Please Note: I was using a loaner phone when these photos were taken & I'm not happy the way they turned out.
It was a sunny September when I decided to check out The Foolish Chicken back in 2007. The restaurant had just opened a few months before. I sampled some wings and some wedged fries and had a decent meal. It's now 2018 and I've wondered if things were any different in over 10 years.
LJ and I decided on a beautiful evening to go out for dinner, but we knew we wanted something different from one of our regular haunts but also not a chain eatery. I came up with a small lists and both LJ and I decided that The Foolish Chicken seemed to fit the bill.
The place was packed inside but were were still able to get a seat right away. This restaurant is a former house that's been converted to a dinning establishment that exists between a large government office area and the trendy neighbourhood of Hintonburg/Westboro. It's simply decorated inside with an atmosphere that isn't as high-end as some restaurants in the area that can appeal to both families and suits alike.
The menu is BBQ focused, but this isn't US Southern style BBQ, more of what I would call Quebec style BBQ with rotisserie and grilling as the basis of cooking, and not smoke and spices. Chicken is obviously the main thing on the menu, and I wanted wings, but the pork ribs were speaking to me. Both of us decided that the Chicken N' Rib Combos were the way to go.
My wife went with the 5 Chicken Fingers and 1/4 Rack of ribs with onion rings on the side (it also came with coleslaw and cornbread, which I'll talk about later). The chicken fingers were not what we were expecting in terms of size. They were like chicken tenders cut in half, so bigger than a chicken nugget, but about half the size of your standard chicken finger.
Now these may have not been big, but they were super crispy/crunchy. They had a very crunchy breading that you could hear when taking a bite. LJ thought these were really under-seasoned, but she is used to meat being highly spiced.
I went with Combo #4 - Ribs and Wings, with my sides being baked beans and sweet potato fries. You may be looking for the wings in the photo above, and so did I at first, but our waitress warned that there were wings, they were just under the large slab of ribs.
There were a lot of accompaniments with our meal, so I decided to quickly sum them up here:
- Beans - nothing special, like canned beans. They were warm but I would have like some bolder flavour.
- Sweet Potato Fries - these were great; crispy, sweet and salty. They went well with #5.
- Onion Rings - my fave rings are the battered (not breaded) kind like this. They were crispy but hard to chew through the onion.
- Corn Bread - a medium size slab of corny goodness. Moist but a bit stiff, it went well with some butter.
- Chipotle Mayo - I don't know if this was a mayo but basically it was. Spicy, creamy - a great dip for everything from fries, onion rings or even chicken.
- Coleslaw (not shown) - cream based - it was a bit bland and I didn't eat much of it.
As for the ribs, they were tasty. Braised then grilled, the bones were pretty much fall off the bone. The rib meat was tender, and there was a nice grilled bark. They use their own Dr Pepper BBQ sauce, which you can't really detect. It's sweet but also has a dark flavour to it. They are lightly sauced, but fortunately for someone like me who likes their ribs wet, they have bottles of sauce on the table.
But the big question - how were the wings?
Now I got wings in a rib and wing combo, but the regular order of wings is a pound, or what they estimate to be 8-10 wings. For my combo, it came with a 1/2 pound which was 5 wings.
Once I moved the ribs, I found my wings. I was a little saddened by the wings. Oh they looked good, but the 5 wings that were there were small. They were average meatiness in relation to the tiny length of the wing.
They were crispy though. The chicken was deep fried and had a nice, light crispness to the skin. The meat was also tender.
The Foolish Wings are sauced just enough that they are wet, but they aren't floating in sauce. They have only the basic sauces, and I went with Hot, which was cayenne based. They tasted good; crispy, tender and wet. I just think they missed a great opportunity to make a super hot "Foolish" wing, but not everyone is interested in food pain.
We both ate very well that night. LJ cleaned her plate, and she rarely does that. The food was prepared well, but lacks spice and boldness in both of our opinions. For me the ribs were tender and the sauce was tasty. The wings were nice and crispy, but were just dang small. We'll definitely go back - hopefully just not over 10 years later. 8/15
The Foolish Chicken
79 Holland Ave, Ottawa ON