Sunday, 30 April 2006

Return to WingHouse

A few days late, just a quick update on The original Wing House. Had a delightful evening with Nee and Ray. We decided to take in wing night. The place was pretty empty, which is sad on a wing night.

I had been recovering from a digestive virus and was cautious of trying a hotter version of Home of the Brave sauce, but after seeing Ray's enthusiasm, I decided to go for it. Ray was discouraged by the owner when trying to order a flavour combo, and ended up with the same as me, Home of the Brave with Suicide (last time I tried homicide). I was thoroughly disappointed with the heat (barely a tingle) but thankfully the flavour is soooo good. Ray went on to get another order of wings, the Johnny Knoxville bbq wings, which I wouldn't order on my own. They had a sour flavour to them that just didn't do it for me.
More down sides included Nee's chicken fingers, which were just your regular store bought frozen chicken fingers (but the fries were good), no beer on tap, still no debit/visa, but they were in the process of hiring more staff.

Overall, the wings are still good and I always want more. But Wing House still needs a lot of improvement.

Sunday, 16 April 2006


[PLEASE NOTE: Biddy Mulligans has entered the Dead Pool and is now closed. RIP]
(not the actual restaurant front, but close - is this global chain?)

After a long morning of hitting the streets apartment hunting, running on no food, Dude and I needed to re-fuel. We were in what is called Centretown and started pub hunting. One pub was closed. Then we went to "Wings & Subs" (or some such name) but it was too sketch. We ended up at Biddy Mulligan's, and boy was that the right choice!

As the saying goes, 'if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it must be a duck'. Biddy's walked like a pub, quacks like a pub, yeah it was a pub. The biggest highlight was our waitress, a Scottish lass who was super friendly (taking time to show Dude good places to look to live in in Ottawa).

I didn't get wings by themselves, I got a platter, which is supposed to be for 2, but I say 4. I had so much leftovers, I had them for 3 more 'meals' for the rest of the weekend!


SIZE of WINGS: large
HEAT: hot 8/10, suicide 6/10 (yes you read that right)
PRICE: $8 for 10 wings, $17 for 'nearly 3 pounds', $12 for my platter


SAUCE CHOICE: mild/medium/hot/suicide (didn't write the rest down, sorry!)
SIDES: it was a platter, hard to guess
WETNAP: 2!!!!
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED, BATTERED: dusted, then deep fried
WING NIGHT: none advertised
OTHER: great platter!

I went straight to the wings on this bad boy platter. These dusted wings were slightly cooked too long (a little charred tasted) but overall meaty, juicy and hot. The sauce was 3rd Degree (I'd recognize it anywhere!), so it had a flavourful bite. The suicide on the other hand was a dark, almost looking like a balsamic vinegar and pan 'jus' with some pepper, and it tasted . . . well like not much at all. It was less hot than the "hot". Again, I was glad I ordered it on the side.

The platter itself was great. Onion rings, zucchini sticks, potato skins, chicken fingers and wings, with plum sauce, sour cream, and ranch dipping sauces. As I said, this was for 2 people, but it was just a mountain of food. Dude ordered a sub I almost ordered first, Steak/Ham/Bacon with mozzarella melted on top, with fries (which were also good). It too was a monster of a sandwich.

So in the end, Biddy's was your standard pub, friendly waitress, good wings and great platter and sub. If I was craving a lot of food, I would definitely be hitting this place in our nations capital.

Biddy Mulligan's Pub
303 Bank Street

Ottawa Wings Part I - DERRINGER's SALOON


Oh Canada!

On last minute notice, Dude got a job in Ottawa and needed to go up to find an apartment. Needing some assistance navigating, looking at places, as well as just keeping company - I thought I would come along and check out our nation's capital and see what it could offer for wings.

Before getting to checking out the wings, I have to say I loved Ottawa. Driving was a breeze through the city, taking maybe 20 mins to get from one side to another and not because its a small city, but that it just seems to do traffic right. Also, the people were so friendly, giving it the "City with a Small Town Feel" quote I kept hearing true as possible. However, Ottawa being so far away does make me feel living in Toronto IS the centre of the universe. Sorry Dude, there isn't going to be much visiting.
On to the wing hunt!

