Monday, 30 December 2019

Smoque Shack Piri Piri BURN

This isn't an official review but here are a few notes:

  • The new location is really nice - dig the vibe going on, the decore, the smokey smell of meat cooking. Looks great.

  • We were not a big fan of the new menu, in that everything is ala carte now. As in no sandwich comes with a side, there are no BBQ combos. Our waiter said you can make your own. The downside of this is that everything is pretty pricey. That's what I like about a combo, the value. That being said:

  • The food was just so delicious
  • My wife had the Sausage links and a side of Deep Fried Pickles
  • My father-in-law got the Jerk Pork with a side of Sweet Potato Fries.
  • I went with the Burnt End Sandwich and a side of Onion Rings, and a side of the Piri Piri.
  •  We also ordered some corn bread. 
  • Everything was really really good. Tasted fantastic and lots of little details (they even rub the onion rings in spices!). 

  • But that Piri Piri, which doesn't taste anything like any piri piri hot sauce I've ever had (almost more of a jerk flavour) was so hot I could barely dip an onion ring or two in it. I kept trying, but it burned so bad! My father-in-law tried it with reckless abandon (even with my warning and his knowledge that I eat much spicier food) and he was in a small coughing fit. My wife wouldn't even try it. 
  • I had some more today at lunch and so hot, but so good. 
  • I don't know why they make it so hot, or why our waiter didn't offer a warning with it ...

POUR BOY - Ottawa ON


Please Note: for this review the location lighting was extremely low and my photos turned out blurry and dark. Sorry!

Social media has been great for me to find out about new wing places and wing deals. Fellow food reviewer Eat This Town (if you aren't following him, do! on his blog or @eatthistown ) sent me a heads up that Pour Boy has a Monday wing night. I wasn't following Pour Boy before (I am now) and was excited to try out their wings.

Located in Centretown, I thought this place was familiar to me before, and it was. Turns out Pour Boy is what used to be the second location of Jean Albert's that I reviewed back in 2011. It's an old house that has been totally converted into various restaurants over the years. It's hard to miss these days with their giant mural of Bob Dylan out front that at one point the city tried to have removed.

They have all sorts of specials throughout the week, but I was glad to see confirmation that Monday was indeed wing night. I went inside and the place has a cozy, bohemian feel to it. The crowd was a mix of students, millennials, and a few old guys all enjoying libations and grub. There's one flat screen tv, but nobody was watching it. They were also hosting some sort of event on the second floor (which I had to quickly crash as the washrooms are on the second floor).

My server was Anthony, who I found out later is the owner himself of Pour Boy! He was friendly and attentive and I really appreciate his hands on approach to his establishment. He took my drink order, and confirmed that it was wing night. I asked him about their sauces, specifically if Hot was just Frank's hot. He said ya, but that they could add some sriracha and spice it up. I thought that was awesome, but I went a different way with my wing order.

I didn't have a long wait and my plate of wings were hot and hot from the fryer.

The wings at Pour Boy don't indicate the size of the wings on the menu, but on their social media they indicate it's a pound. That works out to be about 8 wings. Of those 8 wings I'm pretty sure it was even steven 4 flats and 4 drums. For cleanup I was given napkins and wetnaps.

The menu says that the wings come "on a bed of fries" and I had no fries, but I did have two carrot coins. I'm assuming this is because of the wing special and that if I had ordered them on a Tuesday, they would have come with fries.

The wings were on average a medium+ to a medium in length, and they were medium in meatiness too. So not huge wings.

So while the wings may not have been big, this allowed them to be deep fried perfectly. The skin was crispy and just rendered so well. The meat itself was also pretty tender, with the meat pulling away from the bones without much resistance.

While I didn't go with the modified hot that Anthony had offered, I did get the wings served in Spicy Dry Rub, with a side of the Regan's Suicide Sauce.


I had debated between getting my go to Cajun dry wings, but the spicy just sounded more my thing. The wings were pretty well coated in the dry rub - you could feel the grit of seasoning when you picked up the wings. It was good, and paired well with the crispy skin. It was salty, a little garlicky, but I noticed that it wasn't spicy. As in hot burn spicy. It was season spicy, but not heat spicy.


When I saw my side bowl of dark red sauce, I knew it was going to be hot. I could smell it. It was thick. It was clearly homemade. It smelt like chipotle in adobo sauce. I dove in.

