Feel the burn | The Local is bottling its Buffalo wing sauce

Kenn Bermel of The Local is spreading his wings—or at least the sauce that goes on them. I first tried Bermel’s Buffalo wings in 2006 when he worked in the IT field and helped organize an afternoon barbecue on the Q Bar rooftop. Those wings were super tasty, so when he took over Brussels, later changing the name to The Local, it was no surprise they ended up as a menu item. Plus, he comes from Buffalo, New York.

The Local arguably now has the city’s best Buffalo wings, especially with Union Bar & Grille biting the dust, and offers especially good value on Wednesday nights, when the deal is three kuai per wing. And Bermel has started selling that sauce by the bottle. I bought one at the Pop-Up Beijing flea market a few weeks ago for rmb25 and it added some, ahem, spice to my life. A few items in / on which it found itself:

  • A tomato-based vegetable soup with potato, onion, zucchini et al. A few tablespoons of Local sauce gave it some zip.
  • Instant noodles, kimchi variety. Again, I added a few tablespoons, with the result being two kinds of spice coming together in a chain reaction of flavor explosions.
  • Popcorn chicken kebabs from Lin’s. Dip these nuggets of seasoned battered deep-fried chicken in The Local’s Buffalo sauce and feel the burn.
  • Jianbing. The chicken ones—that is chicken, right? Unfold it, slather on some Buffalo sauce, enjoy. For extra crispy fun, slip that bing it into a hot cast iron skillet for a few minutes.

Given I used that sauce on a few other foods, I got a lot of value and fun for my 25 kuai. And Bermel had lots of other items at that flea market, from ranch dressing to weekend hangover packages to DIY Bloody Mary kits. Look for that stuff to soon be available at The Local, too.


Check out sibling blogs Grape Wall of China and World Baijiu Day.

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