Monday, 20 September 2010

THE WING COMPANY ~ Toronto, ON

~This location is now King Street Wings, but The Wing Company still operates in Etobicoke ~

This review is a long time coming. Long time.

Let's go back in time to July of 2010. I was still living in Ottawa, but I had to come to Toronto. On a secret trip. A secret job interview. Ok it wasn't really a secret, but I didn't advertise it too much because a) in case it didn't go well or b) I was busy preparing for the interview and didn't have a chance to meet up with friends.

I arrived quite late into the city - never stopped for supper and lots of places were closed. Lots of things have changed in Toronto since I left, and while watching foodie news, had learned that several new chicken wing places had opened up. One was pretty much a take-out place and I thought this was great . . . I can eat chicken wings in the comfort of my room while I go over my interview prep. So off to The Wing Company I went.



I hopped in the car and scooted down to Bathurst. I was afraid they were closed because the few seating options there are there were all put up for the evening. Yes there were a few seats, but this is basically take-out/delivery. It is very open concept, so you can see them preparing the wings and other orders. Helen was the staff member up front, and she was pretty passionate about Wing Company's wings - and I had a lot of questions.



Above and below is a copy of their menu. First, aesthetically I love the colour scheme: simple black and white with the reddish wings and bright green celery. Helen helped me navigate the menu, and tell me about 'Wing Night' which were originally Sundays and Mondays, but are now everyday. This is where you get "50% more wings" - and while I am no mathemagician, 5 more wings on an order of 10 is not 50% more . . . or is it? You tell me.



There are a few non-wing items on the menu like poutine, onion rings, and poppers, but the focus is clearly chicken wings. They're motto is "One Wing ... Forty Flavours!" and I had to figure out what kind of flavour I wanted. Thanks Helen for the help.




15 minutes later I had my wings, my sides and a drink and I was back in the car and to my room. It was a solid bag that had a bit of weight to it. I was excited.




Out first from the bag were the 'extras'. Napkins, fancy wetnaps, and the veggies and dip.



My two sides I requested were celery and dip. The dip choices were Blue Cheese, Ranch or Dill, and while I thought about Blue Cheese, I went with the Dill. It was light, creamy and decent dill flavour. The celery, crisp and fresh.



Then I tore into the stylish black boxes of take-out wings.



I was really hungry (lunch was a faint memory over 8 hours before) so I ordered 20 wings, but with everyday being wing day, I got an extra 10 wings. Sweet. I split that order so that I could sample two different sauces.





The wings were split, and ranged in size from medium to very large. Even with the dusting, these were big wings and they were all very meaty. If I had eaten at The Wing Company, the skin would have been very crispy and the wings saucy. But the downside to almost ALL take-out/delivery wings is that the sauce and the moisture in the container from the trapped heat begin to make the wings soggy. These were on their way there, but still maintained their structure for the most part.


BBQ Hot & Spicy

I asked Helen what were some of the more popular flavours, and this is one of the ones she personally likes. And I like BBQ, and I like spicy, so it seemed like a good way to go.


When I opened up the boxes, I didn't know which was which by appearance alone. I find BBQ usually has a more earthy brown or red tone, but both wings looked similar in colour. But the smell gave away the more spicy versions in my other order. The above were clearly the BBQ Hot & Spicy.



I did enjoy this sauce. It was definitely more spicy in nature like a hot sauce than sweet like a BBQ sauce. It had a nice little kick, but it wasn't burning the lips or anything. These wings were nice and wet and my hand tended to dip into this box more than the other.


5 Alarm

I chose this sauce first and without hesitation or prompting because I wanted to see how hot they could do. It was listed under their 'Buffalo Style' sauce list and described as a "fiery blend of our hottest sauces."



As I mentioned above, visually I didn't know which wing was which. But the smell from the pepper sauce made me very aware that these were the highest level of heat.



For the most part, these wings absorbed more of the sauce into the dusting, making them much less saucy. This didn't discourage me about the chicken, but it did make them less crisp. But they were still a good wing.

The flavour was not anything special to start out with. Pretty much tasted like a cayenne based pepper sauce, with a variety of sauces mixed in. And I wasn't feeling any heat in the first few bites. But as I ate a few one after another, the heat definitely began to build. But it wasn't the hottest sauce I've had by far.



