By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Nov 10, 2009 at 9:04 AM

After you, readers, voted Buffalo Wild Wings your favorite wings and picked Points East Pub -- the editors' choice here -- second, we decided to put them to the test.

We tasted the "basic" wings at each place and found them both to be great, but different. Buffalo Wild Wings' offerings -- fried and spun in sauce -- are finger-licking wet. The Points East Wings are cooked on the grill and have a drier, spice-rub style.

So, part of your preference will depend on which version you like better, as you'll see from our comments below. If you want to see it, maybe we'll pit today's winner -- clearly Points East Pub! -- against the No. 3 winner, Elsa's on the Park, next.

Molly Snyder Edler
Staff writer
Pick: Points East Pub

Prior to this challenge, I had never eaten at either of these establishments, and in general, I'm not a huge wing person. Hence, I went on my wing-eating adventure with very low expectations.

I started at Point East Pub and simply said, "I'll have the wings." I got a basket of 12 wings for $9.45. At first, I was a little surprised by what I perceived to be a steep price.

I later realized that, like most things, you get what you pay for, and that the Points East order was twice as large as what I ordered at Buffalo Wild Wings. My order of wings at Buffalo Wild Wings was $4.99, but only included six wings. And they did not compare in taste.

I found the Points East wings meatier and spicier (not hot, just way more flavorful), and yet not any greasier than BW3's version.

I found the skin on the Points East wings to be a little crispier, too, which made the wings even more appealing. They were also messier, which was a downside, but they came with celery sticks which made a healthy side. (Kind of like having a diet soda with a greasy, high-fat burger.)

In general, I would prefer to eat at a neighborhood pub like Points East instead of a large, chain, sports bar like Buffalo Wild Wings. I found Buffalo Wild Wings' service to be prompt and the diners seemed like they were enjoying themselves, but I prefer a cozier establishment.

On a side note, I ordered the wings as take-out during a Packers game, and the bartender said they don't usually have take-out service during games. I must have looked particularly crestfallen, because she said, "Just come back in 15 minutes and they'll be ready." Nice.

Johnny Hyland
Manager of client development
(Note: neither place is a client of Hyland's)
Pick: Points East Pub

Buffalo Wild Wings' presentation is classic: tubs of wings, followed by tubs for bones. This has become standard fare for most bars, but Buffalo Wild Wings perfected it long ago. Anytime I am forced to place wing bones adjacent to fresh wings, my night is typically ruined. The wings were tender, juicy and wet with sauce. The Medium Buffalo sauce didn't have quite enough energy behind it and left me craving the hot just a bit. Sidenote: overall, I have found more and more "medium" wings are going in a different direction over the past three years as part of a larger trend for restaurants/bars to differentiate their wings from the original invented in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1964.

The sample from Buffalo Wild Wings is the kind of classic Buffalo Wing I sometimes forget about with all of the fancy new options. It depends whether or not you are a fan of that deep-fried style of wing, which is then coated in buffalo sauce post-fry. I dipped my wing sampler in bleu cheese, as has been a favorite of mine for years. Overall, the wings were tasty and good.

The Points East wings were of the "non-wet" variety and relied more on the sauce being baked into the skin during the cooking process. The view from our table allowed us to watch the bartender flip each wing or drummie several times on the grill. This style of cooking wings, with the wings having already marinated in the sauce, gave each wing an inner-heat that could be tasted down to the last bite. These wings, which were about the same size as Buffalo Wild Wings, had a rich, almost peppery flavor. The texture was purposefully dry on the outside, which made the bleu cheese more essential to this particular wing. It also brought more attention to the style differences between Buffalo Wild Wings and Points East Wings.

Due to the superior heat, flavor and cooking method, I would choose Points East Wings over Buffalo Wild Wings. However, I do want to recognize, again, the vast style differences in these two wings, which makes them difficult to judge.

