Thursday, 11 December 2008

BlogTO's The Best Chicken Wings in Toronto

If your not familiar with blogTO, its a blog all about Toronto that is written by various bloggers who are artistic, political, explorers etc. Plain and simple. I didn't start reading this blog until after I left Toronto to keep up to date about what is going on until I get back (if I ever do).

One of their articles is "Best Of" Toronto guides that list things like Best Poutine, or Best Fish and Chips. These guides are interesting collections of what might be the best in the city. While these Best Of guides are assembled by an individual, the rankings are not done by blogTO, but rather by the readers. This is often forgot by people who comment after because these lists can often cause head scratching when inferior places are on a list, while expert places are left off, and this leads many people to get upset and rant.

Until recently, I looked at these lists with a grain of salt, seeing places I had never heard of before while again, ones that deserve recognition go unmentioned. But it was never personal. Then, they did "Best of Chicken Wings." You are entering my territory now, and I gotta say, not impressed. I've basically copied the whole article here and added are my comments on A) the rankings & B) the comments from other people on the net.

  1. ALLEN's: reviewed them HERE. The Manhattan Capone Wings were a tasty alternative wing, but they do not deserve to be #1. They are a decent size, but they need to do a lot more be a great wing.
  2. PETER's: Never heard of the place. They look interesting, spiced with a bowl of hot sauce, but I doubt they are #2 (but then again, I haven't had them).
  3. REBEL HOUSE: Never been, but a baked wing better than deep fried, I have never experienced.
  4. DUFF's: I have yet to find a better wings in Toronto. Huge wings, excellent heat levels, great Buffalo wing flavour. My wing choice.
  5. ALL STARS: This was one of the first places I had been to that served a bajillion sauces. Good sized wings, great tasting flavours - they deserve to be on this list, even if they are waaaaaay up North.
  6. BISTRO: Another place I have not been. But they are described as the original St Louis wings. Well, wait till I talk about St Louis.

  7. ST LOUIS: Bah! I figured they would be on here because there is a crazy collection of people who like this chain. The quote from the review: "Big, plump, tasty wings in a basket with excellent fries" is a joke. Small, over priced wings with a strange baked in sauce. They are not in my top 10.
  8. SQUIRL'S: Another place I have never been to nor ever heard of. I'd check it out if I could tomorrow.
  9. MITZI'S SISTER: Another never been, never heard of. Oven roasted doesn't excite me, but they sound like they have some interesting wings. I'm curious to try, but again doubt the legitimacy of this place being on a top 10 wing list.
  10. WHEAT SHEAF: Tried and true pub wings. Big, spicy, and 3 wing nights. This place is here for a reason.

Definitely several places that are out of left field for me. I spent several years in dedicated research to find good wings in Toronto and many of those places never, ever came up. That doesn't mean they aren't good, but it boggles my mind a bit. But I wasn't alone. Here are other people's comments that reflect some of my own:

  • beveridge & mike and I agree that Ein-Stein's should be on this list. Granted, they aren't the best over Duff's, and Wheat Sheaf (due to their rubbery meaty-ness) but the sauces and size make them worth while.
  • kelly is also surprised about St Louis. And cities all over Ontario need London's Ring-A-Wing.
  • sippy: I agree, where is Sneaky Dee's?

  • many comments are echo'd again, but lets not forget:
  • Patrik is right about Wild Wing and Moose Winooskis, even if the latter isn't in TO.
  • CL on - yes yes yes, the Crown and Dragon.

  • joey and Elle is bang on about St Louis. Why?
  • David on, you are right and wrong. MCW are snobby, Duff's is vinegary based just right. All Stars does have good sauce and St Louis is so wrong about "hotter than hell".
  • BillyWarhol, Wing Machine wings are tasty. Small and expensive, but tasty.

I still don't know how one votes in these lists. I've searched their website to no avail. So who gets to vote and how? I suspect from the votes that the types of people voting are those that think of wings as an after thought. They don't take wings seriously, and are more likely to have wings when its a shared plate amongst a group of friends of coworkers than someone who truly appreciates good chicken wings. I know I'm sounding like a snob, but many of these places list baked, sweet/bbq sauced wings. Its sad. I feel the need to end on a quote:

"I've said it before and I'll say it again...democracy doesn't work." Kent Brockman


Tim said...

Thanks for posting this. Just wanted to chime in here and offer a perspective from blogTO. I think what most people react to are the places that are left off the list. But, like yourself, many of the people complaining actually haven't been to most of the places that are actually included. So, it's a bit unreasonable to suggest that so and so wing place should have been on the list when you haven't tried half of the places that are on the list. If you gave the list a chance and tried them you'd see why they made it - and why they just might be better than some "favourites" that didn't quite make the cut.

Lord of the Wing said...


Thanks for commenting! Your right, I haven't been to many of those places and I shouldn't judge before I try.

Teena in Toronto said...

I saw this post on BlogTo when it came out a couple weeks ago and agreed with some of the choices.

And I'd never heard of some of the places so it gives me some places to check into. Hee hee hee.

I do like St. Louis' wings. Yes, they are small and overpriced but I find them tasty. And I like the dipping sauce. It seems the wings are getting smaller and pricier and the chain gets bigger.

I do like the Wheat Sheaf ... especially on half-price Sundays in the summer ... on the patio ... with a beer. Yum!

I've only been to EinStein's once ... and that was enough. The wings were small and boring. I won't be running back.

Sneaky Dee's wings used to be delish! It's at College/Bathurst(SE corner). But I haven't had them in ages.

To me, the Wing Machine are fast food wings and on the bottom of my list.