LJ and I took another shopping trip across the boarder to Watertown New York. Going from shopping mall to store brought less deals than usual, but there's still more selection in the US than in Canada. After a long day we decided to grab some grub and we ended up at Applebee's.
Yes another chain, but nothing has come on the local radar here other than Wing Wagon. I won't lie, I like Applebee's. Lots of options, and for reasonable prices. Our server this night was Lydia, and she kept my Mountain Dew flowing for the evening. We had missed lunch, so we ordered a feast of appetizers and mains.
Above is the Brew Pub Pretzels and Beer Cheese Dip ($5.29). The pretzel sticks have a crispy, crunchy outside, while a soft doughy inside. Light pretzel-ly taste. This was an awesome product. The dip, a little cheesy, a little beer-like. I could leave it. But I would definitely get the sticks again.
Next we got their Ultimate Trio ($12.49) - where you choose 3 of several appetizers to choose from. We went with the beef quesidilla, the chicken wonton tacos, and wings. We'll come back to wings later in the review.
The Steak Quesidilla was good. Beef, onion, and a side of salsa. Simple, but good.
The Chicken Wonton Tacos were an interesting concept. They take a wonton wrapper, deep fry it in a taco shape, then fill it with chicken, Asian slaw and cilantro. Now, I hate cilantro. HATE cilantro. It leaves a vile, bitter soapy taste in my mouth. Hate. Anyway, I asked if it was possible to not have cilantro on it, but I was told it's mixed in. We got it anyways (LJ doesn't mind cilantro) and it came and it was pretty much added on top. So I did my best to pick off the leafy evil. Hate.
So aside from the cilantro, this was good too.
LJ's main was the Shrimp'N Parmesan Sirloin with cheese, broccoli and a loaded potato ($17.29). So rich, so filling. The 9oz steak was tender and cooked to order. The shrimp was flavourful. The potato was over the top. Most of this was packed up to go because the appetizers were pretty filling.
My main was the Riblet Basked ($8.99). It came with fries (which were blah and so passable). They came with their Honey BBQ sauce. The riblets are tender, meaty and saucy. Each little bone shard tugs gently off and are like individual nuggets of goodness. I only wish these were grilled over a real fire and not gas.
And there were also wings.
Now I can review the wings at Applebee's, but not the order. See I got it in the combo above, so I'm not sure how many wings come in a regular order.
In the Appetizer Trio you get about 5 wings.
On the side were a couple of thin celery sticks and blue cheese dip. The dip was very thick and creamy, but I didn't like it. It was too thick and had a sour taste that I didn't care for.
The wings were an impressive large to almost jumbo size and length. They were also pretty meaty wings. But, they were kinda rubbery. Tough. The skin was not very crispy either. I think the wings should have been deep fried a little longer. They looked good though and were awesomely saucy.
LJ wasn't having any, so I went with their Buffalo Hot. The orangey-red sauce was ok. It was just a little artificial tasting for my liking. As in clearly not made on site. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't great either.
I wasn't impressed with my wings, despite the fact that I wanted to. When they arrived, they looked really good. They were big and saucy. But the meat and skin were rubbery, and the sauce was bottled-ho-hum. And pass on their blue cheese. Fortunately we had excellent other apps and mains; pretzel sticks, riblets and steak. Overall good meal, but if I'm back, I won't get the wings. 5/10
Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar
1283 Arsenal Street, Watertown NY USA
Friday, 3 August 2012
Thursday, 2 August 2012
Spring was in the air, I was in the National Capital Region, and I had heard about a new pub,called The Burbs, in Kanata, which is a suburb of Ottawa. Off to lunch on a beautiful day and I was hoping for some good wings.
The Burbs is in a small strip mall in south part of Kanata. I think pubs have come and gone from this location before its current identity. I did like the sign and the colour of the umbrella's on the patio.
They had just opened up and with the really nice weather I sat out on the patio. It wouldn't be long before more and more patrons showed up. My server was there but not greatly personable. Another server brought me my food and was much more friendly.
Soon, I had my wide platter of wings.
Wings come in 1lb orders, with about about 12 wings in a pound.
I found it interesting that they were laid out in a wide platter. Usually wings are piled up, which as a pro would keep them warmer, but may increase sogginess? I wonder . . .
I've ranted again and again about Ottawa and sour cream as a dipping sauce. The menu specifies sour cream, and no veggies? What is up with that? But I asked if I could get something other than sour cream. My waitress asked if I wanted blue cheese? Yes! Why isn't this the automatic go to? It was a good dip with lots of chunks in it too. I ended up dipping wings in here.
|My photos have a weird tint - I tried to colour correct . . but still greenish|
Hot was standard cayenne based hot sauce. Good, not really hot, but good classic pub wings.
Suicide had a nice kick to it. It burned fast and then died off quick. I wish the sauce wasn't cold though.
