More Flying Buffalo

2009.Jul.17 Friday · 11 comments

in Restaurants

“Whether barbecued, honey-glazed, or spicy, wings have become the rage of gridiron aficionados at the stadium, in bars or in front of the TV at home, with the demand so strong that it provides a seasonal boost to sales — and an annual boost for poultry farmers.”

– Bob Burgdorfer, Reuters, Sports fans kick chicken wings sales to record

Buenos Aires – Sorry I’ve been a little remiss in posting – I’ve been indulging in catching up on the entire first season of Masterchef Australia, which goes into its final episode tonight (actually, it’s probably already happening given the time difference). It’s a fun competition for amateur cooks that’s been fascinating to watch – both for the cultural differences in cuisine, and, perhaps, because rather than watching the 71 episodes to this point over the dozen weeks that it’s been on in Australia, I immersed myself in the downloaded version and plowed through it in the last 8-9 days, watching as they cut from 7,500 applicants to 50 semi-finalists to 20 finalists to the 2 who are competing head to head today. I have to admit, I’m enjoying this more than the original UK version of the show – the cooking, in general, is perhaps less skillful than that shown in the British show, but the good-natured, American Idol style of competition is far more entertaining to watch than a couple of self-important judges with preconceived notions about food spending more time getting in their soundbytes than working with the contestants to achieve anything (of course, much of that could simply be the editing of the show, but it’s about as dull as watching an amateur bowling tournament on tv).

Casa Bar - hot wings
So, one more hot wings entry, simply because I didn’t find out about it until recently, when a regular reader posted on his blog that I’d missed it (how come you didn’t send me the info to check it out when I asked?) – so onto the list it went and the other night I popped in to check it out. The place, Casa Bar, Rodriguez Peña 1150 in Recoleta – a sports bar, with the usual assortment of television screens all over the place, music pumping wayyy too loud and lighting too dark (maybe it’s just my age showing). The one difference in this spot versus the few other sports bars I’ve seen in town – the crowd seems to be mostly Argentine rather than all expats. That may have just been the particular evening I was there, hard to say, but the place was 2/3 full at 8:00 at night and besides myself it seemed to be 100% locals. [Closed in late 2015]

On to the wings – meaty and juicy, a dozen to an order, seeming a little pricey in comparison to other spots, coming in at 30 pesos, but, turns out to come with a free pint of beer, soda or a bottle of water – at least during “happy hour” – which seems to be pretty much anytime before 11 p.m. or midnight – so it really comes in at the same price. The sauce, which someone had purported to be the famed Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, doesn’t seem to be that – at least not as I remember it [Edit: Follow the comment thread below for more – about a year after this review Casa Bar started making its own really great hot sauces.]. Plus, while I could have missed it, I haven’t seen Frank’s here in BA – the usual tabasco style sauces that are available here are Tabasco brand itself and Louisiana Gold. Regardless, it’s a good, slightly fruity, medium spicy sauce that certainly puts it on par with those two. And, the wings are well coated with it. You can order them “harina, picante, o harina y picante” – literally “flour, spicy, flour & spicy” – the former, I assume, meaning they’ve coated them in flour or a batter of some sort. I ordered just plain spicy. They come accompanied by a good quantity of really fresh, crunchy carrot and celery sticks, and a quite good blue cheese dressing – a little skimpy on the quantity of dressing, and they charge extra if you want more dressing or hot sauce – the only negative. They have an excellent selection of beers by the bottle from all over the world (I opted to pay for that and just had a bottled water as my freebie, since the pint of beer choice is Quilmes’ basic). Definitely recommended, and while a trifle less spicy than those at El Alamo or Hard Rock Cafe, it’s certainly a better place to hang out.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

dan August 1, 2009 at 10:17

I received the following from the owner of the bar, and responded, and with his permission share the relevant part of it with y’all:


I appreciate the honest review of our wings and as well I apologize for the dish you were presented with. After seeing the picture of our product I was appalled. The plate should have been served with the wings on a plate of green leaf lettuce and the bleu cheese in a “new” bowl filled to the top with fresh chunks of bleu cheese added to our previously prepared dressing. Firthermore you should have been asked if you required additional seasonings ( Tobasco, Thrasher, Frank’s or others that we have ). As you know this is a tough business and the turn-over rate with staff is continual and we are working on improving our customer service constantly.

