Thursday, 13 November 2008

PAESANO's PIZZERIA ~ Ottawa

George
You know my last name is Costanza . That's Italian. So you and I are
like country men . Pisano's !

Worker
$6.50 your change.

George
And I always take care of my Pisano's
Seinfeld "The Calzone"

1. paesano

n. means countryman, brother, or pal in Italian. The equivalent of "homie" to Italians and Italian-Americans. Sometimes shortened to paesan. Occasionally misspelled as "paisano" or "paisan"

The Urban Dictionary


Brother is a term that definitely fits to Paesano's Pizzeria (PP).

Somehow, I don't know, I came across Paesano's and read that the wings were pretty good, so I had to find out. I travelled to the East side of Ottawa to see how they were. PP's is on a small, hidden, little side street, in what I can only describe as a reverse strip mall. Why reverse? Because the parking is all in the back, and the front has a fenced in court. There's a high school across the street, and the Chinese embassy is across from that. Walking into PP's it looked like a real high school hang out. Old benches for seating at the tables, an arcade game, and cheap grub (burgers, hot dogs, chips, fries etc) that clearly caters to the kids across the way. Two guys came in, one going straight into the back talking with a bunch of staff, the other, clearly a regular, talking it up with the 'paesano' behind the counter, who ordered, then sat down.

I was looking at their chalk board menu and couldn't find the wings. Hell, even pizza was barely on the menu (just slices). Had I gone to the wrong place? Was I mistaken about the location? Had the restaurant changed? I could see pizza dipping sauces for sale, and in the back were pizza boxes and pizza ovens, so I decided to press on. The 'paesano' behind the counter asked for my order:

Paesano
What can I get you?
WK
(with confused look, pointing, questioningly, to the menu)
I was told you have good wings . . .
Paesano
We have the best wings.


Well, I had to get wings now (like there was ever any doubt). One of the things that attracted me here in the first place was their advertised 18 flavours of wings. Wow, 18 is quite a lot for a take-out pizzeria. I went with a split order of Hotter (their hottest flavour) and Hot Honey BBQ.


The guy that had ordered up before me started chatting with me, asking where I was from, why I had come all the way over to PP ('Wings' I said) etc. I asked him if he lived in the area. He said no, but that he had been coming to PP's for over 4 years. Loyalty. Another guy came in, who knew both the pizzeria dude, and the customer I was chatting with. Paesanos for sure. But would the wings and I be friends?










2008 THE SCORE 3.0: Paesano’s Pizzeria, Ottawa

STYLE:

Breaded, deep fried (maybe baked)

PRICE:

$6.90 for 10

$12.90 for 20

$17.90 for 30

$27.90 for 50

$52.90 for 100

$9.25 for 10 wings, fries & coleslaw

SAUCES:

  • BBQ
  • Mild/medium/hot/hotter
  • Honey Garlic / Honey Garlic BBQ
  • Hot Honey BBQ / Hot Honey Garlic
  • Teriyaki / Honey Teriyaki/Hot Honey Teriyaki
  • Cajun / Cajun Teriyaki
  • Caribbean Jerk
  • Lemon Garlic
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Pesto

1/1

HEAT:

Hotter barely had a tingle, HHB had a bit more of a tingle.

SIZE:

Large

2/3

WETNAP FACTOR:

Hotter was a dry wing, HHB was wet

2/3

CRISPINESS:

Chewy – this might have been due to take-out and the steam created from the container

1.5/3

FLAVOUR:

Good – tasty wings

2/3

SIDES:

n/a

CLEAN UP:

n/a

WING NIGHT:

n/a

OTHER:

TOTAL:

A good, local pizza joint

8.5/13*








The wings were wrapped up pretty well, in a container, in tinfoil. They were a good size wing, about a large, but some were a medium I would say. They were pretty meaty, with a breaded/dusted wing. The skin wasn't very crispy, but I suspect that was due to the 'steamed' effect from them being wrapped in the tin foil.



HOT HONEY BBQ:

My first choice in wing flavour is some sort of hot. Hot suicide etc. But my second favourite wing taste is BBQ. But I could not resist getting a Hot/Honey/BBQ combo. These were the first wings I opened up, and the fragrance of sweet and spicy came to me. They were wet, and clearly sticky.




My first bite had a lot of things going on. A little kick from the hot, sweet from the honey, and a hint of the savoury bbq.





I liked the level of wetness that came on these wings. More sauce and it would be too much. Less and it wouldn't be enough. It was just right. I had several and remembered I still have another order and a different flavour.




HOTTER:

These came as a drier wing. I'm not sure if its just a seasoning, or if the 'sauce' was absorbed into the wing itself (due to the steaming in the tinfoil wrap). Either way I wasn't going to need a wetnap.




Hotter was not hot. A medium by my standards. I could detect the heat, but I wasn't even tingling really from them. That being said, they were still a tasty wing. The chicken meat was tasty and the hot enhanced the flavour of the overall wing. But I don't think I would go for the hotter again, not without an extra side of sauce anyway.





FINAL SCORE: Paesano's Pizzeria does a pretty good wing. They were meaty, had a nice coating, and had a really interesting selection of flavours. Above and beyond your average pizzeria. The heat was really lacking, but there was a good taste. And it was a good size wing too. They aren't in my neighborhood, but clearly Paesano's looks after their friends and customers. 8.5/13


PS: I didn't have the pizza, so I can't comment. Sorry!

Paesano's Pizzeria
500 Old St. Patrick Street, Unit 2
paesanospizzeria.ca (website seems down)
PP's on FaceBook
Menu DB

1 comment:

Teena in Toronto said...

For the most part, they look good. I like hot gunky wings!