Saturday, 26 August 2006

End of Summer Wings

What a terrible way to end the summer cooking fest that was this summer.
For the last week or so I was excited as I had about 1 pound of wings that I have kept in the freezer marinating in Frank's Red Hot. I had planned to cook them up earlier in the week but Training this week not only provided food, but when I had time off, no energy to cook. I also haven't had wings since Taste of the Danforth, and that wasn't a real wing experience.

After filming in Milton all day for ATGI (see HERE) I came back, thawed the wings and prepped the dusting. I cooked 4 of the wings in my wok and 4 in the oven. I also had 4 different types of sauce I wanted to use. Two classics, Frank's Extra Red Hot and PC Buffalo Wing Sauce. I also tried out 2 other sauces:

3rd Degree Sauce (and yes, I just realized I'm showing the french side)

And "PAIN 100%", a gift from Dude.

The Frank's and 3rd Degree was combined with a bit of margarine to give it a classic Buffalo feel. I also cooked up some hashbrowns. It was a long day and a long time cooking so by the time everything was finished, I was ready to eat.

The first wing I bit into was the PAIN sauce. I could barely eat the wing. This wasn't so much because of the heat (it was hot) but because I nearly vomited. I think the reason for this was when I was in Ottawa and Dude gave me the sauce: I took 2 full shots glasses full of the sauce straight up. Oh there was a burn, and the flavour was good. But me thinks my stomach protests just enough. I'm keeping the sauce, it is good, but its on the side burners for a while.

The Frank's wings were ok, but the sauce to margarine ratio was off. These wings were not great. The PC sauce wings were better, but not by much. Only the 3rd Degree wings turned out half decent.

So the wings were a failure. Don't get me wrong, these are good sauces, but something went wrong today when I was cooking the wings. I also whipped up a special chocolate milk I made last week, only to find it didn't turn out well either.

On top of all that, there was no taste to the marinade and the potatoes weren't that great either. What a crappy dinner and a crappy way to end the Summer of the Wing. I guess I'm going to have to go out and do a review at a better place.

Today is a sad day in the Wing Kingdom.

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Cannibal Waiter

Someone submitted this to The caption read:

"Did those wings taste a little bit rubbery to you guys?"

What I want to know is, where's the nearest Buffalo Wild Wings that I can go to, and is it cannibal free?

Sunday, 13 August 2006

The Toronto Star reviews DUFF's

Nee left me a message to check out the Toronto Star today as there was a wing review. I found on their website the review below sans photo, so I added one of my own and a couple I found on the internet. I don't think the review was worthy of Duff's, and it seems to come out of no where, but as long as someone is spreading the word about the greatness of the wings. You know, besides me HERE.

Duff's Famous Wings Aug. 13, 2006. 01:00 AM

AHEAD OF THE FLOCK: The wings produced by this sister restaurant to the iconic 63-year-old Amherst, N.Y., buffalo-wing joint of the same name are as crispy as potato chips and stay that way in all kinds of sauces. These were also the stickiest wings, as evidenced by the orange stains in my notebook and the many napkins and wet naps tossed into the bucket with the bones.

HOW HOT IS THE HOT? The fire truck sirens and flashing lights the staff flip on whenever someone orders the `Armageddon' isn't just a gimmick — it's a fair warning. Those pepper seeds your mom always said could burn your eye are sprinkled all over the thing.

Hy Erlich, who owns the restaurant with his twin brother Rob, said it took months to come up with a secret combination of "the hottest peppers in the world" to satisfy those manly men who always ask "don't you have anything hotter?" If you're one of those obnoxious louts, this'll do ya. If you're not, stay far, far away.

(Enoying Super Hot and Spicy BBQ over a year ago - look at that jumbo juicy wing!)

Duff's Famous Wings, 1604 Bayview Ave. (north of Davisville Ave.), 416-544-0100. Open Monday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday noon to 11 p.m.

Taste of the Danforth

Today ends the three day festival that foodies everywhere in Toronto flock to get all their food on a stick needs: TASTE of the DANFORTH.

Held in the cultural enclave known as Greek Town, this 12 year old festival started as a showcase for Greek food and culture has blossomed to encompass food from all over the world. With an attendance of over a million, it is one of the largest street festivals in North America.

For the most part, the many restaurants on the Danforth simply set up booths on the sidewalk selling food and drink for $3-5 from soulvlaki to tacos and curry to sushi. But the baklava is still the king here.

I headed out on Saturday afternoon with my Visitor Centre/Film buddy Christy, and her friend from School up in Thunder Bay. The grilling little birds above was a MUST for Christy (where can I get a rotisserie like that?) who was definitely happy with her quail hunt.

