Monday, 30 October 2017

Sunday, 29 October 2017

#nonwingsundays - Flame Kissed Ribs

Made some ribs this past week for what will be the last bbq on the patio this season. Weather has been great, but that was the last of my lump charcoal. Actually I didn't actually have enough charcoal, but someone had left some still glowing charcoal at the community grill, so I just dumped what I had left on top.

Bam! Flame kissed ribs. Then I kissed the ribs. #bbqmakeoutsession

I was bummed with these side ribs as they were mostly side and not so much rib. They were cheap cryovac ribs on sale. That being said, I did what I could and they turned out pretty tasty.


Friday, 27 October 2017

#fryday Fried Wing Process

I don't break out the deep fryer very often these days; My wife & I are in a small apartment and the smell can linger and the oil is not a great odor. So when I do, I gotta make it worth while. A few weeks ago it was my birthday, and we decided to do up a big batch of wings.

Making hot wings is really easy:

  1. Dust & season wings (I was using salt & pepper, and rice flour)
  2. Deep fry the wings until golden and crispy
  3. Drain excess oil (I put them on a rack over newspaper)
  4. Add your sauce and toss
  5. Plate & enjoy! 

Eat quick before the wings get cold!

I miss these wings already . . . anyways, happy fryday friday!


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Dry Crispy Wings for Wing Wednesday

One batch was Cajun Dry, the other Dry Sriracha. All very crispy and very tasty. Afterburn on the side. O'Grady's Outpost knows good wings.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Clocktower Brewpub Westboro ~ Ottawa ON

The last time I went to the Clocktower Brew Pub, the year was 2009 and Dude was visiting from China. There was only like 2 locations, but they have expanded to 6 now. When I read people's comments on food forums for their favourite wings in Ottawa, Clocktower Brew Pub (CBP) consistently comes up.

When I tried it back in 2009, I thought the wings were pretty decent, but I think they did a menu revamp a few years back and I was up for seeing if they were the same, better or worse than before. I headed down to the Westboro location. It's too bad the weather wasn't so great today because they have a great patio.

Won't lie, the stars aligned and I was able to go for wings tonight, AND it was wing night. 50% off says my blurry photo.

This location is very modern, classy pub feel inside. Very clean. Very quiet. I asked my server Monica (who was great by the way) if it was always this quiet (especially for wing night) and she said in Westboro it doesn't get busy until around 7pm. For me I had a drink, my order taken and wings within about 15 minutes.

Regular price is pretty pricey at $15 for a lb (back in 2009 they were $9). They have a good list of sauces to choose from. Monica told me Malaysian was their hottest sauce, but I knew I was going to go with Korean BBQ already and didn't want double Asian influenced flavour, so I went with classic hot.

Another server brought me my wings, and I was pretty stoked by the two plates for feasting.

Apparently the CBP's 1lb of wings is about 8 wings. I will note that they did not come with blue cheese as stated on the menu, but that is probably due to it being wing night.

The wings themselves are dusted, then deep fried. This meant the skin was nice and crispy. The wings ranged from a medium to a large in length, and they were a very meaty wing. When I was at CBP back in 2009, the meat was super tough, but these were very tender and with the crispy skin made for an excellent textured wing. I felt chicken love.

The wings were tossed in just enough sauce. I like my wings with more sauce, but this was a good range that resulted in wet but not soggy wings.

Korean BBQ

When I saw Korean BBQ, I won't lie, I had a different kind of wing in mind. I was thinking deep red, sticky and spicy. These were not those wings, and that's ok and I was wrong to think they would be. They were sticky and sweet. The dominant flavour was sesame oil, which gave them a nutty flavour to balance out the sweet. These were very good, but I would love to add some heat.

Frank's Hot
Not very original, but a good classic hot wing. I enjoyed every bite, but I was a little surprised that CBP doesn't do their own homemade hot or suicide sauce.


