Saturday, 30 September 2006

Hurricane's Roadhouse - Windsor ON

NOTE: this review is well over a week old

On a recent much needed break from Rez, I took a short vacation to Windsor to visit LJ. Excited about being in Windsor on a Monday night (I know, how many people are excited to be in Windsor) because so many places there have Wing Nights on Monday. After sifting through possibly places to go to, LJ's recommendation of Hurricane's in Sandwich Town sounded like a great plan.

The place was packed. So much so that there was some hesitation and contemplation about staying here. But we were there, and with only about a 5-10 minute wait, we were sitting and I was ordering wings.

It was an interesting crowd: a mixture of students from Windsor U, a baseball team and middle aged locals. Looking around, they were all having wings. When LJ ordered chicken fingers, even the waitress said "you do know its wing night right?"

The menu presented a collection of sauce choices for my wings. I had to think about my wing choice (math confuses me) as it was 2-4-1 wings. I'm used to half price or all you can eat. So if I order 8 I get 16 right, but for the price of 8 wings? I hate math. So I ordered 16 wings and was rewarded with the bonus "do you want fries with each order, veggies and dip with each order, or one of each?" Well, not many places offer sides, especially on wing night, so half and half it was.


SIZE of WINGS: medium
HEAT: 6/10
PRICE: $7.95 for 8, $10.60 for 12, $17.85 for 22


SAUCE CHOICE: mild/medium/hot/furious/
gale force/honey garlic/Cajun/sticky hot
wedge fries or veggies and dip
WETNAP: yes 2
: dusted then deep fried
WING NIGHT: Monday Nights

So what were the two kinds of sauces I opted for? I went with hot - I had a negative feeling about the Furious sauce and I just went with my gut that it wouldn't be good. The other sauce I chose was Sticky Hot: honey garlic and hot mixed together. I know I know I broke a rule of the Fellowship, I had honey garlic, which isn't really a proper chicken wing. However, mixed with the hot sauce (and I'll be honest, I wanted BBQ, this was the closest thing) it was actually a sweet but spicy sauce. Literally sticky hot.

The wings were a medium in size (some smaller and some larger than others). The skin could have been crispier for my liking, but it was still good. There was just enough sauce on the wings, but the Sticky Hot ones were on the wedge fries that soaked away some of the sauce. LJ liked the chicken fingers, but it wasn't something she would go back there specifically for.

So what about me? Would I go back to Hurricane's Roadhouse for the wings? Well, this is how I would put it: if it were wing night, definetly. Another night of the week? Well Windsor has a lot of wing nights, I'd be willing to explore more.

3 out of 5 flappers

Hurricane's Roadhouse
3217 Sandwich Street
Windsor, Ontario

Friday, 22 September 2006


*Please NOTE: as of 2010 the Red Charcoal is in the Deadpool - RIP*
In my little neck of the woods there are lots of little eateries that come and go. There were about 10 Chinese restaurants when I first moved in 3 years ago, now there are about 8. There was a tasty Italian place that despite a petition, closed. A kebab place went out of business. There was also a location where there was a pizza joint that went under, to be taken over by a Quiznos, which also eventually went out of business. Then, just before the summer, that location began to show signs of renovation. What would go in there now? Another pizza joint? A Tim Hortens? And then one night a sign appeared and the place would be known as:

The name seemed exciting. A BBQ place perhaps? While its not guaranteed, BBQ often means wings. A few months later I actually went there with Dude, but alas, no wings on the menu. I did have an excellent chicken Caesar salad.

Fast forward to tonight, and with another visit by Nee, we decided to get some pub grub. But local pubs weren't appealing to us. For some reason, Red Charcoal came to mind, and with a quick look at the menu at, we were off. Although the place was completely empty, the decor was nice and the service friendly. However, despite the websites indication and a sign in their window, there was no wings on the menu.

