I'm a little late in my posting lately. Back at the beginning of the month on the Canada Day long weekend, I was on holidays and spent the time visiting LJ in Ottawa. We had a great weekend, but come Monday she had to go back to work and I got to chill. It was July 4th (happy July 4th to those of you South of the boarder) and it was brutally hot out.
I was walking down on Bank street when I came across the Atomic Rooster. This sounds like a wing joint, but I think it's named for the English progressive rock band. I went in anyway.
Oh, and the sandwich board advertising 1/2 price wings helped encourage my decision to go in.
I had heard of this establishment before because of their concert nights and local art, and in my mind I thought of an indie dive. When I actually went inside it was a completely different place than I expected. Actually it was kinda bland inside. Some local art for sale - but the feeling was very plain - like a nice place for seniors to chill.
I was hoping for some killer air conditioning, but there was any - at least not blasting cold (it was comfortable inside, I just like it cold). The crowd seemed to be some regulars, who were debating the politics of French in government. My waitress was was Haley, who was just super. Friendly, attentive, and really caring. When a senior was leaving, she offered him water to take out on the hot day - and she offered me a cold drink when I was leaving because of the heat!
I took advantage of the 1/2 price wings and did some sampling in my ordering. I didn't wait long after ordering and Haley brought me my giant plates of wings.
The wings come in 1lb orders, which was about 9 wings. At $11 that's an expensive pound, but these are good sized wings.
On the side came some big veggies sticks. However, there was no dip, so they weren't that appealing. I ate most of them though. Most, not all.
The wings were large in size - a healthy length. They were a decent medium in meatiness too. On a side note, I continue to not understand how two different restaurants can have wings come in a pound, both equaling about 9 wings, but one place has large wings like Atomic Rooster, and others have little flappers?
Like I said I decided to do some sampling. I ordered a Hot, a Cajun Dry and a side of Suicide.
This was a classic cayenne based pub hot sauce. The wings were slightly wet - enough that my fingers stained red and left drips on the plate, but not enough that they were swimming.
It was tasty and with the crispy chicken skin was pretty good. Not original, but good.
These wings were deep fried then tossed in Cajun seasoning. No sauce, just seasonings.
The Cajun was good, however it was really meek; I wanted a little bolder flavour. The wings were very crispy and the Cajun more complimented the chicken rather than being the star of the show.
Pow! This suicide had a good kick. There was a cayenne flavour, but a strong kick of heat that attacked the lips with pins and needle pain. I immediately thought it was a white heat (a precise heat, as opposed to a blunt red peppery fire). I asked Haley if it was house made or bottled. She informed me it was Dan-T's Inferno White Hot (white hot, I got it spot on!). It certainly boosted the Cajun wings.
FINAL SCORE: What can I say - these are good but simple wings. They aren't doing anything original, but they are big, they are crispy, and at 1/2 price, they were right on. With free refills and such caring service in my waitress Hayley, I had a good wing experience. As for the atmosphere, I'm sure it's more happening at night when there are bands and crowds. 7/10
Atomic Rooster Bar + Bistro
303 Bank Street, Ottawa ON