Just before leaving for Ottawa, I did a quick Google search for "best wings" in Ottawa, which led me to THIS site, as well as HERE, to keep some meal options open. Believing this individual's information about a Friday night wing night (or every night cheap wings) Dude and I headed of to Derringer's Saloon.

Finding the place was waaaaaay easier than we thought, and free parking in the city over the weekend was great. The area was a bit of a dive, but we didn't let that stop us. Derringer's was relatively empty, but I really liked the 'saloon' feel. I was expecting a more stylish atmosphere ('Derringer' screams 1930's gangster to me) but the large Tex-Mex menu made up for that. The question was, would the wings?

SIZE of WINGS: small
HEAT: 5/10 for hot, 7/10 for suicide
WET NAP FACTOR: 4/5, very wet but not soggy
PRICE: $7 for about 10

SAUCE CHOICE: mild/medium/hot/suicide (one or two others, I can't remember, sorry!)
SIDES: none
WETNAP: yes 1, and it was needed
WING NIGHT: Wednesdays (not everyday as advertised on websites), don't know the value

Ok my biggest disappointment was the fact that the wings were not on special for 35 cents a piece. Thats fine, I can pay full price. But the fact that these wings were kind of small made me disappointed in the cost of the wings, especially with no veggies and dip on the side.

I have become more and more cynical about wing sauce in my years, so to be safe, I ordered Hot, with a side of Suicide - and my intuition was right. The hot was not a bad flavour, it had a hint of BBQ, but that peppery flavour was dominant and thus did not make me so happy. The suicide was VERY similar ti the 'killer suicide' of The Wing Machine (I haven't reviewed them yet!) which is almost a paste, and even more peppery. And loyal readers know my feelings on substituting heat through pepper.
The wings were saucy, yet maintained their crispness. 

Other highlights of dinner included an EXCELLENT poutine and Dude got a giant, tasty Taco Salad (see LOTW photo album for more pics). We also witnessed a delicious smelling fajita that sizzled on a plate past us to another table.

So my final review, for great Tex-Mex and wonderful poutine, Derringer's Saloon. As for the sign that said "Voted Best Wings & Beans", I didn't try the beans, but the wings, you could pass on.

Derringer's Saloon
99 Montreal Rd.Ottawa
(613) 745-8188

Friday, 7 April 2006

Humpty Dumpty Buffalo Wing Chips

Planning to do some hanging out this Friday night, Nee and I decided to get some snacks. Looking at the snacks in the convinience store, I came across the following bag:

"Buffalo Wing" chips eh Humpty Dumpty? Why not. Actually they also had "Spicy Wing" flavour as well, which was tempting, but that can be tried another day. Question, is it sad to get a bag of wing flavoured chips just to do a review for your blog???

THE SCORE (revised for chips)

SIZE of CHIPS: mostly large, except for broken ones
HEAT: for a chip, 8/10
WET NAP FACTOR: 2/5 for grease
PRICE: got 2 bags of chips for $5 at Mac's


CHOICE: Buffalo Wing, Spicy Wing

I'm often skeptical with Humpty Dumpty chips. They are often a cheaper brand and rarely pack a lot of flavour. However, upon arriving home, it was first a surprise that they were rippled (rippled often have more seasoning in my opinion). Second, as chicken wing chips, they were 'on the jazz'.

These chips actually had a bite. A little numbing of the lips after eating just a few? There are some joints that serve suicide wings weaker than these! The taste is a combonation of bbq and salt & vinegar, which gives it a spicy, tangy taste.

So if you can't get your favourite wings or your looking for a more traditional party snack, Humpty Dumpty's Buffalo Wing chips are a great spicy alternative.

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

The Original WINGHOUSE

(The Original Winghouse is NOW CLOSED)
Ladies & Gentleman, in this corner, the heavy weight wing champion of Toronto: Duff's Famous Wings. And in the other corner, new to the scene, the contender, The Original Winghouse.

