Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we’ll check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.
It’s the tenth edition of The Bite and I thought I’d head over to a long-time neighborhood institution, Jordan’s Lobster Dock and “sea” how they’re “faring.” Get it? Sea? Faring? I crack myself up.
Jordan’s has been serving quality seafood since 1938, and serves everything seafood from chowders and bisque to fried seafood to seafood based pastas. And, of course, they offer the wonderful, fresh steamed lobsters that made them famous at arguably the best prices in the borough.
But what about their menu for the seafood-phobic amongst us? They serve, chicken, burgers and steaks, but one offering caught my eye; Buffalo wings.
Everyone knows you can get a great lobster at Jordan’s. But the question is, “Can you get great Buffalo Wings?”
Teressa Bellisimo of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, is credited with creating the “Buffalo Wing.” The legend varies, but must historians agree that she invented Buffalo chicken wings in 1964 for her son, Dominic.
Dominic and his friends came to the bar looking for a quick late night snack and chicken wings were the only meat available in the kitchen. “Mother Teressa” (Buffalonians take their wings very seriously) was preparing to make chicken stock with a bunch of wings and, improvising, stuck them under the broiler (later they switched to deep frying), sprinkled them with a hot sauce she concocted from a commercially available base (Frank’s), took some celery sticks off the antipasto dishes, put some blue cheese dressing (the house dressing) in a small bowl and served them.
The rest, they say, is history.
Now Buffalo wings are available just about everywhere beer is served, and Jordan’s is no exception. There are accepted variations throughout the country, but the most vicious battle remains between breaded and “naked” wings. Personally, just as most things in life, I prefer my wings naked. Hot sauce be damned!
Jordan’s Lobster Dock offers lightly breaded Buffalo wings, with Frank’s Hot Sauce served on the side. You can buy them alone ($8.99), with french fries ($10.99) or with sweet potato fries ($11.99).
I was given seven wing pieces in a white plastic bowl. Not whole wings mind you, but seven pieces, or the equivalent of 3 1/2 chicken wings. The pieces were a good size, but not particularly large. “Nowhere as big as the wings you get at a Chinese take out,” said the cashier.
Accompanying the wings was a two ounce portion of hot sauce and a large packet of blue cheese dressing. There’s no traditional side of celery sticks at Jordan’s, nor any way to dip the wings into the dressing. Half the fun was gone even before the meal began.
Feeling a bit dejected, I took my seat. I dumped the sauce of the wings and tossed them in my best chef motion, only spilling a few drops on my shirt, and dug in. To my surprise, the sauce was pretty good and spicier than I expected, but the meat flavorless and dry. The breading, once tossed in the sauce became limp and sponge like defeating the crispy exterior so prized in fried food.
So, the answer to the question, “Can you get great Buffalo wings at Jordan’s?” is, sadly, “No.”
Jordan’s Lobster Dock, 2771 Knapp Street, (800) 404-CLAW.