Saturday, 24 November 2018
As I mentioned, things are mondo busy. Big life announcements coming up that are sucking all my time. I have a bunch of posts on the back burner but it doesn't look like I will be getting to any of them in the next week. Stay tuned for announcements soon!
So to tide things over for the moment, this was a photo I found on my phone when I revamped some leftovers from some decent fried chicken, to Buffalo sauced fried chicken. Level up!
Thursday, 22 November 2018
I continue to re-visit places I blogged about years ago since I have moved back to Ottawa. Crazy Horse Stone Grill Steakhouse & Saloon is one of those places, and this past October, I went back.
The first time I went to Crazy Horse was in 2011 when I did a review of the wings; They had been opened since 2009 but I never had a chance to go before. My review back then was that they were expensive and not as big as I would like, but they had great homemade sauces and well fried, crispy skin. They were good.
Then it was April 2017; a Thursday. Thursday was Crazy Horse's wing night where they had 1lb of wings on for $4.99! I did a mini-review in my 2017 Year End Review, which was based on my Instagram post - Crazy Horse saw this post and quoted me on their Instagram! Things were good on this visit and I decided I would definitely come back.
As an update, I don't know that anything has changed at Crazy Horse at the restaurant itself, whether it was back in 2017 or 2011. Cowboy/Western themed restaurant that is big on booze and dancing at night on the weekends. At a normal dinner hour, the place was pretty quite (given it's size, which is huge inside).
I do love the look inside - it feels like an old timey saloon from the cow skulls, carved horses, and big wooden bars. The staff are all decked out in flannel and cowboy hats. It's really dark inside so you will have to excuse my very dark/blurry photos. I'm going to come clean, I didn't intend to go to Crazy Horse on this particular occasion. I was going to Jack Astor's next door, because they were having a free wing promotion. Only when I got there, there was a huuuuge line-up. I was dining solo, so I wasn't going to wait in line and take up a table by myself.
It was a Thursday, and I knew Crazy Horse had wings on special and well, there was no line up, so in I went. The one downside was that their awesome wing promotion of a $4.99 a pound was now $7 a pound. I mean still a decent deal, but it's not a $5 deal. Now I knew it was wing night going in, but I didn't see any signage that this was the case. My server also didn't bring it up until I asked about it either, so it pays to do your research and to also ask if there are any specials on. My server Ashley was friendly and looked after me, but sometimes things slip.
A big difference from 2011 is that the wings are now smoked, then fried. They don't list them on the menu as fried, but they are after being smoked. The sauces are also different, but still sounded interesting. The menu doesn't list how many wings you get or the size of the order, but since I had been last year I figured it probably hadn't changed that much. With it being wing night I got a double order with 3 flavours to maximize my sauce potential.
It didn't take long before I had two massive long plates in front of me which took up what felt like was the whole table!
Right after I ordered my wings Ashley brought me a bone plate with napkins and wetnaps. Nice.
As mentioned before wings come in orders of one pound, which works out to be about 8 wings. Because I got 2 orders, they came out on two massive platters, but once I had done some eating I was able to merge the two onto one platter.
The wings are a medium plus to a large wing in size lengthwise, which was pretty decent. Meatiness was average to the size of these wings. The wings are smoked, but the meat wasn't tough like it is with some smoked wings. Then I am REALLY sure the wings are fried; it doesn't say this anywhere mind you, but the skin is so crispy I can't imagine that they aren't. The skin is like crispy/crackley - really good. Dry Rubbed wings were well coated, but the sauced wings were lightly wet.
I love to sample, so my strategy is to go on wing night, get a few orders, at least one of those orders will be a dry rub and then get a sauce on the side. This is what I did at Crazy Horse.
As I first wrote on Instagram last year, I really dig this rub. It's just really good. It's salty, it's sweet, just a lot of nuance to it. So good just as they are without sauce. I actually asked the server who was clearing my plates if the rub was a secret, she said she would go ask. Ashley intercepted her on the way to the kitchen and came back to report to me - she said it was like 'a bunch of spice, a whole bunch of stuff in there'. Ok, but then she mentioned there was mango in there. Mango! That's the sweet I couldn't identify. Awesome.
I'm pretty sure the Red Hot is just Frank's Red Hot. That's not a bad thing at all - it's tasty cayenne hot sauce that goes well with the smoked wings.
I didn't love this sauce, but I did feel it was a quality sauce for someone that isn't me. Mainly because it's very sweet. It's very fruity flavoured. There is a heat but it takes a minute to kick in. I was like "this is sweet sweet sweet, and then it was heat heat heat." It had a good sting, and if you ate a whole order of suicide it would burn. I wouldn't because it was too fruity flavoured for me, but the heat was good.
I asked Ashley about these too. She went and asked the kitchen, and said there was Carolina Reaper Pepper and Ghost Pepper in there. Now back in October I had Carolina Reaper powder on wings and I was in extreme pain, since Carolina Reapers are over 1 million Scovilles, so this suicide must be in very small amounts to have the 2 hottest peppers in the world. They were hot, but I was not feeling the pain that these peppers should have. I think that there must be scotch bonnet peppers in there too to get that fruity heat.
