Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Flamin' Hot Nacho Doritos - Chip Review

As you probably know I love spicy food. Wings, obviously, but all sorts of foods. Snack foods especially. When I saw that Dorito's had a new spicy chip, not the Roulette, not their Spicy, but Flamin' Hot Nacho, I had to try them.

That happened, and we all let that happen ...

Funny enough, I didn't know about this commercial until recently. I've seen a shorter version (that almost completely cuts out the Backstreet Boys) but never even absorbed that it had anything to do with Doritos, let alone the Flamin' Hot. While I don't mind the mash up or the music, both, in my opinion, are terrible pop choices for this product. Terrible. With chips this spicy, I want a commercial that plays up the danger, and nothing about this commercial says danger, or crazy hot, or watch out.

I'm going to do a little spoiler - I bought a bag with the intention of reviewing it, and then I ate it before taking any photos. I liked them that much. Doritos are an awesome chip in my general opinion. Flavour wise my ranking of the flavours goes something like this:

  1. Nacho
  2. Roulette
  3. Sweet Chili Heat
  4. Cool Ranch
  5. Spicy
  6. Dill
  7. Zesty
  8. Jalapeno & Cheddar
  9. BBQ Bold

It changes depending on my mood, but my top two are the Nacho cheese and the Roulette (because it incorporates the nacho and spicy). So the fact that these new chips are a spicy nacho made them sound perfect.

I was surprised looking at the ingredients that there wasn't much listed as heat spice, other than 'spices'  and 'red and green bell pepper powder' which isn't spicy at all. I was also surprised that the US ingredients list is different than the Canadian ingredients list. Huh. I wonder if they taste that different or if one is spicier than the other?

Doritos feel like they are becoming more of a luxury chip, where the average 230g bag ranging from $3-$5 a bag, occasionally going on sale for 2 for $6 or 2 for $5. I only buy them on sale, and fortunately for me, they were on sale. The bags feel so small nowadays.

The chips are the same size as classic Doritos.

If you are not familiar with Doritos, that's a little surprising, but each tortilla chip is triangular and are all uniform in size. The chips are fried, then coated in seasoning. They are crunchy, but not as hard as other flavoured tortilla chips as other brands. Just the right texture in my opinion.

The seasoning on these chips is quite generous. Each chip has a very good dusting on it with most chips being completely covered, or at least mostly covered. You are definitely going to get your fingers stained and covered in nacho dust - both cheesy and spicy.

The flavour on these are pretty intense. These are a bold bold chip - you get that cheesy blast from the Nacho cheese, but then you get that vicious bite from the spices. The heat on these leaves a nice sting on the lips, and I think is as hot if not hotter than their Spicy or the heat chip in the Roulette. Like many things, a chili-head is not going to find this spicy, but for the average person these are going to be hot. They sit in a perfect heat/taste range for me. What makes these great is that combo of the heat, but you really still get that flavour of the nacho cheese.

Would I try it again?

Hell yes. They are now my favourite Dorito by far. I'm going to be bummed if this is only a limited time offer. Crispy chips, lots of seasoning, bold cheese and heat. Way to go Doritos, Flamin' Hot Nacho is aces in my books.

  1. Nacho Flamin' Hot Nacho
  2. Roulette
  3. Sweet Chili Heat
  4. Cool Ranch
  5. Spicy
  6. Dill
  7. Zesty
  8. Jalapeno & Cheddar
  9. BBQ Bold

Doritos Flamin' Hot Nacho Flavoured Tortilla Chips

Monday, 25 March 2019

Friday, 22 March 2019

Wild Wings 20th Anniversary AYCE Event Recap

Back in 2009 Rick Smicklas opened Wild Wings in Sunderland Ontario; a wing joint that focused on serving a bunch of flavours. 20 years later, there are over 80 locations all over Canada. On March 17th 2019, Wild Wings celebrated with an AYCE wing or boneless chicken event, and I had to go check it out. 