We do use Frank’s Red Hot and currently I have about 20 gallons in-house that is brought to me monthly by airline pilots. They recommend to cut the mixture with equal parts butter, which we do. If you would like I can send you a liter. I agree that they are not the spiciest and for chicken quality we are at the mercy of the product available at the time. My primary cook arrives after 8:30pm and was not here to prepare your plate. No excuse! So again I apologize for the presentation and service failure. The Casa Bar is determined to provide only quality products and thus is why our menu is limited until the time in which we can perfect the items we now serve.

Again thankyou for your generous comments and we look forward to your patronage again in the near future. I am always open to advice that can improve our quality of food and service. As for the loud music and dark lighting I hear ya man, but it’s a bar and I am old. ha ha



Thanks for your note – it’s always good to get some feedback. As noted, I really did like the wings, I just didn’t agree with Jason that they were the spiciest around – though, I still like the ambiance far better than that of El Alamo or Hard Rock, so you can count on us as customers. As to the spicy sauce – as I noted, not only did they not ask, but when I did ask, I was told there would be an extra charge to bring hot sauce to the table and it would be the same as what was on the wings (there’s a note on your menu to that effect too, no?). So, a little re-training is in order – as we both know, it is hard with staff turnover to keep a handle on quality control!

One last note as I was looking back at yours – the quality was great, not a concern – it was purely the dressing quantity that was an issue, which is service related, not food quality. And while the leaf of green lettuce would have dressed up the plate, I was fine without it!


dan November 8, 2010 at 15:59

Just a follow-up on this conversation as we’ve been back numerous times for more wings. Still no question these are the best wings we’ve found in town. The first time we went back after the above exchange, Patrick greeted us and made sure we got a platter of wings as he described. However, we’ve popped in many a time since and each time the plate has been identical to that which we got on the first visit with a small amount of dipping sauce, either ranch or blue cheese (two changes, they’ve added their own housemade “super picante” sauce that, based on flavor has a good dose of what we’re pretty sure are habanero chilies added to it – and it’s sweat-inducing delicious! And, there is often a lettuce leaf underneath the wings….)

Scott April 5, 2011 at 23:48

Well I have been the Casa Bar on many occasions and would like to just add that I feel its is the best American appealing Bar in Argentina… The night that I went that is usually to watch the games it was full of Expats but I have been there on nights whgen its was full of locals… I have to give it 2 thumbs up……Regards

Patrick June 10, 2012 at 20:57

Have not been to this site for awhile and thought I would make an update. For almost 2 years now the CasaBar has been making our Own hot sauce and Ranch dressing and have always made our Bleau cheese in-house. The popularity of Our wings speaks for itself. Our sauce is hotter, redder and we are told better than Frank’s. Either way it will be available for purchase along with our Ranch and bleau cheese dressings soon.

As for the amount of dressing being “skimpy” I figure that has to do with the size of the bowl since on average we throw away bare chicken bones and unfortunately half bowls of unused sauce. Some people dip alot and some folks not so much. So Dan come on over and I will give you a bottle of CasaBar sauce as I gave you a bottle of Frank’s when you doubted that. Also bring your own napkins as you went through 30 pesos of ours wiping the sweat from your head after having the “spice” you craved. Ha ha.

Hey guys also I am looking to line up you closed door cooks that want to go huge once a month (Saturdays) and offer revolving outside chefs, vino dudes, live music and debauchery.

