Tuesday, 30 September 2008

"Perverted Roasted Chicken Wings" ???

Dude from China just sent me this news from, well, China:

Racy Chicken Wings Driving Food Chain

A dish is raising a stir at a restaurant in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, because of its spicy taste and racy name - "perverted roasted chicken wings".

The extremely hot roast wings have been available in the city for just a few months, but already the restaurant chain is dining out of them, having opened a number of outlets.

People in Chengdu like to eat hot food but can't bear the temperature of these wings. But the challenge of withstanding their spice keeps customers coming back for more.

"Anyone who can eat 10 bunches of the roast wings will eat free of charge and receive 100 yuan ($15) as prize from our shop," a notice in the restaurant reads.

(West China Metropolis Daily)

My questions include:

  • What is the name of the restaurant?
  • What makes the wings so spicy?
  • How many is 10 bunches?
  • When is the next flight to Chengdu?

Monday, 29 September 2008


In my first year of undergrad in Toronto, there were not that many late night eateries around campus. Surprisingly, considering its down town Toronto. One of the places that was close by and was cheap, was Pita Pit. Grilled meat in a wrapped pita. Simple and yet so good. Then, for many many years, I never went back. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but it just never came up.

Flash foward to present day, and Ottawa has a Pita Pit. It returned as a late-night food grab. On a trip this past week, I saw a new promotion I had to try, their Spicy Buffalo Chicken Fling (SBCF).

First, I gotta say our server was pretty awesome. As we came in, a staff member was leaving. Turns out he was sick, and now the sandwich maker girl was left all by her self, with 7 customers in line. She did all the cash first, then like a pro hammered out all the pitas (11 in total). I felt bad afterwards because I didn't give her a tip - see when you order/pay, Interac gives you the option to tip. Normally I detest sandwich shops or any counter businesses with tip cups because they are doing the same service as say a worker at McD's, but they don't get tips. But with this server, she had to go above and beyond to get the job done, and stay friendly. I didn't get her name, but she was good.

The SBCF. Lets break that down.

Spicy: presumably the seasoning in the chicken is going to be hot. Maybe its a hot sauce?
Buffalo Chicken: The picture makes it look like its deep fried chicken tossed in sauce.
Fling: Not a wing, but a nickname for a chicken strip. I like this. It's like wing dings. Although
I've heard someone refer to 'dings' as the drumstick part of the wing, but that's just wrong.

So the name and the advertisement got me excited, but things were not as they seemed. First, the chicken was pre-everything already. Breaded, deep fried (I think). The chicken is then placed on the grill and chopped into little bits. I asked the girl while she was constructing the veggie side of the pita if the fling was sauces. She said no, that the picture was misleading, that the flavouring was all in the breaded seasoning, but that was the advantage of the marketing department. I had their hot sauce on the pita, but the guy after me got the same thing and had it sauced while on the grill, that's what I should have done.

These things can be a messy messy meal. The first bite can be a bit daunting, for fear of sauce and juices bursting out.

Here it is. It looks like a bloody mess doesn't it? We got Buffalo Chicken fling in there (see it?), tomato, cheese, onion, Ranch, and a little tzatziki dressing. What a tasty combo. No really it is.

Here is a shot of the fling on its own. Breaded, and deep fried. There wasn't a strong or spicy flavour to it, but it was a nice chuck of chicken.

Alternatively, above is a shot of my Pita Pit regular choice: the club. Ham, chicken, bacon with grilled onion/peppers/jalapeno (I like that they will put whatever veggies you want to be grilled). Add some mayo and hot sauce and some cheese and bam - great pita.

So the SBCF - my verdict on this wrap was damn good. Granted, not the best piece of 'buffalo chicken' I've had, but this was a tasty pita. I like the spicy mixed with the fresh tomato and cheese and ranch. Oh, and the tzatziki made a soothing counter balance to the hot sauce. (I should point out that this condiment was put on by accident, but I didn't mind at all). So if you live near a college or university, there is a good chance you can try this too. For $6.99 its not the cheapest food out there, but its not bad.

Pita Pit

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

WK Spicy Vegetable Soup

"mmm mmmm mmmmmm good"

What do you do when its fall, the air is crisp, the leaves are changing colour, and you have a ton of vegetables on hand and no wings? You make soup of course! And when the WK is involved, its gonna be spicy. This was my first attempt, ever at making homemade soup. For me, it has always been from a can . . . but things have changed.


  • oil
  • onion (diced)
  • garlic (minced)
  • carrots, (chopped)
  • celery, (chopped)
  • potato, (chopped)
  • jalapeno, (chopped)
  • corn
  • diced tomato, 1 can
  • beef broth
  • water
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • ground coriander
  • red chili pepper
  • S & P


  1. Chop all vegetables
  2. In a large pot at medium/high heat, add enough oil to coat bottom (I used EVOO), add onion & garlic and let sweat for about 5 minutes until onion is clear. Add salt & pepper.
  3. Add carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add spices, Worcestershire, broth. If liquid does not come to near top, add water.
  6. Stir and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours on medium/low. How simple was this?

