Wednesday, 31 October 2018

HAPPY HALLOWE'EN 2018!!!


HAPPY HALLOWE'EN EVERYONE!!!



My favourite holiday of the year. Love it. Hope you get lots of wicked wings while you Trick or Eat!!!

Social Media is learning ... it's evolving!


Monday, 29 October 2018

LOTW Meme Monday - Jason Needs Wings

#nonwingsunday = Hintonburger Hintonburger

#fryday = Crispy's Dry Wings


This post is a little bit late by over a week.

Last Monday I worked at the City of Ottawa elections as a DRO (Deputy Returning Officer). It's the second election I've worked at this year, and it's a fascinating experience all around. One thing to note is that it's a long process and a long day - I went from about 8:30am-9pm. You have to bring a lunch because you can't leave the site, and not knowing if I had access to a proper break room, I just packed a big cooler with drinks, snacks, a sandwich and some pizza buns for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I grazed a lot, but wasn't that hungry. But once I was done, that was a different story.

I had to drop off all of my election materials to the 'command centre' at the south end of the city. I was starved, and didn't feel like a drive-thru burger. I realized I was close to Crispy's Resto Grill, and got myself an order of the breaded wings with hot sauce on the side. Crispy's might be my favourite take-out wings in the city. Here is the dry crispy wings before I added the Frank's Red Hot they put in a take-out container. It was heaven.

Spider-Man's Hallowe'en Choice: Candy or Wings?

Stirfry = #nonwingsunday


It was an awesome stir-fry!

#fryday Boston Pizza Salt & Pepper Wings Again


Posted this a while back - I've been off my game - but better late than never right?!?!?

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

FREE Wings at JACK ASTOR's Kanata ON THURSDAY OCT 18


Stuff our lawyer made us say. *Free wings are limited to 1 regular 10 piece per person, until we run out of wings or burn down the building accidentally. Dine-in only. No reservations. Not available on Skip the Dishes. Only valid at Jack Astor's Kanata location.


I wasn't going to post this because I wanted to keep all the wings to myself but I read in the small print it's only 10 wings per person. Maybe I will see you there!

AROMA PIZZA - Orleans ON

Back in January of 2017 I was running errands in Orleans and went out of my way to try a local pizza joint. I had been lured in by enticing online advertising photos for a place called Aroma Pizzeria. 



I didn't do a review - the only record I have of that visit was an Instagram post I made. I remembered that the stripmall it was in was weird because the parking lot was in the back, but the entrance in the front by the road, the owner(?) was very friendly and told me his wing sauce secrets (Nuclear was Frank's Xtra Hot), and the wings were tasty. It was a good experience, but I had not been back in over a year. Well I was running errands in Orleans again and decided to drop back in.


Located in the Jeanne D'Arc Plaza, Aroma Pizza has changed since I was in last. You can no longer enter by the front entrance, only the back. There used to be a bigger seating area but now it's more of a waiting area. It makes more sense now even if it's less dine-in friendly.

The same guy was running the joint - I assume the owner/manager. He's a very friendly guy and goes out of his way to make customer service a priority. Not only has my interactions been positive, I watched as he ran an order out in the rain to a customer in the car. He came back in and said the customer had hurt their back and had difficulty getting in and out of the car.


The menu has a variety of sauces to choose from, as well as a few wing deals posted. The photos on the above take-out flyer is the photo that drew me in in the first place. I knew it was a stock photo, but I kinda hoped it would be true. It wasn't, but that's ok, Aroma's wings are good on their own.

I went with their "Buy 1 pound, get 2nd 1/2 price" deal. I waited about 10 minutes and had my wings. I would like to point out they now have the paper compostable take out containers. Not the styrofoam but the cardboard like one. The wings are inside, wrapped in tin foil for extra reinforcement.


Were the wings as good as January 2017.



Wings come in an order of 1lb, which works out to about 7-8 wings. Under the tinfoil, I found there was celery, and a container of sour cream. Didn't know about these until I was almost done my wings. Next time I'd have to see if they have something other than sour cream. Who dips wings or celery into sour cream?


The wings are actually a good size here. They are large and have a good length to them. They are relatively meaty to the size of the wing but not jumbo or anything. The wings are also deep fried and they were crispy when they came out.


Aroma's wings are also generously tossed in sauce. Both of the wings were wet, well coated and had lots of reserve sauce in the foil. This was great, but the wings start to lose their crispness and get soggy. This also happens with the 'steaming' effect of the foil wrap I think. This is the universal problem with take-out wings though.