Lets get ready to rumble

And rumble we shall. First of all, I have to thank Hannah for telling me about the poorly advertised Original Winghouse (OWH). Thank you. Thank you. thank you thank you thank you. When she told me about OWH I was skeptical but excited: I've been in Toronto for nearly 6 years now, and Duff's (still to be reviewed here) has been the top wing joint. But a new wing place in town meant I may have another chance at tasting greatness.

There are some ups and some downs though, don't get me wrong. First, Dude and I went to check this place out for lunch, only to find its not open for lunch on weekdays. Right. Second, I was not a fan of the wicker chairs for sitting. They are great for relaxing in, but not serious wing eating. Other problems included no delivery, no website, and they do not accept credit cards or debit. OWH lost some points for these features. But, lets get on to the good stuff: the wings!


SIZE of WINGS: medium to small
HEAT: my flavour combo was about a 5/10, but I ordered conservatively
WET NAP FACTOR: depends on your sauce choice, but 4/5 for mine, perfect
PRICE: 10 wings ($6.95), 20 ($12.95), 30 ($18.95), 40 ($24.95), 50 ($30.95), 100 ($54.95)


SAUCE CHOICE: OVER 90 flavours!!!! and you can mix and match. click HERE & HERE
I went for "Home of the Brave" with "Homicide"
SIDES: 1 celery stick and 1 carrot stick with ranch dip, sit in only
WETNAP: none, but paper towel-like napkins
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED, BATTERED: lightly dusted in flour, then deep fried
WING NIGHT: Tuesdays - Buy 10, get 5 free
OTHER: great pepsi (for pepsi that is), bone bowl, and EXCELLENT service

These wings were amazing - and I don't use that term very often. First, one of the two guys running the place was quick to explain what the 90 different sauces were. He asked what kind of flavour I was looking for and customized my order. We also talked to another owner(?) who talked to us about the place, the wings etc. These guys care about wings, and it shows.

I asked for a Buffalo-style sauce with kick, and it was suggested I get the "Home of the Brave" sauce taken up a notch with the "Homicide" sauce. The result: pure chicken wing goodness. The sauce had a small kick (just a bit of numbing of the lips) but the flavour was so wonderful, I was almost euphoric. The meat basically fell off the bone. The sauce was syrupy and stuck to the wings, like 3rd Degree sauce, not a Frank's butter sauce.

We had had a late lunch, so Dude only tried one wing, which he found spicy, but he also could not get over how good it was. "How good could it be?" you ask, well, we almost went back later that night, and if Dude was sick (unrelated illness) today, we probably would have gone back.

OWH still has some things to improve on to come into its own, but Duff's and other wing places definitely have some competition . . .

The original WINGHOUSE
1063 Bloor Street West, Toronto

See HERE & HERE for menu and more pics

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

The WOLF & the FIRKIN ~ Toronto ON

What a night. Exciting, meh, not so much. But the food - oh the food!

It was a busy day with Dude down, and after a late and very unsatisfying lunch, did not feel like having supper. I was left finishing a paper for class, and fortunately my regular Monday night meeting was cancelled. Off to class to talk about codecs and film compression - and done by 9:30, I was starved. Dude was the same.

We were both feeling open and picky about where to eat. And after agreeing that we wouldn't go to a pub, 5 minutes later, we were headed to the Wolf and the Firkin (and for you smart cats out there, yes, the Firkin's are a chain of pubs).

First, the Firkin's are a chain of pubs found mainly in the GTA. They all look the same, serve basically the same food, but they all inhabit different buildings, each having its own unique atmosphere. The food can be hit and miss once and a while, but over all, you can expect a decent meal.

The Wolf and the Firkin was just what we needed. It was a late dinner, so there wasn't a huge crowd. Our waiter was very friendly and quick to serve us. I looked over the specials for the evening, not quite convinced I would get wings (actually I was thinking of getting their Spicy Chicken Sandwich - or basically a Buffalo Chicken sandwich). There were Curry Wings on special, but something else caught my eye. I didn't know if it was just a Monday night special, and I knew it wasn't something I would regularly order, but tonight, the Ribs and Wings just spoke to me. And boy, was I on the money.

NOTE: Normally I would review the joint based on a full order of wings, but the Rib and Wing combo should not taint the review at all.


