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.
3712 Innes Road, Orleans ON