It was just last month that Wild Wing had an AYCE Bonless Chicken offering that I checked out and had a good time sampling different sauces. I convinced LJ for us to head out on St Patty's day for dinner to get our fill of chicken.

it was super sunny so they put the blinds down, but from outside it looks closed and the windows papered up

We went for an early supper, around 4:30pm,  so as to beat any lunch crowds (even though the deal was all day long). I skipped lunch because I wanted to be hungry, I mean HUNGRY when I went. We went to the location off of St Laurent, which was one of the first Wild Wings I had ever been to. We got there and the place wasn't full, but it was busy. The waitress let us choose where we sat, so we picked the front window area, which was good at first but then the sun came blaring in. Another staff member came in and put the blinds down to stop me from being blinded.

The rules were the same as the boneless AYCE:

  • $19.99 for AYCE per person
  • 1st order of Wings or 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

  • None of the rules or anything was explained to us, but I already knew the gist. Our waitress was friendly and while our first order seemed to take forever (it didn't, we were just hungry), subsequent orders didn't take that long.

    Our first round orders came with the fries, fake-fresh cut fries (they have skins on, but there is no way they are not from frozen - they are ok at best. Neither of us finished them). They also came with fresh veggies and the two of us went for the dill dip to go with them.

    We both did 3 rounds of wings and sauces. I was surprised and super impressed with my wife, who went for the wings over the boneless, and for going three rounds! We did a big sampling and tried a variety of sauces.

    We both got the traditional breaded bone-in wings, which came fried crispy, hot, and hearty enough to stand up to some pretty thick sauces. The wings aren't large - they sit in a small+ to a medium in length, but they are pretty meaty. The first round was about 8 or 9 wings, with each refill being 5 wings per order.

    ROUND 1


    LJ's first order was Red Hot & Blue, blue cheese sauce and hot mixed together. She really enjoyed these wings and I gotta say, they were pretty good. I mean, it's hot sauce, which is good, and creamy blue cheese, which is good. What's not to love?


    My first order was from the potato chip seasoned section. I love potato chip dry flavoured wings, usually dill or ketchup chip powder, but this time I decided to get Sour Cream & Onion. These came generously dusted, but unfortunately they were a little weak in flavour. LJ found them flavourless, but she prefers very bold flavours. I did taste the sour cream & onion powder, and it was good, but just not strong enough to be as enjoyed as it should be.


    I ordered the dry sour cream & onion knowing that I could expand my flavour sampling with a side of sauce on the side. There were a number of BBQ options I was mulling over, but ultimately went with simple Smokey BBQ. This was a good, bold, smokey BBQ as promised. It was more dark flavoured then sweet, and paired well with the crispy chicken, and could have been good with the chip flavour underneath, but the BBQ completely overwhelmed it.

    ROUND 2


    LJ had 3 other sauces in mind but made a last minute switch to Buckin' Bronco; a medium sauce and dry lemon pepper seasoning. It sounded interesting, but was not as good in execution. LJ found it way to sour and couldn't finish one whole one. I found it sour (not as sour as she did) as the lemon pepper is quite puckering. I liked having one or two of these wings, but would not want a full order of them.


    I pondered a few different flavours - I didn't want a hot or a creamy or a dry or a BBQ. Snakebite seemed to be a middle ground, being a hot sauce and honey mustard mix. LJ also found this one too sour, and it was a bit. It was a bit too sweet - I would not have a full order; 5 was enough.

    ROUND 3


    LJ knew she wanted to stick with the combination she liked; creamy and spicy. Some Beach was exactly that. Creamy Caesar, creamy Dill, and Medium sauce. The creamy kinda gets mixed together here and medium could have been Hot instead, but this was a tasty wing.


    I also wanted to end on a high note. This is a go-to of mine at Wild Wings. I like dill and I like hot. This is creamy and hot and dilly and good. It's just that simple.

    Overall we had a good feast of wings. I could probably have gone one more round, but I would not have been happy afterward. For LJ, her first round of the Red Hot & Blue was her favourite. Hot Dill is still my tops.

    Happy Anniversary Wild Wings! We had some good wings and a good time.