SIZE of WINGS: small to medium
HEAT: 4/10 for the suicide
PRICE: approx $9 (1 pound), $17 (2 pounds) [approx 7-10 wings in a pound]


SAUCE CHOICE: mild/medium/hot/honey garlic/Cajun/suicide/sweet chili style
SIDES: fries and Firkin dip (dill dip)
WETNAP: 1 wetnap given with napkins
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED, BATTERED: fried fried fried
WING NIGHT: Curry Wings on Monday for $7.99, there are other specials but I forgot! Sorry!

Although they weren't big, the wings were tasty. Suicide was not; maybe a medium if that. They were a peppery sauce, which in my opinion is a cop out on making it spicier. I want fire, not pepper. A bigger wing would be appretiated, but the juicy wings and the a nice amount of sauce makes up for it.

The ribs were an unusual choice for me. I usually only get ribs at Ribfest in London when I can sample from the best. But tonight, the whole combo spoke to me. The ribs weren't quite fall off the bone, but near it, and the sauce was a great hickory smokey bbq. The wings and the ribs together: wonderful. With a side of crispy fries and dill dip: magnifique! What a great combo, and for $11, a great price.

Dude got the nacho's with beef and at first sight I was hesitant; I so didn't think they would work. Was I wrong. These were the best nachos I've tasted in a long time. If your getting the nachos here, get the ground beef please. And it comes with guacamole, what should be a restaurant standard for nachos surprisingly isn't, but here it is here.

So over all, it might have been the hunger talking, but the Wolf and the Firkin certainly hit the spot.

The Wolf and the Firkin
43 Elm Street, Toronto

Saturday, 1 April 2006


It was inevitable: living in rez, late at night on a Friday AND trying to avoid work: a classic university call for pizza was in store. Who else else are you going to call than Canada's #1 pizza, Pizza Pizza?

Ok, so Pizza Pizza is not the best pizza out there. It is generic, it is cheap, it is everywhere and it does have a lot of selection. I know there are a lot of people who rag on Pizza Pizza, but its always been there when I needed them. Since Juliana and I were both sucessfully avoiding work and needed a late night bite, this classic take-out pizza seemed to be in order. And if I'm going to have pizza, well, why not have some wings to boot!


SIZE of WINGS: medium to small
HEAT: 2/10 not hot at all
WET NAP FACTOR: pour your own sauce
(I could have ordered with sauce, but wanted to try the new flavour)
PRICE: $4.99 (6), $6.99 (10), $12.99 (20), $18.99 (30)


SAUCE CHOICE: Blue Cheese/Honey Garlic/Honey Mustard/Hot/Mild/Plum/Sweet Chili Thai/Texas BBQ (I went with hot)
SIDES: none, unless you order sides
WETNAP: none, not even napkins
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED, BATTERED: Baked with choices of: classic/lightly breaded/cripsy breaded/zesty breaded (I went Zesty)
WING NIGHT: none, its a delivery pizza

They had a new type of wing, "Zesty Breaded", how could I resist? I normally get the sauce mixed in, but I wanted to taste the 'zesty'. Well to be honest, they were weak in flavour. Ok, there was a hint of 'zest' almost a lemon flavour (I guess), and then I doused them in hot sauce (which was good, but not hot at all). However, these were the best wings I have had from Pizza Pizza. They were meaty with breading, and I think anyone could handle the heat of these wings.

As for the pizza itself, went with the New York style Pepperoni pizza. This is what Juliana had to say about that:

"It was....yummy. Tasted like pepperonies.......and cheese. However, there was a lack of precision in the cutting of the pieces which made things slightly complicated."

The pepperoni was thicker than usual, and as Juliana pointed out, it tasted more like a pepperoni stick than their regualar meat spheres. Would I get it again? Probably. Oh and of course, Creamy Garlic Dipping Sauce, *drool* so good.

Jane stopped in to try and Steal Julina's slice!

While I wouldn't call Pizza Pizza for the wings alone, these wings were a good addition to a good pizza. Plus, we were all able to put off work for another night. Thanks Pizza Pizza, you came through once again.

Pizza Pizza
Various Locations