I like to think that I'm a person with a good sense of direction, but on occasion I get lost. Actually it's more like I don't like to take the same route and go exploring and I find stuff I never expected. I'm a regular Marco Polo, what can I say?
One day while I was out I decided to go down a road I had never been down before, which led me to a sketchy, rundown little strip mall with a local pizza joint called Barney's Pizza. Up until just a few minutes before writing this, I had not paid attention to the name; Barney's. I just assumed it was like so many pizza places just named after an owner. But as I was writing I actually noticed the logo in the collage below and realized that the Barney in question is supposed to be Fred's neighbor and best pal from the Flintstones. Huh!
I had seen Barney's on the internet before but had no idea where in Ottawa it was. Now I know. The store frontage is pretty big, but the only seating is a few stools at the windows. There is a school nearby that I think makes up a lot of the daytime customer base; there are lots of snacks, treats, pop and pizza slices they have to create a one-stop-shop and keep those customers from going to both a convenience store and a Giant Tiger in the same plaza.
There were several staff behind the counter working away and when I was ready the Pizza Lady came over to take my order - 12 wings, and I decided to get some onion rings. She asked what sauce and since none were listed I asked what they had. "Mild, honey garlic, hot, medium, suicide" so I said "suicide" and she smiled and said "oh, that's how my husband gets them!". Cool. I had to wait a while (about 15-20 minutes) but I hung out and watched customers coming in and out, the delivery guy joking with the staff etc. After a while I had my food and off I went.
I drove to the river and had a car picnic. I noticed that the paper bag everything was packed into was misshapen and even a bit greasy coming out of it? What was going on? I peeked into the bag and noticed what was causing the problem - the onion ring container wouldn't close!
There were so many onion rings that the small clam shell for this small order was too big and wouldn't and couldn't shut. Wow. Impressive. Also, the grease on the bag came from the rings, so then I had a good feeling these onion rings were going to be good.
I was expecting standard frozen mass produced onion rings, but was pleasantly surprised by these seemingly homemade rings! At first I thought they looked burnt and expected them to have that taste, and I think they were on the verge of being burnt, but weren't. They had a puffy batter that was crunchy/super crispy and almost brittle. This was under $3. Overall they tasted good. I only wish I had gotten some ketchup or some dip with them because I likes me rings and sauce of some sort.
So the rings were good, but how about the wings???
The wings came in a Styrofoam clam shell, and inside that they were wrapped in tinfoil. This leads to the wings getting steamed and moisture forming in the container as it travels for delivery. That's too bad.
They smelled good though! The wings come in numerical orders, so I went with their smallest amount which is 12 wings. Nothing comes with them, but you can buy sour cream, ranch or garlic dip for $0.75. I did not.
The wings were sadly a bit small. Not the smallest I've had, but small. However, they were pretty meaty for the size of the wings.
The wings come from frozen, and are deep fried naked. The chicken itself wasn't tender, but it wasn't tough either, just ok. The skin would have been crispy before saucing, but because they travelled in the tinfoil they steamed and were not crispy by the time (about 10 minutes after leaving the store) I actually consumed them.
I went with Suicide, but these weren't that spicy. I mean there was a little sting, but I think their suicide is just adding chili pepper flakes to their hot. Their hot tastes like a cayenne based hot sauce, but it didn't taste like the industry standard Frank's Hot. They were tasty enough. Also watch out, the sauce stains the skin big time! The wings weren't super saucy, but again I think because they absorbed into the steaming skin.
These were not bad wings despite the score. They were small and they weren't crispy but they were good enough and tasty for lunch. I would go back to Barney's, but no rush. Except maybe for the onion rings - now those were Yabadabadoolish! 6/14
Barney's Pizza & Subs (or sometimes listed as just Barney's Pizza)
2843 Dumaurier Ave, Ottawa ON
Website is defunct but they use FACEBOOK