FINAL SCORE:  I did like these wings. I didn't finish them in one night either (my eyes were much bigger than my actual appetite). The wings were big, meaty and had a nice dusting on them. As for the sauces, I would pass on 5 Alarm, but BBQ Hot and Spicy was pretty nice. But I am keen to try some of their other flavours in the future. They may be set up like a chain, but there was love in these wings. 6.5/9



The Wing Company
700 King St West, Toronto ON


PS: Obviously the interview went well, I'm in Toronto now.

9 comments:

indianguy said...

Yes? Hi! These look the like good wings too.

Teena in Toronto said...

They are in my 'hood and I've been wanting to try them. Now I will!

Chris said...

Right there with you on moisture being the enemy of wings in storage. While I love serving wings for large groups, if I can't do them on site, I won't do them at all. They are awful when I transported them in steam pans. They lose all crispiness.

Steve said...

Only because you asked someone to tell you. Yes. 5 more wings on an order of 10 IS indeed 50% more.
Here's some mathemagic:
10% of 10 is 1
50% of 10 is 5
100% of 10 is 10.

Thus, 50% more of 10 is 5, giving you a total of 15.

If you had ordered 20 wings, 50% more is 10, giving you a total of 30.

If you had 7 larger sized wings, 50% would be 3.5, and since you should always round up if you have a decimal of 0.5 or greater, they should be obligated to give you 4 more, for a total of 11 :)

Love your reviews!

Lord of the Wings said...

@Indianguy - These were pretty good take-out wings

@Teena - do it!

@Chris - That's a good wing policy. Do it right or not at all.

@Steve - Thanks; math and me are not friends. But people who like wings can be my friend.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely the worst service ever!!! Waited nearly an HOUR Mon., May 21, 2012 at Etobicoke store and walked away with our money back instead of our order.

We ordered two separate 10 piece boneless wings; one with fries, the other with onion rings. Not sure if they were waiting for the taters to grow or had to pluck the chickens, but will probably never get a chance to taste their fare because of the super bad experience.

The owner was extremely, EXTREMELY rude!!! 2 of the employees were wandering around as if dumb struck while one seemed to be handling everything. And at least 2 delivery orders went out the door (AND the delivery person returned to the store) before we heard anything about the status of our order.

If a business has customers waiting onsite it should be attentive to those customers. Those onsite customers can see what is really going on even if they aren't told anything until they've wasted a LOT of time. We were told it would take 10 to 15 minutes for our order, then the dumb struck cashier said something about 40 minutes. Sure the phone was ringing, but you can tell a delivery customer it will take an hour for their order and still do business with them as they wait in the comfort of their dwelling and because it makes sense to delivery customers that an order may take an hour. However, if we had been told it was going to be an hour or even 40 minutes, we would not have wasted time waiting that crazy long for a take out order. We weren't expecting McDonald's premade ready, but it doesn't take 55 minutes to fry boneless chicken, fries, and onion rings even if you fry them up separately! In fact, if they had been fried for that long they would have disintegrated!

Are there any other good boneless wing options in Toronto? Are we crazy to think a simple (no complicated cooking preferences or substitutions) take out order should be ready in less than an hour?

It would also be helpful if their dipping sauce choices were listed somewhere. There was plenty of room on their chalkboard!

Lord of the Wings said...

@Anonymous - Sorry to hear about that! The Etobicoke location is the only one now, as the one I tried on Bathurst is now "King West Wings" (review to come).

As for boneless wings, I am not as knowledgeable . . . let me know if you do find somewhere!

Rob Fragomeni said...

The Wing Company (2009) is located at 858 Bloor St West and delivery throughout the downtown core. We did have some franchise issues but have since taken control of our brand and have put service and quality first. calling 416-253-9464 will get you awesome wings with crispy fries and dip! Our wings come in 10, 20 & 50, every 10 wings is about 1.5 lbs of large meaty wings. If your craving great wings then call the company that delivers the best wings in the city! The Wing Company...www.thewingcompany.ca ot 416-253-9464

Lord of the Wings said...

@Rib - thanks to the updated info!