned chicken one expects from a restaurant-ordered chicken Caesar salad won't be found inside a bowl of BWW's version. While some customers were frustrated by the apparent lack of actual lettuce and standard salad items found in this dish, others believe it's a matter of recalibrating any unrealistic expectations. If you're expecting a world-class salad from a chicken wing-centric sports bar chain, well ... the dish is unlikely to ever reach those heights.

Then again, others have noted problems lie with the salad's composition, too, with some being dissapointed by its underseasoned ingredients and utter lack of fresh-tasting components. With such an underwhelming amount of enthusiasm surrounding this menu item, you may be better served gnawing on some celery sticks with wings rather than ordering this salad.

Lemon Pepper Sauce

Lemon Pepper sauce on wings with fries
Lemon Pepper sauce on wings with fries - bwwings / Instagram

Buffalo Wild Wings has more than 20 different sauces to choose from ... but they can't all be winners. When Tasting Table ranked Buffalo Wild Wings' sauces, the highest-ranked options -- Nashville hot and original buffalo -– had the same characteristics. Each is packed with spice, flavored with authentic ingredients, and enhances the taste of the chicken wings (and the overall eating experience). Of course, it stands to reason that the last-place sauce failed in all three regards -- and the lemon pepper sauce more than earned that dubious honor.

The problems begin with the generally offputting -- and overwhelmingly artificial-tasting -- lemon flavor. One Reddit thread included several unfavorable comparisons for the lemon pepper sauce: "tasting like cleaning solution," "like a lemon peel," or a "salty lemon curd" (and countless others).

Now, the strength of the lemon flavor was clearly divisive, and others found it baffling that any customers would be displeased with a lemon pepper sauce that didn't shy away from its citrus component. Even still, it seems like a more traditional sauce may be the better choice when ordering from Buffalo Wild Wings. After all, not even lemon apologists would want to eat a chicken wing that's been slathered in a citrusy cleaning solution.

Legendary Long Island

Mountain Dew Legend in glass
Mountain Dew Legend in glass - bwwings / Instagram

When something is described as "legendary," you expect it to knock your socks off. Now, that does appear to be what happens when people first tried B-Dub's Legendary Long Island... but not in the way they expected. To be fair, a Long Island Iced Tea has enough alcohol to send anyone's world topsy-turvy. What sets Buffalo Wild Wings' version of this classic cocktail apart is how it substitutes iced tea with a Mountain Dew variety (for unclear reasons). The Legendary Long Island is made with Dew Legend -- a blackberry and ginger-flavored spin on the classic Mountain Dew flavor.

While the black and green looks cool, its taste doesn't match its appearance. Even Buffalo Wild Wings employees believe you should think twice about ordering this drink, with one bartender adamantly suggesting customers should "stick with the regular top shelf Long Island" on Reddit. The Legendary Long Island's unique flavor profile may appeal to some folks out there, but it never quite earns its legendary moniker. If you're looking to indulge in a truly delicious version of this classic mixed drink, skip the Legendary Long Island from BWW and whip up a simple and strong Long Island Iced Tea at home instead.

Classic Chicken Sandwich

Hands holding chicken sandwich
Hands holding chicken sandwich - bwwings / Instagram

All things considered, we expected the chain's classic chicken sandwich to be a safe pick. But just because it consists solely of fried chicken, pickles, and mayo doesn't mean it should be devoid of bold flavors. After all, one could argue the best food doesn't need to be drowned in buffalo sauce or covered in cheese curds to be tasty. Unfortunately, many customers believe Buffalo Wild Wings has yet to perfect a simple but satisfying chicken sandwich (it wouldn't top our fast food chicken sandwich rankings, for instance).

For starters, the sandwich appears to be little more than "a glorified chicken strip," according to a YouTube review by TheReportofTheWeek (who was also mistakenly served a sandwich without mayo or pickles). While the sandwich could have redeemed itself by tasting amazing, the lack of superlative flavors has left customers feeling cold in the past.

Buffalo Wild Wings' classic chicken sandwich also lacks moisture in addition to fantastic flavors, with some noting the sandwich was indisputably dry when eating. Since some also feel the bread dominates more than it should, it's clear this so-called classic chicken sandwich is missing something -- and you may want to steer towards its saucy chicken sandwich.

Cauliflower Wings

Cauliflower wings on plate at BWW
Cauliflower wings on plate at BWW - chefflower / Instagram

You have to feel for cauliflower wings. The perennial bridesmaid to real chicken, meat lovers often view cauliflower wings at a sports bar as a disappointment. Of course, when cooking cauliflower wings, there's a fine line between crisp and flavorful, and soggy and bland -- and the jury is still out as to whether Buffalo Wild Wings consistently nails it. Even those folks who enjoy BWW's cauliflower wings seem to do so with the caveat that they need to be enjoyed hot and fresh.

More than that, if you're a vegetarian or vegan anticipating a night of guilt-free, freshly cooked cauliflower wings at Buffalo Wild Wings, hold your horses. In fact, several Reddit users claim the chain's few meat-free options aren't as meatless as you may think. "Everything ... is fried in beef tallow," according to one Reddit user -- and the cauliflower wings are no exception.

Buffalo Wild Wings even confirms as much in its Allergen & Preparation Guide, which is worth a read if you're thinking of visiting the restaurant and have food preparation concerns. Quite frankly, if you'd like to enjoy a batch of veggie-based fried bits made precisely to your preferred taste, consider making your own sticky garlic cauliflower wings at home.


Buffalo Wild Wings storefront
Buffalo Wild Wings storefront - Rick Diamond/Getty Images

The menu items selected for this article were determined by the consensus opinions of customers and consumer reviews. In order to put this list together, we scoured various online forums, such as Reddit, TripAdvisor, and YouTube, to find authentic and varied reviews of Buffalo Wild Wings menu items. We noted which menu items were consistently cited by reviewers for having subpar flavors and textures.

Additionally, a reviewer's overall experience at the restaurant was taken into account, including food quality, mistakes with their order, and potential availability issues. We also looked closely at Buffalo Wild Wings reviews and rankings that had been compiled by Tasting Table staff to round out this list, as well.

Read the original article on Tasting Table