Sunday, 17 February 2008

Domino's Pizza ~ London ON

After staying with Bramanda for a few days, AJ and I had a long discussion/debate about dinner. We were both open minded and picky at the same time, no one wanted to make a decision. But a decision had to be made. What does AJ like? Cheese pizza. What does Wing King like? Wings. Who has a flyer to a pizza place that also has wings? Domino's.

Yes we did "Avoid the Noid" (no not Starbuck) and went for Dominos. They may not offer their 30 mins or its free offer anymore, but that did not stop us from quoting the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, "Pizza dude's got 30 seconds".

The cheese was ooey gooey, with just the right amount of stringiness. Doesn't it look like a sea of cheesy delight. I find the pizza decent for a chain joint, although I don't think its my fav.

The bread sticks are pretty kick'n. Garlicky, soft - a great accompaniment to pizza any day.

But of course, my main course, and all mine, were the 'Buffalo' wings. Oh sure, I could have had the Buffalo Chicken Kickers, but the bone makes it baby.

2008 THE SCORE 3.0: Domino’s Pizza, London


breaded, baked


$6.99 for 10 wings

$12.99 for 20 wings


1 – bbq (but its really a hot flavour, not bbq)



a bit of a bite, I guess


medium to large – lots of meat but not big overall



dripping-drowning in sauce



not crispy especially due to sauce



generic hot flavour – not bad but nothing special



ranch dip






Wednesday: buy pizza at full price, get wings at ½ price



good garlic stix, they have Buffalo Chicken Kickers


decent pizza wings *adjusted for pizza place


The wings were wrapped in classy tin foil to keep them hot en route to the delivery location. They were moderately warm, so I guess it worked, I guess.

Dominos are liars too. But real wing lovers should be used to this. The box, the advertisement etc. describe them as Buffalo wings. AND they are not. Why? Lets go over this once again. For a chicken wing to be 'Buffalo' style, it must be non-breaded or dusted, deep fried, and then applied with a hot sauce/butter sauce. You can't call a thin crust pizza Chicago style, you can't call a tomato filled soup with clams New England Clam Chowder, and you cannot call a baked chicken wing Buffalo style.

That being said, these baked wings turned out not so bad. The 'burn' marks made for a nice roasted appearance, without any burnt flavour. The sauce was a regular hot sauce, nothing special. Along with being called "Buffalo Style", they also said the sauce was BBQ, when it is clearly hot.

The sauce was drenching the wings, which turned the wings more soggy than I would have preferred. Wrapped in tin foil, the sauce turned the wings to near mush.

FINAL SCORE: decent pizza, decent wings, great garlic stix - my time with AJ was much better. But I did finish all the wings with no problems. 7.5/17

1548 Dundas St W, London
(519) 453-6460

Friday, 8 February 2008

KFC Spicy Wings

KFC spicy wings ??? Why has no one told me!? I go away for like a week and bam! Spicy Wings at KFC. I have to check these out.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

The Bumbling Baker

Remember Nee? She's from the blog on various wing adventures. As it turns out, she has an alias. She's:


I love Nee's baking, and now you can too! At least in visual form. Check out her new blog as she bakes, gives recipes and reviews baking equipment and books.

Dang, I sure want a cupcake now.

RECIPE: Football-Free Superbowl Buffalo Fingers & Taquitos v1.0


Ok, I'll be honest, I don't care for the super bowl. In fact, I don't care about football. Ok, if we are dropping all the walls here, I don't care to watch sports. At all. Never have. I do enjoy the occassional martial arts fight, or American Gladiators, but football just doesn't speak to me. What is exciting to me about the event is that it is religious for people to consume copius amounts of chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday. In fact, more wings are eaten this night than any other each year.

