Anchor Bar - home of the original Buffalo wing from Buffalo, NY hash finally made the move up north and lucky for us, they've chosen Hamilton as their first Canadian establishment! Being a huge fan of chicken wings I was ecstatic to hear the news.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a very large and burly man standing at the door, turns out he was security. Security at a wing joint? Yea, remember you're still downtown... in Jackson Square, so as unusual as this may seem... it really isn't. I was expecting a bit of a line up when we arrived but we were seated right away. The place is actually quite large with tv's mounted on every wall, so regardless of where you're sitting - you'll never miss the game.
We decided to order a few things and share amongst the table, or mainly I couldn't figure out what I wanted so I bullied everyone at the table to share their dishes. The menu is quite large and has a handful of bar favourites (pizza, pasta, poutine, etc)
We got a single order of chicken wings ($11.99), Frank & Teressa's Calamari ($10.99), and the crab and lobster roll ($17.99)
I hate to say it, but the lobster roll should be completely 86'd from the menu. It was horrible. Maybe the kitchen still has to work out a few kinks but the bread was hard as rock and the crab + lobster filling was bland and tasted like a mouth full of salt water. I was really disappointed.
The calamari on the other hand wasn't too bad (compared to the lobster roll) - it wasn't mind blowing though. They were soaked in buttermilk, and semolina dusted then finished with a kung pao drizzle. You really can't mess up calamari though.
The wings were decent but they weren't finger licking good and definitely was not worth $12. I'm a little embarrassed to say this but I prefer my wings to be the GMO variety where each wing is ginormous and plump - it's not too bad when you don't think about it! Anyways, although these wings were meaty and cooked well, there really was nothing absolutely spectacular about them. I wouldn't send them back but I also wouldn't consider them my favourite. There weren't any crazy sauces or anything either. Red Rockets is still my favourite go-to wing joint!
Dessert on the other hand was absolutely delicious! They get their cheesecakes brought in from The Cheesecake Factory - so for those who are a fan, no need to cross the border for a slice of heaven anymore! We shared this slice between the three of us and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
I wasn't blown away by the meal but I definitely see myself coming back. Why? Because it's nice to have a no brainer place to go when you're downtown and looking for a place to grab a drink and a bite to eat. I would also be great for large groups as well. The service was really attentive and super sweet too. It's nice to see entreprenuers investing in downtown Hamilton and I can see this place being very popular with the weekend Hess crowd as well as the workers in the nearby buildings.
2 King Street West