Sunday, 8 April 2007

Return to Duff's-II

"Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out."

Rick made a special Saturday trip to Toronto for one specific reason: Duff's. Both of us having had an uninteresting and lonely dinner on Friday, and after he had read about the new Duff's, he was in his car and headed to the provincial capital.

Duff's II was bustling with people. With the Leaf-Hab game on, people were cheering for their favourite local squadron in loud cheers and jeers. Duff's II has a much more stylish feel to it - white stone and dark wood tones, flat screens for the game and much larger bar than its counter part.

Rick went for a half Spicy BBQ, half Super Hot mix. He enjoyed both, but did state that Spicy BBQ is not spicy. We both got fries with our order: they came out golden, crispy and tasted great with the dill-dip that accompanies the wings & giant stalks of celery.

I've been reading some of the posts on Chowhound for the Best wings in Toronto, and I cannot get over the flak people give Duff's Wings. What the negative comments I read have never been my experience: Duff's wings are jumbo wings, meaty, juicy and lots of sauce. They are Buffalo style - the sauce is authentic Buffalo: which means if people don't like the sauce, they don't like Buffalo style wings, and really, they don't like wings. What Duff's succeeds at the most is combining flavour and heat. Granted, the hotter you get, the worst the flavour . . . but you get heat.

That being said, I wanted to be a part of Duff's. I looked up at the Wall of Pain, and said, 'I want my name up there. I wanted to be somebody in the wing world that people could look up and say, that guy ate a lot of hot wings.' So I asked the waitress, what did I have to do to get my name up there, and how many did I have to eat. I chose Death wings, not as hot as Armageddon, but not as disgusting a taste either.

The rules were simple: eat as many wings as possible - BUT you cannot leave your chair - ie no going to the bathroom and puking up what you had eaten to eat more. Your not a wing hero doing that. They informed me also that they had yet to put up the current champs. So if I wanted my name up there, #1 place was 38 Death wings, #2 was 27 Death wings. Knowing I just couldn't eat 38 on this night, I decided to set my goal on 27. A separate bucket had to be kept for my bones so that they could count how many I actually did eat.

The bell rang to announce that my Death wings were ready to the restaurant and I had scant few moments for me to prepare. 20 came out the first batch. I attacked my first wing and conducted the first test: I didn't go blind. I ate the wing with little to no pain to my mouth, and the taste of the Death sauce was not as bad as I had remembered.

It seemed like a daunting task to get through them all. 20 jumbo wings is a lot to go through on a regular day - but 20 Death wings is a whole other story. The first 10 I got through without drinking anything, and barely touching my fries. "Anything seems possible now"

By the time I got close to 20, I was slowing right down. The sauce wasn't as hot as I expected, but my stomach was having problems. Keep in mind also I had had supper earlier in the evening because I wasn't for sure knew I was coming to Duff's, so I wasn't starving for food. I think also all the Leaf cheering was also making me sick.

A waiter and waitresses kept coming by to check on me, marvel at what I had accomplished. I ordered another 10 and waited.

The second batch came out, and things were not looking good. The waiter (who I think is the son of one of the Twin owners, both of which recognized me from the other location!) suggested that when others did the challenge, they ate fast and didn't bother with pop. At first, I had cleaned my wings like I normally do (no chicken left) but by 18 or so they still had chicken on the joints and ends. On wing 21 I was wary - but I decided to attack it with the same ferocity as the very first wing. I started into 22 and then it happened.

The stomach rumbled, I started to get the shakes. A cold sweat broke out on my forehead and my arms. Then it was one gurgle after another - then, I coughed and food came close to the back of my throat. I had almost vomited and lost my place. I waited . . . the waitress told me its not worth getting sick over. I looked at my bowl - 8 wings to the 30 title. I began to sing to myself, "eye of the tiger" and Rick encouraged me on. 22 became 23, 23 became 24. I knew I could do it, even if y stomach didn't think so

"Fraud!" cried the maddened crowd, and echo answered "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from The Wing King and the audience was awed.
They saw my face grow stern and cold, they saw my muscles strain,
and they knew that I wouldn't let no wings not go by again.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in Duff's ville, mighty Wing King at 25 struck out."

25, a valiant number, I didn't make it to the end.
My name did go upon the board, but not as good as 2 other men.
Despite the wows of the helpful staff, and a bucket full of bones,
I left, my head hung down so low and my stomach full of moans.

Duff's II
558 College (3 blocks West of Bathurst)


Brad said...

That has got to be the funniest entry I have read YET!

You may not be the Morgoth of Wings, but certainly are in the same league as Sauron.

Keep it up Lord of the Wings!

Anonymous said...

posts like this remind me of why this is by far the greatest blog going.

I am in your debt Wing King.

Lord of the Wing said...

You Mr or Mrs Anonymous - are what make this blog possible. Oh, and Wings. Lots of wings. But thanks for coming by!