The Wing King
Thursday, 21 December 2006
The Wing King
I placed the wings in the oven with the garlic bread to warm them up and try to crisp them up a bit. The wings were breaded/deep fried and then sauced. But I use the term Sauce loosely. These wings were meaty and juicy, and they appeared to be sauced well, but they did not taste like it. It must have been that new tasteless sauce that looks like sauce, smells like sauce, but doesn’t taste like it. I was very disappointed. But no fear, I pushed the big red button and in no time I was ringing the fire bells, getting a nice burn from 3rd degree Sauce.
However, in the end, even the mighty 3rd degree sauce couldn’t save these wings, and I couldn’t even finish all that was on my plate. Great Canadian Super Store is not the place for Great Canadian Super Wings.... but if you want food, clothes, electronics and house wares under one roof, and really really bright lights... well this place might just be for you.
Sunday, 17 December 2006
Korean Grill House is a chain of Korean BBQ restaurants in downtown Toronto. They have existed far North of the Bloor line for a long time, but the phenomenon has exploded in the downtown in the last few years. What is it?
ESSENTIALLY, its trays of meat, poultry and seafood that you grill yourself on bbq that are right inside your table. That's right, your cooking on an open flame.
The standard all-you-can-eat (AYCE) menu is beef, pork, pork ribs, chicken, ox tail, ox tongue, salmon and squid. There are side dishes that include kimchi, radishes, bean sprouts, spicy bean sprouts, potato and tofu. It also comes with a bowl of soup and a bowl of rice. Everything is unlimited, it is AYCE after all. See wikipedia for more information on the more traditional preparation.
The fun is really in cooking together and having a good time. And how many people in the downtown have the opportunity to use a bbq?
Korean BBQ has its good nights and bad nights. There are times the meat is sliced thin and in perfect sheets, other times it is stringy and clumped together. This particular night the meat was hit and miss - some good, some bad. The various meats are also marinated that give them extra flavour even after coming off the grill.
On this particular evening, we were eating at the newly opened branch on Yonge street, just South of Gerard street. It was quite empty, (unlike the flagship restaurant on Queen street that is perpetually packed) which afforded us two grills for 4 people and our choice of seating. This location is decorated in warmer tones, giving it a more comfortable atmosphere. Unfortunately, because there were less people, the service was less frequent: at the flagship location I can barely take a sip of water without it being refilled right after.
The price is right too: the general AYCE is $12.99. The best deal is the lunch/late-night-owl special (noon and after 10pm) that is AYCE for $8.99, however you get fewer meat choices. Either way, its a ton of food for a little bit of money. And pop is free refills!
Korean Grill House is a carnivore's delight. Sure there are vegetarian dishes as well as other more traditional Korean fare, but you come for the AYCE. Sooo good and sooo filling. This is sure to become a donning tradition in the near future. If your not going to have wings, have Korean BBQ.
Korean Grill House
Yonge and Gerrard Street (and other locations)
Korean Grill website
Friday, 8 December 2006
This small pizzeria is not your typical pizza-pie establishment. While they do have pizza, the Stromboli's are the biggest hit here. Halal friendly, serving shawarma and other foods, this place offers a lot of different options for a variety of diets.
I had been here before for stromboli, and tasty pizza in the past, and had been disappointed on their lack of wings. But now they serve wings, and I had to try them out.
SIZE of WINGS: medium, but a hearty medium
WET NAP FACTOR: 4.5 /5
PRICE: $4.99 for 6, $6.99 for 10, $9.99 for 15, $12.99 for 20
SAUCE CHOICE: mild sweet/spicy, medium sweet/spicy
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED,
BAKED, BATTERED: deep fried (I watched the guy do it)
WING NIGHT: none
He never asked me what kind of sauce I wanted on them, but I watched him toss them in a reddish-brown sauce. I could smell them all the way home and all the way up in my elevator - definitely causing students in the lift to smell around, trying to figure out what someone had.
In the end, these were on par with other pizza-chain wings I've tried but have a unique sauce that separates them from other places. Oh, and the slice of pepperoni was good to. It wasn't really a New York style slice, but it was worth grabbing again another night.
