What made it unique was that it felt like a secret hide-away. You take an alley, then another alley, then another alley to get there, and just when you think 'is this how to get there?' your there. The food was decent, and cheap, although you only saw a waitress once in an hour. There were couches and it was lit by candle. It was quite the spot. So was The Red Room going to live up to its older sibling?
Approaching The Red Room, I couldn't see inside. Not at all. There were curtains up. Even over the door. A few people stood outside smoking (thank goodness for Ontario smoking laws) and when we went in, I was taken aback by how packed it was. Were 9 of us going to find a spot together? Well we did, in a back corner, sitting at a long table that felt like it had character. The iron chandeliers that hung from the ceiling splashing what can barely be described as candlelight. It was like a Gypsy tavern. The Green had much more seating, conforming more to a restaurant feel. We even had twice as much service as my former undergrad haunt.
Of course while I was there, I had to try some cheap food. And when wings are involved, so will I (be involved.
SIZE of WINGS: medium to small
WET NAP FACTOR: 4.5/5
PRICE: $5. 75 for approx 8
SAUCE CHOICE: BBQ, that is all
SIDES: lettuce count?
WETNAP: no - and no napkins either!
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED,
BAKED, BATTERED: deep fried
WING NIGHT: none
OTHER: lots of great vegetarian options and cheap food
Right off the bat, The Red Room is not a wing place. I acknowledge that, and anyone going around to here or The Green Room should be aware of that. What does that mean? Well, my hopes were not high for the one wing to rule them all. That being said, they still didn't do a very good wing.
They are not traditional wings - yes they are deep fried and yes they are dipped in sauce, but they only come in one flavour: BBQ. Not that that's a bad way to go, the BBQ had a nice sweet flavour, with a hint of tomato. It was very saucy, which is good, but no napkins (bad!). The skin was not crispy, so the ton of sauce made them soggy fast.
They were also difficult to eat, not only because of the slippy wetnap factor, but because for the most part, they were tiny and hard to hold (I dropped each one at least once). They leave the tips on the end of the flappers, which very few places do. For me, that usually represent a little bit of extra wing; to others, laziness to cut it. But in this case the sogginess and tiny nature added to the difficulty of consuming.
Final ratings: The wings are not great, but I didn't hate them. I would never go back just for the wings, and when I come back would I order them again? I probably would try the nachos I saw on other people's plates. Many in our group enjoyed the spring rolls, and anyone you talk to who has been there before recommends a dish. I think most people I talked to prefer The Red Room to The Green Room, but for me, the latter holds a special place in my heart. Yes Red has better service and seating, but the truly Bohemian feel and service of Green appeals to me more.
1 out of 5 flappers
The Red Room
444 Spadina Ave
or the original
The Green Room