Onions and garlic sweating. I don't know what sweating is, I've just heard Alton Brown say that before. I'm just cooking them as far as I'm concerned.

All the vegetables into the pool! Oh wait, I should have let the harder vegetables (carrots, celery, potato,) cook longer first! Oh well. As for the number, I have no idea. 10 little potatoes I think? 2 giant carrots? 1 long jalapeno? I don't know, just gage yourselves for what you want.

Let's add some instant soup maker. Most people would probably use chicken broth, but I thought beef would give a fuller taste. And it did.

Wow, this pot filled up fast. But it needs more liquid. I feel kinda weird just putting in water.

But water works.

Now here is where I make a small confession. So about 1.5 hours go by of cooking. Things are going along swimmingly. Sure, the potato was still hard, but the cooking process was going good, samples tasted great etc. Then I had the car and had to go pick up LJ from work. So I put the heat down to minimum. And I left. Note - DON'T EVER DO THIS. You know, keep cooking while your not there. This is dangerous. Now, not only did we not return right away, I forgot about the soup and we ended up going out for dinner. 2 hours later we rush home after remember the soup, and . . . the liquid was gone. Boiled right out. Now don't get me wrong, nothing was burnt - the vegetables were very cooked. It was almost a STOUP, as Rachel Ray calls them - too thick for soup, too thin for stew. I debated keeping it in its current condition or adding water. I decided I wanted soup dammit and I boiled some water in a kettle and added it - boom. Soup again, and nothing was lost.

The final product. See, forgetting this on the stove and adding water didn't hurt this soup at all. Look at those hearty vegetables. Corn, carrots, potato so good. The jalapeno and spices really gave this a kick, but it was the corn that add that certain something this soup needed.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY? Umm, I don't know. Add more vegetables? Try chicken broth? The jalapenos were definitely hot. Every bite I needed to take a drink of milk, but it was a flavourful mouthful of heat. Even me letting it cook forever seemed to work out in the end. I was very happy how this soup turned out.

Chinese Mid-Autumn Day Wing with Dude & Julie ~ RECIPE

Chinese Mid-Autumn Day Wing Recipe Review!

Ni hao! Hello! My good friend, the Wing King, has been asking me for another wing review. I must say I have procrastinated a bit so I thought I would give him a special review. Once a year the Chinese celebrate Mid Autumn Day. It’s a wonderful holiday about two lovers. If you want to know more check out http://www.chinavoc.com/festivals/Midautumn.htm. But let’s get down to business…food…more importantly…WINGS!

Julie and I wanted chicken wings, this was clear. However, sometimes our differences come in-between what to eat! No matter, we would have TWO wing reviews! We winged this idea and went for it. Also this review will include some other foods as well. Mostly meat! So it begins, with any good wing review must come preparation.

I opted for a new fresh idea. A little Canadian kung fu if you will. I was going to make Canadian Maple Syrup Wings! Now I live in Xi’an China which as you may guess - is hard to find good maple syrup. But this didn’t stop my foul mouth. I phoned my parents months ago to send me some!!

So I started with my usual mixture to get the party started. I fried up some garlic, onion, salt and pepper. This time I would not use my traditional butter, but rather cooking oil. Then I sliced open those wings and started cooking!

Then it was time! I would add my sweet nectar from the Gods! BUT, would it be too sweet? NO! I could not be chicken about this. WWTWKD? He would try.

Ohhhhh the slizzilin was getting me excited!!!

After some careful cooking, my wings were ready to go. I put some tin foil on it to conserve the heat, while Julie continued the preparation for din-din.

Before she started her wings, she got some beef and started making some small steaks! I was soooo happy! I had to coop up my excitement and let her concentrate on cooking. She mixed some beer with the steak and some garlic, onion salt and pepper.

She was really cooking up a storm!!

Ok, enough…now back to the WINGS!! Julie wanted a different approach than my very sweet style of wings. She went for a Soy Sauce and Beer combo.

But I wasn't worried…I KNEW my wings would soar higher!

Uh-oh…..her wings were looking better! With a nervous laugh I told her the wings looked “okay” However, behind her back - I was worried!!

They looked really good!

Oh and just to add some more food…she cooked up some shrimp. Man, this girl can cook!

Soooo much food! You could say it was enough to feed a terracotta army!

Indeed it was!

Now to eat our wings. I must say my Maple Syrup wings were GREAT! Not as sweet as you might think. The onion I had added really gave it some ying yang balance.