The menu is full of great Italian dishes, appetizers and a lot of burger options (see below) but no wings. Confused, I asked our waiter. Wings, apparently, are on the finger food menu (more of a take-out menu in my opinion). Success! We have wing lift off!


SIZE of WINGS: medium, but a healthy medium
HEAT: 5/10 (for the side hot sauce)
WET NAP FACTOR: 3/5 for the wet wings
PRICE: $7.99 for 12, $13.99 25, $19.99 for 40


SAUCE CHOICE: mild, medium, hot and honey garlic (I think)
SIDES: dipping sauce (ranch, sour cream, etc)
WETNAP: none
WING NIGHT: there is one, but its a random special, not a particular night
OTHER: free refills on Pepsi!

Because the wings aren't on the regular menu, the waiter had some interest in describing what they offer. There are 3 styles of wings: baked wings (no sauce), wings "like everyone else has" as the waiter described - basically deep fried with sauce, and the wings he seemed to be most proud of, their KFC wings, also without sauce.

So how were they? Surprisingly good. I wasn't expecting much. In fact, I was expecting tiny wings. As for the flavours . . .

these were the weakest of the pack. There was no real coating of flavour to speak of. I used the sour cream (ya, I wouldn't put the two together normally) to dip, then sour cream and extra hot sauce I requested later.

Tasty. They didn't have any real heat to speak of. Could have been a bit more crispy. The sauce had a hint of a sweet bbq to it.

Thats how they described them, and thats how they tasted. Ok they weren't exactly the same, these were quite mild in relation to spices, but the texture and the hint of 7 herbs and spices was there. The unexpected surprise of the night.

Nee was shocked by her super fries and chicken fingers as well. We compared them to the Wing House chicken fingers, which were terrible and simple frozen. Although we thought these might be frozen chicken fingers, they were definetly high-end ones if they were. As Nee put it, "now this is what chicken fingers is supposed to look like."

For the non-wing lover, the menu here has lots of options. Most interestingly, the burger selection has some great favourites, as well as some crazy designs - fajita burger? craft macaroni burger (their spelling not mine)? Nutella burger?

So our experience at Red Charcoal was very good overall. Our waiter gave us privacy, but was more than happy to help or meet a request. We were even offered fruit salad on the house! But alas, we were both stuffed. Do I recommend the wings? I do and I recommend trying all three styles. So the food was good, the service good, the mood was good - so whats the problem?

The place was empty and thats how I usually see it - I'm afraid this place is going to suffer the curse of the pizza joint and Quiznos before it. So please, show some support, try the wings, or the fingers and prevent another tragedy of a small friendly restaurant from possible closure.

3.5 out of 5 flappers overall

Red Charcoal
138 Dundas Street West

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

THE CHESTNUT REPORT (the T is silent, bitch)

"Stop operating heavy machinery, because you're about to take two maximum strength tablets of Truthi Wings!"

One of the benefits of living in my rez is that I am guaranteed twice a month to be fed a chicken wing dinner. Tonight was one of those great nights. Although I have reviewed the Chestnut Tree (the fightin Chestnut Tree) wings before (HERE , HERE & HERE), I have decided to talk about them again because they are never the same twice, but they are always oh so good.

So welcome to

Part III of our 20 Part Series: Better Know a Chestnut Wing

The excellent kitchen staff at Chestnut strive to improve the student food experience, and the wing is a top priority. In the photo above, you can see Nathan, the Sous Chef for Chestnut (second from the right), who also designed the Suicide Sauce that is featured prominently in this review.

I sat down with Nathan (and by sitting down, I mean I talked to him through the kitchen window) about the wings and the sauce. First thing he did when he saw me was to get me my usual: "double order just wings, right?" Right. I like that they know the wing king when they see one.

Yesterday he gave me the number of wings they cook up in one night, but after processing the number, I thought, 'no way I heard that right'. I asked again tonight and the answer was the same: "Over 850 pounds of wings tonight". Thats right - to service a building of 1000 you need approx 9000 wings. I took full advantage of the all-you-can-eat since I ate more than 20 wings myself.