Slice of New York
64 Edward Street
Thursday, 7 December 2006
I arranged to go visit Rick in London, picking him up at Western, where he was busy doing work. Ok, he was reading a newspaper but in his defence, he was waiting for me. We spent a while driving around the Forrest City's downtown trying to figure out where we were going to go. When all was said and done, Joe Kool's was the final decision.
Busy on a Wednesday night (not the photo above is not from our visit), this eatery for the young people was a crowded place to be. At first I thought the place was big, but it only gives the illusion of being bigger than it really was. We sat near the front, as it was the only table available when we got there.
We both looked at the menu and were surprised to find no chicken wings. Then upon closer inspection, we found they had BBQ wings. Then on even closer inspection, they had standard chicken wings. Somehow they were camouflaged on the first page. We both found we also read the title wings but would read the description on the menu item below. Strange. Rick was in a fish and chip mood, and I was torn between wings and a steak sandwich. Rick suggested I get the sandwich and that we split an order of wings. I knew I hung out with him for a reason.
SIZE of WINGS: medium to small
WET NAP FACTOR: 3 /5
PRICE: $9.99 for 10, $17.99 for 20
SAUCE CHOICE: medium/hot/honey garlic/BBQ
SIDES: crudite (fancy for veggies and dip - ranch or blue cheese)
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED,
BAKED, BATTERED: deep fried, choice of dusting or not
WING NIGHT: none advertised
After discussions of school, decisions and various current events, our food arrived. The wings came last, and they were definitely in last place in our meal appraisals. So where did Joe Kool's go wrong?
First, the wings were a decent size, but bordered on small. For $9.99 for 10, we should be getting jumbo roasters. These were not. Also, initially, the waiter asked if we wanted breaded wings, or not. I gave a bonus point to them for the option, however, upon biting into the wing, although crispy, the breading was barely a decent dusting.
Hot was not. A medium at best and mild at worst. There was no heat to be felt. The sauce was Frank's, barely disguised. They weren't terrible wings, but they were barely adequate and did not impress this tough crowd. The average person may not notice a big problem, but we did.
So Joe Kool's - drop the price, kick it up a notch and try to love these wing before you send it out. What we got was not kool, not kool.
**1/2 out of ***** flappers
Joe Kool's World Headquarters
595 Richmond Street, London
Joe Kool's on the interweb
Monday, 4 December 2006
As I have indicated in previous posts, there are several 'haunts' that I commonly went to with friends for pub grub. There are about 5 staple pubs that UofT students attend: Ein-Stein's, Ferret & the Firkin, The Madison, Ye Olde Brunswick House (or the Brunny as it is more commonly known) and O'Grady's. I didn't go to O'Grady's until my second year, after hearing it had excellent nachos. After that, I fell for the place. Its a typical Irish pub, with sports everywhere, pool tables and a DJ on the second floor, and lots of space to enjoy a pint.
Lots of campus has changed in the short time since I finished at UofT, so it was time for me to check in and see if the chicken wings were still as good as I remembered.
SIZE of WINGS: large
WET NAP FACTOR: 4.5/5
PRICE: $8.95 for 10, $16.95 for 20, $25.95 for 30, $39.95 for 50
or a platter of 50 with fries and onion rings for $44.95
SAUCE CHOICE: mild/medium/hot/suicide/honey garlic/mango/Lemon & Spice
SIDES: celery and carrot sticks (no dip), add fries $2.95
DEEP FRIED, GRILLED,
BAKED, BATTERED: deep fried, suspected grilling
WING NIGHT: Sunday & Monday after 5pm 1/2 price
The suicide was a good suicide. Sinus clearing, burn my lips sauce the way a good suicide should be. It was a great buffalo-style flavour filled with chili pepper flakes. In The Score, I mentioned
The only complaint I had was the asking of a Coke and getting a Pepsi. I'm a loyal Coke drinker, but I can drink Pepsi (I'm not a fanatic). But I like to be informed that that 'we serve Pepsi, is that ok?' No one would go to McDonald's and ask for a Egg McMuffin and get a Croissantwich and not think anything of it? Would they? ~ did that even make sense?
Anyways, the bottom line is - the wings were great. Not perfect, something was missing of which I just can't put my finger on it, but a damn fine wing that will satisfy college kids and wing lovers alike. O'Grady's still got it.
**** out of ***** flappers
O'Grady's Tap & Grill
171 College Street