Wednesday, 18 September 2019

MOOSE MCGUIRES - Ottawa ON

This is another #lotwsummercatchup

Back in 2017 I tried out Moose McGuire's down on Hunt Club (they now have another location in Orleans). It was super crowded and I didn't do a full review, just a post on Instagram.


I had sworn I took more photos and that I just hadn't had a chance to do the review, but I was wrong. It was just the above photo. Well it was a Wednesday night, I was on my own for dinner, and it was wing night, so I decided to go back and do a proper review.


Moose McGuire's used to be a Wild Wing restaurant. I remember coming here in 2008 and I think it was my first review of a Wild Wings. Eventually this location was on Undercover Boss Canada and I remember watching it and the franchisee was caught doing some shady stuff and, well, this stopped being a Wild Wing (edit, found that episode HERE). Eventually, this became Moose McGuire's pub.


When I came back in 2017 it was a Wednesday wing night in January, and the place was packed. PACKED. It was so crowded that the only seat I could get (without sitting at the bar, which I don't do) was a one chair table surrounded by other tables. It was a bit awkward and taking food photos just wasn't possible. Well, I figured coming in the summer on wing night was probably a bit quieter. Nope.

The place was packed again, AND they have a big patio which was also packed. I was told there was one table left on the patio so I took it. I had the table to myself, but all the other chairs had been scavenged already by other patrons. There was such a mix crowd - regulars (your day drinkers that are there all day), families, kids camp staff, college aged kids, seniors. Clearly this place appeals to a wide demographic. Cheap wings don't hurt either.


Everyone was getting wings. Behind me was a table of a family with some of the kids friends, and they were ordering pound after pound for the table to share. I think wings is all anyone ordered. Well, when in Rome ...

There was an army of staff on hand, but my server was Tanya. She was super friendly, but efficient and always on the go. She asked for my drink order; I asked for a Diet Coke or a Diet Pepsi and she said 'yea'. I didn't know what I was going to get, but once I tasted it I knew it was Pepsi and my receipt confirmed it was Pepsi products



She also took my food order at the same time. I said wings, and she asked what flavour I wanted. As you can see on the menu they don't list the sauces. This is a big pet peeve of mine. It says tossed in my 'favorite sauce' , but I can tell you right now they don't serve my favourite, but that's not to say these aren't any good. It's just, put them on there. Because, there are 10 flavours to choose from. 10. And Tanya did list them all off, but she shouldn't have to.


So I went with two orders of wings. Tanya went away, and in the amount of time for me to set up my tablet and note pad to do some work, my wings were at the table. Woah.


The wings come by the pound, which is about 7 or 8 wings. There's also a pretty equal mix of flats and drums.


The menu says that the wings come with veggies and house made ranch dip, but there wasn't any on the side. I assume that is because it is wing night. Tanya also brought me a bone plate, napkins, and a wetnap for clean up.


These wings were a very decent size. They were about a medium+ to large wing in length, but they were also pretty meaty which made some of them pretty plump.


They are also breaded and deep fried, but unfortunately were not crispy. That really bummed me out because, well they could have been really really good wings. The meat was very tender and the wings easily pulled apart from the bone. Almost too tender. The wings were cooked, but I wondered if a few more minutes in the fryer wouldn't have improved everything.

The sauce coverage was pretty good as well. Most wings were wet and fully covered, but there were some that didn't get tossed enough and there wasn't a lot of extra at the bottom.



I had mulled over my sauce choices, but I went simple with one order of Hot and one of their BBQ.



HOT

So the hot was good, but it wasn't anything special. Just classic cayenne hot sauce (probably Frank's). Just simple hot wings.



BBQ

When the BBQ came, I really liked the look of it. It looked sticky and viscous. The flavour was unlike other BBQ sauces I've had, which was very sweet. Like, almost like how jam is sweet. A fruity sweet. I asked Tanya and she told me it was homemade, but that it was spicy. I didn't find this spicy in any way. It was good, but I liked having the hot to contrast with this sweet wing.




FINAL SCORE:

For $3 for a pound of wings, you can't go wrong here. Yes you don't get the frills of sides or dip and you are going to have to fight some crowds, but these wings are a good size and have some good sauce. I wish the wings were crispier, but if you come on non-wing night I'm sure they are better. You can also probably order them a bit crispier too, but maybe not on wing night. I'll definitely go back, especially with the great service and the cheap wings. 9.5/15

Moose McGuire's Pub & Grill
Ottawa ON (Hunt Club location)
moosemcguiresottawa.com




Thursday, 12 September 2019

LOST REVIEW - McLEAN's PUB ~ Montreal QC



It's #throwbackthursday and another LOST REVIEW!


I haven't done a Lost Review in a long time. This one is from June 2013 when I was in Montreal for a work conference. I took full advantage of sampling all sorts of food that Montreal has to offer. In this case, I had read online that Pub McLean's, or McLean's Pub in English, had good wings, so I went to check it out.

I sat on the patio, ordered hot wings and onion rings. The wings came with veggies and blue cheese dip too! No, no that's sour cream. Bah.

 I think the wings were pretty decent, but I don't remember so much. 

C'est bon? Oui. I guess.












Wednesday, 11 September 2019

ROYAL OAK - Centerpointe, OTTAWA ON


This is part of my #lotwsummercatchup from back in June.

Part of that summer catch up isn't just being late on reviews, but continues my trend of returning to places I reviewed like 10 years ago. In this case, I was going back to the Royal Oak, a pub chain you can find all over the city. The last time I had wings at a Royal Oak was back in 2008, and I was not impressed. But a few months ago, fellow wingstagrammer @ottawawings posted about the Royal Oak, and I was surprised there had been some upgrades since I was there over 10 years ago. Ever since I have been tempted to go back.