I was home alone, without car or cash and there were no wings in the freezer. No friends to have wings with, I was forced to improvise but I got 2, count them, 2 recipes out of it:

Football-Free Superbowl Buffalo Fingers

  • boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • bread crumbs
  • parmesean cheese
  • flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • Butter

  1. Toss chicken strips in flour
  2. Dip floured chicken into eggs
  3. Place egg dunked stips in bag filled with breadcrunbs & parmesean cheese
  4. Cook breaded strips in frying pan with melted butter until strips are golden and chicken is no longer pink inside
  5. Place cooked wings on paper towel to drain grease
  6. Toss wings in hot sauce and serve

Here is the breading assembly line: flour'd chicken, eggs, breading
The flour gives the egg mixture something to stick to.

The chicken a cookin.
It tasted good even before the Buffalo sauce.

Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce.
Its like their regular sauce with butter added.

The finished product, so tasty.

Taquitos v1.0

  • corn nibblets
  • chopped onion
  • BBQ chili beans
  • chipotle chili, diced/mashed
  • cumin
  • Mexican spices
  • garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • chili flakes
  • lemon juice
  • shredded cheese
  • tortillas
  • oil
  • sour cream & salsa
  1. cook corn & onions with S&P in frying pan until 'roasted' marks appear
  2. add can of beans (drain well)
  3. dice and mash 2-3 chipoltle chilis, add to pan
  4. add rest of seasonings - quantities to your liking
  5. heat oil in another pan (med heat)
  6. quickly swish tortillas through oil (1-3 seconds) to coat. BE CAREFUL
  7. spoon filling onto half of tortilla, spread shredded cheese over
  8. fold in ends and wrap tortillas tightly; place on baking sheet
  9. put in pre-heated oven (350 degrees) and bake for approx 20 minutes
  10. serve with sour cream and salsa

The ingredients.
I didn't end up using the taco seasoning as I had Mexican spices.

Toasting the corn.

I bought this last summer, and after moving, never used it.

A chipoltle chili in all its saucy glory.
I had never had one in its 'natural' form.
So spicy and yet so flavourful.

Dashed and mashed.

The medley mixture: corn, beans, onion, spices etc all.
Note: this would be good on its own as a chip dip served cold!

BACKGROUND: medley mixture cooking
MIDGROUND: oil in frying pan; swishing the tortilla in the
oil for a few seconds allows the tortilla to be
maluable but hold its form in the baking process.
FOREGROUND: a dipped tortilla with medley and cheese ready to be folded

Baking for 20 mins

The final product. Taquitorific!


What a meal! Tender, Buffalo rich fingers and spicy,
party-in-my-mouth taquitos!

I used 2 chicken breasts and had like a ton of strips. I had planned to save some for another meal, but I just went to town on these babies!

Every morsel, oh so good!

I was so happy the way the meal turned out. The only way I could improve the Buffalo fingers is by upping the heat factor. They weren't hot, but they tasted good. As for the Taquitos, there are so many different ways to modify this dish . . . but I was happy just the way it was.

So I didn't watch any of the super bowl. I still don't know who won. I watched some Family Guy, then retired to my basement lair to enjoy Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. "If I were human, my response would be, 'go to hell', if I were human." Take that sports!


Monday, 4 February 2008

CA: Doritos Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch chips

Kudos to those marketing execs who decided to switch snack flavours towards that of the chicken wings. Kudos, kudos I say. While on my California Adventure, we picked up some snacks (see 2 blog entries ago). One snack itself was wing oriented, and that was Doritos Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch chips.

Good old Flying J provided these treats. I opened them up in the truck and I was quite surprised how many chips were actually inside. Unlike my past experience with chips, the opened bag revealed an almost full space of chips. The picture doesn't show how close to the opening they come.

I was a little dismayed the extensive ingredient list for these suckers. It goes on and on. And look at all the cheese ingredients in there!

2008 THE SCORE 3.0: Doritos Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch


Doritos/tortilla chip,


aprrox $3.99 US a bag


none at all


354 grams, medium sized bag


crispy – just right for a Doritos chip


Buffalo & Ranch flavour – but not really, no real hint of Buffalo at all, just slightly spiced ranch Doritios

Good size chip, big crunch, classic Doritos. What was really disappointing was the missing 'Blazin Buffalo' flavour. Nothing was blazin, and there was no Buffalo. 'Blazin' is not some word to be thrown around. It should not be a buzz word used simply to sell. Like the term 'bold', it should reflect the actual sensation one has when eating it. Doritos, for shame.