So amongst the wondering amongst this food fest, yes I found CHICKEN WINGS. Now I can't do a real review, but here's a mini-one.

At first I just saw a sign for Ribs and Wings - went over and ordered. I then asked Christy to take a pic in front . . . Gabby's. I was not expecting a chain pub, but if I gotta eat these wings, I gotta, right? Gabby's was a common haunt in undergrad, but its been a long time since I've been back for their wings.

I got 6 sopping wings for $5. I had the choice of Hot or Honey Garlic, and come on, we all know Honey Garlic isn't a real wing.

The taste was common Buffalo style - no heat, but a ton of taste. The wings were cooked well (I had the taste of a well deep fried skin that brings me back to old fashion American wings). They may have been sitting in a heating pan, but damn were they good.

After a long day of walking around, tasting food and enjoying the great weather, I officially have to declare Taste of the Danforth a success.

And, I've been reminded I need to get back to Gabby's some time soon. Thumbs up on these road wings!

Friday, 11 August 2006

Justin'Times Flamingo Wing Review

Apparantly I wasn't the only one with a hankering for some wings tonight. Justin was all over baked wings. And I really like his baking rack!

Another frozen brand tested out, and one that I had never heard of: Flamingo Buffalo Wings (Spicy Flavour).

nutrition facts for 4 wings:
calories 210fat 13g --> 4 saturated....0.1 trans
cholesterol --> 70 mg
carbs 5g --> fibre 0, sugar 2g
sodium 70 mg
protein 19 g
vit A 2%
calcium 2%
iron 8%

heat the oven at 425 10 min then flip for another 10 min
cost: free....cause my parents paid

Justin said:
"u know i had low hopes cause they weren't that big and not breaded but they turned out really well - they weren't spicy - there was a kick. maybe a juvinille would not be able to eat them due to their spice but a seasoned wing vet would put this between bbq and hot hot at the most"

So they were small, not hot, but they look great and it caused Justin to collapse because of the flavour (see HERE).

Flamingo Buffalo Wings

Thursday, 10 August 2006

RECIPE: Dry Wings V1.0

The night before, I was planning on going out for wings with Nee & Rayzor, however they suggested that Rayzor cook (which turned out to be a good idea after I checked my bank account out). The food was excellent (see a few pics HERE), but tonight I needed to have wings.

I pulled the second last ziplock bag of wings I have in the freezer from my big 5 pound purchase from a while ago. There was 2 bags to choose from: bag with hot sauce marinade, or plain. I figured the last bit of wings I cook up for the summer (before its back to the Caf wings) should be the hot and spicy, so tonight, it was experimenting time with the plain.

With 8 wings to test out, I decided to make 4 different dry rubs to coat these wings:


1) ALL FLAVOUR (Big silver bowl): corn meal, sweet paprika, all dressed popcorn seasoning
2) WET DRY (small silver bowl): corn meal, 3rd Degree sauce, chili powder
3) CHIP DIP (small white bowl left): corn meal, cool ranch popcorn seasoning, salt'n'pepper popcorn seasoning
4) DILLICIOUS (white bowl right): dill weed, dill popcorn seasoning

I thawed the wings, washed them, patted them dry, then rolled them in the seasoning. Into the toaster oven at approx 350 and it was only a matter of time till they were done.


The question was, how were they going to taste?

First, the CHIP DIP wings, named because I used Dorito flavouring and Salt & vinegar. These wings turned out the best of all. Crunchy coating but flavour of the seasoning was definitely there.

Second, the DILLICIOUS wings, named for the dill flavouring, was decent, but it seriously needs the dusting with corn meal or flour or something. If the wings were deep fried instead of baked, that would also help. Definitely to be made again.

Finally, WETDRY (named because I used both wet and dry ingredients) & ALL FLAVOUR (named for the All Dressed seasoning) were both semi-disappointing. On their own, they were nothing special. I ended up tossing on some hot sauce. Essentially this was a weak tasting dusting of the wing. Better than if the wings were in sauce without dusting, but not worth eating on their own.

In the end, I will continue to work on the dill and chip wings, but the others, there's no need.

Tuesday, 8 August 2006

Ottawa & Back: ELEPHANT & CASTLE

After 26 years of being Ottawa’s favourite neighbourhood pub for dining, drinking, and gathering the beloved Elephant & Castle® is saying Goodbye! We want to sincerely thank our many guests over the years for your continued support and patronage. We have all made fond memories within these old walls, and it is with a eavy heart that we close the doors.
The staff and management wish you all a warm and wonderful summer.See you soon!
We have a great new concept opening in the Fall. Hope to see then!" Elephant & Castle Website.

