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Plucky Eating: Buffalo Wing Bar at Kroger

I'm a latecomer to the world of buffalo wings. I didn't grow up eating them (in fact, there was a definite period in my youth during which I thought some sort of winged buffalo creature actually existed), and my initial wing experiences in early adulthood were unfortunately at lackluster chain restaurants.

My appreciation for buffalo wings has grown considerably in the last few years, thanks largely to my husband, whose love of wings and intrepid cooking skills have led to the creation of some delicious inventively sauced and spiced wings.

Despite, however, being spoiled by the availability of small-batch homemade wings, I still have managed to find some good mass-market chicken wings in various flavors. Where? Kroger, of all places.

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Mind you, not every Kroger offers customers a buffet of poultry pinions. Loyal fans of "Disco Kroger" will have to suspend their allegiance temporarily in favor of visiting the Buffalo Speedway location, site of the venerable chicken wing bar, which offers four or five (depending on the day) varieties plus a number of dipping sauces.

Boneless and, um, boned wings are usually $6 per pound no matter what varieties you choose. My favorites are the honey-glazed BBQ and plain wings; the spicy chicken tenders are also worth trying. The wings are not fresh from the fryer, so they are missing that slightly crisp sheen, but a certain level of crunch can be resurrected if you reheat them in the oven rather than the microwave.

Be forewarned that the wing types are not always clearly labeled, so you may have to seek employee assistance if you want to know exactly what you're sampling. I suggest, however, throwing caution to the wind and grabbing one of each for your own personal wing smorgasbord.

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