By Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily
Proving there ain’t no thing like their chicken wings, Laramie-based Weitzel’s Wings, aka Double Dubs, is fresh off winning Festival Favorite at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York.
While there’s some debate whether former University of Wyoming standout Josh Allen is the best quarterback in the NFL, there’s now no doubt that his go-to spot while at UW is the MVP of Buffalo wings.
Leaving Buffalo the top winner in what’s considered the pinnacle of his industry is confirmation that Laramie-based Double Dubs owner Trent Weitzel is a pro’s pro.
Buffalo Wing Fest “is kind of the Super Bowl of everything,” he said about the two-day competition over Labor Day weekend. “The best wing places across the country are at that event, and from around the world.”
Pilgrimage For Wings
If there were an official Double Dubs Army, Mike Davis would be first in line to volunteer.
The self-proclaimed “junkie” for Double Dubs’ wings, the Fort Collins resident was first in line Saturday morning with the food truck opened in the Murdoch’s parking lot. He brought two friends in his efforts to convert them to his almost religious-like following of Double Dubs.
“I’ve eaten chicken wings all over, and you cannot find them this good anywhere else, just here,” Davis said. “They’re crispy, and everything inside is just perfectly moist.”
And Wentzel’s signature sauces “are the bomb,” Davis said. He prefers the WWIII, the second-hottest Buffalo sauce on the menu.
“It’ll make your head sweat,” he said. “I like it spicy, and these are just right.”
When the trio’s order was up – 20 WWIII wings with crispy tots, bleu cheese and celery – the men stood in the open hatchback of their car, the grub perched on a cooler tailgate-style.
It took one bite for Star Grimm to become a convert.
“These are pretty darn good,” he said. “I like the butteriness, the good crunch.”
While Grimm said he actually likes his wings even hotter, he also eschewed doctoring them up with the bleu cheese, preferring them “pure Buffalo.”
After his first bite, Dilisio became a fan, immediately exclaiming the wings were “worth the drive, and I’d do it again.”
Although his buddies would’ve liked a little more heat, Dilisio proclaimed them “just perfect.”
Spreading Its Wings
The win in Buffalo caps a meteoric year for Weitzel and his growing wing empire. After Allen mentioned Double Dubs on a national sports podcast, the food truck drew the attention of Food Network personality Guy Fieri. A segment on Fieri’s hit show “Diners, Drive-Ins and
Dives” premiered in May and has helped Double Dubs earn national acclaim.
“The biggest impact has been in Cheyenne,” Weitzel said about the Triple D effect. “I’ve noticed a lot more people traveling around really hunt me down now. We had this couple from Utah that was visiting Jackson, then they drove to Wheatland specifically to try our wings.
“There’s definitely a Triple D effect, which is good.”
Although Double Dubs had success in its two previous Wing Fest competitions, this year’s was bigger and better, Weitzel said. He and his staff went armed with eight of their signature sauces, and it takes a lot of sauce to satisfy thousands of Buffalo wing snobs.
“We took about 55 gallons worth of sauce, and we got rid of everything equally,” Weitzel said. “Everybody wanted to come to our booth.
“For this third year, we pulled out all the stops. We had a bigger tent, bigger advertisements, and the Triple D stuff definitely helps.”
And although Allen loves his food truck – the QB’s partial to the No. 17 Spicy Bleu – that’s not enough to give a Wyoming outfit a hometown advantage at the Super Bowl of Buffalo wings in Buffalo.
“With the Buffalo culture for wings, we were definitely not the hometown favorite because we’re not from Buffalo,” Weitzel said.
That may change in the future.
Since starting his popular food truck in Laramie, Double Dubs has added another traveling truck that makes frequent and regular stops in Cheyenne and around the region.
He’s also recently expanded with the first Weitzel’s Wings franchise truck that serves the Rock Springs and Green River area. And his next expansion will be a truck to serve along the Interstate 25 corridor in northern Colorado.
But his most ambitions goal would to someday open his own restaurant. And if that happens, it would be in Buffalo, Weitzel said.
“If I ever do a brick-and-mortar, it would be in Buffalo,” he said.
Simple And Excellent
There’s no secret to his success, Weitzel said. Double Dubs keeps it simple and does that extremely well.
“I’ve eaten wings all over the country, from California to Buffalo and down to Texas, and created a style of wing I truly like,” he said. “That’s why we don’t do ranch at our place, we do a traditional bleu cheese.”
His menu is based on his signature Buffalo sauce people can order at varied heat levels, dubbed WWI, WWII, WWII and the hottest, WWIV.
“A lot of my sauces are a true-Buffalo-based sauce, then we branch out from there,” he said.
A couple of those that have been popular are the Elvis and Fluffernutter wings, along with a Fiesta sauce with a southwestern kick and topped with corn chips.
“I eat chicken wings every day,” Weitzel said. “I never get tired of them. I actually crave my own chicken wings daily. I crave them.”
Seems a growing gaggle of loyal customers do as well.