Thursday, 30 August 2018

#TBT & LOST REVIEW: Jane`s Buffalo Chicken Wings

It's  #throwbackthursday and another Lost Review!

Let's time travel back to July of 2011 where I tried Janes Signature Dry Rub Spice Buffalo Chicken Wings. In no way are these Buffalo Chicken Wings. 1) these are breaded 2) not deep fried 3) there is no Buffalo sauce. I have no notes but I'm pretty sure they were a let down. But my failure to actually record and post this review meant that I made the mistake of buying these wings again in 2018. They had a different package and this time around, I did not enjoy them. Now I've learned my lesson.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018



Somethings just happen by accident. Take my encounter with Chess Pizza. I had seen the name in online delivery apps in the past and was like, 'hey, a chess themed pizza place, that's cool' but I was unfamiliar with it's street or where in Ottawa it was and didn't think much of it. 

Then one day I'm trying to find parking for an errand, I take a wrong turn, and before I know it, I see Chess Pizza. After I run my errand, I decide I'd grab lunch here.

I walked in and was taken aback by the chess theme: There were posters, portraits of famous chess players; actually I was kind of surprised that there wasn't a chess board to play chess. I was also surprised that there was no chess themed pizza's or food on the menu either. Basically this was just like any other pizza place here in the city.

When I came in, there was one guy working, and he was busy on his cell phone - the call was not an order, but it seemed very important. He stayed on the phone while taking my order, making my order and eventually serving my order. Ok no, he did put the phone down to take care of business.

It wasn't long before I heard that tell-tale sound of wings being pulled out of a deep fryer (shaken to drain excess oil), put in a metal bowl, and swirled around after being sauced. Pizza Dude had to be reminded what sauce I wanted again (I went with suicide, which was 3rd Degree) and in no time I had a brown stapled paper bag to go. The wings were in a Styrofoam clam-shell container so I tried to get to a park to pull over and scarf down my wings before they sogged up from condensation. I could have sat at one of the counter top seats inside by the window, but it was boiling outside and even more inside (no a/c).

Wings come in orders of 12, and for $9.99 that's pretty decent in this city these days.

The wings were not big. They were small. I was sad. Pawns, not King wings. The wings were medium meatiness relative to their diminutive size. Check. As in their King was in check.

The wings were crispy at least. The skin had that spongey-crispness that they should. The meat was a little tough though. So a little back and forth on the quality. There was a ton of sauce - so much sauce. Lake of sauce. This did make some of the wings soggy. I went with Suicide, which is 3rd Degree sauce. So no complaints there, and kudos for the generosity of sauce.

There was something about the wings that I couldn't eat them right away. I was hungry, but I only ate a few and then put them away, and ate later on. I'm not saying it was something wrong with the wings themselves, it might have been the intense heat and humidity and eating spicy fried wings. I don't know but it happened one way or another.


I like chess and I like wings. Chess Pizza had no chess, and had only ok wings. They were small, and maybe overcooked, but they were sauced very well and were at least crispy to start. I happened upon this place by accident, but I don't think I will be getting wings here again. Now to make up for the lack of chess, here is a faithful reproduction of one of my favourite SNL skits (that is not on Youtube itself), The Spartan Cheerleaders 'Where's Bobby Fisher?"

Where's Bobby Fisher? Not eating wings from Chess Pizza. Checkmate. 6.5/14

Chess Pizza
1227 Kilborn Ave, Ottawa ON

Pre-Seasoned Raw Wings at Costco

Thursday, 23 August 2018

#tbt & LOST REVIEW: Blair's Death Rain BUFFALO WING Kettle Cooked Potato Chips 2011

Back with another Lost Review on #tbt and this one goes back to 2011. It was a chip review and I was sampling some Blair's Death Rain Buffalo Wing Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. Wow what a title!

Somethings to note; I took the photos in September of 2011, and looking at the photos now I see the expiry was December 2011 (just under the wire!). These wings were also a Medium in heat (pretty weak for anything Blair's does). If I remember correctly, these were good, but I haven't had them since. Below are the few notes I took - they were cheap (probably liquidating for the expiry date). Enjoy the photos!

two for a dollar
-very crunchy (kettle)
-salty burn - lingers in mouth, peppery, vinegary
-small to medium chips

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

COLONNADE PIZZA - Ottawa ON (Carling Ave)

The plan was to go home and have leftovers for lunch, but LJ and I were still out running errands and had more to do and we decided to stop somewhere and get something instead. Neither of us were feeling anything in particular. I came up with a list of places nearby and we narrowed it down to one place: Colonnade Pizza.