NUCLEAR

I remembered from my first visit that pizza dude said that their 'Nuclear' sauce was actually Frank's Xtra Hot. This isn't a commonly used sauce in my experience, but it's easy and effective.


It definitely has a good sting to it. You still have that Frank's flavour, but it is diluted for more of the heat. It's just sauced straight up from the bottle - no butter added here. It's a vinegary sting that I like, but I'm glad I mixed it up with another flavour.


HONEY BBQ

I'm sure this is another commercial sauce, but I don't know what it is. It's good though.


It's thick and goey and clings to the wings really well. It's a nice balance of sweet and savoury. I can taste the honey, but also what is probably HF Cornsyrup. It was also a good counterpoint to the Nuclear as it stung and this was sweet. Actually, by the end I was swapping wings in the opposite flavours.


FINAL SCORE

These are some pretty good take-out pizza wings. Large, crispy, and good use of two sauces most Ottawa-region pizza places use. The service was friendly. Oh and they have their own loyalty rewards membership too. It's too far for me to take advantage of unfortunately. I've never had the pizza here to comment on it, but with the customer service and the spicy & sweet wings, I'll be back for wings another day I'm sure. 8.5/14


Aroma Pizza
6004 Voyageur Drive, Orleans ON (Jeanne D'Arc Plaza)
aromapizzeria.com

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

#lotwwants2know - What was the deal with Wing Zone Ottawa?



I actually remember passing this place the first time I moved to Ottawa back in like 2008 and it was closed back then. The sign is still up 10 years later in this dying mini-mall.

Anyone know anything about this place?

Wing Zone
613-738-WING (9464)
wingzone.ca
2401 Bank Street, Ottawa

De-Heating Super Spicy Wings


So recently I celebrated a birthday, and at the end, I did something stupid.


I was at wing night at Patty Boland's and I was sampling wings with my wife. Feeling pretty good and wanting a small thrill, I tried their Reaper Inspired Wings. I signed the waiver, and was excited with my plate of wings and a challenge.



First, these wings were dry rubbed in Reaper Pepper spice. They came on a crispy, fried wing and were tossed in the seasoning. I was expecting a wet sauce, but I thought this would be easier to handle. I was wrong. I ate one wing, and I had to give up. The heat attacked my throat, it went to my lips. I was sweating. The worst part was my stomach started acting up. I did not want to mess with my stomach.

One part of getting older is that you can't do things you used to. I couldn't eat these wings. But part of getting older is getting wiser, and I weighed my pros and cons and determined it wasn't worth it to eat these wings. I mean I could have if I really pushed it, but I didn't. When I did a Ghost Pepper challenge years ago, my body has been affected by that ever since. I didn't want to cause irreparable damage.
 I said no, humbled and embarrassed, and took those wings and my tail between my legs, home.


If you are not aware and before you start scoffing at me not being able to eat these wings (without causing serious internal damage), the Carolina Reaper is the hottest pepper in the world. The above infographic shows it well - a jalapeno  is 10 000 Scoville units; the Carolina Reaper is 2 million. This is dangerous level hot.

So I had 7 dry dusted Carolina Reaper wings (they let me take those home, which is not usually allowed on wing night) and I wasn't NOT going to eat them. I needed to enter the LOTW Test Kitchen and find a way to De-Heat these wings.


I came up with a 3 part strategy to De-Heat these wings.


  1. Coat the wings in margarine (or butter)
  2. Coat the wings in bbq sauce
  3. Spritz those wings with fresh lemon juice


Before that, we needed to re-heat the wings. The best way would have been to deep fry them again, but there was no way I was slogging out the fryer, filling it with oil, heating it, stinking up the place, then clean up. I also wasn't going to take the easy route and microwave them - nuked wings are quick but terrible. So baking these wings on parchment paper was the way I went.


I put them in the toaster oven (didn't need a whole oven for 7 wings) and baked at 400 degrees for like 5 minutes. The wings stayed crispy, but the oils in the wing brought new life back into them. Some of the seasoning 'burnt' and went dark, but that didn't really affect the flavour. I did make the mistake of touching the wings with my bare hands, and then getting the reaper spice on my hands, which I licked. This led to my mouth stinging for a while.


STEP 1 - Margarine 

Right out of the oven I added margarine to the wings. Like about 3 or 4 tablespoons. My thinking on this is that the margarine (you could use butter, but this was easier for me) was going to add some heat diffusing layer, just as you add more to hot sauce to make mild/medium/hot wing sauce.