I wasn't crazy about The Burbs. The wings were pretty standard - a few sauces, medium wings, but a nice crispy skin. The chicken wings are not the star here. Nothing is bad, but nothing stood out about my experience either. 6/10
The Burbs Pub & Eatery
501 Hazeldean Road, Kanata ON
By the time you probably read this, it will be Day 1 of London Ribfest. 5 amazing days of ribs, smoke and judging. I know I'm excited - so until next week, we are back to being Lord of the Ribs:
Last year Doug made a video about the festival (note, I don't know who Doug is but appreciate the video):
And this year, the competition is smoking hot (pun intended). The London Free Press has an article on Boss Hog (who sent me a suicide recipe years ago).
Hope to see you around. I'll be judging the ribs at the festival again on Sunday at 3pm. Hope to see you there!
RIP - King West Wings is NOW CLOSED
Back in May, I was given the go ahead to move into the Dean's suite in my building. It's pretty 'sweet' alright. But moving was a long, drawn out process. Exhausted and not prepared to cook (where are the dishes?) I decided to order out.
I decided to get take-out from The Wing Company. Only when I looked up the website, turns out, the downtown location closed down. But in it's place was King West Wings.
|I ordered take-out, but took some outdoor shots since|
So looking at the online menu, nothing seemed to have changed except ownership. And the name. Not the logo, it's the same just with a new name. It was a Monday, and wings were on 50% extra as a wing special, I decided to get 2 orders of wings that I could enjoy for a a couple of days.
The delivery guy arrived within 30 minutes, but he was ornery. Something about him parking and he was mad at me because he could get a ticket or something? I didn't understand his angry rant (he did get a ticket? or not? He parked across the street instead of the pull up of my building? what?). I paid him and I was quickly having dinner.
Each order gave me a choice of sides. I decided to go with onion rings for one order. They were . . . not impressive. They were very soft - not very crispy. The onion is cut too thick in my opinion. I would not get them again.
With my other order, I went with potato wedges. These were more to my liking. Crispy coating, soft inside. They could use more seasoning in my opinion (I love spicy wedges), but these were good.
You also get two dips. Blue cheese on the left (standard restaurant bottled BC) and Dill dip on the right. Good for dipping the potato and onion products in.
And then there were the wings.
Well I was glad to see things were pretty much as I had known them before. A normal order comes with 10 wings, but since it was a Monday, I got 5 more wings.
Wings ranged from medium to large sized wings, but they were a meaty wing. The wings are breaded, then deep fried. They impressively stand up to the travel and sauce in delivery. I mean the skin was not as crispy had it been eaten in store, but they still had a crunch when I bit into them.
This was a good sauce, a little spicy smokey.
Nothing amazing - nothing that really stood out over all. But it had a little heat and was tasty.
I've had the 5 Alarm before and I like it. It is has a kick. It's a little sweet. It's saucy.
It reminds me of the wings at Moose Winooski's - not quite, but very good.
Good size, tasty sauces. Wings traveled well in delivery. In my opinion, the best delivery wings in downtown Toronto. 7/10
King West Wings
700 King Street West, Toronto ON
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
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:
With Ribfest just days away . . . I figured lets have a rib themed entry this week. Which brought me to Lloyd's:
"Hi. My name is Lloyd and ever since I was old enough to taste the difference between true BBQ smoking and grilling, I’ve loved barbeque. As I grew older and learned my way around the smokehouse, I wanted to share my passion with the barbeque-deprived masses. The problem was, barbequing took too much time. Then, like a spark from a hickory log, I had an idea: what if I created authentic, great-tasting barbeque that cooks in minutes?In 1978, after lots of hard work—and lots of barbeque— I founded the Lloyd’s Barbeque Company so that folks could enjoy restaurant quality ribs right at home. Since then, I’ve been serving up rack after rack of giant ribs, each one slow-cooked in hickory smoke and slathered in my famous original barbeque sauce.With the success of my ribs, I expanded my product line to include barbeque-shredded meats in resealable tubs for those hectic dinners with the kids. More barbeque breakthroughs followed, like my Lloyd's Woodfire Barbeque® sauce-less meats you add your own perfect sauce to, my snack size line of SNACKRACK ribs, for instant barbeque gratification and single-size barbeque for quick and tasty lunch-B-Qs."
Rib snacks eh? Well do you have wing flavoured rib snacks?
So they do. Spicy Buffalo Sauce in fact. Interesting.
Some funny quotes from their site:
"Like my BBQ, my homepage has a lot of meat to it."
"Add BBQ to your cooking repertoire, whatever repertoire means."
"The secret to my BBQ success? I listen to my taste buds."
"I'm not just living my dream. I'm eating it."
"My BBQ is the fruit of my labor. Only instead of fruit it's made of meat."
"For those times you want BBQ between BBQs try my SNACKRACK ribs."
I'm skeptical about the product, but the guy sounds interesting!
Have you tried Snackribs?