To drink it down I got a Cherry Coke. I've been very sad since about 2 years ago almost they discontinued Cherry Coke. Then they came out with Cherry Vanilla Coke (CVC), which was not really Cherry Coke at all. Then nothing since. I come down to America, and they have Coke, Cherry Coke, CVC and now, Cherry Coke Zero (CCZ). Just like Coke Zero (which they also have). Wonderful. And here is the kicker, CCZ tastes exactly like Cherry Coke. So good.

FINAL SCORE: Doritos Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch is notta hotta, but the Cherry Coke Zero is the hero.


On my California Adventure, I had hoped to try some local cuisines of the various states I was in, and I really wanted to try the wings and compare them to the North. This, did not really happen. I did have wings twice on the trip. But not at a restaurant, or a bar. I had them from a truckstop where they also serve the largest sausages EVER wrapped in pastry and fried chicken gizzards.

Spread all across North America, Flying J is common truck stop with cheap gas, showers, buffets restaurants and tons of trinkets for sale for the lonely trucker. They are fairly large facilities accommodating both truckers and civilian drivers alike. If you want to do some interesting people watching, this is a place to go.

With only time to fuel up and hit the head, my Pa and I got some wings-in-a-bag and a slice of pizza. Yes, thats a dozen or so wings in a bag. Just a plastic bag.

2008 THE SCORE 3.0: Flying J Truckstop


deep fried, breaded


approx. $6.95 a pound (approx 15-20 wings)


1 - Buffalo



there’s a Buffalo flavour spice, but not heat


pigeon-small but meaty






chewy and crispy



ok classic flavour for hot, none for crispy style






all the napkins you can handle





it comes in a bag


alright . . . I guess


I did not have high hopes for these wings. I had no idea how long they were sitting in their bin, and they didn't look that appetizing. But I'm never one to NOT try some wings. And it really wasn't as bad as I though. Despite the bag.

The smell from the bag had a classic wing smell, which peaked my interest. The sauce did not have a strong flavour, but it had a nice taste to it. The chicken itself was meaty, with the right amount of crispiness to the skin. They were wet, but not dripping and were a nice little lunch.

Where I was not impressed was the tiny size of the wings; pigeon to small. Also, the flavour really needed to be kicked up a notch.

Along with the wings, we coupled on a slice of pepperoni pizza. I have had their pizza before and I really enjoy it.

It has just the right amount of grease, not too much tomato sauce, and a crust that is just fantastic. The crust is light, fluffy, and is almost like a fresh crazy bread stick.

On a one other occasion, we picked up the crispy, no sauce wings (because the sauce wings were out). Also served in a bag, these breaded wings offered a bigger crunch than their sauce brethren.

There was no particular taste, just deep fried chicken wings. A sauce would go really well, and fortunately I had some spicy bbq sauce from Mickey D's that I used to fill in the flavour void.

FINAL SCORE: So in the end, they were ok wings. Not worth going to on their own, but if your on a trip and wing devoid, go for it. The pizza is worth the stop though. But the wings, well, they come in a plastic bag. Stay classy Flying J, stay classy. 8/15

Flying J
Locations all across North America

5 Alarm Wings: People Who Understand Chicken

Every once and a while I get 'fan mail' coming in, and one letter came to me from a couple in Hamilton On who have their own wing restaurant. I've done a bit of research and a lot of people seem to love their wings. And after a little correspondence, you can see why: they seem to get wings and what makes them great. Here's their letter and some more info. I say check them out,
I know I will the next time I'm in Hamilton:



We enjoy reading your humorous and insightful posts as you give a pretty thorough review of each establishment.

Do you ever visit Hamilton? If so, we would invite you to visit 5 Alarm Wings. We are located at 553 Upper Wentworth St. (on the mountain).

We LOVE good wings and try to provide the best possible wings and interesting flavours and styles for our customers.

