Wednesday, 27 January 2010


=Fulton Burger Company in Ottawa is now CLOSED - RIP=

Back in November, I did a little review on a burger place called Fulton Market Burger Company. It was my first visit and I really dug the burgers there. They are pricey, but tasty. But I was torn. I had a personal dilemma like only I could: they had wings as a special. I didn't know what to do. Yes I was at a burger place for the first time, but wings were calling. Well I put my addiction aside and got the burger (as you know). But on a second visit, I could not resist sampling the wings.

I don't need to go over the place or how to order; Been there done that.

The wings were not the focus of advertisement this time. Although I did find a little fold-out add on a table. Otherwise the wings are not on the menu or the website.

We got our food to go. Even though the restaurant was empty, it still took a long time for our orders. I'm going to go with it takes time to prepare good food idea, rather than slow service. The food came in a swanky black plastic bag. LJ had a burger, which she once again enjoyed.

We split an order of cheesy onion crisps. They are available on their new sirloin burger combo, or on the side. For just under $4 for an order, you can see in the photo above they are not generous with their portion. And unlike other burger places with fries or rings, there was certainly no overflow in the bag of stray samples.

So what are they? They are an onion ring with an intense cheddar flavour. By the time we got home they were not crispy, and many were stuck together. Not really an onion ring, or a pedal, these were cheesy in flavour, but I cannot for the life of me think of where the cheese flavour reminds me of. They were an interesting sample, but for the price, no way would I get them again.

The entire ride home all we could smell were the wings in the car. From the back seat the wafting of cayenne and chicken made my mouth water. In my mind, I was sure these weren't going to be great wings, but my senses were telling me something else.

The domed take-out container also kept a garden of baby carrots and celery chunks. I was surprised not only at the generous helping of veggies, but that there were veggies at all. All too many pubs and eateries are not serving this side with wings, but this burger joint is. And thank goodness it was with ranch and not sour cream.

I took photos quick, because I really wanted to sample the wings!

There were 9 wings in a 'single' order. The wings were dusted (or very lightly breaded) and were surprisingly still crispy, despite having been on the road for 15 minutes and in a steam sealed container. They were also all wingettes, which I found interesting.

The wings were on the medium side. Not big, but not that small either. They were also meaty. The meat was also really tender (probably from the 'steaming' in the container) and the bones came away from the meat with no struggle.

The chicken wings were nice and wet. Lots of sauce, but not so much the wings were soggy. I ordered the 5 Alarm sauce, which is their suicide. Hot is Frank's (as seen in their advertisements). 5 Alarm sauce was 3rd Degree with something mixed in that gave a taste boost as well as a greater heat kick.

I like this flavour, and there was a stinging. My lips were feeling it after the first bite, and the rest of the mouth followed suit shortly there after. LJ took a bite of one and while she said she really liked it, it was too hot to enjoy.

FINAL SCORE: I was really skeptical about these wings, despite my sick nature to want to try them. I mean, the place is a burger joint, these have to be frozen wings, right? Well, if they were frozen, these were still a good wing. Crispy, saucy, spicy. The meat was tender and I found myself wanting more when I was done. I am impressed. Not amazed, but Fulton's wings are better than you would expect. 6.5/10

Fulton Market Burger Company
500 Terminal Avenue, Ottawa, On
Original burger review HERE.

WWWWWW #8 - Ben Zuidwijk's Do The Funky Chicken

It's another exciting edition of:

Yes, World Wide Web Wacky Wing Wednesday. WWWWWW. This is where I will surf the Web, and find other people talking about chicken wings. The world is full of chicken wing stories, wacky and otherwise. Recipes, restaurant reviews, eating contests or whatever. Today's Blog relating to wings in some shape or form:

It seems Mr Zuidwijk, from Rotterdam in the Netherlands, does some funky media designing. I came across him, not for a chicken wing specifically, but because of his instructions on how to Do The Funky Chicken:

Light and fun. The way Wednesday should be. Enjoy!

Judging Again . . .

So I've been asked this week to be the head judge at the 89 Chestnut Residence's "Battle of the Wings" competition.

The head chef, Jaco Lokker, is battling against 3 sous chefs (Eddie, Nathan and Fitzroy) for the title of best chicken wings.

