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BDubs BOGO Boneless Thursdays: Great deal, spotty service

This article expresses the views of its author(s), separate from those of this publication. Readers are encouraged to comment or submit a Letter to the Editor to share their opinions. To submit a Letter to the Editor, follow the instructions here.

Hey everybody, welcome back to another edition of Check It or Chuck It. Today, we’re going to do a quick 180. Instead of covering a one-of-a-kind restaurant, we’re switching gears to an establishment that’s one-of-many: Buffalo Wild Wings. In particular, their now-famous bargain, BOGO Boneless Thursdays.

Surprisingly, Buffalo Wild Wings’ boneless offering has an extensive history. Introduced to their menu in 2003, the boneless wing quickly became one of the restaurant’s most popular items. According to their parent company, Inspire Brands, nearly 100 million boneless wings are served at locations each year.

When Jamie Carawan joined Buffalo Wild Wings as vice president of brand menu and culinary in 2018, the company decided to revamp its boneless wings. After a year-long research, testing and development process, the new boneless wings debuted in late 2019. The wings are now larger pieces of white meat chicken, feature 30% less breading and are marinated in a “blend of spices” before cooking, per Inspire Brands’ press release.

“Discovering a new boneless wing offering for Buffalo Wild Wings was one of the more difficult food and beverage innovation projects of my career,” Carawan said.

In early 2020, the chicken wing chain announced the creation of their BOGO Boneless Thursdays promotion in locations nationwide. On Thursdays, customers who purchase six, 10, 15, 20 or 30 boneless wings will get a buy one, get one free deal, receiving double the amount they purchased at no additional charge.

A deal like that with a college student’s budget? Say less.

So I marked my calendar for Thursday and headed to Buffalo Wild Wings to score a sweet deal on some quasi-chicken nuggets. This Thursday, in particular, also marked the end of dry January, further adding to the gastric festivities.

Their wide selection on tap also included a few local breweries. (Ethan Leckie)

To begin, I ended my self-imposed temperance with a tall (“as big as my head,” as my friend once said) glass of Golden Road Brewing’s Mango Cart Wheat Ale. This was a delicious beer, making me regret not buying it at Target that morning (I’m not an alcoholic, I swear).

One thing I now love about Buffalo Wild Wings since reaching the legal drinking age is their selection of beers on tap. Foreign, domestic, craft or commercial—they’ll most likely have what you want. I ordered beer for eight dollars, which isn’t too bad for a pint as big as theirs. Most commercial and domestic options will be closer to four dollars per pint.

Mango Cart was the best outcome of mixing mangos with beer. It’s a new favorite, for sure. (Ethan Leckie)

In most chain restaurants, the only thing that separates one location from another is the food quality. Some chains’ locations are run like the Navy, and others like a sinking ship. I’m happy to say Buffalo Wild Wings’ Town Center Promenade location fell somewhere in the middle.

Being near the University of North Florida, the hostess and most waitstaff looked like college students. It was around 8:30 p.m. on a Thursday, so most groups were already served and finishing their meals. Seeing their friends seated, some waitresses “went on a break” to socialize with them. As I said, most groups were already served, so I didn’t have much of a problem with it. I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same if I were in their shoes.

I will say the whole place seemed understaffed. I know it was 8:30 on a Thursday night, but when I sat at the bar, at least 10 minutes had passed before I saw a bartender. The service was slow but friendly—maybe a little too friendly.

Now for the main attraction: the boneless wings. I ordered 10 wings with a side of French fries. The first 10 were tossed in Jammin’ Jalapeno, a spicy-sweet jalapeno sauce, and the extra ten were tossed in mango habanero sauce. I wished the wings had a bit more sauce; ideally, my food would have people asking if I wanted some wings with my sauce.

The spread, in all its glory. (Ethan Leckie)

The sauces were great, though. The Jammin’ Jalapeno had an entertaining blend of both spicy and sweet flavors. While I couldn’t detect much mango in the Mango Habanero, I still enjoyed its sinus-clearing spice. That said, both of these sauces were very spicy—each was near the top level on the menu’s spiciness chart.

The French fries, however, were a rare miss. Buffalo Wild Wings usually has decent fries, but on this night, they dropped the ball. They lacked their usual salt and pepper seasoning and were quite bland. After a few minutes, they got cold, forcing me to drizzle some extra Jammin’ Jalapeno sauce from my sample to make them palatable.

The big question: check it or chuck it? For a deal this good, it’s totally worth it. For 20 wings, I spent $12.49. The only advice I would give is to see your local Buffalo Wild Wings reviews before you go. Overall, BOGO Boneless Thursdays is great, but it becomes an even better experience on the right Thursday.

Buffalo Wild Wings (Town Center Promenade)

Address: 4594 Tropea Wy, Jacksonville, FL 32246

Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Website: https://www.buffalowildwings.com/

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About the Contributor
Ethan Leckie, Opinions Editor
A Pad Thai enthusiast, NASCAR follower, and Jon Bois fanboy, Ethan Leckie is a third-year journalism major at the University of North Florida, minoring in international studies. He first began his involvement with Spinnaker as a volunteer reporter in the fall of 2021 and currently holds the position of Opinions Editor. Ethan has always had a passion for writing and hopes to work for a newspaper one day. He enjoys watching YouTube, cooking, and visiting restaurants in his free time. If you see him on campus, ask him about his pieces- he loves to talk about them!

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