Some key aspects of quality wings we feel are:

- fresh wings (not frozen)
- variety of styles (e.g., sauces, dry rubs, bbq vs authentic buffalo, breaded/dusted vs non breaded/dusted)
- reasonably large selection of recipes (i.e., in-house recipes vs 'straight out of the jug' sauces)
- quality ingredients
- cooked to order (not precooked and then refrigerated for hours or days)
- variety of flavours (beyond the standard mild/med/hot/suic barbeque, honey garlic, etc) - not that one has to have infinite combinations just for the sake of having hundreds of flavours, but there are just so many great recipes - domestic and international - that bring excitement to a plate of wings

At any rate, just a few thoughts with regards to our philosophy of wings. Hope you have a chance to drop by next time you are in Hamilton.


Linda and Mike"

"As for our styles and flavours - we serve wings either naked or dusted. I am not a proponent of heavy breading, as I find it makes for a mushy meal and really icky leftovers. We offer a large selection of sauce, and for those who don't care for saucy wings (or are looking for something a little different), we offer dry rubbed wings. (Our customers often like to combine sauces and rubs on their wings. For example, mild or med bbq sauce with troll dust is awesome!) The vast majority of our rubs are made in our kitchen - combinations of spices and chilis from recipes that we have tested ourselves.

We are perpetually creating, testing and searching - the menu we currently have is outdated already. We have ALOT of fun with our menu!

Currently, we have over 40 different flavours (sauces and rubs):

Sauces (mild to hottest)
BBQ (mild, med, hot, suic, 5 Alarm)
Buffalo (mild, med, hot, suic, 5 Alarm)

Honey Garlic
Honey Mustard
Garlic Parmesean
Thai Chili
Garlic BBQ
Thai Peanut Satay
Mango Curry
Hot Honey
Lemon Zap
Kung Pao (this is currently my favourite. Last week my favourite was medium bbq with Desperado rub)
Hot Cajun
Hot Curry
Szechuan Stinger

Dry Rubs
Magic Dust
Espresso Jolt
Orange Chipotle
Chili Lime
Troll Dust
Hot Cajun
Dragon Powder
Tropical Heat
Orange Fever

We also have a variety of what we call 'fun rubs' - they are basically seasonings for popcorn/chips that happen to have taste appeal on chicken wings.

We have too many sides and combos to include in an email, but some of the items that I personally love are:

Fresh cut fries
Fresh cut onion rings
JalapeƱo cornbread
Chicken Caesar salad

Well, I hope this gives you an idea of our wings to date (we are EVOLVING)"

Gotta love that philosophy and the choice!

California Adventure '08: Junk Food and Road Snacks

An 8 day journey, just me and my father, driving from Ontario to California in a small rig (a 5th wheel truck with a trailer). Ontario-Michigan-Indiana-Illinois-Missouri-Texas-New Mexico-Arizona-California. It rained, snowed, winds blowed etc. No warmth - just storm. That was my California Adventure. Hours of just sitting, watching America go by.

I had hoped to sample the ribs of St Louis, the bbq of Texas, and obviously some wings along the way. Unfortunately, in this business time is money, money is time and with my father behind the wheel, it was go go go. My cuisine was fast food and truck stops. Here was some of the less than gourmet choices I had, for better or worse.


Yes, with billions and billions served, we helped increase their numbers. By the end of the trip, I felt like Morgan Spurlock since we ate here at least once a day. Why, why, why did we do this one might ask? Several reasons: it's cheap; it's everywhere; it's one of the few places on the route that can accommodate a 30 some-odd truck and trailer.

From state to state there was very little difference from what we get here in Canada. One item I only saw in Barstow California was the Angus Third Pounder Burger.

