Wednesday, 30 September 2009



Wow, there is a lot to go over and I don't know where to begin.

First, I'm sorry to my Toronto peeps. Yes, I was in Toronto, and had wings without contacting anyone. But, I had limited time. No really. See I was home this weekend for my good friends Brad and Amanda's (or Bramanda as they are often refereed to on this site) wedding in which I was a groomsmen. I had a nightmare trying to get home Friday for the rehearsal (LJ was stuck with last minute work, my tux rental was wrong again and I had to stop in Kingston to pick up the Puralated new one, mega traffic & construction along the way etc.) Anyways, the wedding was great (aside from being outdoors and it raining all Saturday). On Sunday we had to leave early for a wedding shower LJ had to go to on the Danforth in Toronto. Sunday traffic meant it took 1 hour to get from the Missasauga/Toronto border to the Danforth. And not that she could stay long (still a stop in at LJ's parents and a 4 hour drive) but basically an hour for me to kick around, and we were late due to traffic and who could I contact at last minute (PS - congrats to Nee & Rayzor who also got married this weekend! I'm sure you would have been busy). So again, sorry. Whew!

So while the wedding shower was on the Danforth, I saw a little joint a block away that I knew I was going to get something to eat to fill in the rough hour I had in Toronto. If I knew when I was coming to TO, and was staying for longer, I would definitely called someone and went to one of many other places to try, but this place fit in a pinch. This place was Wild Wings Sports Pub.

And I know what some people are thinking: "You were in Greektown and could get great Greek food after the not-so-great Greek food you have to endure in Ottawa and you went for wings?" Yes. I have a sickness and that is why this is Lord of the Wings, not Lord of the Soulvaki.

Wild Wings is not to be confused with the chain Wild Wings. This place has been on the Danforth for a long time - when I lived in Toronto and went to Greektown, I would see this place, but never went in because, well, it looked a little skeasy. Regular 'bar flies' hanging out out front and inside kinda drove me away. But this day, with precious minutes counting down and me having a jonesing for wings and a slightly brave feeling, in I went.

The sign out front looks over 20 years old. So does the inside. The same bar flies I passed several years ago are the same ones I saw standing outside and up at the bar this day I'm sure. The bar itself is right upfront, flanked by booths, each with its own tv showing 'the game' and reminding patrons this is a sports bar. There's a pool table, Foosball, and arcade games to entertain. Classic rock on the radio at the front and Asian contemporary music in the back made for an interesting contrast.

I sat in a booth and waited for some service. Eventually the bartender 'John' came around and pointed at a menu. I nodded yes and took it, glancing over the 100+ wing sauces (but again, this is not the chain with over 100 sauces). Some great names, but I have no idea what is in 'Hot Beach' or 'Rush Hour'. Descriptions would be nice. I waited to ask John. 5 minutes went by. 10. Then 15. I was getting pretty upset at this point. I'm very patient, but I was on a time limit, and no one coming around was enough to push me to just leave. I started packing up, when John finally came back around. I gave in and decided to just order.

I asked him "what flavour is 'Wild Wing'?" one of their 'special' sauces. John looked like I had asked him which of his children I should kill. I don't think his English was very good, and he went and got a woman behind me who I could hear having a passionate conversation in a language I could not identify. He took the phone and she came to my table, wiping her eyes, apologizing for having been on a long distance phone call. (my theory is John doesn't speak much English, was waiting for his wife? to take my order, but she was on the phone and thus I sat waiting). She was very helpful in explaining various flavours:

There was so much to choose from, and she had a few suggestions for flavours, and influenced one of my decisions. I ended up ordering their daily special ($8.99 for a lb and a pint of house lager) and another order of wings (which turns out comes with fries). Yes, I went with the pint of beer. I went cheap when I got a drink with my wings AND it was still cheaper than a regular order. And I have to admit, I didn't mind their beer. Of all the beer I have ever drank, this was the 'best' I have had.

I didn't realize the regular order came with fries, but it was a nice side. I suspect the fries were frozen, but either way, they were great. Crispy, light, so good. I couldn't finish all the fries and my waitress was like "you didn't like the fries? If you didn't like, we could have given more wings!" I tried to interject and mentioned the fries were good, I just couldn't eat any more. But then I was kinda sad I didn't get more wings! (then again, I was very very full).

Not only did the regular order of wings come with fries, they also came with a couple pieces each of celery, carrot and dip (I can't remember if it was ranch or bleu cheese, but at least it wasn't sour cream!).

The wings came in orders of about 8 to a pound. They were very wet, and came battered which gave them a crispy coating. I'm pretty sure it was a batter over a breading due to the airy-nature of the flaky bite. And even with all the sauce, they remained nice and crisp.

The wings themselves were about a medium in size and decently meaty. Yes a bigger wing would have been great, but there was nothing to really complain about regarding the chicken.

I'm a sucker for all things dill. Pickles, chips, popcorn, and of course, wings. I expected a creamy dill and hot sauce mixture like the other Wild Wing, but instead I got a wing tossed in hot sauce that was mixed with dill weed.

I didn't think this was the best way to go, but after one bite, I was really digging these. The contrasting tart dill and the piquant hot make for an excellent, intriguing sauce combo. I was very happy that there was lots of sauce for extra dippin.

I had inquired with the waitress over their hottest sauce (whose heat came from an added extract shot), as well as the 'Wild Wing' flavour - which was a Cajun/Honey Mustard/Hot Sauce combo. 'Hot Shot' was just the next hotter version of 'Wild Wing' and the interesting mix of sauces really appealed to me over a super suicide.

The sauce was all over my mouth and it took me a second to take it all in. By the time I got the wings I had forgotten what three things made up the sauce. I could taste the hot. Then I was like, was there BBQ? No it was the honey mustard I could taste. I couldn't taste the Cajun spices specifically, but I knew there was something else going on in there. I didn't immediately love it, but by the last few wings, I was enjoying them immensely.

FINAL SCORE: My expectations were pretty low going in, but I was pleasantly surprised. The wings were not of frozen fare, and there definitely some home-mixing and tinkering with sauces. While my initial service was a put-off, I'm sure that it was a blip in the daily routine. The woman was excited that I might be a new regular, but looked very sad when I mentioned I was just stopping through Toronto (again, sorry to everyone I didn't meet up with).
The wings were not out of this world, but they were decently prepared. The fries were hot and crisp, and even I didn't mind the house lager. If your feeling adventurous, want to go to a dive, and maybe play an arcade game with some wings, the non-chain Wild Wings is definitely and experience to try. 6/10

Wild Wings Sports Pub
402 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, On


Teena in Toronto said...

I've never heard of them ... but I don't get to the east end very often. But if I do, I'll check 'em out.

Lord of the Wings said...

Teena - Lots of sauces to choose from. But I think if I went back to Greektown, I would go for Greek. Well, maybe not . . .