    Wild Wing Restaurant
    1265 Donald St, Ottawa ON (and other locations)

    Wednesday, 20 March 2019

    THE SPORTS TAP & GRILL - Kingston ON

    Back in February I had just over an hour give-or-take to kill in downtown Kingston. I decided to use that time to eat wings, as a Lord of the Wings does. I've had a few places in my wing research log and I re-referenced Wingston, a local chicken wing review blog, and based on their review and my proximity, I ended up at The Sports Tap & Grill. 

    Wingston (love that title), looked very favourably at The Sports Tap in their review from 2015:

    “The staff here are friendly, and fun. The Wings are solid, and they offer a couple flavours that you don’t typically see anywhere else. Always an enjoyable spot!” “Great flavour, great size, slightly dry outside but quality meat. Overall well above average. Special shout out for the excellent service, personable, witty and very prompt.”  “My personal favourite, and the only restaurant where I always have to get a second pound. So good!” “These were easily the sauciest and messiest wings I’ve had in a long time and I loved every minute of it. I want to bathe in the Guinness sauce.”

    I just glanced at these reviews when I was picking that day, but reflecting back after having been there, this review is almost 4 years old and things clearly have changed.

    The Sports Tap is one of two pubs inside the Queen's Inn, a historic hotel built before 1880. The other restaurant on site is Copper's Pub, but they share the same menu. I didn't see Copper's, but Sports Tap is a modernized historic pub with a loose sports theme, which is essentially sports on TV. This day it was golf, so I was even less interested in sports than usual.

    It was the middle of the afternoon, so too early for a dinner crowd and too late for lunch. There were a bunch of regulars at the bar and only one other patron at a table. There is lots of seating, the place was clean, and a little dark (in a good way). I was greeted from the back at the bar by Kerry, the bartender/server who was taking care of everything. He told me to sit where I wanted, asked if I wanted a menu, which he brought and took my drink order. He seems like he's been working the bar for decades, and was a pretty funny guy through his friendly but gruff demeanor. He seems the perfect character for the place and he was great at his job.

     I checked out the menu and found wings. They state they are "Voted Kingston's Best Wings" but I've searched online and can't find that vote. I did find that on their website they state "Rated Kingston's #1 Chicken Wings by Wingston!" but that's not the same thing.

    I saw on the menu "Regular or Welsh Style" so I had to ask Kerry about this. He said that the Welsh style wings were baked with the sauce on, making them less saucy and popular with the 'suits' (business guys in suits), but he said they were more dried out. I asked 'if these are baked then the Regular ones were deep fried?' and Kerry said no they were both deep fried, just the Welsh ones were then tossed in sauce and baked. Got it. Well I really wanted saucy wings so I went with an order of Regular.

    While I was waiting, Kerry dropped off some napkins and generic moist towlettes for clean up. I did not receive any bone bowl or plate though for disposal.

    It wasn't long before my wings came out. Kerry couldn't get over how big they were. 

    The wings only come in one order - 1 pound, which is about 8 wings, for $14.95. I rarely get wings at full price, and a pound at $15 is not a price I would normally pay, but they had been rated fairly high, and they were big. I did ask Kerry if there was a wing night, but he said no. "Does anyone have a wing night anymore?" he asked, kinda scoffing. Actually yes, but I wasn't going to point that out.

    The wings don't come with any sides, but they did come with blue cheese dip. The dip was nice and creamy and there were little chunks of blue cheese. It was needed with the wings.

    Kerry was right, these were large wings. While 8 wings aren't a lot when you order a pound, they are when they are this size. While they weren't super long, the were very very meaty.

    While meaty wings can be a good thing, they were really tough and dried out. The skin wasn't crispy either, and on top of that, the wings weren't very saucy at all. Texture wise I was not really happy with these wings.

    I started to wonder if these wings were in fact, the Welsh style wings? They weren't crispy or saucy. If they weren't, I couldn't imagine what they would be like.

    I went with hot, and these wings vaguely tasted hot. There was no heat to the sauce, but then there was very little sauce. That's not to say the wings tasted bad - they were decent wings - but with the texture fail and the lack of sauce, lets just say it was a good thing there was blue cheese dip on the side.

