Thursday, 16 August 2018

#TBT to 2008 & The Rockwater Brewi & BBQ - London ON

~ROCKWATER BREW & BBQ is NOW CLOSED - RIP~

LOST REVIEW


I recently found a stash of never before released wing reviews - but really it's just the photos. Back in 2008 I went to visit my friend Amanda in London Ontario. We went to Rockwater Brew & BBQ at the London City Plaza Mall. They closed down years ago and it seems the space was completely gutted (the outside facade was removed) and was chopped up into a Fairweather and other stores.

not sure where I stole this photo from, probably their website that I can no longer find
I don't remember a lot, but what I do remember was that the place was cabin/outdoorsy themed. Amanda got a veggie burger and I got wings. The wings were unique because they were served on wooden skewers.


I have a super fuzzy video of the menu with the wing section and this is what I interpret as:

"Our Famous Chicken Wings
Lightly dusted, cedar-fired and skewered.
Served with celery, carrots and blue cheese
dressing on the side.

Wings come in 1lb/skewers
Single Skewer $8.49
Double Skewer $13.49
Wing Add-On $6.25

Choice of Sauce
mild, medium, hot, Bullseye BBQ
honey garlic, caribbean jerk, honey mustard or our own
spicy KYBO Suicide, _____ _____ ____  off (if you can take it)

Choice of Dry Spice
Cajun, Lime & Sea Salt, Tex-Mex
curry or Lemon & Pepper"



My photos are super blurry (bad lighting + no flash to not be embarrassing because food photography in restaurants was not common back then) but based on what I see I'm pretty sure I got 10 hot and 10 Honey Mustard (I can't believe I didn't get the KYBO suicide ... or maybe I did?). I remember them being really big wings, but tough and not that crispy. They did come with veggies and dip. Also, I look huge in that photo.

I don't know why I never finished this review, but here is how it started:





"A couple of years ago I went to London Ontario to go visit some friends. Amanda was working downtown (still does) and on her lunch we met up. We went to the










117-355 Wellington Street
London ON

LOTW LOST REVIEWS




I recently discovered a cache of Lost Reviews; wing and food reviews I had started to write a review for, but for some reason, never finished. Most are just the photos, and I've lost any notes I may have taken. I thought it would be fun to go back and post these reviews, and my #throwbackthursday seems like the best time to do it.

So come with me back, to the future, and see some wings from a time not so long ago.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

SEASON's PIZZA - Ottawa ON

Season's Pizza in Ottawa's Chinatown has been pretty good at getting their name out there - it's a pizza joint I've seen many times. Before going there for a review I was sure I actually reviewed them years ago, but upon research, I had not. So this pleasant July weekday was just the time.


Located in the heart of Chinatown (because nothing says Chinese like an Italian pizza place run by Lebanese folk), you cannot miss it. Big signs, specials posters, sandwich boards, and banners all proudly declare to folks where to get their pizza fix.

The actual building is a small multi-plex of sorts. Doctor's offices, Muslim grocery store, offices, and Season's. I parked in a spot that might be reserved for the small grocery store and walked around to the front where they have a good sized patio. There is an entrance off the the right, with signs clearly indicating to 'enter' there and not the patio door. I tried the door and it was locked - were they closed? Nope, they want you to enter through the patio door. *shakes head*


I admit I had a bit of judgey-ness before I went in; I was expecting a dirty hole in the wall. Instead I found a super clean and modern-ish pizzeria. There was lots of seating, big photo murals on the wall, and CTV news on the television. There was one staff working and she was doing everything. She was super pleasant.


I looked at the take-out menu to see about the wings - the price was $0.95 (the outdated online menus say $0.75). It also says that the minimum order is 20 wings. That's a bit pricey in the take-out pizza wing game. I asked the pizza lady about the 20 piece minimum but she said I could order as much as I want. So I went with 15. She told me it would be about 10 minutes and I took a little walk.


