A long time ago I heard that there was a store in Whitby/Oshawa that sold food from commercial operations that were good, but didn't look perfect to sell normally. Chocolate bars that were misshapen, or items slightly damaged, all for a discount. This was under the banner "Naturally Imperfect" and I wanted check it out when I was in town, but for years, never had the time or made the effort. Well I decided the time was now (this was in December of 2018) and so I went.
I knew roughly where in Oshawa the store was, but when I pulled up to the strip mall, I couldn't see "Naturally Imperfect"; turns out it changed it's name to The Grocery Outlet.
So they still sell the oddity products, discontinued or over produce stock, but they also just have grocery items. I wondered the store, not finding any of the damaged items, but I did find quite a few sales and items for cheap or reasonable prices. As I wondered around, I came across their frozen food section, and found chicken wings. So I bought two of the three or four varieties they had. They looked big, and at $8.99 for 1kg, they seemed like a good deal.
Over the last month for a few meals I decided to sample first the Buffalo Glazed, then the Hot & Spicy. The 'brand' is Mighty Good, which I can't find any reference to online, other than The Grocery Outlet.
I grabbed the Buffalo Glazed wings first, because, well I like Buffalo wings. But I could see these were breaded, but at least they labeled them as Buffalo Glazed. The packaging is super simple - it's just a ziplock bag with the info on the bag. Why can't more companies use less wasteful packaging???
The other flavour I debated getting, but ended up getting, is the Hot & Spicy breaded wings. These were sauce-less, and because more and more I like dry style wings, my interest was piqued. I highly doubted they were spicy, but it was worth a shot.
1kg of wings worked out to be about 14 or 15 wings in the bags. I really like the red colour on the wings.
The size of the wings were crazy big. Mutant. Huge!
The Hot & Spicy seemed to be about the same size and number in the package. A little frost on the wings though.
Each meal I did up about 6-7 wings, about half the bags, for sampling.
I placed the wings on a baking pan with parchment paper, and baked them from frozen for about 20 minutes, flipping them half way.
There wasn't too much oil, fat, or sauce that came off from the Buffalo Glazed, surprisingly.
The Hot & Spicy came out much more crispy and even less oil/fat on the parchment.
As mentioned before, the wings were monster sized. Big in length, but huge on height and the meatiness factor on these wings are big too. Now there is also a LOT of breading on these wings, so that contributes to the size.
The breading on these wings acts like a big shell covering the chicken, especially on the Buffalo Glazed. You can see in the above photo the barrier wall that separates the breading/skin to the chicken. You can also see the reddish oily grease inside. The glazed wings have no real sauce on them so after the baking process, they are a bit oily, but not saucy at all.
The texture on the Buffalo Glazed was all over the place as a wing experience.
- You do kind of have this crispy, crunchy, spongy shell of a breading. My first big bite into a wing and all I got was breading.
- The fat and skin have not properly rendered in the original cooking process. This makes the middle layer kind of gooey. The collagen sticks to the teeth. It's not pleasant.
- The meat was not very tender. Pulling the bones apart was some work.
After all the texture, when it came to the flavour the wings were ok. There was a hot sauce marinade feel to them, but there wasn't a specific Buffalo sauce taste. I would have no idea these were supposed to be Buffalo and I suspect they just used the name.
The Hot & Spicy wings were completely different. The texture of these wings were crispy/crunchy breading but the fat was completely rendered here. The meat was tender and the bones pulled out easily.
These aren't sauced or glazed, but there is a spice in the breading, that actually gave off a small bite. One wing wasn't too hot, but you eat a few and there it was. These were ok on their own, but they did really well when I added some Wing Sauce. The crispy breading held up well, added some heat, and a lot more flavour.
Would I get them again?
No and Yes.
I would totally pass on the Buffalo Glazed. Too much breading, unrendered fat, tough wings and no real Buffalo flavour (Hot yes, but not Buffalo). So no deal.
But the Hot & Spicy wings I would get again. Crispy, spicy, tender and holds up well with sauce. These wings are still really big, and at $9 for 1kg, not a bad price.
Combined average score of 9.5/14
The Grocery Outlet
133 Taunton Road West, Oshawa ON (and other locations)