Monday, 6 April 2009


It was a crappy, rainy Saturday afternoon. What better way to spend the day than inside, at a museum? That's right, learning for recreation. LJ and I headed to the Canadian Museum of Nature, which turned out to be pretty much a free for all for kids. Lots of kids. Kids kids kids. Now normally so many kids can be infuriatingly annoying, loud and out of control. These kids were pretty good. But way too many. At the end of this entry, see some photos of the exhibits.

We had missed lunch, so we decided to grab a bite to eat. Cruising up Elgin street, we saw an advertisement for 1/2 price appetizers at The Fox and The Feather (F&F). Or was it at the establishment Swagman Jacks? Which place was it?

Funny enough, in April of 2006, I came with Dude to Ottawa for the first time since my childhood when he was looking for an apartment. It was an awesome road trip, and while cruising around O-Town (that's what we call it), we kept passing this big building with the Fox and the Feather pub. It excited me because I saw the word wings on yellow banners. But the place looked a little too touristy, and flash forward to 2009, and I'm finally getting to try the place.

Back to the confusion of where to go, the only door seemed to be for Swagman Jack's. So LJ and I went in, and saw a sign saying F&F upstairs. We went upstairs and found a quite pub and a friendly bar maid/waitress Kaitlin. We took a seat by the windows where the patio normally would be open. I asked Kaitlin what the deal with the 2 restaurants was. Basically, its the same place. Same building, same menu, same kitchen. Just upstairs is F&F and downstairs is the Aussie sounding Swagman Jacks. It used to be called something like 'Friendlies', but they changed it to the current names. "I think they did it just to confuse people" Kaitlin joked.

It's a pretty classic looking pub, with a nice square bar in the middle, old British paintings, and a fireplace and a flatscreen TV or two. Tables were a little sticky and the view was bright but cloudy. Overall, nothing special inside.

We inquired about the 1/2 price appetizers that were advertised all over the building and whether it actually existed on a Saturday afternoon. Most places only have specials on weekdays. But Kaitlin said they were a go, but there are only 4 to choose from: nachos, deep fried zucchini, chicken fingers and chicken wings. We decided to go with nachos, zucchini and wings.

The zucchini sticks were AWESOME!* Ottawa is obsessed with them, and these were the best so far. Cut not too thin, not too thick, and the batter, it was heavenly. It was perfect batter. And it too wasn't too thick or thin. It came with a creamy garlic dip that was also tasty.
*as awesome as zuccini can be

Then, there were nachos. Big plate, but a fairly thin stack. 2 types of cheese, with a side of sour cream and salsa. Guac was $2 extra, and tasted a bit off. I liked the chips because they were crispy, but greasy. Some people may not like a greasy chip, but I do.
Then of course, there were wings.

The wings come about 8-9 in an order. You can get them with fries, but it is extra. The fries were crispy, but fluffy inside. They needed some salt and ketchup, but they were pretty good.

They also came with veggies, but no dip. Why no dip? Why would you eat the veggies without dip?

The chicken wing is about a medium, and there isn't a whole lot of meat on the bones. A decent amount of meat anyways. The wings come out dry. The skin was crispy (they say 'golden fried') and you can see the salt and pepper seasoning. They had a nice texture, but they weren't good enough to eat on their own.

For the sauce, it was just a container of Frank's Red Hot. They didn't even bother to dress it up as Buffalo sauce, but then again, they didn't claim to.

FINAL SCORE: These wings are nothing special. Not bad, but not great either. I would stick to the appetizers. And it is a pretty good appetizer special they have 7 days a week. 5/10

The Fox & The Feather Pub/Swagman Jacks
283 Elgin Street, Ottawa

Click HERE for some photos from the museum over at the Wing Bucket.


Chris said...

This post reminded me of two things:

First-I bragged about how meaty the batch of wings I got were. Well....the second batch (bought same time) were scrawny, at least the drummettes were. Still tasted good but not as meaty.

Second-I did try the brine on wings. Basically 1/4 c salt, 1/2 sugar, and 1 gallon water. I didn't tell anyone I did anything different. They devoured them. I thought the meat was juicier but the skin wasn't bite through crisp like grilled wings usually are. Not sure either were a function of the brine. I'll try again later when I'm just making wings instead of a kazillion other things.

Lord of the Wing said...

Hey Chris - sorry to hear about the scrawny wings (that seems to be all I can get these days). I liked that you kept the brining a secret for taste testing.

I tried brining last summer with some grilling (I've sine been educated on the difference between grilling and BBQ)

but I didn't put enough salt in to make a difference, nor anything else in it. I'll keep watching to see your updates!