The wings came on the counter with plain and BBQ - but I went with the BBQ with suicide on the side. The suicide was serve your self, and I helped myself to a generous portion. But only on half; the sauce looked good but I didn't want to take a complete leap of faith and douse them all. I also brought my squeeze bottle of 3rd Degree with me as well, just in case.

While talking to Nathan in line, several students were daring each other to try the suicide. One even made a $10 bet that his friend couldn't handle it. Why does no one make these bets with me?

Well, I filled my tumbler with coke, got a bowl full of water for washing, and off to join Kerry, Juliana and Jane - none of whom got wings. 2 out of 3 of them don't like wings. Ya I can't believe it either, but there are crazier people out there.

The suicide sauce was good. Damn good. It had a lot of flavour, and it had a bite that the average wing mortal would fall victim to. For me, it was a mild tingle, but I enjoyed the texture and the aroma that came from it. When I went back for a second order, I asked Nathan what the sauce was. He said it was a 3-part sauce essentially: 2 parts Frank's Red Hot, 1 part BBQ sauce and addition of several smaller powders and sauces including habenero pepper (the real heat behind this sauce), Mr Gouda's and others. He said it could have been made even hotter, but it would have lost the flavour and have been simply heat.

So would I describe these as "Great Caf Wings, or Greatest Caf Wings?" I would definitely have to say greatest. Spicy, tasty, battered and baked, Chestnut wings are the ones to take. So I give a Tip of the Hat to these wings, and a Wag of the Finger to those that haven't tried them: Jane, Kerry and Juliana - YOU'RE ON NOTICE!

The Portly Penguin - Guelph

Better late than ever, here is a review by a member of the Fellowship, our very own Brad:

"This has been a long time coming. Back in October 2005, yes, LAST year I was in Guelph visiting a friend. Instead of dining at our favourite raw fish establishment, we decided to try something a little more traditional.

You can't get more traditional than chicken wings. The Portly Penguin, an excellent restaurant just a few minutes walk from the University, offers a wide selection of menu items, all of which are hearty meals.

In addition to the wide selection of food, they had a wide selection of wing sauces. How could we choose? Easy, and small order of everything please!


SIZE of WINGS: medium to large (more like penguin wings)
HEAT: Wing King factor? 7/10 very slow to react
PRICE: 0.59 cents per wing on wing night


SAUCE CHOICE: Mild, Medium, Hot, Suicide, Honey Garlic, Lip-lickinÂsmokyey BBQ Honey Garlic, Lemon Garlic Pepper, Dragon Sauce (Thai hot & sweet), Honey Awesome Honey Garlic, Honey Mustard. (My goodness, they like the honey!)
SIDES: 1 carrot stick, and 1 celery stick per plate of wings
WETNAP: 1 per plate
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED, BATTERED: dusted and deep fried
WING NIGHT: Thursday

Our favourites? The VERY FLAVOURFULL Dragon Sauce and the Lip-lickin smoky BBQ honey garlic. Almost too many flavours to contend with!

The Lemon Garlic Pepper, wasn't too good, and the remaining flavours all tasted the same, kind of like the same annoying trait held by some family relatives."

Reading over Brad's review, this place looks tasty, with lots of flavours to choose from. The question is, when can I join the march to get to Guelph?

The Portly Penguin Tap & Grill
35 Harvard Road, Guelph

Monday, 18 September 2006

A New Concept?

This message was left on my MSN by our very own Rick P:

"have you ever considered wrapping wings in bacon,
dipping them in egg and bread crumbs, as a breakfast wing,
served with maple syrup of course..?"

Is that genius or what?

Friday, 15 September 2006

Dominion & Third Degree

(Dominion grocery stores are NOW CLOSED and were absorbed into METRO)

Snack Attack!