    I was pretty full after eating all the wings. When Kerry came to take away my platter, he asked if I wanted more. I said I was stuffed, and he said something to the effect of they have a deal where if you eat 5lbs you get the wings for free. I said 'oh really?' and he laughed and said no, but he should be careful because one day someone was going to take him up on that.

    He asked if I wanted another refill on my drink, but I said I just wanted the bill. He said I was welcome to stay and keep working as long as I liked, but I thanked him as I had to get going. When I was leaving, he said to make sure to come back for their wings, 'unless I guess you find a wing night somewhere'. Then he reiterated that they had the 'biggest wings in town'.


    I really liked the atmosphere at the Sports Tap. Really friendly service from barkeep Kerry, clean, updated yet historic sports bar. I was not impressed with the wings. Yes they were big and meaty, but they were so dried out, tough and un-sauced. Clearly the wings had changed since the Wingston crew had reviewed them. Maybe I had an off day. Maybe I got the Welsh style instead of the regular wings. Either way, I didn't hate the wings, but they didn't do much to win my love either. 6.5/15

    The Sports Tap & Grill
    The Queen's Inn
    125 Brock Street, Kingston ON

    Oikos Greek Yogurt with Wings?

    #nonwingsunday = Steak on a Bun from Jo Jo's Grill - Pickering ON

     A few weeks ago the wife & I were visiting her family in the Durham region, and we went to the Pickering Markets, a massive flea market inside a giant warehouse sized building. It's broken down into antique section, general flea market booths, food section, and finally a free for all that often has travelling sales things.

    photo from Pickering Markets Website - it's a few years old) 

    We weren't planning on grabbing lunch there, but after walking around and all of us getting exhausted, we decided to hit the food court. There is so many different eateries to choose from (pizza, sushi, pasta, Indian, etc). In the past we had some tasty fish and chips from one stand. On this trip, we were all tempted by the Steak on a Bun from Jo Jo's Grill.

    Ok I was tempted by their 'giant' burger (as opposed to their regular burgers) but when I saw it and it wasn't that giant, I stuck with the Steak on a Bun.

    It's about $9 for a combo, which is the sandwich, fries and a pop. When I saw our 'steak' being cooked, I was a little disappointing because it didn't look like steak. It took about 10 minutes to cook up so we scavenged a table and sat down. When it was ready, I got mine with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and then I added mayo and HP sauce. I also salt & vinegar-ed up my fries (with ketchup) and got my coke zero.

    The sandwich was really good. It was big and floppy, and really messy. It was really hard to eat, and our hands all got very messy. The steak is very thin and I have no idea what cut it came from. It had a bit of a chew, but not so much you couldn't bite a piece off with much trouble. The fries were crispy and fresh cut. Overall it was a simple, unattractive, but very filling, very satisfying meal.

    Jo Jo's Grill 
    The Pickering Markets
    1400 Squires Beach Rd, Pickering ON

    March 17th Wild Wing's 20th Anniversary AYCE Wings preview ...

    I will post soon about these wings ... but for now, here is a preview!

    The Ultimate Hot Wings Plate ... bone hide-away platter!?

    No PC Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks, No


    #nonwingsunday = Cajun Butter Bloomin Bread

    #tbt Popeye's Wing Deal of the Day

    March Postings Delayed

    So I'm behind on my postings. Life's just been busy. We made a big push on finally unpacking most of the new house - we are all set for guests and most things have been unboxed and put away. My office/studio is still in shambles and hopefully I can get that all straightened out soon. There's been a lot of minor things on the go, so in the evenings (when I normally write for the blog or Instagram), I've just been mentally wiped so I've had no desire to write or post. So my collection of blog posts and photos has been growing and growing.

    I'm going to post bomb on here some of the Insta posts I haven't put up over about a week plus, and I'm hoping to get back on my regular daily posting today. Let's see how that goes!

    Wednesday, 6 March 2019


    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.


    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