Few cities are as synonymous with a type of food as Buffalo, N.Y., is with chicken wings. So we asked the Bills’ best player to take us to Buffalo’s best chicken wing spot. All-Pro defensive lineman Marcell Dareus’ favorite spot is Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar [DBGB]. And who are we to argue with a 330-pound, 27-year-old multi-millionaire wearing gold chains and a captain’s hat?
Nice captain’s hat…
I have this white one and a navy blue one. I wear a different color nearly every day.
What do you like about Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar?
It’s really laid back. You can watch the game. They have spoken word, where people come in and do poetry. They have live music. They have good food. They have those smoked wings. You gotta go try those bad boys, man. They are so good.
How does the “Bills Mafia” treat you in public?
They’re insanely crazy. But they seemed to take a liking to me since I’ve been in Buffalo. I’ve always had a good relationship with them.
You’re an investor in a New York City restaurant, right?
Yep. Jue Lan Club restaurant in Manhattan. It’s in the old Limelight building. It’s Asian cuisine.
Do you cook?
Yes, I do. I get into little phases. I just jumped into chicken pot pie, turkey pot pies, just switching it up, giving it a little flavor.
Do you follow sports other than the NFL?
I watch my friends Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins in the NBA. They’re from back home, from Alabama. Me and Eric Bledsoe, we won a championship in basketball together. He was in the fifth grade and I was in the sixth grade.
DeMarcus was pretty mean to a lot of guys, tried to bully folks. He was like 6’8” at 14 years old. He’s always been a big dude. We played against each other, but we was always cool, no animosity or nothing like that. We always kind of kicked it and was just cool.
Your father is from Haiti and you took a trip there this offseason. How was Haiti?
Haiti was amazing. We did some charity work for my nonprofit organization [Dareus Foundation] and we partnered with Hope for Haiti, helping with education, feeding the kids, donated money and school supplies.
We went to the schools to talk to the kids. Told them, “Everything matters. Your life matters. We want you to do the best. And I’m happy to be here and be a part of this whole experience.”
You’re an Alabama alum. What’s your favorite Nick Saban story?
When I scored the touchdown [and received a celebration penalty] in the [2010 BCS] National Championship. Running off the field, he’s cussing me out pretty bad. “Act like you’ve been here before! We don’t need penalties! You gotta stay focused!” And then went all the way into the locker room, he’s on me the whole time.
I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now. He gave me a serious life lesson that I’ll never forget. In the midst of all this chaos, he had time to do that. And he always seemed to do that.
Not everyone has a restaurant-grade smoker or fryer like DBGB. But everyone can make crispy, delicious chicken wings in the oven at home.
• Place 16 chicken wings in a bowl, season liberally with salt and pepper, add one heaping tablespoon corn starch. Toss, coating evenly.
• Line 18” x 26” sheet pan with aluminum foil and place wire racks on pan.
• Cook for 30 minutes at 250°, then an additional 30 mins at 425°.
• Remove wings from wire rack, toss in favorite sauce. (Optional: Place wings back in 425° oven for 5-10 minutes to caramelize sauce.)
Original Bohemian BBQ
The house barbecue sauce for the smoked wings at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar.
1 cup barbecue sauce
¾ cup ketchup
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 Tbsp Frank’s RedHot
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp minced garlic*
6 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp honey
*For smoother sauce, mix minced garlic with orange juice in food processor.
Insider’s Tip: Buffalo Sauce
All you need is two ingredients — butter and Frank’s Hot Sauce. Adjust ratios accordingly. Hot (4 parts Frank’s, 1 part butter), Medium (2 parts Frank’s, 1 part butter), Regular (equal parts Frank’s and butter).