Dr Wing says I need 50 cc's of chicken flappers STAT!

I was done class, had to pick up some supplies from the local Dominion grocery store. I was walking down the isles and came across the section of discounted unboughten food for the night. Peaking out from whole chickens and potato salad was this little gem:

I gave up on the snacks I was buying because I couldn't bare to see these babies go to waste. I got the rest of my supplies (to make a special dip - stay tuned for that) and I was off to home.
Now I've had the Dominion wings before and they are good. But I was thinking of kicking it up a notch for my late night snack. So I decided to do a proper review of my stand by sauce, 3rd Degree.

No French this time. 3rd Degree Sauce is, as loyal readers know, the new suicide at many restaurants. This liquid wing gold can't be bought at your local store: no one has to turn to my two connections: someone with a Cost-Co card or someone in the restaurant biz.

Its E.D. Smith of jam fame, and is toteted as a grill/marinate/cook/saute/dip sauce. Its made from tomato puree, corn syrup, vinegar hot peppers and a number of other ingredients. While in large doses this sauce can pack a wallop, but with hot peppers #7 on the ingredients list, you know its not the hottest out there.

I popped the wings into the toaster oven (I've also microwaved this type of wing before, which is good, but I wanted a crispier skin). When they came out I separated 3 of the flavour they come as, then doused the rest in hot sauce.

I've transferred my 3rd Degree Sauce into a squeeze bottle, which is same type of container I keep my oil in for cooking. The squeeze bottle give me greater control over sauce distribution.

The Dominion Wings:

These wings had a generic sweet spicy sauce, only heavily emphasize the sweet and forget the spicy. I like it, as an alternative to a real wing.

The Dominion Wings with 3rd Degree Sauce:
With the added bite of hot sauce, these wings were zingy. The sweet and the spice really came together well. The wings aren't big, but they are meaty. I could definitely could have kept them in the toaster oven longer to get a crispier skin.

So if your in a pinch, head on over to your Fresh Obsessed grocer and pick up a pack of seasoned wings. They come in larger sizes, but this snack pack was an end of the day special. And 3rd Degree is not the hottest, but its great piquant flavour and syrup consistency for this baked wing.

These poultry delights are wing first aid: if you have a real wing emergency, head to your local pub. That's my diagnosis. Or is it prognosis? Whatever, I'm not even a real doctor.

Friday, 8 September 2006

GABBY's Grill & Bar

An unexpected guest dropped in Wednesday and after seeing a film (see review of CRANK HERE) . Dude and I decided wings were in order - but where to go on this hump day night?

Having remembered my enjoyment of my wings during Taste of the Danforth, Gabby's seemed to be a good choice. Not to far away, the only thing that might have been daunting was the crowds.

Fortunately, we got there with little competitions for seats on the side patio, but I did have to battle with a crappy chair that I quickly replaced. To our surprise, it was wing night, making it a great night for our deep fried desires.


SIZE of WINGS: small to medium (there were a few pidgeon wings)
HEAT: 6/10
PRICE: $7.99 single (9), $13.10 double (17), $18.99 party (28)


SAUCE CHOICE: mild/medium/hot/suicide/BBQ/honey garlic
SIDES: veggies and dip
WETNAP: yes 3 for the two of us
WING NIGHT: Monday AND Wednesday 1/2 price! with the purchase of a drink

Did these wings hit the spot. Classic buffalo style of wings that had a great crispy skin. It did not take me long to tear into these little suckers. And with the wings half price, I was in heaven. I ordered Hot with a side of Suicide (I asked for half and half, but they said they couldn't do that. Fine, I'll order suicide on the side). The hot was not really, but after eating several wings a tingle did develop on the lips (I love that feeling!). The suicide seemed to be a cooled down version of PAIN, so it had a bite, but memories of stomach churning kept me away.

Dude seemed to enjoy his wings as well, but at mild, they were burning his lips. There was a time that Dude had a heat immunity built up where he was almost on the verge of suicide. But that's long gone now.