I was really impressed with these wings. The were large, saucy, tasty and had an amazing texture. The sauces were good, but more so the crispy skin and tender meat made these wings top notch. My server Monica was great to boot. I will definitely be back in the future on wing night! 10.5/13

Clocktower Brew Pub
418 Richmond Road, Westboro, Ottawa ON


Monday, 23 October 2017

Meme Mondays: Hot Wing Care Bear

Would it be "Hot Wing Stare" or "Hot Sauce Stare" ????


Smoked Meat Pete ~ Montreal QC

#lotw31 note - I missed my first post of the 31 day challenge (day 22) but for a good reason; I went to Montreal.

It was a mix of business and pleasure, and in a moment of pleasure, I scheduled a stop at one of the top ranking Montreal Smoked Meat (MSM) joints in Montreal, well, just outside of Montreal, Smoked Meat Pete.

First, the place looked like a BBQ joint and that seemed cool, but I got even more excited when I saw all the Hallowe'en decorations. I love Hallowe'en. I love smoked meat. I love BBQ. How could we go wrong.

To start with, we were a little clueless about how the place worked. There was a big line, some people standing outside, some in. We weren't sure if you waited in line to be seated, or if you ordered your food up at the counter. A VERY young waiter in a thick Quebecois accent went by yelling to the line he was the smoke meat expert and could answer any questions but was gone before we could ask. It seemed that you order your food at the counter, and waitstaff will bring it to you whereever you are by calling your name across the restaurant. Got it. So I waited in line while LJ got us a table.

The menu was on a screen and would flash between English and French, but it didn't explain anything (like what was in a combo, or the differences between the combos). We knew we were here for smoked meat, but I won't lie, as soon as we walked in the wafting scent of BBQ ribs and chicken tempted me away. Seeing chicken wings on the menu also made me waiver, but this was a MSM mission.

The line moved briskly and I ordered 2 smoked meat specials. We sat on the outdoor porch because the weather is still amazing, but we did have to wait a long while for the food. But it was worth the wait.

The special was the sandwich, fries, coleslaw, pickle and a fountain drink, but I also saw and ordered the Cott Black Cherry Cola, which is a must have with  MSM, but also one of my faves as is. It was a glorious little plate.

This was one of the best MSM sandwiches I have to say. The meat was so tender and fall apart, melt in your mouth. The spices were spot on. It was piled high (so high you have to take chunks out to close it, but that's ok because than you just eat that brisket up) on two fresh pieces of light rye bread and some ball-park mustard. Heaven.

The sides were also great: the fries were fresh cut, crispy (but soft inside) and salty. No wonder they advertise as the best fries in town and "Lord of the Fries". The sour kosher dill pickle was sour, crisp and dilly. The coleslaw was oil based and tangy but slightly sweet; I often skip this at most places but I gobbled it up despite being full by the end of the meal.

I definitely want to go back. This place is part BBQ joint, blues bar and smoked meat haven. I want to try the bbq and the wings too. And you can't beat a place that love's its Hallowe'en! This is a definite recommend! 

We went on to go to Montreal, and it wasn't upon returning to Ottawa today that I was able to write and post - but after seeing the food, I hope you can forgive me for missing one day of the 31 day challenge!

Smoke Meat Pete
283 1ere Ave, L'lle-Perrot (Montreal) QC

Happiness Happened Here ... lies!

I'm sorry I lied.

I like posting pictures of my bone piles after eating wings. It started with one artsy photo, and just became something I like. I call them, Happiness Happened Here.

The photo above was a lie.

Happiness did not happen there . . . it looks like it was good, but they were frozen wings that did not turn out well, with a spice and sauce mixture that I made but didn't like. Sorry for the deception.


Saturday, 21 October 2017

Lost Wings

Do you ever have so many photos you forget a memory?

I take a lot of photos, and I have way more than the average person does with chicken wings as the subject. Ask yourself, do you even have a chicken wing pic on your phone or camera?* I think we all take a lot of photos, but do you ever find yourself wondering "when did I take this?" or "what was this all about?"