So I did, but not to the Westboro location. I checked out the Centrepointe location. The place looked familiar, and then I realized, this was formerly Marshy's - an old sports bar that had AYCE wings. I went in, and it looked exactly the same as I remembered it. Well almost.


At the time, they were having a Lobsterfest event on and they had decorated an under the sea theme to the place. It was a beautiful start to summer, so the patio was packed. I went inside and the bar area was busy, but the pack portion of the pub was empty. My server was the bartender, and he was busy but told me to grab a seat where I wanted. I took a booth with a nice view.


I had done some research and knew that on this day it was wing night. and I was happy to see it reinforced on a card at my table. But the bartender, who was always in a hurry, didn't mention it. He went through the Lobsterfest spiel and drinks specials, but nothing about the wings. He took my drink order and then he was gone for a while.

When he came back finally,  I asked to confirm about wing night and he said yes. He asked if I wanted breaded or not. I asked for an order of Hot, and he tried to go. I then said I also wanted an order of Cajun, and he tried to leave. I finally got in the side of Extreme, but he left before I could ask for House dip instead of sour cream. Oh well.



I was also excited to see advertisement for Hot Ones wings and trivia. It seemed like a cool event; I only wish I could have gone. I wasn't there long when another server brought me my wing fest and I could get started.




When I had Royal Oak wings back in 2008, they were small, scrawny, and not great. I was pleasantly surprised to see things had improved.



Wings come in orders by the pound, with there being about 9 wings in an order. There is a fairly equal split between flats and drums. No veggies or sides came with the wings, but there was dip. As mentioned above, I didn't get a chance to ask for my own choice, so they brought out the sour cream. I'm very curious what the House dip would have been.


The wings had definitely been upgraded since 2008. These wings were breaded and deep fried, giving them a very crunchy coating. They were a medium in length, a nice size, and were relatively meaty to their size.



The skin was nice and crispy, but the meat was a bit dried out unfortunately. They were a bit of work to eat, and to tear apart the bones.


I went with my go-to double order, Hot, Cajun Dusted, side of Suicide (or in this case, Extreme). The hot wings were clearly tossed in sauce, but it was partially absorbed into the breading and didn't leave any excess wetness, but the Cajun was dusted well.



HOT

This wasn't a wet wing or a dry wing. You could tell there was a simple hot sauce in there, but it wasn't bold or anything exciting. Decent hot wings. I would ask for extra sauce next time.



CAJUN DUSTED

These were seasoned very well, and they weren't just using a commercial Cajun mix. This rub was full of chilis, spices, garlic etc.


They must have been tossed in a bit of oil with the spices which was great. I like that extra love. These were tasty, spice flavoured, and garlicky. It was good, but wouldn't want just an order of these on their own without side sauce or dip. I would dip them in the Extreme, and then into the sour cream, which wasn't a bad combo.



EXTREME

This was 3rd Degree sauce - good old reliable 3rd Degree suicide. Nice bite, but nothing homemade either.




FINAL SCORE:

Well, the Royal Oak has certainly upped their wing game over the years. There's a bit more love, but it's not all love. The wings are bigger, breaded, and there's some interesting flavours here. The wings were on the verge of being too tough, but I still had a good meal. Everything is overpriced on the menu, including the wings, but with two wing nights, it makes up for it.


Royal Oak
117 Centrepointe Dr (and other locations)
royaloakpubs.com


Impractical Jokers - Sal Steals with Straw from Wing Eating Dude

#lotwsummercatchup

I'm behind.



So summer 2019 was really busy and went by fast. I wish I could say it was vacation and fun, but it wasn't. Well I did get on a trip to Quebec city and we stayed at a friend's cottage for a night. But the summer was filled with starting a new job (that is very time consuming), having a vehicle break down, then buying a new one, on the road seeing family, going for LJ's work, and just life and home stuff.

I still ate wings and prepared to review them, I'm just behind. For all summer. June, July, August. 3 months is a lot, so I'm going to try and do some catch up work. So when you see my hashtag #lotwsummercatchup, it's a slightly outdated review. But better late than never right?

Monday, 9 September 2019

#nonwingsunday = Perogies with all the Fix'ns


This was a favourite comfort food when I was working and living at UofT. They would have these style of perogies, and then a tray of fried onions and bacon, and sour cream. I would then go to the condiment station and sriaracha them up, and it's just so good.

How do you do up your perogies?

#fryday = BBQ Sauce Breaded Pizza Pizza Wings

Eating Wings at a Crashed Work Party


My wife's office had a summer party (yes, at the end of the summer) and while they went and did some fun team building first (escape room), spouses were invited to the post food and drink at the Barley Mow in Westboro. Dinner's on the house, but they also have an appetizer spread - but what I took notice of, was the wings!


The wings were just straight up deep fried and left naked. They had 3 sauces on the side: Thai, Honey Garlic, and Hot. The wings were super crispy/crunchy and were actually good just as they were. I shun honey garlic, and had no interest in the Thai, so I just doused them in hot. This hot was not just regular Frank's, but was thick and velvety and really good. I almost didn't get a main meal because I would just feast on wings, but I didn't want to be greedy. I got a Caesar salad instead, which was huge, creamy, and despite not being that hungry, I demolished it.

At the end of the night, there was still wings left, so ...


Ya, I was pretty pumped about that.


Also should note, the Barley Mow has changed their wing night, it's still Thursdays, but it's only from 8pm-close. Bummer.