|Inspired by these guys http://goo.gl/qfekWg|
The Lord of the Wings blog was contacted by the Zeno group on behalf of Pizza Hut & WingStreet. There are eight flavors: Buffalo Mild, Buffalo Medium, Buffalo Burnin’ Hot, Spicy Asian, Spicy BBQ, Honey BBQ, Lemon Pepper and Garlic Parmesan and one can choose from several varieties including Bone-Out, Traditional or Crispy Bone-In. They asked what kind I wanted and for me to give an honest review of the wings and I could compare against the competition.
Well that sounded like a great offer, so I said yes. What I appreciate is not asking for a biased review - they specified they wanted an honest review. And as always, when I review a product, even if it is free, I cannot guarantee it will get my approval. But clearly they felt they could do well by sending me some Domino's wings.
And so a new segment on LOTW was born: EPIC WING BATTLES OF HISTORY!
Take out wings are a really hard product to get right because ideally wings need to be served immediately after being cooked, but can take 15-40 minutes to be delivered. Then so many things can go wrong.
First off we have the delivery. The good news is both locations delivered on time if not a bit early. Both were served in cardboard containers. Domino's was a LOT of cardboard and while that physically protects the wings in transit, it's a lot of material. But the same box is uses for cheesy bread and other sides, so it's kind of a catch all.
Both places also put their wings into tin foil wraps. Most take-out wing places put them in styrofoam containers, which are not only terrible environmentally, they also help steam the wings. Dominos uses straight up tinfoil, while WingStreet uses a paper-lined tinfoil. I'll be honest, I don't know if that makes any kind of difference. Either way, both wings were still hot with steam coming out when opened up.
I ordered 4 orders of wings from each location. My first order was a hot wing comparison. Size wise these wings were about the same - both were small, but Domino's wings were just a big meatier.
Their cooking styles were different and it was noticeable. WingStreet deep fries their wings, which makes the skin a bit crispy and gives the wing more structure, especially considering they were soaked in sauce. Domino's on the other hand bakes their wings, which does not produce a wing with either crispy skin nor a solid structure. In fact, these wings were just mush. The bones just popped out and the texture is jelly.
Both joints gave lakes of sauce - so you do not have to worry about these wings being dry. Domino's only has 3 choices: BBQ, Honey Garlic, and Hot. Hot is, well I don't know what it is. For some reason it's sweet, but slightly vinegary. There is zero heat. Its actually ghastly sauce. WingStreet gets it though. They have a variety of flavours, and Buffalo Burnin' Hot has a cayenne based flavour with an actual bite of heat. There is a slight HFCS syrupy quality, but over all is a good sauce.
For my second order I went with BBQ sauce. For Domino's I tried their boneless wings; for WingStreet I went with Crispy Bone-In, or breaded wings. The Boneless were large chunks of white meat chicken, with a light batter on them. They were not uniform and thus not some cookie-cutter chicken nugget. They were cooked just right, so that the meat was moist. The breaded wings were crispy, in fact crunchy from the breading. It is a heavy heavy breading that creates a thick wall between the sauce and the meat. It was on the verge of being too much.
The sauces were both different. Domino's BBQ sauce was a dark, 'bold' flavour, but I put it in quotes because it was not a sauce that stood out. It is a savory sauce, not really sweet, but just like a generic sauce from the store. WingStreet's Honey BBQ was smokey, syrupy, and sweet. It was unique and I love the smell it gave off before I even got to is. The thick breading on the wing also meant that the wings did not get soggy in their syrupy bath.
The BBQ options were harder to select a winner, partially because they are different chicken options. Domino's produced a great chicken piece that was tender and tasty and because the sauce was served on the side, retained its structure. WingStreet's breaded wing was a crunchy option, but the breading almost ruined it. What put it over the top was the sauce. Plain sauce from Domino's (although I appreciate that it was of the savoury variety, not sickly sweet), but WingStreet's just had so much more dimension to it.
When it came to the Hot wing, WingStreet won hands down. It was not as crispy as if it hand been served immediately, but it held up surprisingly well to the sauce soak it was subjected to. The flavour of the wing was spot on for hot wing sauce, and actually was hot. It did lack a buttery element to make it Buffalo wing, but all things considered, it worked.
Domino's Hot wing was a travesty. Baked, then drowned in sauce, it was just a mess in terms of structure and texture. I don't want mushy wings. Who does? The sauce was equally terrible. It's sweet (why is it sweet?) and almost sour. It has no positive definitions. It isn't even on the level of a frozen wing from the grocery store, but comes close to the slop wings that said grocery stores sell in the hot and ready section.
So if you are looking for a chain take-out wing, whether you live in Canada or the US, I would definitely go with WingStreet. It holds up to the take-out/delivery process, and gives a product that while isn't equal to a dine-in experience, it is one of the best wings that I bet will come to your door.
Thank you Jennifer and Jazmine at Zeno for this opportunity, I appreciate free wings and giving my opinion on them. I'm just glad you were right about the product!
WingStreet Canada & USA
Dominos Canada & USA
PS: right now WingStreet wings are on sale! $0.60 in Canada when ordering online.