Restaurant Reviews

Vegetarian Taste Test: Lightlife's Buffalo Smart Wings

​The whole idea of "veggie protein wings" begs a question regarding the target demographic. Since they're totally veggie-based yet titillate us with their meaty look, we wondered: Are they for longtime lovers of Mrs. Clucky who are transitioning to vegetarianism or for hard-core vegans just looking for a teeny taste of the wild side?

Who knows, but Meatless Monday will continue. It must continue. And so we must eat to decide -- are these tasty little items or market research run amok?

We're not saying that processing these so-called Smart Wings is as awful as real chickens gettin' dewinged in a factory somewhere -- everyone agrees that's really bad -- but isn't it almost as sad and poignant to imagine these lifeless little wings rolling out silently on huge aluminum sheets up there at 153 Industrial Blvd. in Turner Falls, Massachusetts? It's just too easy to picture that scene and sniff, "Dude, you never even had a chance to fly." 


Luckily, you can chew on that thought for a while... just like these little imposter-winglets! They definitely possess a gnawability that rivals the real article, which goes a long way in terms of fooling one's mind, if indeed that's what this product is designed to do. It pretty much worked, and they sure do fill you up the same way a plate of eight wings ordinarily would. So what's the problem, you ask? 

​Wouldn't you know it? The sauce. Which is a problem so easily overcome -- just give these puppies a bath with a store-bought bottle of Buffalo's finest and the old cerebrum will just cruise along, tricked into thinking they're boneless wings. That's the general concept, anyway.

We'd have a brief but passionate affair with the Buffalo Smart Wings again, and would even consider dating other members of the Smart Wings family, should they exist.

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Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton