Twenty-five years ago, Al Burns got a job offer he couldn’t refuse and moved his family to Kansas City from their native Buffalo, where according to Burns, “every corner pizza shop made the best wings in the world.” KC’s best were not up to his standards. “I just couldn’t find anything I liked,” he says. “So I would make my own at home.” When Burns’ wife got a promotion, he figured he would take a shot at opening a pub in Parkville modeled after the watering holes back home. Al’s wings are a cult favorite of transplants: trimmed tight, fried hard and lightly sauced. “The sauce is the sauce—it’s Frank’s hot sauce and butter,” Burns says. “The problem is everybody’s trying to reinvent the wheel. Everybody’s trying to make chicken wings better and there’s no need to.”
GO: Al’s Bar & Grill, 10911 N.W. MO-45, Parkville, MO. 816-741-6500. Hours vary.