For the Simcoe Day long weekend, I tagged along with Bramanda as they headed to the far East, Ottawa to visit Dude. Having been there several times now, I'm loving the city and enjoy taking the opportunity to sample what our nation's capital has to offer in the way of wings.

Spending a lot of time in Byward Market, the entertainment area of O-Town, we hit a recognizable and close by chain to fill our hungry bellies. We went to the upper-scale pub,
Elephant & Castle.

I am most familiar with the E&C on Yonge street Toronto, which has a classy, bank feel to the place. In a small way, it reminds me of Ghostbuster headquarters. The E&C we went to on this day was found partly in a mall, but did not look like it at all. We all enjoyed the environment of the place, and the window to the mall gave us front row seats to see 2 fleeing punk teenagers get nailed by security and taken away in cuffs.

It was time to get down to business and I ordered the wings with a side of mashed potato.


SIZE of WINGS: medium
HEAT: 4/10
PRICE: $10 for 1 pound (approx 10 wings), add another pound for $8


SAUCE CHOICE: only one "hot", but its not
SIDES: veggies and blue cheese dip
WETNAP: nope
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED, BATTERED: deep fried (it says so on the menu)
OTHER: none

Breaking things down into their simplest form, these wings were decent. They weren't great, but they weren't bad either. The sauce on the wings had a nice flavour that is like a Buffalo sauce but not quite but no heat what so ever. They weren't big, but they weren't small either.

I also ordered mashed potatoes on the side, and thats where I should have left them, on the side. They looked good, but they were what I define as a plain mashed potato. I prefer, on the other hand, whipped potatoes. These were simply boiled potato with the skins left on. Brad got the fish and chips, which turned out to be large, white and wonderfully flakey fish. Dude got a great Union Jack Burger, and Amanda got a supposedly thin sliced eggplant sandwich, which was very thick and inconsumable.

After tallying up my bill, I was not impressed with the price for these decent wings. If you need a wing fix, and there's only an Elephant and Castle around, they will tide you over. But if you need to be satisfied, keep looking. 3/5

The Elephant and Castle ~ Pub and Restaurant
50 Rideau Street Ottawa (and other cities)

Tuesday, 1 August 2006


*** Reilly's is now CLOSED ~ RIP ***

Six years ago I moved to the big city for school, where I met a lot of new people. One of those new people knew people at another school and introduced me. This was my first experience with Ryerson people. These people introduced me to 2 chicken wing phenomena:

1) The Ram in the Rye suicide wings (where my friend actually got people to watch me eat the formerly incredible wings). 2) Went with some Rye theatre students to their regular Thursday night hang out: Reilly's on Yonge. Its been about the six years since I was there, but so many times I have walked past and been tempted by the daily advertisement of $0.39 wings. Today, I caved.

Up the stairs to the second floor (the third floor is dancing at night) into the empty bar I went. I took perch at one of the window seats (seen in picture above) where I had a great view of the Yonge street. I took a quick look at the menu which was full of inexpensive fair and of course went with the wings (one price $0.39 all the time) . I also got an order of potato wedges. The very friendly waitress happily took my order, and within 10 mins, my lunch was served (the advantage of having no other patrons in the restaurant).


SIZE of WINGS: PIGEON WINGS!!! tiny tiny tiny
HEAT: hot: 5/10, suicide 5.5/10
PRICE: $o.39 per wing


SAUCE CHOICE: mild/medium/hot/suicide/bbq
SIDES: one celery stick and one carrot stick with blue cheese dip
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED, BATTERED: deep friend the traditional way
WING NIGHT: every day is wing day
OTHER: great view!!!

When it came to the wings, there were some good things, and some bad things:

Wings were full of flavour, deep fried and sauced in the traditional Buffalo style. I loved the taste.
The suicide on the side was pepper sauce and it wasn't even hot.
PIGEON WINGS! They were so small, they easily were bite size.

The pictures don't really convey how small they were, but they were small. And at $0.39 each, they weren't that good a deal. But as I was eating them, I was totally taken back to childhood and eating Jaco's wings in Niagara Falls NY. I wished there was more sauce on the wings as what they did have was good, but not great.
I also got potato wedges on the side, which were a great side addition. They bread them then deep fry - giving the potato a crunch that sets them apart from your regular wedge.

So how did Reilly's rack up in the end? They get points for flavour and appearance, but they lost major points on size and not enough sauce. 2.5 out of 5 wings.
Reilly's Restaurant
340 Yonge Street, Toronto