Drew Olson
Senior editor
Pick: Points East Pub

During my previous life as a traveling baseball writer, wings were a dietary staple. I've sampled many variations in various different locales and almost all of them were acceptable, without being very memorable.

Some places try to get attention by making wings "nuclear," others try to jazz up the dipping sauces and some just give up and serve whatever was on sale at Sam's Club that week.

Buffalo Wild Wings, whose commercials invade just about every televised sporting event, offers a decent version of the classic Buffalo-style wing. The sauce is tasty. The wings, though small, are fried to a crisp consistency and will keep you happy throughout a football doubleheader. (We only sampled the basic wings, but the variations are strong, too.)

The wings at Points East are different enough -- and tasty enough -- to make them destination dining. You can go to Points East for the ambience. You can go to see a band or hang with some cool people. But, you really want to go there for wings. The combination of spices and grilling make them different. They're big and meaty and, after a few moments, will leave the pleasant "pins and needles" sensation on your lips that let you know you're enjoying something flavorful.

Though Buffalo Wild Wings' entry was respectable, it seemed like an appetizer. The Points East version was more like a meal, and it made us think about ordering more. 

Maureen Post
Staff Writer
Pick: Points East Pub

Admittedly, I don't think I've ordered wings at a restaurant in years. I like them but they're far from standard fare for me.  So, when the wings challenge presented itself, I thought to mentally review my wings likes and dislikes. I like a crispy skin, a fair amount of meat and smoky seasoned flavor.

When put to the test, Buffalo Wild Wings were good, but Points East Pub's were something to talk about. Completely different in concept, BW3's were mild and saucy while Points East Pub's were spicy and dry rubbed.

Served sauceless, Point Easts Pub somehow manages to lock in flavor without going overly greasy and tap on the fine point between tender and crispy. Bathed in seasoning and light breading, Points East Pub throws wings on the grill rather than the deep fryer, kicking up a smoky savor.

Bobby Tanzilo
Managing editor
Pick: Points East Pub

It's clear from the get-go that the saucy wings at Buffalo Wild Wings and the spicy ones at Points East are nothing alike. That's mirrored by the similarly dissimilar atmospheres of the places. Buffalo Wild Wings is big and loud and feels like a giant college bar, while Points East is a more intimate corner pub. What is similar is the pricing (right around $9 for 12 wings) and the quality of the product.

Buffalo Wild Wings wings are meaty and although they're fried, the skin doesn't crunch, thanks to the bright orange sauce. These are real Buffalo, N.Y.-style wings and they're darn good.

The Points East wings are even meatier and, thanks to the grilling, the skin has a nice snap when you bite into it, revealing the juicy, tender meat within. The dry rub-style spices on the outside give these wings a subtle but, over time, powerful kick.

I enjoyed the wings at both places quite a bit, but I give the edge to Points East because I prefer the "dry" method.

Andrew Wagner
Staff writer
Pick: Points East Pub

Sorry, Buffalo Wild Wings, you'll always be a go-to staple of my late-night dining, but we're seeing other people now.

I've never been a big fan of sauce -- on anything. I eat my burgers plain and I love a good, well-stocked salad ... sans the dressing. Normally, I catch flack from my friends for wiping the excess wing sauce onto about 50 napkins during a wing night.

Honestly, I have no problem with Buffalo Wild Wings' offerings. There's a wide assortment of tastes to anybody's liking and there's plenty of meat on the bone.

But Points East won me over with a "dry" wing. The seasonings, spices and tastes left a burn in my mouth for quite a while and was only enhanced with the Pabst Blue Ribbon I used to wash it down.

Plus, everything seems just a little bit crispier; the wings and the celery. The ranch and bleu cheese dressings were just a little bit colder and being able to catch a glimpse of our bartender cooking up our batch fresh added something to the experience.

Like I said, I'm not giving up on Buffalo Wild Wings; we've had some good times and I want to get back together soon. But for now, I think it's important that we, you know, expand our horizons and see if we were really meant to be.