These were some good wings all around. All the senses were being affected:
- Looked great
- Smelled smokey
- Great crispy skin texture
- Great crackly skin crunch
- Tasted Great
The Dry Rub was the best because it just has so much going on, the suicide was actually hot (if not a little sweet for me) and hot was classic. The wings themselves were cooked just right. Getting veggies and dip was an added bonus. I went there by accident but so glad I went back. Ye haw! 11/15
115 Roland Michener Drive, Kanata ON
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Monday, 19 November 2018
This past weekend, I caught the tail end of Rocky IV. I'm assuming it was on because Creed 2 comes out this week where it seems Apollo Creed's son Adonis avenges his fathers death by fighting Viktor Drago who's father Ivan Drago killed Apollo in the ring. Make sense?
I love the Rocky movies, and my favourite is Rocky IV, mainly because I love the Soviet angle and the villain, Ivan Drago. As it turns out, Drago only has 9 lines in the whole movie - each could be applied to a wing meme (go here and think chicken wings after each quote). But here are my top 3 Ivan Drago wing memes.
Are you going to see Creed 2? I probably won't - I didn't see Creed yet. For me, it's just the first 5 Rocky movies, and then Rocky Balboa. Which is your fave?
Sunday, 18 November 2018
This may sound crazy, but every time I travel from Ontario to Quebec, it feels like going to another country. The road signs are different, the language is different, and there is a distinct cultural difference between the two. This includes food; not only does Quebec have it's own culinary eperience, but it's own fast food chains that don't exist outside the province. Dic Ann's is one of those.
LJ was in Montreal for business, but when she was done it was time to get some lunch. I was doing some research on where to eat, and I came across this Quebec-only chain called Dic Ann's. See, back in 1954 jazz accordionist Ann Russel and her American born husband Dominic 'Dick' Potenza who moved to Montreal and opened their vision of a hamburger joint that served their special hot sauce in a little shack. They moved into their original restaurant and now over 50 years later they have a chain of more than 10 locations. But they don't just serve normal burgers. More on that later.
If time and distance permitted I would have liked to go to their original location, but as life would have it, we couldn't, so we hit up their location at Marche Central. I've noticed several mall or commecial buildings that in Montreal make no sense to me. This location is in a big mall plaza, in a building shared by a Tim Horton's that is undergoing renovation. But both store fronts look like the back, but are the front as the other side just faces the entrance to the mall area. The construction aside, we weren't sure if this was the front of the restaurant or the back. It was the front, but what a terrible looking store.
The inside is painted in yellows and oranges and off-whites. There are black and white photos of Dic and Ann, the first restaurant and other franchise nostalgia. The seating is classic fast food tables with a mix of American and French pop music.
The menu is very limited to their burger and it's variants, hot dogs, and fries and fry variants. We decided to split a Poutine between the two of us, and LJ went with a cheeseburger, and I went with a double cheeseburger.
I was shocked at the poutine. I was shocked that such a thing could be called and served a poutine in Quebec. Shocked. Their poutine ($4.95) is thin cut fries, covered in shredded mozzarella and their 'hot sauce'. Shredded mozzarella. Not cheese curds, mozzarella. #poutinecrime. And no gravy, just their hot meat sauce. It's not that it tasted bad, it wasn't half bad. It just isn't like any poutine I know, (well maybe like some in Ontario). The fries were crispy, the sauce slightly spicy. Ketchup helped. It was a good size portion.
Now one thing that sets this burger chain apart from others is the construction on their burger. They start off with ground beef that is pre-pressed into the flattest possible patty you can imagine. That patty is 1.75 ounces - super tiny. When I proposed this place to LJ, it was based on this fact as she loves a thin burger. That thin burger is cooked on the flat top and pressed even flatter. See this photo from their website:
That is almost paper thin. They cook it for like 30 seconds a side then flip.
The bun is white burger bun that is squashed and toasted in it's own press. The bottom bun is then layered with their spicy sauce, then the burger and whatever burger variant you are getting.
There is an excess of their spicy sauce on the plate, so they supply popsicle sticks that you use as a lever to lift the burger out of the sauce.
LJ just got the classic cheeseburger that comes with 1 patty, spicy sauce, cheese, swiss cheese, onions, relish and mustard. She thought the burger was ok. It was really small even for her. For $2.80, it still seemed really small.
I knew a single wouldn't be enough, so I went with a double, which 3.5 oz of beef and is $4.45. It was still pretty small. I debated going with the double, or the Hi Boy, which just adds lettuce and tomato, or even the 3DST which is 3 patties, 2 mozzarella slices, with lettuce or tomato. Or the Hambourghini which has pepperoni on it. Again, I just went with a double.