I took a bite and thought it was good but not that spicy, but then, then the heat came at me bro. This was a real suicide sauce. Like I needed a drink it was nice and hot but it was also tasty. Just right. I asked Anthony about it and he said the basis was ghost pepper. Well that made sense where the heat was coming from. He said there was also a mix of chilies and spices as well. These were definitely hot, but I could still enjoy them.


Wow, these were some good wings. Perfectly crispy, tender, and flavour in both the rub and the suicide. I don't know who Regan is, but boy they do not mess around. I really liked the wings and will definitely back again on wing night. Next time I might just try their modified hot but I will be getting another side of Regan suicide sauce for sure. I'll also try and take better photos too.     11/15

Pour Boy
495 Somerset St, Ottawa ON

LOTW MEME MONDAY = Uncut Diamond Wing Memes

I've never seen this movie, but the trailer is full of meme gold. Seems like a good Adam Sandler vehicle.

Sunday, 29 December 2019



So LJ was out at a work dinner, so I decided to grab some grub nearby. There were no particular wing nights or other places in the area, but then I remembered D'Arcy McGee's (or is it Darcy's as the name out front suggests) on Kirkwood Ave. A few years ago I had some D'Arcy McGee's wings in a party platter and they were good, so it seemed like a second time around would be good again.

This location is not like the other D'Arcy's - it's half Darcy's and half East Side Mario's. See originally this location was a Swiss Chalet, but for some reason, it closed. Then in 2017 this hybrid split the building in half and remodeled into a pub/family restaurant mix.

I have actually eaten at the East Side Mario's (ESM) before, and thought it was the smaller half of the two, but after entering Darcy's, ESM is clearly much larger. Not only do these two share an address, they actually share a menu. Well, ok not share exactly, but when I came in my waitress Kelsey offered me a choice of either ESM or Darcy's menu. So you can eat what you want in whatever environment you want.

Darcy's is a really nice pub atmosphere. It's lined with brick and dark wood accents. It's dark inside, but not so dark you can't see what's going on. One end is a beautiful bar, the rest is tables and booths for seating. Kelsey, my friendly and attentive waitress, had given me the option when I came in to sit at the bar, a table, or a booth (I chose booth). She took my drink order - I asked for a water and a diet pop (they serve Pepsi). I never got my water, but I did get my pop. That's ok I like pop better.

I had never seen anything about a wing night at Darcy's, but I took a chance and asked Kelsey about it. While they don't have a wing night, they do have 1/2 price apps Monday to Friday during 'appy hour' which includes wings. I was here after 6, so bollocks.

I was a little disappointed at the menu when I saw the price of the wings - $14.99. Woosh, that's pricey. But I have an addiction to feed.

I asked about the Buffalo Medium, because I was curious if they were really a Buffalo sauce, or just Medium, but Kelsey assured me they were a Buffalo. Wanting flavour over heat, I went with the Buffalo. I did find it interesting that they had Garlic Parmesan wings, as that is an ESM flavour and I don't think it is on other D'Arcy McGee's menus. Also interestingly named is the Sri-Rancha. Get it?

I didn't have to wait long and my wings came out. And I won't lie, I was miffed. But I will get to that.

Wings are not measured on the menu by quantity or weight (you know, 10 wings, or 1 pound). It just says wings. I got 8 wings, 3 carrot sticks, 3 celery sticks, and some blue cheese dip. The wings were evenly split drums and flats.

The veggies were fresh, and the dip had some chunks of blue cheese and was decent enough. At first I thought I had a lot, but in the end, I would have wanted more. Oh I also was given a bone plate and some napkins.

So remember when I said I was miffed? That's because the wings were small. I actually looked at my plate and said WTF. I can deal with tiny wings (I much prefer larger for sure), when you have to have a lot to make up for their size, but all I could think about was how they were $15 for 8 tiny wings. Even with these wings being breaded, they were still small.

The next #wingcrime was that these wings were soggy. They were not crispy at all and they came out hot and fresh. The only redeeming quality of these wings is that they were super tender. I mean the bones just pulled away like nothing. But c'mon, there should be some sort of crunch.

The wings were also not saucy. The sauce was all absorbed into the wings. That sucked. There was no extra sauce lying around either. There also wasn't much flavour to the sauce that was on them. It didn't taste like Buffalo sauce.

It's not that the wings tasted bad, it's just that they didn't taste like much at all. They reminded me of cheap grocery store frozen wings. Sure they are ok if you are desperate for some wings, but I couldn't help coming back to the fact that they were $15.