Julie’s wings were great as well! Such a great contrast to my wings – they actually went very well together. Her wings were very juicy, those chop sticks came in handy!

All in all a wing-success!

We were thinking and talking about the Wing King the whole time. Maybe next time he could grace us with his wing presence!

Cheers Wing King!

Click HERE for more photos @ The Wing Bucket


Donna's is now known as MOE's PIZZA

Have you ever walked or driven past a place like a million times, and never gone in? You're always like, 'I should go there sometime', but then never do? That was Donna's Express for me. It's an interesting place I always see and always see people at but have just never gone in. Then I decided, 'today is the day', and that this wasn't going to be the place I never go in. Who knows, this could be a secret wing gold mine.

At 11:30 am this place was already buzzing. Half the patio was full, which is usually a good sign for the food. I was confused about how to enter the place - Donna's is part restaurant part convenience store. I walked into the solarium part where a waitress approached me immediately. She asked if I wanted a seat and I mentioned I wanted take-out (wanted to get home and watch some noon-hour DS9. She brought me to the 'diner' counter, where I picked from the menu a small cheese pizza and wings. "What kind of sauce? Mild, medium, hot, honey garlic . . ." "I see the menu has suicide, can I get that?" "You like it hot do you? O-kay!"

I sat and observed the place. The decor was old - faded seat and bench covers, train memorabilia around the walls (the Express refers to the locomotive, not the speed of service). There are two places I would have sat if I did: the patio, or the 'diner' counter, which has a great view of the kitchen. Actually, where I sat while waiting, I could watch the chef/cooks cooking up a storm. Club sandwiches, fries, pizzas - it was fun to watch. The clientele was a mix: construction workers, government drones, elderly people - but it was clear that just about everyone was a regular as customers came in without reading a menu and ordering and chatting up the waitresses. A very friendly place indeed.

Once my food was ready, I was pointed over to the convenient store to pay. The gentleman said I got a free pop with my combo (I didn't see anything saying it was a combo, but a free pop, sure!). I also witnessed a guy behind me who got 2 pizzas and something was told he got 2 2 litre pops. The man got 2 500ml bottles and the clerk corrected him for his drinks (but the guy didn't want that much pop). That's some good customer service.

I got a plain cheese pizza. Partly because I was being cheap, and partly because I was just craving the cheese. It was small and I was like, yup, that is small. I was hoping it was going to be mighty tasty for $10.

I loved the grease on top. Health be dammed, a good pizza should have a nice sheen of grease on top.

It had a thick end crust, but was thin overall. I liked the crust, crispy, greasy. But a little too much. The sauce was also thin, but the cheese was piled on thick. As you can see above, pulling a slice out almost meant pulling all the cheese off the whole pizza.

This wasn't a bad pizza, but it just didn't have that hook to bring me in again. It wasn't bad, but I'll keep searching Ottawa for a pizza for me. And of course I went there ultimately for the wings. All the way home I could smell the sauce. It ignited my senses. It smelled like Jaco's, my childhood wing - the wings that got me into wings. But would these wings live up to my smell memory?

2008 THE SCORE 3.0: DONNA’s EXPRESS ~ Ottawa
Pizza joint, Deep fried, Buffalo style
$7.95 for approx 12 wings
  • Mild
  • Medium
  • Hot
  • Suicide
  • Honey Garlic
  • BBQ (I think, not completely sure)
Nothing to tingle
Small small small
n/a (pizza joint)
All right – nothing special

I got home and I was jonesing for these wings. I opened up the container: ok, these wings are small. They looked good, but small. They were deep fried and the skin was crispy. Well, they were a bit chewy, which comes from being frozen (I'm pretty sure) and from the trip from Donna's to home.

They were meaty-ish, for such a tiny wing. I just couldn't get past their small size. They smelled so much bigger when I was bringing them home - no really. Actually, if I remember Jaco's correctly, they were small wings too. Oh well.

I had ordered the wings suicide, but they were not. I remember seeing the cook who looked at the order with a little confusion; in retrospect, I think he was like 'suicide? I guess they mean hot' and used hot sauce. And by hot sauce I mean mild. Because these puppies were pretty weak. Now the sauce was tasty, very Buffalo style sauced, but it really needs a heat kick.

FINAL SCORE: Donna's seems to be a good dinner with good diner food. The soup, the sandwiches all looked really good and with big portions. I would go back for the diner food. On the other hand, while the cheese pizza was cheesy, it wasn't an amazing pizza pie. And the wings, well, they were tasty, but small and no heat. If you offer suicide, it should make my mouth burn, shouldn't it? The A-Channel voted this place Best Take-Out food in Ottawa a couple of years ago, but I would stick to dinning in. 5.5/13

Donna's Express
322 Churchill Ave, Ottawa
Take-Out MENU
PS: doesn't that greasy box look like it had the best pizza? if only it did.