On the hunt for which wing is king in Brookings

Michael Promes


Since the opening of Buffalo Wild Wings in Brookings, there has been much debate about which wing reigns supreme in this small college town. Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the fastest-growing franchises in the country and now has stores in 41 states in the U.S., but can its famous buffalo wings and influential name stand up to other popular Brookings eateries?

Over the past couple of weeks, I have gone to four restaurants in Brookings that are known for having fantastic buffalo wings: Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill, The Backyard Grill, Weary Wil’s Sports Grill and the legendary Buffalo Wild Wings.

The first venue I visited was Weary Wil’s Sports Grill inside The Union on campus. Weary Wil’s is fairly new to SDSU, opening in the fall 2011 semester. It offers a variety of different foods, from soups and salads to burgers and cheese balls, but I have always found myself ordering one of their four flavors of boneless wings. While they are not the best wings you will eat, they still have decent flavor. The best part, however, is that students can purchase these wings with their flex dollars, making Weary Wil’s wings a great choice for those with a large meal plan weighing down their student ID cards.

On my next venture, I went off campus to Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill on Main Avenue. I had always been told that Cubby’s has great food and a flamboyant atmosphere. I was well informed. The restaurant has a fun atmosphere complemented by television screens lining the walls of the building. The worst part about the visit was trying to decide which sauce to get on my wings. Cubby’s has a variety of interesting and unique flavors of wings, such as Caribbean Coconut and Raspberry Jalapeño, but I chose to play it safe with standard buffalo style. The wings are very flavorful. They have a perfectly fried texture and have an ample amount of meat on the bone. My only regret about Cubby’s wings is not ordering more.

The next stop on my wing trip around Brookings brought me to The Backyard Grill, a tiny, yellow building nestled on Sixth Street. The Backyard Grill is famous for its pulled pork, smoked chicken, beef brisket and smoked ribs. However, its menu is complemented with buffalo wings. I got the opportunity to talk with the owner, Alan Elenkiwich, who told me that the secret to his wings is smoking them. This gives the wings a very unique flavor. While The Backyard Grill does not have a wide variety of sauces, the smokiness of its wings and the large amount of meat on the bones make these wings worth trying and coming back for time and time again.

The last restaurant that I visited was the newly opened Buffalo Wild Wings. After visiting the newer store in Sioux Falls, I knew what to expect: a fun and exciting atmosphere. The wings were as tasty as they have always been. Buffalo Wild Wings offers an immense variety of sauces and dry rubs that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds. My only complaint about Buffalo Wild Wings, however, is the small amount of meat on the bones. Compared to the other restaurants that I visited, there was very little, making my dinner mostly sauce and potato wedges. I have a hard time saying that they are the best wings in Brookings, but the restaurant does offer a larger variety of flavors and has a more exciting atmosphere than the rest.

I had a fun and delicious adventure around Brookings, and I consumed quite a bit of chicken. I cannot say which restaurant has the best wings, as I like all of them for different reasons: Weary Wil’s for its acceptance of flex dollars, Cubby’s for its unique flavors, The Backyard Grill for its smoky flavor and plentiful meat, and Buffalo Wild Wings for its variety. Which wings reign supreme in Brookings? Well, you yourself will have to try them all and decide.


Michael Promes is a sophomore majoring in psychology. He can be emailed at [email protected].