With the passing a couple of weeks ago of a local man, Gerald “Jerry” Paprocki, so goes the quiet passing of a legend. It is how Buffalo Chicken Wings made its way to the Miami Valley. Today the Food Adventures Crew lets you in on a little secret.
—THE SKINNY ON HOW DAYTON GOT ITS WINGS:
The year is 1981. Mr. Paprocki and his family have just moved to Centerville from Rochester New York, via a transfer by the L.M. Berry Company. As Jerry sought out a local watering hole he stumbled across Urban’s Suburban Restaurant, (now Kettering Elsa’s), on Marshall Rd.
After checking out the menu he noticed they didn’t have Buffalo wings on the menu. He berated the owner Urban Goeke, and told him he has to start serving them. As the story goes, the next time he came in, Jerry brought the ingredients and went to the kitchen and showed the owners and the staff how to make chicken wings right there in the fryer. The recipe is still used at Elsa’s to this day.
So next time you are on a Food Adventure try Elsa’s wings, or any in the Dayton area, remember the legend of Jerry Paprocki, the man who brought Buffalo style wings to Dayton. As he would say “honest to God.” Jerry had eight kids, Jeanie, Mary Ellen, Steve, Tom, Matt, Bill, Jon and Dave, so you know he had to have some good food recipes. On a side note, Jerry was also influential on bringing Genessee Beer to Dayton. It was a beer from Jerry’s hometown of Rochester, New York. He talked the Whipp Rd. Kroger Manager into carrying it and soon many other establishments followed suit. So here’s a toast to Jerry with Genny Beer and wings, thank you !
But where did Jerry get his Buffalo Wing Recipe? From the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY of course !
—THE SKINNY ON THE ORIGINS OF BUFFALO STYLE CHICKEN WINGS.
The Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York is largely accredited with inventing the hot wings we enjoy today in many sports bars. On March 4th, 1964, Dominic Bellissimo was tending bar and late that evening, a group of Dominic’s friends arrived at the bar with insatiable appetites. Dominic asked his mother, Teressa, to prepare something for his friends to eat.
Teressa had some chicken wings, a part of the chicken that usually went into the stock pot for soup. Teressa deep-fried them and flavored them with a secret sauce. The wings were an instant hit and it didn’t take long for people to flock to the bar to experience their new taste sensation. From that evening on, Buffalo Wings became a regular part of the menu at the Anchor Bar.
The phenomenon has spread across the globe. Although many have tried to duplicate the Buffalo wing, the closely guarded secret recipe is what makes Frank & Teressa’s the proclaimed “Best Wings in the World”. But Food Adventures has the recipe right here….
THE ORIGINAL BUFFALO STYLE WINGS RECIPE FROM ANCHOR BAR, in BUFFALO, NY.
- 2 1/2 lbs. chicken wing pieces
- 1/2 cup FRANK’S RedHot® Sauce
- 1/3 cup butter,melted
- Garlic Salt
- Black Pepper
1) Sprinkle the chicken wings lightly with garlic salt and black pepper
2) Deep Fry the wings at 400 °F for 14 min. until crispy.
3) Combine Frank’s RedHot Sauce and butter in bowl.
4) Toss wings in sauce to coat completely. Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
Serves 6 people
Thanks for checking out this week’s feature and now you know how Dayton got its wings !
One of our goals is to inform Dayton Foodies about fantastic dining spots that they may not be aware of. One of the best examples of a Mom and Pop place that is off the beaten path, featuring incredible menu items, is Nick’s Restaurant. Located in Xenia, it is a place with a style all it’s own. Style is one thing, but Nick’s also has irresistible, addicting food throughout the menu. The restaurant was started in the 1940’s by the late owner Nick Malavazos and was formerly called “Say How Do.” Since Nick’s passing, the local ownership has changed the restaurant name, but kept the tradition alive with great eats and friendly service.
How good is their food? At the recent Kickin’ Chicken Wing Festival at Fraze, Nick’s won 5 out of the 6 awards, including Best Side, People’s Choice Award, Best Wing, Best Sauce, and Best Booth. The Big Ragu loved their wings and would recommend their “Secret Sweet Hot Damn Sauce.” Wings are only a small portion of their offerings, and this was just the start of our menu exploration. Nicks has a full bar and has that type of watering hole atmosphere that spills into the dining area. The drink offerings are vast, but we were here for food.
We tried some unique appetizers including fried smelts. For those who do not know, smelts are small fish about the size of sardines that are fried whole, but headless. They are usually served with tartar sauce. The Big Ragu loves smelts our guests took a bite of the little fish and liked them so much that we had the waitress sit down and try them as well. Food Adventure accomplished! Nick’s Restaurant has another spectacular appetizer, the hand breaded deep fried mushrooms. Light and crispy, our mushrooms were cooked perfectly. The waitress then brought out one of the best french onion soups we have ever eaten. We also enjoyed some freshly cut potato chips. There are a ton of good appetizers to choose from! Your Food Adventurers were already very impressed, and we had not yet tasted an entree.
The staff then brought out our dinners which were piping hot. The Big Ragu ordered Pan Fried Walleye. The piece of fish was huge and overlapped the plate like Ragu’s belly on his belt. The walleye was superb and served with freshly hand breaded onion rings. This dinner will satisfy big appetites and we loved every bite. We tried an entree of Filet-Mignon. The large steak was grilled to perfection and wrapped with bacon. Ragu smiled after trying a bite of the steak and devouring a plate of smelts. Obviously the kitchen knows what they are doing, and it shows in each and every entree. We upped the ante by trying a unique side of purple pickled eggs and beets. It was pretty tasty!
Our meals, menu sampling and Food Adventure was a complete success. We love this place! The staff and owners of the restaurant could not have been more attentive. Good restaurant service is an art, and you will find assertive waitresses and waiters here. Nick’s has a reputation for great food, and we discovered why they have such a loyal following. When you go Nick’s, it is obvious they take pride in what they bring to diner’s tables. The variety is there, and the taste is there. Can you think of another restaurant that has purple pickled eggs, beets AND smelts on their menu? It is truly a unique eatery! Nick’s is another perfect example of why Food Adventures exists, and we are happy to shed light on this unbeaten stairway to taste heaven. We were very impressed and now we understand why Nick’s website is gotonicks.com. It is because you HAVE to go there ! It is American style pub food with a gourmet twist. Trust us on this one, a jaunt down North Detroit Street is your ticket to a meal that will fill you up and have you raving.
Have you been to Nick’s Restaurant in Xenia? Then tell us what you think below !!