These wings were just frustrating. Small wings, soggy breading, lack of sauce, lack of flavour. The only good thing was that the wings were tender meat. But they are just too small and too expensive to warrant having again. I don't know if this is what these wings are like at other locations or this is just due to the East Side Mario's connection. Who knows. 6.5/15

D'Arcy McGee's Restaurant Pub
675 Kirkwood Ave, Ottawa ON

#nonwingsunday = Pure Kitchen's Korean BBQ & Buffalo Hot Cauliflower Wings

Faux Smoked Wings with Dill/Hot Sauce

Friday, 27 December 2019



I hate to bash on Ottawa, but in the different years that I have lived here I have not enjoyed the Chinese food that I've sampled. While some things just have their own character that I'm not used to or like (egg rolls here are filled with minced cabbage & pork, not bean sprouts & sliced bbq pork, and they are often fried here with open ends), or the quality of the food just wasn't great. But I keep trying and I finally found a place that doesn't remind me of Canadian Chinese food like I used to get back west of Ottawa, it's pretty good. That place is New Hong Kong.  

Back in November I went there and sampled the wrong dish by accident. I got the Shanghai Noodles with Meat Sauce, which was totally different than any Shanghai Noodles I've ever had, but it was good! But that got me thinking about trying the chicken wings here too.

It's a tiny little store in a small strip mall, a strip mall that contains one of my favourite take-out wings from Crispy's, as well as long ago reviewed Mr Mozzarella and/or Wing Shoppe*. The place is mostly take-out/delivery, but there are about 4 tables inside to dine in, although it's not the most atmospheric place to dine. It looks more like an office supply closet with various Chinese calendars, banners, and small shrine for the gods. This is near Algonquin College, so there are often Chinese students dining here or getting food to go.

The few times I have been, the same lady is out front taking all the orders. She sometimes seems almost suspicious of what I am ordering, but quickly becomes very friendly. She is often very motherly to the students, such as a visit I had the other night where she was concerned about the snow and ice for a couple of young girls going out.

*I searched the blog for my Wing Shoppe review, but believe it's in the #lostreview category, yet to be posted. Ooops.

Like many Canadian Chinese restaurants, they have a large menu. They also have a large offering of lunch specials, combination plates, and meals for one to choose from. Those are very tempting, but on this occasion, I wanted chicken wings. There are three types to choose from: Deep Fried, Hot & Spicy, and Garlic. I went with Hot & Spicy, hoping it too was deep fried.

I ordered my wings, and about 10 minutes later my to-go bag was ready. Inside was the half-size styrofoam clamshell, some soy sauce, and a fork. Not sure how to eat wings with a fork but oh well.

The smell was that of fried Chinese chicken wings. If you know, you know. It`s hard to describe, but I was ready to try. I opened up the heavy little package and took in the sights.

Inside the box my order of wings came to a count of 13 pieces, which was pretty good. There was roughly equal amounts of wings and drums.

Most Chinese places tend to serve small wings, but I was surprised to find pretty large wings. And the wingette`s were served tip on, so an extra amount of skin & cartilage to gnaw on. The wings were decently meaty to for their size.

The wings are covered in classic Canadian Chinese batter used for chicken. This made for an extremely crispy, but very brittle bite. I mean these were loud wings to consume, and messy, because little bits of the batter just went everywhere. I love it.

The wings I`m pretty sure come from frozen, but the meat is still pretty tender, and the bones pull apart pretty well. The texture of these wings is just crazy, in a very good way.

The wings don`t come in a sauce like I expected (I didn`t think they`d be sloppy or anything, but in some sort of sauce). Instead, these were dry wings (with a touch of oil/grease) and then tossed in a hot and spicy dry spice mix. You could really see the chili flakes.

The flavour was very much dry chili, but you could make out some garlic, and some other spices I just couldn't put my finger on. The heat wasn't crazy hot at all, just a nice, dry, warming pepper flavour and heat.

I enjoyed the flavour, but you can see how messy these wings were for a dry spiced wing. To be fully honest, the grease, the batter, and the chilis all kept repeating in me through burps for the rest of the day. The food was good, but there was a price to pay!


I really enjoyed my Hot & Spicy wings from New Hong Kong. They were super crispy/crunchy brittle wings with a nice dry spice seasonings. I would get them again, but I would also like to have these wings tossed in their General Tao sauce. Oh, and you can't beat getting a fortune cookie for dessert!  11/14

New Hong Kong
1433 Woodroffe Ave, Ottawa ON