Wednesday, 6 March 2019

BEST PIZZA VANIER - Ottawa ON

I'm fortunate to have access to a car and time to be able to go all over the city and sample wings. 


On this particular trip I was in the Vanier area running an errand and decided to get lunch. I did a quick google search and came across the name Best Pizza Vanier. That's a pretty bold claim, but it caught my eye. I also liked the clean nature of their website. It wasn't hard to win me over if a place has wings, clearly.


When I pulled up the place looked a little divey, but inside they clearly have renovated in recent times. There is enough seating for well over 20 people inside, and while it was covered in snow right now, they clearly have a big patio with more seating as well. There were a few patrons when I arrived inside, all seniors. The decor was mixed of specials and sports stuff.


I was happy online when I saw they have 2 wing days, Mondays and Thursdays you get 10 wings and a beer for $11, which is a great deal for beer drinkers. But when I got to the place, the posted signs say Wednesdays are 12 wings with a beer for $11.95. So Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursday deals!? I wondered if you could sub a pop, but the Pizza Dude wasn't super talkative so and I felt awkward so I did not ask a lot of questions.


I did ask about the sauces. I don't like it when I'm at an eatery and the server says what kind of wings I want, but the sauces aren't posted. Like, how am I supposed to know? This guy did this, so I asked what my options were - he listed a bunch off the top of his head, but it felt like there could have been more because he didn't seem so sure. I went with hot. I also got a Coke Zero to drink. I waited about 10 minutes for my order, grabbed that paper bag and headed to the car. I drove by the river and found a spot to park and enjoy my lunch.


I can tell you this; the smell coming from the bag was good. My low hopes were heightened slightly.

Correction: Wednesday wing special is actually 12 wings & beer for $11.95


Wings come in multiples of 12, so there were 12 wings in my order. These take-out wings came in a styrofoam container and a little food wrapping paper and no sides.



The wings were about a medium in length and height, but they were a pretty meaty wing. These wings are deep fried straight up, no breading, so when you see they are meaty, that's all meat.


The wings were both crispy/dried out skin, but other wings were pretty soggy. The meat itself was tender, but the wings did not pull apart easily at all.


The wings came well sauced; they were wet with a lots of sauce on the bottom. The sauce was super stainy - my fingers were very red-orange and one or two slipped right out and stained my shirt. Classy I know.

Shockingly, these wings were hot. Big bite to them. I couldn't get over it - I was not expecting that and I think I let me defences down because the heat just kept coming back at me. I think these wings were Frank's Xtra Hot, not regular Frank's Hot, because there was a serious sting that stayed with me well after I was done. It wasn't killer, but enough that I had a good buzz of pain and endorphins.


FINAL SCORE:

These were decent wings that had a big bite to them. Texture was all over the place, the size was decent for take-out wings, but the sauce, so very simple in flavour, had a heat that had me grabbing for my drink again and again. Wow. If I was in Vanier again, I would get these wings again, but I doubt I'd make a special trip for them. Never did find out if the pizza was any good though ... let alone Vanier's best. 8/14


Best Pizza Vanier
295 McArthur Ave, Ottawa ON
bestpizzavanier.com



Tuesday, 5 March 2019

McDonald's Spiciest Ghost Pepper McChicken

Spicy continues to go mainstream.



McDonald's for the past month has introduced their line up of Spicy, Spicier, and Spiciest McChicken sandwiches. By simply adding a Jalapeno, a Chipotle, and finally a Ghost Pepper sauce to the McChicken sandwich, they've added a new dimension to their poultry sandwiches.

But as the ad seems to imply, everyone is trying this and getting 'spice face' from eating spicy food. Most North Americans can't eat spicy spicy food, and this commercial gives me the impression they are making these things accessible to the masses. But if everyone is just getting 'spice face' from eating Ghost Pepper, is the sauce really that hot? I wanted to find out for myself.



I skipped Jalapeno and Chipotle all together. I just wanted the Ghost Pepper. All or nothing. I do like how they had a weekly build up of the sandwiches, like a test. Can you pass level 1? How about level 2? I used a cheat code and went straight to the final boss, and I'm glad I waited too;


I have the McApp on my phone for deals on the go. The app is buggy and the deals aren't always great, but I have gotten free fries or cheaper sandwiches for sure. When one came up for buy a Spicy McChicken and get a free small milkshake, it was time to bust out the phone at the drive-thru. The idea of pairing up the sandwich with a milkshake is brilliant, because if the sandwich is too hot, the milkshake will help you get through the pain.



The sandwich itself is $6.29, which is about $1 more than the regular McChicken. The spicy sandwiches also have their own box with a tab for the staff to indicate which sandwich is which. Mine had lettuce sticking out.



I opened that cardboard clam shell and there was the sandwich. I was excited, but not worried at all.



I was really impressed how much sauce they put on there. It was oozing all over the place, bringing a landslide of sauce and lettuce off the burger. I could smell the hot sauce. All very good signs.


