WingFest offers zesty, inexpensive fun

The second annual Chicken Wing Festival was held on Center Street on Saturday Sept. 26. The festival is held to support the Association for the Preservation of Geneseo’s “Save the Wall Project.” According to APOG Board of Trustees member and sociology department chair Kurt Cylke, the idea came from Geneseo students.

“Students in [professor emeritus] Mary Mohan’s communication class came up with five different ideas for a fundraiser,” Cylke said. “They said to the organization, ‘You might be able to raise some money for this project if you held a wing festival.’”

“The Wall” goes from Crossett Road past Main Street and continues onto Route 39. According to the group’s FundRazr webpage, the wall is significant because it “defines the south end of the Geneseo Historic District.”

Interesting wall aside, the wings were delicious. It cost $10 to try eight different wings from a variety of area restaurants. The first wing I tried was the spicy garlic wing from Avondale Pub. This wing was less crispy than average and didn’t bring a lot of heat, but there was a tasty, rich garlic flavor.

From Duffy’s Pub in Avon was a wing with a medium level of heat and hints of sweetness throughout.

A genuinely unique wing was a sweet and sour one from Geneseo’s own Livingston Lanes. There was plenty of flavor in the sauce, despite its mildness in heat. The wing was very tangy and would be enjoyable for people who aren’t into spiciness.

Campus Auxiliary Services had a whiskey peach barbecue wing to try. This wing was delicious. The sauce was made with whiskey, fresh peaches, cinnamon and honey amongst other ingredients. The wing itself was cooked to perfection—the skin was crispy and there was plenty of meat on the bone. Although the flavor was good, it could have been spicier to satisfy my personal palate.

After talking to several festivalgoers, it was apparent that the favorite wing of attendees was from the Genesee River Restaurant. The restaurant brought their house sauce—a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple and other flavors—and it was spectacular. The wing had a tremendous amount of flavor without being overbearing. Although it was spicy, it certainly was not overwhelming.

The fiercest heat came from Mount Morris Lanes and was named “Bruce juice.” Flavor often takes a backseat when the heat from a sauce is too overwhelming. That wasn’t the case for this wing. There was a slight sweetness that really made it enjoyable.

The Village Tavern provided another unique wing. Their zesty parm wing contained plenty of good flavors. It wasn’t hot by any means, but I would still order it again. The Village Tavern also served beer for the festival. I had the Village Tavern 1821 Scotch Ale brewed by CB Craft Brewers in Honeoye Falls, New York. The beer was the perfect balance of taste and refreshment for the 70-degree weather.

The last wing I tried was from The Nines—a smoked wing with a bourbon-infused chipotle barbecue sauce. Out of the unique wings on display at the festival, this was my favorite. The chipotle barbecue sauce was a perfect blend of sweet and spicy and the smoked flavor provided an interesting taste sensation in my mouth.

In addition to delicious wings, Twisters of Livonia, New York provided ice cream for the festival. Live music from bands like Exile on Court Street and Ponder the Giraffe added to the lively atmosphere. It was a tasty and relaxing way to spend a fall Saturday afternoon.