I've always said the National Capital Region needs a good country bar.
Ok no I didn't, but that didn't stop Kanata from building one. Crazy Horse opened back in 2009 (which seems like last year). I was curious to try it out back when I was living in Ottawa, but never did go. But on a visit to LJ this summer we decided to finally go and check them out.
Crazy Horse's food schtick is stonegrilled steak. That is, you have these special lava rock stones that are heated to 400 degrees celsius and the food is 'dry cooked.' You get to cook it yourself, which is kinda cool. Neither LJ or I got this however. But a very interesting concept.
I loved the inside of Crazy Horse. It feels like an old saloon, but more kitschy. I mean there are stuffed animal heads and old lanterns, wood carved creatures, barrels and lots of wood. There's a stage for live music and a dance area (popular on the weekend). They even have a mechanical bull. The music is of course, country. We were in for a weekend lunch and the place was pretty empty inside. I mean the place is huge with lots of seating, so what few people were there made it look dead. I half expected a posse of outlaws to walk in the door. LJ wasn't a fan of the darkness inside for lunch, but I'm sure this place gets bumping and even more cow-boyish atmosphere at night.
I never did get our server's name, but she was friendly in her cowboy hat. Brought drink refills for me unprompted but we had to ask for LJ. Now our food order got a little complicated from there. We got an appetizer platter to share, then LJ got a steak sandwich and I got more wings (I say more wings because there were wings already in the platter). But I'm going to review non-chronologically and give the non-wings first.
LJ went with the Grilled Steak Sandwich ($14) which is a 5oz AAA Alberta Beef Striploin steak on an open faced bun, topped with onion strings, chipotle mayo and as a side she went with sweet potato fries. The steak was cooked medium-well and was tender and had a nice grilled smell, but was a really bland tasting meat. The sweat potato fries were crispy and really good. LJ said the meal was ok, but there were lots of other things on the menu she would like to try in the future.
The menu has a lot of really intersting things on it, and an appetizer platter is great way to try different things. This is the "Everything is Bigger in Texas Platter" ($23).
- Cornmeal Dusted Calamari: Calamari is a tricky seafood to cook, but this was done nicely: tender with just a little crispy edge to the coating.
- Onion Petals & Stuffed Potato Spuds: I love onion petals - like onion rings but just more fun. As for the Potato - mashed up potato that is breaded and deep fried. Side dips were necessary for flavour but still good.
- Chicken Fingers: As far as chicken fingers go, these were good. Whole pieces of meat (not ground chicken), crispy, warm, not bad at all.
- Chicken Quesidilla: These were my least favourite of the platter. Chicken and cheese on a tortilla. Nothing special.
There were also wings in the platter, so lets go do a wing review.
|Correction: I found they do have a wing night - Monday AYCE $14.99. So wings are 7/10.|
Crazy Horse calls them Cowboy Wings. They say they are "Country-Style chicken wings deep fried to perfection." There are 9 wings in an order, which is decent, but they are very pricey at $12.
On the side are carrot and celery sticks. It also comes with a homemade Dill Ranch dip (more ranch than dill but good). You can upgrade to a homemade Blue cheese dip for $1 more. I was happy with Dill.
Above is a plate of 9 Cowboy wings tossed in Tucker's Suicide Sauce and a side of Jalapeno Molasses. The wings from the combo platter are also coming.
Lengthwise these were not big wings. Small to maybe small-medium. However, these were very meaty wings. The above picture is short, but you can see the plumpness of the chicken. And they were very tender. They were dusted in what seemed like cornmeal. It added a nice texture to the wing and this coating created a good barrier for the sauce. There was lots of sauce for the wings - they were slippery but this is how I like my wings.
RED HOT BBQ
I went with the Red Hot BBQ as a wing that LJ could try that should have a nice kick, but also flavour.
Well, there wasn't a lot of heat, but these were good wings. It was described like a BBQ sauce mixed with hot sauce, and while there was some sweetness, it was more hot than BBQ. Either way it made for a tasty wing that I really enjoyed.
I don't know who Tucker is, nor is it explained anywhere, but they make a decent suicide sauce. There was a good bite. In fact I was caught off guard by the heat. It didn't kill me, but it did have bite.
There was one major drawback to this sauce - it increased in saltiness with each bite. By the end I needed to dip to cut the puckering power of the salt. Too bad, this was a sauce with potential.
Well this just sounded unique enough to try, but not take a chance on for a whole order. So I got it on the side. Which I think was a good choice. Don't get me wrong, this was a good sauce, but I wouldn't want a whole order. The sauce is very thin and runny, and very sweet from the molasses, with a hint of heat from the jalapeno. I would want a lot more jalapeno flavour and heat. But I think a lot of people would enjoy this.
THE SCORE: I like the decor of Crazy Horse. I liked the cowboy theme and all the props. The menu has so many things I want to try (steaks, burgers etc) but I was happy with the wings. Yes, they should be bigger, but they were meaty and tender. The crispy coating held up well with the sauces, and the sauces were quality. Each one tasted homemade - not just bottled sauces splashed together. While I would tweak some of the sauces for my personal tastes, I was impressed with their unique tastes. Pricey, but the wings are have a craft element to them. 7/10
Crazy Horse: Stonegrill Steakhouse & Saloon
115 Roland Michener Drive, Kanata ON