Not scared at all, I took a big bite. Like a big bite. It was good. I could taste the chicken (and I like the McChicken patty), and the sauce. There was a bit of a burn. I could taste the flavour of Ghost Pepper. It had a nice bite. I kept expecting it to get waaaay hotter, but it didn't. I mean it's the hottest thing I've had at McDonald's (like the Jr Chicken, which has a small kick), probably any other fast food spicy offering for that matter too. For chili heads, this was going to be disappointing. For your average person, this was going to be spicy. I think it was spot on for the sandwich to be enjoyable for a wider audience.



The make-up is basically the same as a regular McChicken. Sesame seed bun, crispy ground McChicken patty, shredded lettuce. But instead of their mayo-y McChicken sauce, they have a small layer of the mayo-Ghost pepper sauce on the bottom, and a LOT on the top.


Would I Get It Again?

Yes, totally would. I mean McChicken is good on it's own but the added spice is good. Like the marketing suggests, its a spicy sandwich for everyone. But if you think this is really spicy and that you had full on Ghost Pepper, you are going to be sorely wrong if you ever try anything that is actually Ghost Pepper. A Ghost Pepper is over a million Scoville units, and as someone who has eaten them in challenges, there is a lot of pain, sweat and tears. This sandwich did none of that, but it was tasty and is good enough for a mini-thrill.




McDonald's 
1850 Baseline Road, Ottawa ON
McDonalds Canada
Spicy McChickens




Monday, 4 March 2019

LOTW Meme Monday = Momo Wings




Mmmmm, Momo wings.

I love how this hoax was perpetuated because of parents hysteria, and that spread more fear to children. People need to calm down and have a chicken wing.

But dang, that thing is creepy. The new Slender Man I guess ...

#nonwingsunday = Cherry & Vanilla Coke Zero's are back in Canada!!!

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Dang that looks good!


Dang, that from frozen 'smoked' wing does not look bad. I'd eat it. Well, I did. But I'd eat it again.

#lordofthewingsblog
#lordofthewings
#wings #chickenwings #smokedwings #frozenwings #wingporn #presidentschoicewings

#fryday = Garbage (aka Tim Horton's Chicken Strips)



After @themealbook pointed it out, I realized these were terrible partly because these are NOT fried. Therefore this is a false #fryday.

They were still garbage though.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

#tbt - Hintonburgers over the Years

Wild Wings AYCE Bonless Chicken Event


What is it with AYCE boneless events lately? Last month St Louis had it, and this month it was Wild Wings. 


First off, hats off to calling it AYCE Boneless Chicken and not Boneless Wings, because it is chicken and not wings. Unfortunately I didn't get to try these until almost the last day (today is that last day). I had seen their advertisements on social media like the photo above, but just couldn't get there sooner.


I've been to Wild Wings (not to be confused with the American chain Buffalo Wild Wings) many times before, but never to the location in Orleans. I was running errands and stopped in for lunch, where I was the first customer of the day.


The location, like all others, has a wild west cowboy theme. This location is spacious and clean. Eventually more customers came; some seniors to the right of me, some seniors to the right, and a dude who went to the bar.



I got to sit where ever I wanted and chose a booth with lots of window light. The tables all come pre-set with your condiment and cleanup caddy. I wasn't going to need a bone bucket, and because I ended up using a fork for my food, I didn't need the paper towel roll and the wetnaps as much, but it was appreciated.

My waitress was Ally and she was cool. Checked on me frequently, answered my questions. They serve Pepsi products, and when I needed a refill she was on it. She was great, and I'll get into that more later on.

The AYCE deal is clearly laid out:


  • $19.99 for AYCE per person
  • 1st order of Boneless Chicken comes with celery, carrots, fries and dip.
  • Additional chicken comes in orders of 5 (without fries & veggies)
  • Dine-In only
  • With beverage purchase
  • No doggy-bags

$20 for AYCE may not seem like a great deal on it's own, but considering a single order of Boneless Chicken is $15.95 and a double order is $27.50(!) as long as you get at least one refill, you are winning. 

After my meal I asked Ally what was the most she's seen someone order, and she had to think about it. She said I had done probably the best, but for most it was just a double order. She had a look on her face about that maybe me think there was more to that answer, and she said not very many people ordered it. It wasn't popular I asked, and she said not really. She said people were more interested in taking home their food (which you can't do under the AYCE) so they would order the Double order, Ally would point out how it's cheaper to do the AYCE, but they refused because they would rather take their meals home. Fascinating.



Wild Wing's is famous for it's wing sauces. Or should I say wing sauce combinations. They have 101 flavours, but in actuality, they have like 20 sauces and rubs that they then mix together to make a whole bunch of combinations. They also don't make their own sauces - all are commercial sauces like Frank's and Diana's (a fact they used to advertise proudly on their menus).

For me the point of the AYCE isn't to fill myself with as much chicken as possible, but to sample a bunch of flavours. Their listing is broken down into categories like Honey I'm Home (all the honey garlic combos) or Feeling Chippy (all the potato chip flavours). Trying to find classic flavours like hot, or medium can be a challenge, and figuring out all the combos isn't always easy as you have to really track down what the name of one is if you don't know already.