As you may recall, I worked and lived @ the Chestnut where I ran a little wing review called "The Chestnut Report", modelled on The Colbert Report. The Chestnut had some pretty good wings, so I can only imagine what the competition will bring out.

I will report more once I get back from Toronto. Hopefully lots of photos and maybe even video??? Should be a good time.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Port Dalhousie's 'Fowl Fest'

From the Port Dalhousie Website:

Friday, January 29 to Sunday, January 31

The Port Dalhousie Business Association is pleased to announce the first annual Fowl Fest! Local restaurants and pubs will feature; chicken inspired menus/specials, compete for the "King of the Wing" title and participate in a variety of events including "Wing bowl" and the International Chicken Chucking Championships.

King of the Wing!
Local restaurants will be competing for the title of King of the Wing! It is up to you to decide who has the best chicken wing. When you order wings from; Spice of Life, Kilt & Clover, Scorecard Harry's, Lion Tavern or Delyla's you will be given a ballot to fill in, rating the establishments wings. On Sunday January 31st, ballots will be calculated and a winner will be determined!

Wing Bowl!
To kick off the Opening Day Ceremonies (Saturday January 30) for Fowl Fest and the international Chicken Chucking Championships there will be a timed wing eating contest! *To enter into this competition and win the Wing Bowl Trophy please visit or email the Port Dalhousie Business Association office (17 Lock Street, upstairs or for your entry form!

Sounds like fun. I didn't even know Port Dalhousie existed, but there you go. Unfortunately I can't make it . . . if you go, send me photos!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

The New Complete Book of Chicken Wings

Look what I found at my local library:

"Take a break from haute cuisine and have yourself a wingding!"

A chicken wing recipe book, from 1989! AND its Canadian!

Certainly a book before it's time. The emphasis here is that wings are inexpensive (oh those were the days!) and easy to cook. So easy, Joie Warner, the author of the book, cooks several different kinds at once; deep frying one batch while another is baking while yet another is stir-frying. Awesome.

Unfortunately there are very few photos (I think I've posted 50% of them) and the photos are black and white. That would be ok, but the quality is terrible. See the photo above? It's not crisp or clear not because of my scanning, but the quality in the book. Too bad.
There are a lot of chicken wing recipes in here, over 70. I was surprised at how some of the recipes I thought were new ideas, but were clearly established long ago. I also really appreciate Warner's commitment to Buffalo Wings - as in proper classification, sauce, cooking, even down to how a Buffalo Wing should be cut up.

Is there anything your public library can't do?

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Checkers Classic Wing Commercial

I have never eaten at checkers. I don't think there are any in Canada, and I've never seen one on my travels through the States, but I sure do see a lot of commercials for them. The seem like our Fast Eddie's up here, only with a bigger menu. I'd love to try them. Especially since I've seen them start to advertise Classic Chicken Wings:

They look mighty tasty (despite the crazy people flapping their arms. Those 5 kicking flavours are:

  • Medium Buffalo (featuring FRANK’S Red Hot® Buffalo Wing Sauce)
  • Savory Honey BBQ
  • Sweet ’n spicy Asian Kick
  • Insanely hot Angry Buffalo
  • Rich and buttery Garlic Parmesan

I'm sure the Angry Buffalo is not insanely hot.

Anyone been to Checkers? How was it? Have you had the wings?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

GRACE O'MALLEY'S Irish Pub & Restaurant ~ Ottawa ON

= This location is now CLOSE - RIP =

Grace O'Malley, or Grainne Ni Mhaille, or Granuaile or Grany Malley (depending on who you are talking to and what language you are speaking) and was a noble woman in Ireland in the 1500's, may have been a pirate and a revolutionary. And she met Queen Elizabeth. Now she is immortalized as a small chain of pub/restaurants.

In a little mini-mall on Merivale road, down South in Ottawa in the area that was known as Nepean, one of these pub and eateries sits. The mini-mall is small, only a few stores, with Grace O'Malley's (or Gracie's) in the corner. There's a little castle facade at the main entrance, and the place looks small from the outside.