Here is the thing; I don't like Colonnade Pizza pizza. It's one of my wife's favourite pizza's in the city. There are 6 locations around the city and neighbouring towns, and they have been around from 1967. It's very popular here and it, I believe is what started the trend that is Ottawa-style pizza.

I have nothing against Colonnade Pizza as a business - in fact I give them kudos. Started by a Lebanese immigrant Kalil Dahdouh, he built pizza in this city. I just don't like this type of pizza. Some call it Ottawa style, others Lebanese style or Beirut style. People here go crazy for it and I understand for them why. Thick chewy crust, sauce, toppings and then cheese. Like a brick of cheese. It's a hearty pizza. I just prefer a) my toppings on top so they crispy up and aren't soggy underneath b) a thinner crust and c) less cheese (which I wouldn't normally say but in these cases I do). I just prefer NY style more so.

So why did we go? Well as I mentioned my wife likes it, and I thought this was a great chance to try the wings. We were at the Carling or West Eng location, and on a weekend for lunch it was pretty quiet. The place was clean and gives a family/diner kind of atmosphere.

Our first waitress was friendly. LJ was looking at the pizza's and wondered about if she got the Pizzaburger (ground beef, mushrooms and green peppers) could she get hot peppers instead of green. The waitress pointed out that it stated on the menu that there was a charge to do so, taking the price from $9.99 to over $10 for a personal pizza. But the waitress pointed out you could make your own plain pizza for $6.95 and add 3 toppings at $1 each, bringing it to $9.95. She was kind of surprised by that price magic, but in the end LJ stuck with the pizza as described.

While LJ was ordering pizza, I was checking out the wings. Our waitress mentioned they were just deep fried (no breading or anything special) and that the flavours were mild, medium, hot, honey garlic and BBQ. She asked if I wanted them sauce or on the side - I said sauced, they eventually came sauce on the side. That's ok though. I also got some onion rings for us to share. Then our waitress bounced (end of her shift) and we got a new waitress. It didn't take long for our food to come out.

This was the Pizza Burger. Again, this is not a pizza for me. That cheese (a special cheese they have brought in) just blankets all the toppings. You can see the green pepper and the mushroom sort of. The ground beef was there, but very tiny granules (I think we both thought they would be kinda big clumps but think of ground beef crumbled to the smallest crumbles you'd find in an Italian meat sauce). It was everything that Ottawa pizza is supposed to be and LJ felt quite full eating the roughly 7 inch pie.

The wings came out looking very crispy, and the side of onion rings were quite large.

These were large rings, in a very puffy batter. They looked crispy, and they kind of were, but they were also soft and soggy, like the oil got into them instead of cooking them outside. I just wanted them to be less puffy and more crispy. Would the wings be crispy?

The wings only come in one size: 10 wings for $11.99. I wasn't crazy about that price.

The wings were, *sigh*, small. Not the smallest I've ever seen but small. They were a medium meatiness in relative size to the small wings.

These wings were crispy, I have to give them that. The skin was as crisp as plain wings can be fried. They were just short of being over cooked, which meant the meat wasn't as tender inside as they could have been.

As I mentioned above, I was given the option of sauced or sauce on the side, and I chose sauced, and they came sauce on the side (which is ok because I would rather this than wanting it on the side and it coming sauced). The sauce was Frank's Red Hot just straight up in a cup. I edged the heat factor slightly by adding chili flakes found on the table. Simple and tasty enough.


The West End Colonnade Pizza had friendly service and a clean and simple atmosphere. LJ's pizza was what she wanted and expected - it may not be my thing, but the city loves this pizza. I'd ask for the onion rings to be crispier next time - I feel this was a one-off mistake. The wings were ok - small, but fried well. At this price point and size, I wouldn't bother with them again - they are basically take-out wings being served in house. 5.5/15

Colonnade Pizza (West End location)
2140 Carling Ave, Ottawa ON