I came back and pizza lady had my wings ready. The box felt a little heavy, and sloshy which suggested to me a lot of wings and a lot of sauce.


Also I like this trend of using cardboard boces for take-out instead of Styrofoam clam shells.



My first impressions was that the smell was good (fried wings and hot sauce). The wings looked nice and wet, but small and shrivled.


These wings were small. Maybe small medium but mostly small. They were a medium meatiness which is relative to their size. That size was small by the way.


The wings were over fried - which meant the skin was crispy, but in a brittle, hard to eat way. The meat was tough as well. It was a labour to eat each wing.


I got the wings sauced in Hot, which was just Frank's Red Hot. This was ok and the sauce was good, but nothing special. She did put a LOT of sauce on so while they were overcooked, they had lots of sauce to make-up for that fact.


FINAL SCORE:

I was not really impressed with these wings. Small, overcooked, but at least they were sauced well. The place was clean and the staff friendly, but the wings are passable. I didn't try the pizza so maybe it's better. But the wings, meh. 5.5/14


Season's Pizza
725 Somerset Street W Ottawa, ON
seasonsottawa.com

Friday, 10 August 2018

TGIF - What Wings Do You Choose?

It's Friday night, and the mood is right
Going to have some fun, show you how it's done
TGIF



So, which wing are you reaching for?


  1. Frozen Baked
  2. BBQ Smoked
  3. Breaded Buffalo
  4. Fried Hot Wing

Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Ketchup on wings? Ketchup spicy?!



A few people wrote me and either couldn't believe that someone would put ketchup on their chicken wings. It happens. It's wrong, but it happens. And then I saw this:


I was at a diner the other day and was looking at the Heinz ketchup bottle on the table. Then I flipped it over:



"Spice up your chicken wings ... with Heinz Ketchup!" SPICE UP YOUR CHICKEN WINGS WITH KETCHUP!?!?!?  WTF?! #wingcrime

This is not right. First off, Ketchup is not spicy. If anything it's sweet. In fact, 'spices' is the last ingredient on the bottle, and I think they might just mean black pepper. To say you are going to spice up chicken wings with ketchup is just a plain lie.

Second, ketchup does not belong on nuggets, ribs, rice, pasta, or fajitas. Who puts ketchup on rice? I get burgers or fries or meatloaf. I could even let ribs slip if ketchup was in the BBQ sauce, but fajitas? C'mon.

So recap, ketchup has it's place in the world, but not chicken wings.

Rant over.

REYNOLD's RESTAURANT - Ottawa ON

It was a gorgeous day outside, and I was in the neighbourhood of Carlingwood getting some work done on my car. The area is heavy on industry, auto-shops and commercial development. There aren't a lot of food options, but one of them is Reynolds Restaurant, and my car appointment happily coincided with lunch.


Reynold's is an old house from a neighbourhood from a time long ago (it's the only house in several blocks now, but I'm willing to bet there used to be more over 50 years ago). Inside it looks like, well a diner in someone's house. The place probably hasn't changed in decades, and I don't think customers care. The clientele is a mix of blue collar workers from the various industries surrounding Reynolds, seniors, occasional guys in suits, and randoms like me. The place was packed on this weekday after 11am and I had noticed that the patio was empty and it was beautiful out.

When I went in, I only saw one waitress and she was HUSTLING. She was serving, taking orders, ringing up bills at the register, cleaning. I actually felt a little bad when I asked if I could sit on the patio, and then she said she'd be out in a minute to clean up. I kind of thought I was going to get spit in my food for unintentionally making her do more work, but she was super friendly and looked after me very well - I don't even think she would spit in someone's food even if they were the worst. She said she had to clean up out there because the road construction nearby kicked up a lot of dust.

I was the only one the entire time on the patio which I thought was crazy because it was so beautiful out; sunny, but not humid, clear skies. Specials are out on the front of the deck (wing day was Tuesday, just missed it by a day! but only after 3pm).