While I was waiting for my wife in a store, I started flipping through my photos on my phone. I came across the above photo and was like, when was this from? What chicken wings are these?  I'm usually pretty good at remembering my chicken wings - heck I can recall chicken wing flavours from over a year ago sometimes just by looking at the picture. I know these are from some take-out place, but can't place them.

Memory is a funny thing and its scary when something is in your head, and then it's not.


*if you do have photos of wings on your camera/phone - send them to me and tell me about your wings!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

#tbt Quaker Steak & Lube

This was one of my best memories and best Thanksgivings ever. Ricky and I headed to the US to visit his folks, but we hit up wing places all along the way including Buffalo Wild Wings, the original Duff's, and of course the Anchor Bar.

We went for dinner at Quaker Steak & Lube in Sharon PA, the original QSL. I did their Atomic challenge, and was engaged with lookers on from the waitress, to 3 ladies at the next table, to even a little girl. The challenge was not hard - I ate the wings with little challenge but had fun doing it.

Those were the days!


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Wing Wednesday - Guy eating Damn Wings on Triple D

Guy Fieri on Drive-ins Diners and Dives gets to try all the good food and in this case, chicken wings:

Those were some mighty tasty looking "Damn" hot wings from Smitty's Wings & Things. Fun fact, Guy does not care for breaded wings. Fun fact, I do.

I found a commercial of Smitty's on youtube:

They were named one of the 13 top wings from Diner's Drive In's and Dives!

Have you ever been? I'd go if I could . . .


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

H&R Pizza & Wings ~ Ottawa ON

Quick lunch was needed and the title "& Wings" caught my attention. H&R is off the beaten path a little bit, and I never did find out what H&R stood for, but I was hungry and needed a wing fix so time to try a new place out.

This is a pizza take-out joint, with a few stools at the counter. The outside looks like the place has been around for a long time, but the inside suggests a remodel in the last few years. It was clean, the pizza dude was friendly, and everything seemed to be a go. The only thing that seemed off was that it was lunch time and the place was pretty quiet.

I looked over the take-out menu and was grabbed by the title "Ottawa's Best Wings!" - really? That's a pretty bold claim. We would see.

They also advertise their wings as 2 for 1 wings, but I'm not a fan of that presentation. I mean, 6 wings for $9.95 is a ridiculous price. Also, its always 6+6, so you always get 12 wings. Do people really think its a deal?

Either way, I ordered and before long I heard the crackle of the deep fryer cooking my chicken.

I went with an order of 12 wings. The wings are deep fried, then tossed in sauce. No frills take-out wings.

The wings are a medium sized wing, with a medium meatiness. The skin was just crispy enough. The pizza man wanted me to have my wings as soon as possible, and asked me mid-cooking as I chilled out alone by the counter, that I didn't want them cooked 'well done' right? I said, no that was ok. I wish I had said well done so that the skin was more crisp. Hind sight.

I asked what my sauce choices were and got the standard sauce list. I said I will have whatever the hottest sauce was. Frank's I was told. I mean nothing wrong with Frank's, but nothing special either.

On one hand, these were simple. decent take-out pizza joint wings. On the other, they claimed to be "Ottawa's Best" - which was a lie. No special love went into these wings and nothing really compels me to try them again. Oh well. 6.5/12

H&R Pizza & Wings
197 A Norice St, Ottawa


Monday, 16 October 2017

LOTW Meme Monday - Wing Delivery Pug

It's coming. It's coming. Just be patient. It's coming ...


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Benny Panwhich from Flapjack's

With Jason down to visit last week, we needed to get something to fuel our adventures. We ended up at Flapjack's, who combined my love of sandwiches for breakfast, and my fave breakfast, Eggs Benedict.

I actually ate this with a knife and fork, but boy was it good. I also found out their menu is all day, and they have wings on their menu. I could have had the wings for breakfast, but I was in a breakfast mood. But I will be back for the wings, especially since I know they have a wing night now too!


#happinesshappenedhere Sparks Street Ribfest


Uproxx ranks Best Wing Chains in USA

One of my online distractions is the info site UPROXX. I read it for movie and tv, but it also has news news, and food stuff. Checking it out today, I see they decided to rank chicken wing chains across the US of A.