Wikipedia describes this burger as: "Angus Third Pounders - A test product that is currently being offered in Southern California, Columbus and the New York metro area. There are three sandwiches; the Angus Deluxe (American cheese, sliced red onions and sliced red tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, pickles, mustard, and mayonnaise); Angus Mushroom and Swiss (sauteed mushrooms, Swiss cheese and mayonnaise); and Angus Bacon and Cheese (bacon, American cheese, sliced red onions, mustard, ketchup and pickles). Designed to compete with the Angus Burger from Burger King. "

I went with the bacon and cheese. So how was this monster-for-McD's? Well, the taste wasn't anything special. And half-way through the burger, I was sick of it. Perhaps it was because I had eaten a lot of McD's already, but I really think it was the meat. It was like 2 quarter pounders cheeseburgs, and I just can't eat that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not all anti-Ronald. But there is a certain artificial/chemical feel you get when eating too much. The bacon was also disappointing. If this is a test project, lets say fail and move on to the next best thing.


Yellow Pages Wings

In many of the motels we stayed in, I took to reading the yellow pages in the half an hour or so we had by check-in and sleep time. In Antelope Valley ( yes, Antelope Valley was the region, Lancaster was the city, also in California), there is a little place called The Wing Stop. I wish we could have 'stopped' and tried their wings.


Carl's Jr.

A burger chain not offered in Canada (at least Ontario), we did stop to try their burgers after seeing many billboards and a spot to stop. It was interesting because half the menu was burgers, the other half was tacos. The menu had some interesting looking choices, like their "6 Dollar Burgers," which is supposed to emphasize that its a good quality burger because of its expense, but coming from Canada where most burger combos are around $6, this didn't work on me.

You might remember Carl's Jr for their controversial Paris Hilton ads with her eating a sloppy burger over a car. What a terrible ad choice.

Their fries were McD's shoestring rip offs. They weren't bad, but they were limp and salt-less. If your going to copy, you've got to do better than the original.

The above is a Western Bacon Cheese Burger. A 'Charbroiled All-Beef Patty, Two Stripes of Bacon, Melted American Cheese, Two Crispy Onion Rings and Tangy BBQ Sauce'. It looks like a horid mess, but it was good. The bacon was real bacon (crispy, tasty, not at all like McD bacon). The patty itself tasted like burger king, and the onion rings made for an interesting taste. I expected there to be some more condiments on it (all the bill-boards showed the main condiments on the bottom of burgers, opposite most other chains and construction logic).

My Pop, on the other hand, got a Famous Star burger (just a simple burger with cheese). He enjoyed it, but it was nothing special.

When I ordered my combo, they asked what size. I wasn't sure what they were referring to exactly, when the server stated the size of drink and fries. I went with a medium, but my drink was surely a large by other places standards.

So Carl's Jr was good; worth checking out if on the road and looking for a fast-food alternative.


Desert Star Hot Beef Jerky

At all the Flying J truck stops we frequented, there is lots of snack food. One such item was jerky, and one brand stood out:

"If you have not experienced the Arizona desert sitting around a campfire away from the lights of the city with its clear open view of the heavens, you will have missed the special experience that the Desert Star’s offer. Desert Star brand of beef jerky was inspired by the simple challenging life of the desert. The extremes of temperature, storms and horizons reflect the extreme taste sensation of our Desert Star beef jerky products. This brand of beef jerky combines a unique blend of spices, marinated to absorb the essence of lean cuts of beef and spice, cured with the slow smoky flavor of an outdoor fire, making eating this product reminiscent of the outdoor “Desert Star” experience. "

Ok that's a bit much, but the 'hot' style jerky started off good, but ended badly.

First, like the bag says, it is soft and delicious. There was little effort in the chewing, giving it a fresh texture rather than rawhide. And there definitely some heat. From the picture below, you can see it peppered with heat flakes.

The flavour was smokey, with a strong hint of teriyaki in it. Some burn, some flavour, it seemed all good.

The bag had some interesting information. Not only all the chemicals, but the beef is "Sourced from USA, Brazil or Uruguay". Mmmmm, meat from uruguay. Intersting . .

Well, after eating a little bit of the snack for a few days, it just didn't sit right in the mouth and the belly. Too much of a good thing? I don't know, but I don't want seconds of this for a while despite the initial great jerky taste to begin.