It melted into thos diabolic slurry of spice and vegetable oil. I tossed the wings until they were nice and coated. I think the wings might have been good just like this, but still way way too hot.


STEP 2: BBQ Sauce

I had two reasons for adding BBQ sauce to these wings. 1) the sugar in the sauce was going to help cut down the heat. Plus that sugar was going to cling on and coat those wings well.


2) The flavour (I went with a bold but sweet sauce PC Beer & Chipotle) was going to work well flavour-wise with the pepper. This sauce has a mild kick, but the two would pair well. I love spicy BBQ as a wing flavour.



STEP 3 - Lemon Wedge

I, I don't know why I thought this would help. It technically shouldn't. I mean the acid in the lemon juice would normally exacerbate the heat problem (in the same way that pop, beer or anything that isn't milk makes things worse when you try to douse a heat fire in the mouth). Really, the citrus blast was to elevate the flavour more than anything.


I tossed up those wings - margarine, BBQ sauce, lemon spritz - and it looked and smelled good. I couldn't find any direct evidence of the reaper on these wings. So far, so good. Don't they look good as wings as is?


So I cautiously bit into one of the wings. The first moment I noticed the sweet/savoriness of the sauce. The next moment, the heat of the pepper came though, but at least 50% less.  It had worked, mostly!

I ate two wings really quick. My mouth was on fire and my nose was running, but it was good! I ate another one and then two things happened: my stomach recognized the heat in the wings - the sauce was mostly covering up the reaper, but that heat was still there. Diffused, but not to be ignored. Then, I got high. I had this head rush of endorphins like I've never had before. I felt good; a little woozy, a little euphoric. I've had some minor highs eating spicy wings before, but nothing like this. It only lasted a few moments, but it was awesome.



This was an incredible experience, and it's what I love about eating wings. I had the heat and the spice  lighting my mouth on fire, with the rich, sweet De-Heating sauce with lemon highlights making some awesomesauce. Also the wings were crispy and crunchy making the texture great as well. Then I got high on my wings. It was simply an amazing experience.

So if you want to De-Heat some wings, adding margarine and bbq sauce is going to help. Lemon didn't seem to do much except flavour. You could also add honey as another way to neutralize heat, but I didn't think it would work with this flavour profile. You  have to worry about flavour as much as you do about de-heating the spice.

Monday, 15 October 2018

LOTW Meme Monday - Patricia at Costco



I haven't posted in a few days, so here are a bunch of my wing memes. Lucky you!


Did you know that the Costco sample people can't restrict you on how many samples you take? You gotta make that membership worthwhile!


#tbt 2016 Homemade Buffalo Wings


Sometimes doing something yourself is the best choice.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

PATTY BOLAND'S IRISH PUB & EATERY - Ottawa ON

Last week I was doing some birthday feasting. It was Monday night, which is the wing night in the city. It's also the hardest night of the week for me to get out for wing night. But it was my birthday so LJ taking me out, so the only question was, what wing night was I going to take advantage of? Well, I really wanted to go back to Patty Bolands.


I was shocked that I had not done a full review of Patty Boland's in the Byward Market. I've been there a few times, but never wrote about my experience. The closest it seems was advertising their 1 Cent Wing Night in September 2017, and then I just posted my Instagram post from January of 2017 when I actually did go. Weird.


So we arrive on Monday night. The sign says seat yourself, so we grab a lone table in the front window where there will be good light, some privacy, and a view of the street. The atmosphere inside is Irish Pub and the place is clad in wood. It's dark, it's got character; I like it.

Our server Carley was friendly and took good care of us. We kind of laughed because she brought us the specials menu, but not the whole menu. Maybe they only serve their specials on Monday?


As you can see, Monday night is all about the wings. Yes they have fries and poutine and burgers, but wings are where its at. Oh and fried cauliflower 'wings'. There are a lot of sauces to choose from, but their wing night advertisements are a little sketchy. See they say its $0.35 wing night, but only 3 of the basic flavours are at that price; the rest are $0.55. But they aren't really $0.55 either - you have to order them in batches of 8, making the Classic wings $2.80 and the Signature wings are $4.40. Those are still good deals by a long shot. Why they gotta fudge the truth?

Also, my Diet Coke was $5. It was free refills, but $5 is pretty steep for pop. Not sure if this is every night or just wing night. But FYI.