 The menu is all over the place - it's advertised as Canadian Italian with pasta dishes, but I'm pretty sure it's run by Lebanese folks and they have shawarma on the menu (under exotic sandwiches). You can get steaks, burgers, fish and chips, or hot chicken sandwiches and toasted westerns. I mostly see people getting breakfast dishes here or what they are most known for, club sandwiches.

The first time I came here was because I had read they were the best Club Sandwiches in Ottawa. Quick personal story, when we would go on family vacations as a kid, there were 3 things I used to order all the time: wings (obviously), nachos, and club sandwiches. I love a good club sandwich - it's the combination of chicken, crispy bacon, and mayo. Ohhh, so good. Back to Reynolds, I do believe they just might be the best Club's in Ottawa. Fresh ingredients, packed with good chicken and crispy tasty bacon. But I've never had the wings here, so it was time to try.


I didn't trust that the wings would be very big, or enough, so I also ordered a side of onion rings. I also ordered them just to give some diversity to my meal.


These onion rings were perfection. Per-fec-tion. First, I prefer these classic battered onion rings to the large, breaded rings (which are good too, but this is my preference). Second, they were deep fried just right - biting into them they had a crispy snap, you know when you can hear that crunch? The onion also broke when you took a bite, so that it didn't all come out in a single string, I like that. I added some ketchup and I was just pleased as punch with this side.


Would the wings be as good as the rings?




Wings here come in $9.99 for and order of 10 wings but they also come in 20 or 30 wings. Nothing comes with these wings - no dip, no veggies, no sides. Wing night is Tuesdays after 3pm for $0.35 a wing, or Friday is 10 wings and a 20oz draft beer for $9.99, also after 3pm.

I got 11 wings in my 10 wing order by the way - someone likes me!


The wings were a small to small-medium wings. The photos make them look a bit bigger but they were small. They were also not all that meaty but they were pretty tender chicken, despite being frozen chicken.


The wings are deep fried and are pretty crispy. There's a decent amount of sauce on them and they hold up without getting soggy. Several of the wings must have been damaged at some point before frying because a few of the flats had broken bones, and slashes in the skin that created little canyons as you can see in the photo above.


I ordered Hot wings and they were Frank's Red Hot. Simple, nothing special, but it got the job done. Tasty. They were wet, with not too much sauce, but the flavour was good.


FINAL SCORE

Reynold's kills it in the breakfast and club sandwich games. The wings are just simple - Frank's Red Hot on crispy fried wings. They aren't big, they aren't fresh, but when you are waiting for your car to be repaired, they were the right thing to get. The onion rings were awesome. My waitress was great. I'll be back, but I might just stick to the club & rings unless it's wing night. 8/15


Reynold's Restaurant
874 Clyde Ave, Ottawa ON
reynoldsrestaurant.com

Monday, 6 August 2018

LOTW Meme Monday: Jean Luc Picard Wings






As a life-long Trekker, I am excited at the announcement by Sir Patrick Stewart of his return to TV as Captain Jean Luc Picard. Star Trek has been killing it back on TV with Discovery, so I can't wait to see what this new Picard show will be about. I hope the rest of the crew of The Next Generation will get to join or at least we can see them in guest spots.

Anyway, to honour the new Star Trek: Picard, here are 3 Picard-wing themed memes.

Wing Long & Prosper

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

DINGaLING's - Kingston ON

In the last 3 years I have had a lot of travel back and forth to Toronto and Ottawa, and Kingston is the half-way point (it's about a 4 hour drive total, and Kingston is the 2 hour mark). Originally it was me living in Toronto visiting LJ in Ottawa, now it is mostly going back to the GTA to visit family. But LJ also often has business in the 'Limestone City'. That means brief stops for bathroom breaks, but also for grabbing some grub.


One spot I have stopped at frequently and have come to love is Dingaling's but because I started going here during my 'dark period' of the blog, I never did an official review. I did a mini-review for my 2016 Year in Review post, but after taking an evening with the wife to stop in, I decided to do the full review.


