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Eats beat: Can Texas handle New York heat?

Posted 12:55pm on Thursday, Apr. 04, 2013

Turns out Texans aren't so tough.

Ever since western New York's Duff's Wings opened in Southlake, hardly a day goes by when some customer can't handle the "Death Sauce."

Here's a warning up front: If you try it, use the blue cheese dip, too.

Otherwise, you'll be the latest Duff's customer sitting in stunned silence, sweating at the genuine red-hot Buffalo wing sauce.

At least Duff's gives fair notice. The back wall is filled with 2-foot-tall red letters: "WARNING!"

"'Medium' is hot," Duff's warns. "'Hot' is very, very hot."

Believe it.

Duff's isn't for weaklings.

That is thrilling some customers and confusing others in the Buffalo-area chain's first weeks in Texas.

Duff's offers family-size portions of extra-large wings for about $1 each, tossed in your choice of 10 levels of hot or barbecue sauce.

The menu also includes "boneless wing" nuggets and tenders, plus burgers and Buffalo sandwich favorites such as fried bologna or a "beef on weck," which is roast beef on a pretzel bun.

This is the first location for Duff's outside the Buffalo-Toronto area, and the first of several Texas suburban strip-mall, family-restaurant clones of Louise Duffney's original Amherst, N.Y., tavern and wing joint.

Duff's is in the hard-to-find Cornerstone Plaza shopping center in a space that originally housed Cheeburger Cheeburger, then San Francisco Oven and other concepts. The space now has plain decor, neither as barlike as a Buffalo Wild Wings nor as splashy as a taco shop. (The color is all red -- as in cayenne.)

Duff's is open for lunch and dinner daily; 2787 E. Southlake Blvd., 817-421-8181, duffstx.com.

Campisi's , a Dallas pizza and Italian food landmark since 1946, is on target to open in mid-April on Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth.

Campisi's claims to be Texas' first pizzeria -- it became popular after soldiers returned from World War II -- and has made few changes in its square, Sicilian thin-crust pizzas.

Although it's known for pizza, Campisi's also has a Dallas following for simple spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and its Italian-style steaks.

If you want to see what the fuss is about, the original is open for lunch and dinner daily at 5610 E. Mockingbird Lane; 214-827-0355, campisis.us.

Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538

Facebook: Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat

Twitter: @eatsbeat

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