But when you step inside of Gracie's, it's quite large. It's wide, and deep. A long bar, big booth sections, table seating - there's lots to sit at. Then you go farther back and there's even more. And a dance floor somewhere. There's fireplace seating and flat screen TV's. The decor is old wood, dark lighting, cast iron, and big ale flasks. It feels like a hundred year old Irish pub (not that I've been in a REAL one before).

Our waitress was Alexis, who was very friendly. She, like all the waitresses, are dressed very skimpily, with short short skits and not-loosely fitting sports jerseys. The crowd was mixed, mostly an older crowd (looked like a lot of people here after work) but there were families with small kids, and some groups of college crowd kids.

For an appetizer, we got deep fried pickles. They aren't on the menu really, but they are in a combo platter. Alexis go us an order of the DFP's for $7, but it was a hefty order of like 12 spears.

The DFP's were crispy and a very hot temperature. Just a heads up with these, watch the pickle juice, it can burn. The crumb coating had a nice crunch. They came with an alioli dip that was very nice and garlicky. The order came with two dips. The only problem we had was when we got down to a few spears, Alexis came by and asked if we were finished with them. We said no. Then two minutes later she came back, cleared our neighbours table and grabbed our spears too. She was just trying to be helpful cleaning up, but took our food away!

Finally, the main reason we were here was because of their 10 Cent Wings. You don't see this very often anymore! The deal is you get 10 wings for $1 with the purchase of a beverage. Can't beat that these days. OK, I need to come clean, I checked this place out in like December, but couldn't do a review because the photos didn't turn out due to the darkness and my refusal to use flash.

This time I got a chance to get some good photos. My waitress then told me how the wings used to be 1 cent a piece during sports games, but they decided to make it every Monday, and upped the price to 10 cents. And she said you couldn't believe how the clientele changed when they upped the prices - 9 more cents brought in a much more respectable crowd and they lost the undesirables. Wow.

I've come for the 10 cent wings, but I'll be don't know if these wings are the same as the one's on a regular night. That being said, these wings are pretty small. Not the smallest wings I've had, as in not pigeon wings, but they are small. But meaty! Tender meat. Some of the skin was crispy, others were not. As I was told by a waitress, they cook big batches of wings all day, then deep fry them again when ordered. The pre-cooked wings often run out, and they go straight from frozen to meet the demand. That sounds not so good, but these wings were pretty decent.

LJ and I ordered 40 wings (which sounds like a lot, but again, these aren't small) and we went with 4 flavours (although one order was a repeat with sauce on the side). The wings with sauce came out saucy, which was good.


Crispy, salty wings. Straight out of the fryer and tossed in 'Cajun' spices. Nothing new hear, but the good thing is that these were not as salty as other 'Cajun' dustings.

Later we got a second order of this, and I got a side of their BBQ sauce on the side. The BBQ was a ketchup based sauce, which was a balance of sweet, savoury and tomatoey. It complimented the Cajun wings well.

Standard hot had a really nice flavour, and just a tad of a kick. I couldn't identify the sauce used, so it could be a house sauce, but whatever it was, I liked it.

There was a mild vinegar kick, to add into what heat there was. It was still more of a mild in my mind, but LJ found it had a bit of spice. This would be my go-to sauce if I came back again.

The first time I went to Grace O'Malley's, the suicide was like the Hot, only hotter. But this time it was a thick, peppery sauce. And when I say peppery, more like black pepper than chili pepper. At first, I thought it was so-so in heat. But after a few wings, the heat definitely built up. I almost had a runny nose, and it attacked the back of my throat a few times.

FINAL SCORE: If these are the wings on a regular night, I wouldn't bother with them. They are small, not that crisp and the sauces aren't amazing. BUT, for 10 Cents on Mondays, they rock. Meaty, tasty and the frozen/multi-cooking processes take a back seat. You'll need a basket or two, but then again, they have good deep fried pickles (and fries) to supplement your grub. 4.5/10

Grace O'Malley's Irish Pub & Eatery
1541 Merivale Road, Ottawa (Nepean) On (and other locations)

WWWWWW #7 - DirectDaily

It's another exciting edition of:

Yes, World Wide Web Wacky Wing Wednesday. WWWWWW. This is where I will surf the Web, and find other people talking about chicken wings. The world is full of chicken wing stories, wacky and otherwise. Recipes, restaurant reviews, eating contests or whatever. Today's Blog relating to wings in some shape or form:

A blog/website where they "showcase the world’s best of direct marketing and engaging advertising work, which we categorise and update daily. Directdaily is here to provide inspiration and perhaps even broaden your horizons and give you a new perspective on your profession."