Dingaling's is primarily a take-out wing joint that also does dine-in. The space is dark (although at the time of evening the setting sun was barreling in blinding us) and kind of sparse. It's too bad because they have space, but the place needs a renovation to make it more. Owner Shahid took over a few years ago from the previous owner (apparently a bad dude) and he cares about the business and about wings (I've chatted him up every time I've been in).

While I was going for wings (the main focus of the menu), LJ decided to go off script and try something else on the menu. The rest of the menu is appetizers and fried food (and at this point I think they have fried chicken too) as well as salads. We've had a few apps in the past, so she wanted to go with the Munchie Platter.


The Munchie Platter is 16 pieces (4 different apps with 4 pieces each) and 3 dips. She went with Breaded Pickle Spears, Mozza Stixs, Stuffed Spuds, and Mac' N Cheese Bites with sour cream, blue cheese and ranch dips.

Everything was fresh fried, crispy and tasty. The pickles and mozza stixs were what you expect: dilly, cheesy, crispy. The Stuffed Spuds are mashed potato with some jalapeno (not that noticeable) - its a creamy inside with a crunchy exterior. The Mac'N Cheese Bites are macaroni and cheese breaded and deep fried - to me they are ok but LJ and others like this kind of app.


The main focus here is chicken wings. The wings are all deep fried and come breaded. They then have a 4 point system to ordering your wings:


  1. Sauce 'Em: Pick one of 14 sauces
  2. Slop 'Em: put on extra sauce, or add a second sauce to mix
  3. Dress 'Em: they will drizzle Ranch, Caesar, Sour Cream or Blue Cheese over the wings
  4. Top 'Em: add one of their 10 spice mixtures over the sauced wings

For my tastes, I just do steps 1 and 4. They come pretty saucy to begin and I'm not interested in mixing, so Step 2 is out, and I don't generally want extra on top, so so is Step 3.



When dining in, the wings are served with fries and a pop - I switched my fries for waffle fries (I love waffle fries) and upgraded to a bottle (for LJ and I to share).


It took about 10 minutes for our food to arrive. My sit-down wings came in a long little plastic tray pilled with waffle fries, the wings, and the veggies and dips.


The waffle fries were very good - like everything else, crispy, but also pillowy potato in the middle. Great for dipping in the dips.


The veggies that came with it were two small celery sticks and 2 large carrot coins. The blue cheese dip is thick and creamy.




The wings come in orders of 1/2 pound, full pound, and 1 1/2 pounds. Above is the 1 pound which is about 9 wings.


The chicken isn't very big length wise - I actually thought it had shrank since last time but when I reviewed my 2016 review, found them to be about the same. So while they aren't long, they are very meaty.

The wings are breaded, and deep fried. The wings are deep fried just right - the skin is crispy, crunchy and has those little bits that fall off and are tasty to eat. The wings are also very wet (not a lot of extra sauce but each wing is well coated) and the breading holds up pretty well, but after a while the wings become sauce saturated, but not so soggy that you lose that crispiness.


I basically go for one sauce, Butter-Face. This is their hot sauce mixed with butter, essentially Buffalo wing sauce. This sauce is so rich and buttery, I could drink it. I love it. The combination of the decadent sauce and the crispy wings puts it on the top of my wing lists. I've only ever tried one other sauce which was 9-1-1 and I had it and it was very hot (and also destroyed my digestion for a day) I didn't care for the flavour since I had Butter-Face.

I always get the dill spice added, but to be honest, I never really taste it. Either they forget, or its not strong. Next time I'm going to ask for double sprinkling.


FINAL SCORE:

These wings are really, really good. Crispy, crunchy, saucy, decadent. The butter heavy sauce mixed with the hot, the breaded crispy skin - so good! The meat is tender and it's a meaty wing, but I wish they were bigger. Sides are good and the apps are all deep fried goodness. I only wish they were in Ottawa!


DINGaLING's
2511 Princess Street, Kingston ON
dingalings.ca