So while we were getting a bunch of wings to try, LJ wanted something more to actually make up the meal. She went with the $3 hamburger and added cheese for $1.50. The toppings came on the side, a neat little pile of shredded lettuce, tomato, and pickle and ketchup and mustard on the table. While I liked the stretchy cheese game going on, I thought that this was going to be a burger that tasted like you get what you pay for (cheap). But LJ tried a bite and said it was good. I tried a bite and I was impressed. It had a great beefy flavour. It was simple but just tasted good. LJ was craving it (and the price) a few days later!


So the burger was a hit, but how would the wings fare?



I can't speak for wings on a regular night. They might come with veggies and dip? They do come with fries though; wing night wings do not. I don't know how many wing you get for sure on a regular night, but on wing night you get 8 in an order. We also got a side plate (for bones) and napkins.


These wings were not very big, length wise. They were pretty uniform in size, but they were in the small/medium zone. But while they weren't long, they were a very meaty wing. They were also dusted and fried crispy - almost perfect. The meat was tender inside too. If the chicken was just a bit bigger these would be top notch.


With it being wing night, we took advantage of trying a bunch of sauces and flavours. When the wings came, the sauced wings were very saucy, and the dry rubbed wings had lots of seasoning. I like that. I like that a lot.


40 CREEK WHISKEY BBQ

The BBQ sauce was sweet and savory. It was a bit sticky, but it wasn't uber sweet. Just a nice balance. I would totally get these again.



CAJUN

These dry seasoned wings came out crispy and hot. The seasoning mix was pretty standard Cajun spice rub - garlicky, salty, spicy. It worked well with the fried wing.


MEDIUM

We got a side of medium so the dry Cajun wings could be dipped if needed. This was $1 extra. It's a good sauce, partially sweet, partially spicy. A true medium.



TEQUILA LIME

These were the hit of the night. These wings were saucy, sticky, sweet and spicy (the four s's). It's like a BBQ sauce, with a little hint of zingy lime. Sweet and sour is what I'm saying here. So very good.

Now we had a good feast, but I didn't want to end there. It was my birthday, so I wanted a challenge. And I took it and got their Carolina Reaper Wings.


If you are not aware, the Carolina Reaper is the world's hottest chili pepper. One pepper is over 2 million Scoville units. I didn't buy it, and I felt pretty confident about doing this. LJ did not. She was not happy because she remembers vividly what happened when I did a ghost pepper challenge the last time, and I suffered. I suffered a lot. But I didn't think it would be that bad.

They pulled out a waiver. It looked pretty official - I've filled out quite a few waivers and many are goofy or intended for fun. This one seemed serious. I still wasn't worried.


Carley didn't even try to talk me out of it. That made me feel even more confident about ordering them. I asked later on if many people ordered them and she said at least once every Monday night. Most people fail. Hmmm.

In no time they came out and I had 8 glorious deep fried wings in front of me. LJ and I were both surprised that these were a dry rubbed wing and not a sauce concoction. They were unevenly coated, but I didn't notice that until looking at the photos later. I just saw 8 freshly fried wings that smelled like heat. I was ready for a little pain and dove into these wings.

Nope.

I ate one wing. ONE. That is all I could take.

I ripped open the wingette and pulled out a bone. I bit into it and it immediately attached my throat, my lips, my tongue. It was a dry, sharp, peppery, white heat. My stomach stopped me and went "WTF?" My nose started to run. My eyes were almost starting to water. My stomach caused a few warning hiccups (this happens since that 2011 incident when I get anywhere NEAR really spicy food).

I must be getting old, because 1) I can't take the heat and 2) I am a little less reckless. Yes, I could have powered through the extreme pain, but I was going to be in serious pain later. And in the moment. I didn't want to go through that. I didn't want to be sick. The glory of eating these wings was not worth it. Sometimes getting older and wiser isn't as fun, but damn I feel a lot better in the morning!



FINAL SCORE:

This was exactly what I wanted for my birthday. Copious amounts of cheap, tasty wings. The burger was good, the atmosphere was right, and the service was spot on. The wings were great. Crispy, fried so well, and fresh tasting. The wings were saucy, and the flavours were really good. I would get all of these flavours again. And the Carolina Reaper dry wings UBER HOT. These were no joke and they deserve mad respect for making a killer product. So good. Wing night rocks here - the whole bill was under $45 for 32 wings, some sauce, a burger, a beer and a pop. 11/15



Patty Boland's Irish Pub & Eatery
101 Clarence Street, Ottawa ON
pattybolands.com