I was really underwhelmed by this burger. It was tiny, and the flavour was simple. A little too simple. The beef at that size has no flavour. The texture is fine, but I don't understand the point. The bun was kinda crispy and had a unique texture. It was different and no complaints there. The spicy sauce is a secret homemade, tomato based, meat sauce. On the burger, the sauce is barely noticeable beyond the texture. When you try it on it's own, it's got a very slight kick of cayenne. But again on the burger you can't even taste it. The onion and mustard is the dominant flavours here, and even they aren't that strong.
Would I go back? Maybe? We just didn't get it. I don't know why folks seem to go crazy for this place. The burgers are small, with not much flavour. It was just too simple and not bold enough. With our 2 mini burgers, poutine and a 500ml Pepsi the bill came to $17.83. That just didn't seem worth it. Again, the food was ok, it was just tiny and plain. We left not full, nor satisfied. Oh well, sometimes you score when you explore another culture, sometimes you don't.
Dic Ann's (Marche Central)
1000 rue du marche-central, Montreal QC
#tbt to Nov 13th 2011 & some AYCE wings from Jean Albert's. These wings were fresh, crispy, & tasted great plain, but were even better with the Slap Yer Mamma sauce (smokey, peppery, spicy,). They were so very good! This was the 2nd location of Jean Albert's & sadly is #nowclosed, as has Chef Leroy's food truck Detroit Soul Food, but you can't keep that man down, & I heard he is catering & currently doing a pop-up at The Cross. Hope the wings and sweet water corn bread make a return! #lordofthewingsblog #lordofthewings #wings #chickenwings #friedwings #aycewings #slapyermamma #chefleroy #jeanalberts #detroitsoulfood #detroitsoulfoodottawa #sweetwatercornbread #chickenandwaffles #wingmemories #throwbackthursday #throwbackwings
To see the original review of the wings go HERE.
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
HAPPY NATIONAL PICKLE DAY!!!
I love pickles. LOVE them. Dill are my favourite. Kosher dill is great too. Bread butter? Yes please. Gherkins, sure. I also love pickle appetizer - deep fried pickles, pickle chips, dill pickle potato chips. I'm in heaven watching a movie with dill seasoning on my popcorn. Love it.
So it was natural that I want to combine those loves. Back in 2011 I went into the LOTW Test Kitchen and made a Pickle Wing: I brined raw wings in dill pickle juice. I breaded the wings, deep fried them, then tossed them in Dill Pickle Popcorn Seasoning. They were dill-liscious! I will wright up a proper review one day, but for now, enjoy the view!
Way back in early October I made a very very good lunch decision; I went back to Meatings BBQ.If you remember, I went to Meatings back in June and had some totally awesome smoked wings. I also went on a Wednesday which is their wing day ($10 for a pound when normally its $13) which made it even better. It was such a good lunch, and I had been jonesing for those smoked wonders.
Flash forward to late September and I see on their social media a post about "Spicy Smoked Root Beer" sauced wings. I love every word in that menu description. I couldn't go that week, or even the next, but the NEXT Wednesday I could ... but I had no idea if they would still have that sauce. Spoiler alert: they did and I got them.
I was the only patron there (it was after the lunch crowd) so I walked right up and ordered. I grabbed a free sampling of bbq rubbed popcorn (salty good) and grabbed a seat at the big table, which was good seating but in hindsight was terrible for photo taking. I also got a Pop Shoppe Black Cherry soda which was awesome. Before long, I had my metal tray of wings.
This order was 9 wings stacked like a log pile making up a pound. They smelled smokey and BBQ-ey.
The wings were not pretty. They look like they had been in a fight. That's ok, they were huge and meaty. Not super tender this time, and not crispy either. There wasn't a lot of sauce, but the wings were sticky.
I dropped everything and dove into these wings. When I eat on my own I often write, or do work or figure out tasks, but I couldn't focus on anything but the wings. They had a slight heat, but they weren't overly spicy. The spice balanced out the sweet root beer bbq sauce. Now the root beer was not strong, more of a hint. But these wings were very balanced in their flavour.
I was also very excited because they had the Alabama White dipping sauce which was missing on my first visit. Alabama white sauce is almost a ranch-type dipping sauce. It's mayo based and it goes well with BBQ in general, but especially well with the wings. I had a hard time deciding between eating the wings as is with their Spicy Root Beer BBQ sauce and dipping those wings in the white sauce. Friggin good.
I know I'm gushing but these wings were just so good. Meaty and smokey on their own, better with the root beer BBQ, and even better with the Alabama white sauce. And with $3 off, they were even better. It's probably good this place isn't near my home, because I would be there way too often.
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Do you count your wings when they come? From The Simpsons S29e21 "Moho House" Homer is at a fancy event & notices he only has 35 wings in a 3 dozen order. I've been there. #lordofthewingsblog #lordofthewings #wings #chickenwings #wingsontv #thesimpsons #homersimpson #waylandsmithers #smithers #mohohouse