*Disclosure: Sonic provided gift cards to purchase the food needed for this taste test. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.
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I am by no means an expert on boneless wings, which I think made me the perfect candidate for a taste test between Sonic’s new boneless chicken wings and boneless wings from Buffalo Wild Wings. I had no preconceived notions, favorites, or expectations, so I went into this a totally blank slate.
I thought through a variety of criteria during my taste test, and have listed the “Winner” in each category.
Boneless wings are a new menu item from Sonic, a fast food chain we grew to love when we lived in Texas. There’s only one here in our Portland, Oregon suburb, but it serves up the same tasty tots, slushes, and breakfast burritos (my favorite!) you would expect from Sonic. It’s also near several other businesses I use often, so it’s easy to run an errand or two before grabbing a bite to eat.
We have one Buffalo Wild Wings in town, too – a corner property in a popular outdoor mall. It’s a bit farther than the Sonic, and I don’t often shop at the mall where it’s at, so I had actually never been there before. I asked, though, and they said they’ve been there for 8 years, so they must be doing ok.
WINNER: Sonic, mostly because it’s closer to me and surrounded by other businesses I’m more likely to frequent.
I went to both Sonic and Buffalo Wild Wings during the busy noon lunch hour, but only waited about 12 minutes at each. I was worried (having never been there before) that I would have to sit down to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings, and I really didn’t have the time. Fortunately, they had a special door and counter specifically for Takeout, so I was able to walk right in, order, enjoy a pleasant conversation with the girl at the counter, and then POOF!, my wings were ready.
Things were just as quick at Sonic. Although I could have conveniently parked and had one of the carhops bring me my food (a model I think is quite fun), I simply went through the drive-thru and was helped in speedy fashion.
WINNER: Tie (with bonus points to each for offering more than one way to order).
I had no idea when I walked into Buffalo Wild Wings that it was “Boneless Thursday,” apparently meaning the boneless wings were specially priced. In addition to the discount, they also allowed me to split an 8-piece order into two different kinds of sauces (4 of one, 4 of another).
I ended up ordering one 8-piece with 4 Sweet BBQ and 4 Asian Zing, and another 8-piece with 4 Honey BBQ and 4 Buffalo. In total, I paid $11.20 for 16 boneless wings (.70 cents/wing). But on any other day, the same order would have cost me about $17.98.
At Sonic, their 6-piece boneless wings cost $3.99. I ordered a 6-piece Buffalo, 6-piece Asian Sweet Chili, and 6-piece BBQ and paid $11.97 for 18 boneless wings (about .67 cents/wing).
LEFT: Buffalo Wild Wings, RIGHT: Sonic. Quick note: I do appreciate that Buffalo Wild Wings marked the different sauces. Of the three orders from Sonic, none were marked, which would have been nice.
WINNER: For pure value, Sonic. Although I did like that Buffalo Wild Wings allowed me to split my order with different sauces – and that they have so many sauces to choose from in the first place. But if I have to remember to only go in on Thursdays for the special price, I’ll just go to Sonic instead.
Here is where I was most surprised. I thought for sure I would sit down and be able to detect some significant difference in quality between boneless wings from Sonic and boneless wings from Buffalo Wild Wings.
But in regards to size, texture, amount of sauce used, and overall flavor, I could NOT tell a significant difference between the two! I tried and tried, wing after wing to see if one bite left me more impressed than another, but…it was ALL good!
LEFT: Buffalo Wild Wings, RIGHT: Sonic.
If you’re in the mood for some tasty, convenient, well-priced boneless wings any day of the week, I highly suggest Sonic. My favorite was the BBQ sauce – so good! If you can find and remember the day for specially-priced boneless wings at your local Buffalo Wild Wings (I think it varies by location), and you’re looking to step outside the traditional sauces, then give them a try. But honestly, since the taste and quality are so similar, and I don’t want to be limited to specific days for special offers, I will definitely be heading to Sonic for my next boneless wings fix!