I placed my first order, and it didn't take long for me to get round one. Because it was pretty quiet in the place, I could hear the cooks tossing the crispy chunks in the sauce. Round one looked pretty good.


There were a pile of fries that came with the order. They looked like fresh fries with their skins still on, but they were clearly frozen. They were decent frozen fries, and were better when I added vinegar and salt and ketchup.

There were also fresh celery and carrot sticks (always appreciated with wings) and I had a choice of blue cheese, ranch, or dill dip. While blue cheese is good, I'm a sucker for dill. It's creamy, dilly, it's what you want in a dill dip. I'm pretty sure this is the same dill sauce they use on their wings too.


My first order of Boneless Chicken came with approx 9 pieces. Each order after this came in 5's.


These chunks of chicken were all different sizes. Most of them were small bites that were bigger than say a popcorn chicken, but not much more. There were a few larger chunks in there too. These were roundish chunks, not nuggets, but the size of nuggets. They weren't uniform sized or cut either.


The chicken was breaded, and when deep fried, created a touch crunchy shell. Many on my first order were overcooked and too crunchy. But I will take crunchy over not crispy. At least the crunchy holds up to the thick sauces well.

The meat was mostly tender pieces of white chicken. However, one in like 8 pieces were this weird, solid piece of chicken that didn't seem like chicken at all. If it were a pressed chicken product I would understand, but I'm pretty sure they use real chicken breast. These are a frozen product for sure, so I'm sure that is what caused the every so often crappy piece.


My pieces came very well sauced and/or dry rubbed. Round 1 was extremely saucy and had a lake of sauce. Round 2 came with a lot of dry seasoning. Round 3 had wet pieces (mostly) but no extra sauce, and Round 4 had both enough sauce and dry seasoning.


As I mentioned before, I'm all about the experimentation, but I also want to ensure I like what I'm having. I had 4 rounds and went with 2 of my favourite flavours, and 2 experimentation.


ROUND 1: SWEATIN' BULLETS

To start off I wanted something saucy, spicy, and BBQ-y. There are a lot of BBQ options, and I went for the extreme, Sweatin' Bullets. "Smokey BBQ + Xtra Hot + Spontaneous Combustion" sounded what I was looking for.

This sauce was very very very hot. Yes the BBQ aspect was pretty smokey and had a slight sweetness (but it was mostly a savory dark BBQ). Heat wise, these wings were actually killer. It was a peppery fire, a sharp pain that went after the tip of the tongue. The heat really stuck around even after having veggies & dip, fries and my drink. It actually overpowered the BBQ sauce. In my heart I really wanted a more BBQ heavy sauce, but my ego went for the spicy. So this sauce isn't bad, but I would go for a lesser heat more flavour sauce next time.



ROUND 2 - DRY KETCHUP

Ketchup chips is one of my favourites, and this is one of my favourite rubs at Wild Wings. I usually order this with a side of sauce (but I knew I had lots of sauce leftover from Round 1). Actually when I usually order this I ask for extra seasoning because its often not enough, but this time I didn't and they came loaded with dry ketchup seasoning.

It tastes like ketchup and it doesn't at the same time. It's like a sweet BBQ without the savoury, but also has a slightly sour vinegar kick to it. It was best when cutting a chunk in half, then dipping the exposed chicken into the seasoning. I also really enjoyed dunking my Sweatin' Bullets into it. Definitely would have again.


ROUND 3 - HOT DILL PICKLE

One of the most straight forward names on the whole menu - it's hot sauce and creamy dill dip. It's also one of my regular flavours when I come. I'm not usually a big creamy wing fan, but this is something I really like. What's not to like? It's creamy, cooling dilly ranch flavour, with some spicy hot sauce mixed in. How could you not like it? Well I guess if you don't like creamy wings or tangy dill I suppose.

Definitely will get again.



ROUND 4: DAISY DUKE

I almost didn't get this round. Round 3 I was feeling pretty full when Ally came to check on me. She asked if I wanted another round, and I said while I wanted to, I didn't think I could make it. "You got this, c'mon you can do it" she said. Then she sweetened the deal and said if I got it she would bring me a take-out container in case I didn't finish. Sold. That was pretty awesome and I loved the encouragement about 'having this'.

I went out of my comfort zone and got Daisy Duke: BBQ + Medium + Dry Mango Chipotle. Wow, that sounded really interesting. This was all over the place, and it looked great with a saucy glaze. It had 'heat', it had BBQ savoury/sweet, and the dry rub was also sweet, spicy, smokey. Really unique.

I think 5 pieces was just right for me - I wouldn't want a large order of these, but they were good for sampling.



Overall I had a good experience. Service was good, fast, and I was well taken care of.  The boneless chicken was mostly good - sometimes too crunchy, with a few weirdly hard pieces of chicken. They were all sauced/rubbed up nicely too. It's hard to choose between 101 flavours, but I went with some good ones, and have a better idea next time what to get.


Wild Wing
3712 Innes Road, Orleans ON
wildwingsrestaurants.com



Saucy ...

Monday, 25 February 2019