This is their ranking briefly - with some of my commentary, but you can read the whole article down below, or go to the link HERE.

10.  Dominos
9.    Cheesecake Factory
8.    Pizza Hut
7.    P.F Chang's
6.    Buffalo Wild Wings
5.    Wing Zone
4.    Anchor Bar
3.    Hooters
2.    Wingstop
1.    Bon Chon

I have never had the privilege of having wings at the Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's, Wing Zone, Wingstop or Bon Chon. Shocking I know, but most of these places do not have locations in Canada, and I haven't had the opportunity to go to them when I have been in the US.

That leaves Dominos, Pizza Hut, BWW, Anchor Bar, and Hooters.

I have never been crazy about Dominos chicken wings in Canada. They are usually meaty but they are a soggy mess, baked and not crispy at all. The sauce is also weirdly sweet. The author of the article seems to suggest that theirs are fried . . . so they would probably be on the bottom part of my list too.

Pizza Hut revamped their wings several years ago, creating Wing Street, where they started taking wings seriously. I think they did a great job of improving take-out wings. In-fact, I did a wing-by-wing comparison to Dominos a few years ago and found their wings were crispy, sauced well and tasty.

This is a chain that I just don`t get. I`ve been to it 3 times in the US and every time have been served disappointing wings. Large, yes, but mushy soft skinned wings with rubbery/tough chicken. This was at different locations. I would put these low on my list.

This is the Mecca of chicken wings. I've been to the original on pilgrimage, but I've also been to the franchise chains in Hamilton On and last January in Toronto near the airport. These are solid Buffalo wings, obviously.

I've had great wings at Hooters and terrible terrible wings at Hooters. Actually I've never formally reviewed them on the blog (I did a few years ago go and take photos, but it was part of my phase where the reviews never made it to print). I have only been to the Hooters in downtown Toronto and generally it was for their AYCE wings. The worst wings I had there we were served BAD chicken, like it smelled foul and off and was grey mushy inside. Most times the wings came crispy/crunchy with a tasty sauce. But it's hard to get past that bad experience.

What about you - have you been to these places? What do you think of UPROXX's ranking?


Power Ranking The Best Chicken Wing Chains In The Country

Chicken wings are kinda the best. They’re small delivery systems of savory, sweet, and spicy flavor. Throw some in a deep frier and then toss them in a great sauce … Brilliance. But deep frying food at home is a pain in the ass. Wings are something we tend to go out for. Hence almost every fast casual has an assortment on their menus and even pizza delivery has gotten in the game.
So where can we get the absolute best wings in America? To complete this masterful task we have to take a few things into consideration. First, let’s set aside the classic fried chicken joints — we can’t have Popeye’s winning every chicken-related competition. Let’s just focus on the fast food and fast casual wing-heavy places that are mostly nationwide, allowing us all a chance to check these picks out.
Sure, places like Hattie B’s in Nashville would probably win hands down, but they only have Nashville locations and one in Alabama. So Nashville hot chicken has to sit this one out. Though, if we ever rank the straight up best chicken in the country, regardless of size, be assured, they’ll be in the running.
Okay, let’s cut to the chase and rank some wings.

10. Domino’s

When it comes to wings Domino’s > Papa John’s. Where Papa John’s wings get a bit sloppy, Domino’s tend to be crisply fried and simply dressed in hot sauce. There’s not a whole lot going on otherwise. These are the sorta wings you order as an afterthought like, “Sure, fill up a pizza box of wings for me too, YOLO.”

9. Cheesecake Factory

If we’re talking fast casual, The Cheesecake Factory is the mountaintop. Sorry TGI Fridays and Applebees. So long Ruby Tuesday. The Factory (that’s what the restaurant’s acolytes call it, right?) buffalo wings are perfectly suitable as an appetizer. They’re crispy and saucy like any good buffalo wing. And that’s about it. They aren’t mind-blowing or transcendent. They’re just good — if you can find them on The Factory’s (we’re sticking with this one) insanely deep menu.

8. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is one of those pizza chains where the wings aren’t an afterthought. The main reason being that they’re more creative with the saucing options. Their seven flavors are good wing options in general. Spicy Garlic, Hawaiian Teriyaki, and Cajun Style are among the best ways to get down on some Pizza Hut wings.

7. P.F. Chang’s

Back in the fast casual world, P.F. Chang’s dominates the wings selection. Dragon Wings are tasty AF. These are some of the better-dressed wings on this list with a great spice matrix of cayenne, soy sauce, orange, ginger, garlic, sesame, and sweet brown sugar. Add in a pretty decent bar to the mix and you’ve got a great place to eat some delicious wings during happy hour.

6. Buffalo Wild Wings

If you’re going out for wings, BWW seems like the second option you’d settle for when you find your favorite wing joint is closed. Don’t get us wrong, the wings are perfectly fine here — it’s what they do best after all. The Thai Curry wings are legit tasty. But there’s a bro-culture you have to deal with at the bars — which, meh. And the wings are just … pretty okay.

5. Wing Zone

This is where wings start getting more serious. Wing Zone’s locations mostly fall east of the Rockies where they fry up some serious wings that’ll satisfy your appetite for small pieces of deep fried chicken. Their Lemon Zinger and Garlic Parm flavors shine brightest alongside a pile of potato wedges. Their Nuclear Habanero Buffalo Wings pack enough kick to put a full grown buffalo down in the dirt.
You’ll need a lot of napkins for all that sweat that’ll be rolling off your brow, bro.

4. Anchor Bar

This is where it all started. Buffalo Wings were invented at this Buffalo, NY bar back in 1964. The Buffalo Wings from Anchor Bar started it all so they get some respect on this list, even though you can only get them in New York, Virginia, Texas, and California as of now. The wings are deep fried with a great sauce that has echoed through the ages. If you’re near an Anchor Bar, it’s absolutely worth dipping in for an order of the world’s most famous chicken wings.

3. Hooters

Hooters are everywhere. And, you know what, their wings are actually good. They hit the mark with perfectly crispy wings, dressed in a tasty sauce that doesn’t make the wings lose their crunch. Their Signature wings and Daytona Beach wings stand out as great additions to the wing pantheon. Plus, they serve bacon-wrapped wings for maximum #YOLO. Bacon plus wings equal very, very good.

2. Wingstop

Wingstop is everywhere as well. Their wings are near perfection. The crispily fried aspects of Wingstop’s wings is tasty on its own but it’s their sauces where things really start to shine. Habanero Mango is sweet and spicy in all the right ways. Cajun, Louisiana Rub, Hickory Smoked BBQ, and Teriyaki all hit the mark with deeply rooted flavors that wonderfully accent the crispy wing underneath. These are great wings.

1. Bonchon

Bonchon started out as a hometown fried chicken wing joint in Busan, South Korea. The wings were so delicious, Bonchon quickly spread across American, Asia, and the world. The wings are perfectly fried to crisp perfection and then dressed simply with heavy doses of umami and spice, alongside whispers of sweetness tying the whole wing together. Bonchon is the type of place that you may have never thought of going to. But once you eat there, it’ll be the only place you’ll ever want to go back to for all your wing needs.


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Buffalo Latte from Tim Horton's

Tim Horton's has something new:

That's right, in 2 locations in Buffalo NY, they are serving a Buffalo Latte drink. Move over pumpkin spice!

That being said, I can't find any concrete information on this. I see it being reported on a bunch of news and food sites, but I can't find any original details.

I searched. Everyone keeps showing the same photo, but I can't find where it came from. There is no info on the Tim Horton's website. No news site has any info link. HOW DID PEOPLE FIND OUT ABOUT THIS!?!?! WHAT IS THE SOURCE!!!!

That being said I'm excited (not surprised) about any chicken wing culture addition, but would I try it? Well I don't drink coffee or latte's, so it's hard to say. Would you? Have you?