Back in May I went to Ottawa to visit LJ, and we took a jaunt across the border and I reported on our Applebee's visit. But Monday came and LJ had to go back to work, but I was off for the week. Wanting to have lunch somewhere new in the Capital, I had seen a new place called the Lunenburg open, and Mondays they had half price wings. I thought it was worth checking out.
The Lunenburg has been many pubs over the years, but now it is an East Coast themed establishment. The building itself is a heritage structure which gives it a cool feel from the start. There was a patio on the side, but I decided to head inside.
I kinda felt out of place right away. I had gone for an early lunch on a Monday, and the only patrons were several old men at the bar with the waitress. Everyone looked to see who came in, and by myself, it took me aback. The waitress/bartender said I could sit where ever I wanted to. I chose the main dining room, but it was clear this place was a maze of areas to sit. It was huge inside.
I loved the decor with the old exposed stones, giant wood pillars, the black rimmed glass panes. I felt like I was in an old sea tavern. I looked over the menu and saw the pub classics, the East Coast specialties (deep fried pepperoni) and then the wings.
I asked about specials, knowing they had wings on according to their website, but when asked my waitress said there weren't really any. Fearing their website was out of date, I just went with a single order. I waited for a bit, but things went . . . well, wrong.
Here's the story:
The wings came out fairly quickly. They looked great - much larger than expected, lots of sauce, beautiful colour. I started into my wings and while the skin was a bit crispy it was sogged down by the sauce and the meat was awfully tough. And pink. I forced myself to eat the wing. I bit into another one and it was pink. Then another bite and it was really red. It was bloody in fact. I tried eating it (not wanting to shy away from a wing) but couldn't. I took another and the same thing. I had never had chicken wings that were under-cooked before.
While trying these wings I heard my waitress back at the bar where she was coughing. A patron asked her about this and I heard something about suicide sauce. Then something about how the kitchen made my wings all suicide (I had ordered that on the side) so they had to remake my wings and she couldn't handle the suicide of the original batch. Then it all made sense. These wings were under-cooked because the first batch was messed up and they wanted to get me wings fast. A ha!
Now, I hate to complain at a restaurant, but there was no way I could eat these wings. My waitress eventually came back and I politely apologized but showed her how the wings were way under-cooked. She apologized and put in a new order.
Wings come by the pound, and there were about 8 wings in this order. The menu says that they come with celery carrots and dip, but nothing came with my wings. Sometimes places do this on wing night, so maybe that's why there was no sauce.
The wings were medium in length, but mega meaty. My first batch were under-cooked so the meat was super tough, but my properly cooked second batch was tender and juicy. The first batch of wings were floating in a lake of sauce and the skin was no longer crispy. On my second batch I had almost no sauce, but the chicken skin was crispy. All but the last picture of wings in this post are from my first batch, just so you know.
The classic hot was a great classic hot - cayenne based, vinegary, buttery, orangey, good.
I went with suicide on side. As mentioned before, I do this in case the suicide sauce is gross. This is one of those cases. It had a kick, mind you. This was a true suicide that burns the mouth and the nose. Hot is what I am saying. But the flavour was revolting. Bitter, sour, nothing redeeming.
FINAL SCORE: I loved the ancient sea tavern feel of the place. The wings were jumbo meaty. One order was super saucy, another not. One soggy, one crispy. Hot was good. Suicide, while very hot, tasted terrible. Yes they messed up my order twice, but I can't hold it against them that a mistake was made since they did try to correct it quickly, so yes, I would go back again. 5.5/10
Lunenburg Pub & Bar
14 Waller Street, Ottawa ON
PS: it was wing day after all. Now several month later they have AYCE wings daily thanks to KISS FM.