Jeremiah’s Tavern took the title of Rochester’s best.
By the end of the day Saturday, even faithful chicken wing lovers had their fill.
A film crew of “wing experts” stopped in Rochester as part of a documentary, “The Greatest Chicken Wing Hunt” Saturday Aug. 26 to taste test the city’s best.
The stop is one of several the film crew is making across the state to find the best wings in the state. The two-week hunt, which started in Manhattan Aug. 18 ends in Buffalo next weekend in time for the Buffalo’s Chicken Wing Festival.
In Rochester, the crew hit five stops – L&M Lanes, Salvatore’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria, Jeremiah’s Tavern, Richmonds and Norton’s Pub – throughout the afternoon with a group of about 50 who tagged along for the fun and feast.
Overall, Rochester proved to be a strong competitor.
Richard Adams of Irondequoit said the best part of Rochester is its chicken wings.
“We do wings the best here,” he said.
His vote was for L&M Lanes, a small bowling alley on Merchants Road in Rochester.
“They cook up crispy wings and they got the hottest sauce in Rochester,” Adams said.
Irondequoit native Ronald Wieszczyk, who is taking part in the cross-state hunt and who considers him the most “most eloquent wing hunter” on the trip, said wings were slightly soggy at L&M Lanes because they sat too long, which gave Jeremiah’s the lead.
“The good news is we haven’t had a bad wing yet,” Wieszczyk said. “But right now I would say it’s Jeremiah’s. The core is nice and crispy... good sauce. The only bad thing I can say is the heat could have been turned up a notch.”
Wiesczyk's taste buds were right on.
The group voted Jeremiah’s as serving Rochester’s number one wing, followed by L&M Lanes, Richmonds, Nortons Pub and Salvatore’s Pizzeria.
Jeremiah’s wings will go on to compete for the state title, which will be announced at the Chicken Wing Festival in Buffalo.
Matt Reynolds, of Lyons, is producing the film. He quit his job as a journalist for Reuters, a news agency in Warsaw, Poland and moved home in May to film the documentary.
He said he had been thinking of changing careers and getting into film-making and saw the documentary as a good opportunity.
“I think it’s a story of the chicken wing and the subculture here, the quest in finding perfection in things and misfits on a mission. I am not sure which is going to emerge as the strongest story line,” Reynolds said.
He said the film will cost about $100,000 which is being paid for through grants, investments and donations.
On the tour, he took with him Rochester chicken wing-eating champ Ben “Mighty Thor” Beavers, a semi-pro eater from Manchester.
“So far the hunt has been incredible. There have been pluses and minuses, but it’s been an awesome opportunity to meet a wide variety of people. Everybody has just welcomed us whereever we have been and wished us well,” he said.
Four members of the film crew are from Slovakia.
Dawn Udave of Steuben County came along for the tour with a friend. She said she likes wings, but she mainly came to have a good time.
“I wanted to go out and have some fun and everyone is, especially after a few beers,” Udave said, laughing.
The film will be made in English and in Slovak for airing on Slovak television. Reynolds wants to sell it to film festivals and cable television. He also plans on showing the film next year at Buffalo’s Chicken Wing Festival.
For more information about the trip or film go to www.chickenwinghunt.com.
Maggie Ramsay can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 238, or at email@example.com.