Big aloha and many mahalos for the post.

dan June 10, 2012 at 23:41

Patrick – no question your wings are still the best in town, in fact several of us plan on popping by this week for some. And when you started making your own sauce they just got better. Repeated experience though does suggest that what shows up on the plate when you’re around, in the bar and keeping an eye on things is different from what shows up when you’re not. You’ve seen the photo above, it’s what started this conversation – and when you’re not around, that’s what your kitchen sends out, and the waitresses rarely, if ever, ask about seasonings or the whole ranch/blue question, and requests for anything additional and we get told they’ll be added to the tab as extra charges. Doesn’t make them any less good, but not what you say you want them to be serving/doing.

Patrick June 11, 2012 at 00:14

I have spent every single day and night in this building for five years with the exception of being one night that I went to Uruguay. This bat is open I am here. I am the first person to let people in the building and always I walk all my staff ( They are My only family here in Argentina ) out at the end of the night to insure they return home safely. Where else have you ever seen this? No where!

My girls in the kitchen have been with me since I opened. Where else in Buenos Aires is this so? They are the best period! You are talking out of your ass and insulting my family. I do not give a Hooter about wings and that we do what Hooters and Fridays and all the “expat” start-ups want to do or could not do just makes this entire article more amusing. The CasaBar has the best wings in the city for 5 years running and if that stops manana then we will just have to survive on our unbeatable record. We have many!

Its a bar dude! Try our nachos. They are the bomb!


dan June 11, 2012 at 08:54

Patrick, I don’t intend to insult you, your family of employees, or anyone else, I’m simply relating my experience, and there’s no reason to get upset about it – I know you work hard, I respect that, I send people to Casa Bar all the time because it’s a great place. I go myself roughly once every 6-8 weeks, often with friends, for a hit of the wings, and we’ve also tried the burgers, the nachos, and the pizza. And I do know that every time I go in, I ask if you’re around, and more often than not get told “he’s upstairs” and I don’t see you for the time I’m there. We don’t hang out for long periods of time, usually just eat and then head out again, so maybe we’re just catching things at a time when you’re getting some paperwork done or whatever, and if we stayed around watching a game or drinking I’d see you. I do think your wings are great and the best in the city (how many times do you need to hear that to get it – keep in mind that the review above was written three years ago in the middle of trying out all the places that offered up wings all over the city – I’ve since compared other places to yours and you always come out on top) – you’re listed at number one on our ranking page.

But I’ll stand by that with the exception of the times when I’ve actually seen you there and you’ve said hello, before receiving my food, which has been maybe, what, 6 or 7 times over these three years out of the 20+ times I’ve been? – the wing plate comes out looking like the photo above. You even make a point in your first comment in this thread that you were “appalled at the presentation” – your words, not mine – the only times it’s come out the way you describe it in that first comment has been when I’ve seen you. Personally I don’t find it appalling and never did, they’re delicious, my only criticism in that original review, or at any other time, was the upcharge for additional dressing (I’m talking about the blue cheese or ranch, not the hot sauce) when there wasn’t a lot of it to begin with – something you agreed with in that same comment! I’m sure that it’s enough for many people, and sure, maybe you throw a good amount away, but for the few people like me who want a little more ranch or blue, it’s off-putting for a waitress to say “I have to charge you for that” when asked for a little more dressing. That’s all, no other criticism of either service or quality. Be happy, you do a great job and we’ll continue to come and enjoy the best, and I’ll continue to send people to your door!

CasaBar September 1, 2012 at 09:08

CasaBar now offers Our CB’s Bullet hot sauce by request and for sample only until we are complete with our product registration.

The Bullet consists of Nigar Viper, Jolokai, Habernaro and Cayenne chili of the highest Scoville units available. Combined with 8 other ingredients we offer heat with flavor. The CasaBars house picante sauce is the hottest and tastiest in all of Buenos Aires for 4 years running ( we used Frank’s the first year, but our’s is hotter, redder and better).
All our sauces are made in-house, original and fresh-Ranch, Vinegarette based Ceasar, Bleau Cheese, Honey mustard, BBQ, Katsu, Thousand Island and more to come. CB will soon offer the hottest hot sauce in all of South American this November with the” One” Capsium based “Happy Sauce”.
Bring it on Buenos Aires

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