For the past year I've had a place out in Orleans on my radar to try, not only for wings, but the fact that it's a BBQ joint. I read good reviews online and after chatting to fellow wingstagrammer @ottawangs who gave them a very glowing review, I was convinced to check them out.
|Photo from Meatings Facebook Photos|
I mention Orleans on occassion here on the blog and if you are not familiar, it is a bedroom community about 15-20 minutes East of Ottawa. Orleans doesn't have 'downtown' or a city centre - it has one modern strip where you will find your grocery stores, franchise restaurants, and your Walmart's and other big box retails. Then there is a mass strip of houses, and then the old main road where a lot of the older businesses and restaurants exist. This is where Meatings is.
The parking lot is gravel, uneven, and shared by a number of business behind Meatings. Things started off right when I got out of my car and I could smell BBQ. I walked around to the front, and there was a sign advertising $10 wings. I noticed their empty patio and considered sitting outside, but it was un-shaded and it was too hot out for me.
This BBQ joint is small inside, but it has a good atmosphere. There isn't a lot of seating - one long table in the middle of the dining room, with counter seats on the back wall and at the window. When I arrived at lunch, there was very few places to sit and a small line-up at the counter - very busy! The crowd is very loyal to Meatings. People sitting would tell people coming in what to get, or in one case a couple of folks came in to have a work-lunch, but because Meatings only takes cash or debit, they couldn't charge it to the corporate card. They left disappointed and vowing to return another time, but the other customers kept telling them they had to come and have the brisket, or have the chicken. They clearly loved the food.
When you enter, everyone grabs a menu on a large, heavy piece of wood (no one is stealing this!). I knew I was there for the $10 wings (normally $13) - but I had seen on their social media a deal for $17 you get 1lb of wings and a Whitewater Beer and you get to keep the glass. When I went to the counter I saw the sign, but was surprised when the girl taking orders didn't mention it. I also wasn't aware of the sauces on the wings, and didn't see the wings on the menu. She pointed out that they were under Munchies, and later I saw it, but it didn't really cover the sauces:
The menu just listed Dry Rub, BBQ or Hot, but she had a little sticky note with all the sauces. She was friendly and patient as I had to get her to repeat it twice (and she eventually just gave me the list) to keep track of it all. I wanted to take a picture, but there was no way for me to keep incognito and do so. I was impressed with all the choices and had a hard time choosing:
HOT | SPICY BBQ | BBQ (maple flavour) | HONEY GARLIC | JAMAICAN JERK |
SWEET CHILI | SRIRACHA LIME | CAJUN DRY | LEMON PEPPER DRY RUB
With my order taken, I headed to the window to sit down. I did grab a little mini bag of popcorn (the girl said I could). The popcorn was popped and coated in what I think is some of their BBQ rub - it was good and made for a nice little start.
Meatings has it's customers covered. They have paper towel rolls at each seating in lieu of napkins. There were lots of wetnaps too. There were bottles of Ketchup, BBQ (the maple sauced one) and Spicy Mustard. The mustard was good, and if you like maple BBQ, you'd like this sauce; I thought it was good but wouldn't get this for my wings.
I didn't have to wait long and my order of wings was brought out to me. I loved the presentation on the small metal tray with their logo'd paper. Plus they smelled real good. One thing I was disappointed with was that on their social media they advertise their Alabama White Sauce dip and it didn't come with the wings :(
Meatings does wings by the pound, and there are about 8 wings in their pound.
These wings were large. Jumbo wings. It's been a while since I've seen large wings like this. They are long, but they are also super meaty.
The wings are smoked, so the skin is not crispy, but they aren't trying to be. That's ok because the chicken meat is super tender. I sometimes wince at smoked wings because the flavour can be great but the meat is often tough, but these were probably the most tender smoked wings I have ever had.
The chicken flavour was on point. You had a rich chicken taste that was enhanced by the smoke flavour. Just on their own, these were delicious wing and drummettes. But then you add the sauce ...
... it was exactly what I was looking for. Sweet, slightly sticky, slightly spicy. It hit all the right notes. It paired well with the smokey chicken.
I couldn't stop eating them. I wanted to gorge on more and more. It was good 'que, and good wings.
All the while the staff kept checking in on me making sure everything was good in between my gluttonous mouthfuls. I had to give the thumbs up to indicate yes, I was doing very well.
When I finished, I was sad. I wanted more, but I stuck to with one order of near perfect meal. Despite the paper towel and wetnaps, I headed to the washroom to clean up fully (BBQ wings are a messy business). That's where I found little buckets with toothpicks, floss picks, and mints. Meatings really does care about it's clients!
I was really really impressed with these wings. Big, meaty, tender wings that had great smokey flavour that was sauced well in their Spicy BBQ that hit all the right notes with me. If the skin was crispy, these wings would be perfect. I had such a great experience at Meatings that I will definitely go back. Is it Wednesday again yet? 13.5/15
2807 St Joseph Boulevard, Orleans ON