Gabby's is a chain across the GTA and was a popular haunt in my undergrad days, and I always have fond memories of the wings there. It wasn't my favourite (although some seemed to think it was) but it was always good. This particular location had a good sized patio, but it wasn't a great patio.

Overall the heat was weak but the flavour was to savour. MMMMM mmmmmmm!
3.5/5 Flappers!

309 King Street West (and other locations)

Sunday, 3 September 2006

Back to Fox and the Fiddle

After being in Zambia for several months working on Engineers Without Borders, Rick was back in Toronto and craving the wings. Well, he was craving burgers and wings, so we went HERE for burgers for lunch.

Supper on the other hand posed a problem. The desire was to go to Winghouse, but as we now know, its closed :(

So to find a similar style wing, with a little dusting, good sauce choice and not far to get to, I had to think back to where to go. Using this blog, I determined that the Fox and the Fiddle would be the best choice.

I don't need to do a full review, but we did try some different sauces out.

I ordered BBQ wings with a side of Peppercorn Bourbon and Buffalo Butter. Brad got Jerk wings and Rick went with hot with a side of BBQ.

I really enjoyed the BBQ wings, the sauce was sweet with a hint of smoke, but nothing overpowering. In fact, it was very close to Moose Winooski style of sauce. The Buffalo butter was decent. The Peppercorn Brady was absolutely disgusting. It was bitter, without any pleasurable qualities. Brad seemed to like it, but Rick agreed with me on the thumbs down.

Rick's hot wings also had a nice flavour to them, combined with the dusting made for a great wing. Above, you can see AJ enjoying her Nachos that had a salsa that packed a punch to the tastebuds.

So in the end, the wing craving was met. Yes, it wasn't Winghouse, but it was still a damn good wing. I was surprised to consider this one of the better wing places in the downtown, but they can do different styles and do them fairly well. The next time I come back though, the BBQ is at the top of my list!
Fox and the Fiddle 4/5 wings up!

Demise of the House of Wings

[Winghouse is Now CLOSED. RIP]
Its a sad sad day in the land of wings.

Yes folks, the sun has set on The Original WINGHOUSE. I first got wind that this might be the case several weeks ago when Nee told me Rayzor had been by and it had seemed closed. I then followed up with a couple of phone calls to which I got no answer and no answering machine. Then, this past week, I decided to take a peek, and my worst fears were confirmed:

"For Rent" posted in the window. I was really disappointed because this was a great wing joint. Great tasting wings, perfect crispness, lots of flavour choices. As I always said, these guys loved wings and it showed.

But from this great sadness, we can possibly learn some lessons about having a chicken wing joint and keeping it successful.

  1. Advertise Advertise Advertise: these guys did no promotion what so ever, relying totally on word of mouth. Don't get me wrong, word of mouth is how I got there and brought people there, but that's just not enough
  2. Stay open longer: the business wasn't open for lunch most days, leading to the feel this was an after school project rather than an important food destination
  3. Appeal to everyone: I love the wing, but there are some crazies out that that don't. So you have to appeal to them to. Frozen chicken fingers from the grocery store doesn't cut it. Go fresh or not at all.
  4. Beer: I don't drink it, but most people do. Serve it on tap, not in the bottle. Same goes for coke (although they did have the perfect temp for canned coke).
  5. Seating: those wicker chairs are great for relaxing in but terrible for eating in.
  6. Money: invest in DEBIT (this goes for ALL Toronto restaurants) and at the very least, VISA. I don't carry much cash on me so don't make me.
  7. Know Your Product: These guys knew their wings, but they didn't know their sauces. I know its difficult when you have 90 flavours, but when you list just the name and not what it tastes like, and the server/owner doesn't know, thats not good.

Hopefully other places can learn from the tragedy that befelled Winghouse.

Goodbye new friend . . . you will be missed.