The reason I came to their site? Chicken wings, of course. More specifically, advertising a wing night in nearby Montreal, QC.

What a great campaign! The ad idea was to put the man's face on the back of a taxi cab, and when the brake-light on the cab lights up, it looks like his tongue is glowing in pain from the spicy food at Le Cactus. Very cool.

The Argyle Sweater Comic and Wings

Back in December, Chris over at Nibble Me This ... sent me a copy of this comic strip:

Get it, an angel gets his wings!!! Brilliant.
Thanks Chris!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

GOLDEN CENTURY BUFFET (formerly Royal Buffet) Ottawa ON


I used to love Chinese buffets. Or Canadian-Chinese buffets (as there isn't really anything 'Chinese' on the menu). Buffets in general. Yes there is the AYCE factor, but really its about trying and sampling. Now, maybe my tastes have matured, or, what I really believe, that buffets in Ottawa suck. LJ and I have tried several in the area, not all Can-Chinese, but they are all pretty terrible (see HERE & HERE as two examples). One after another, we had pretty much given up on a buffet to go back to.

But then we decided to try one that we had passed before, and it seemed decent from the road. We decided to stop in. I was a bit confused because I was looking for the Royal Buffet. Even the website address is still Royal Buffet, but at some point in the last few months, the place switched over to become Golden Century Buffet. I have no idea why the name change, or if the food would be different, if there were new owners or any other changes. But the place was busy, so we decided it was worth the old college try.

We were sat very promptly, with drink orders taken right off the bat. Service was friendly, water was refilled frequently. Another service plus I saw but did not partake in involved signs saying at off-peak hours, one could ask staff to refill a particular dish and they will make it fresh for you. That's pretty good I think. The place was clean, but some of the seafood dishes were very strong with that fishy smell.

The fare at the buffet is pretty standard. Deep fried this and that, noodle dishes, salads, sushi, beef carving etc etc.

Here's a sampling of a pretty vegetable-free trip to the buffet. Actually that's not true, there is some pickles on there, and some onion in the rings. The egg rolls were not like ones I've had before, more filled with minced meat rather than sprouts and meat. But everything else tasted relatively the way it should, and didn't taste like it has been sitting for a while.

I also got some General Tao chicken. I still can't find what I consider General Tao chicken in Ottawa, but this was crispy, sweet and full of whole chilies. Tasty, but not what I would consider General Tao.

Of course, I had to try their crispy chicken wings - one of my faves at any Can-Chinese buffet.

You can see in the picture of the buffet near the top, the wings are piled and waiting in whatever number you want (the price listed is for the take-out menu). The chicken wingette's still have the tips.

The chicken is large and hefty. They have a lot of meat on then.

The wings are battered, as opposed to breaded. Then the wings are deep fried, making them pretty crispy. Some of the wings are not all that crispy, but that has more to do with coming in contact with various sauces on my plate than the wings themselves - although the heat does break down the stiffness in the skin.

While they are served dry, you can put on plum sauce, or red sauce, or as I finally found, hot sauce. I had to ask a server, and she seemed so happy and surprised I wanted hot sauce. The sauce, in a squirt bottle by the salad dressings, reminds me of a red paste hot sauce I had when I studied in Hong Kong and had with my guy-yik wings. I ate a lot there and don't have too much of a stomach for it anymore. That didn't stop me from having it though.

FINAL SCORE: Overall, very happy with the buffet. I mean, it didn't knock my socks off, but it was definitely the best buffet so far I have been to in the Ottawa region. Crispy wings, good service, but not a chopstick in sight (my preferred means of conveying food from plate to mouth in an Asian eatery). If I get a hankering for buffet, which is about $15 on a weekend, I guess this is our go to place now. It's a little sad when you have to settle, but that's this crazy town I'm in. 4.5/9

Golden Century Buffet
2446 Bank St. Ottawa, Ontario