For some reason sometime last year I found myself driving in the Bridlewood-Emerald Meadows area of Kanata, just exploring an area I was unfamiliar with. It's all suburbs and schools in this area, all looking the same. Then I came across a little strip mall; it has a Works Burger place, convenience store, Chinese restaurant, Gabriel's Pizza, a bank, Dentist office, daycare, pharmacy, and a physiotherapy clinic. What caught my eye was a little pub called Hurley's Grill, or Hurley's Neighbourhood Grill. I didn't go that night, but logged it into my head for places to go in the future.
This brings us to March of this past year. It was a Tuesday, LJ was out at a work function, so I decided to take advantage of a wing night somewhere. I checked my rolodex of wing nights and found that Hurley's has a Tuesday wing night. Great, wing night and trying out a new place. Sounded like a win-win to me.
I headed back to the Kanata location (there is also a location in Stittsville ON). I had low expectations going in for some reason; I think I thought it was a pub that really wanted to be a chain and that the food would all be frozen commercial product. It might be (I just had wings), but for whatever reason, I had a mild prejudice going into this review.
As I walked in, I was struck by how big the place was. From the outside I thought it was a decent size joint, but I noticed on the right there was a long bank of booths and tables. That side was also blocked by an awkward projector screen where some sports (hockey?) were being shown. Not sure if this is a regular set up or something special, but I found it odd and cumbersome. The next thing I noticed was a sign pronouncing a new wing sauce - Spicy Caribbean Jerk. Not my thing but cool.
Hurley's was pretty busy for a Tuesday evening. The place is pretty dark inside, and despite having been there for years, it looks pretty good inside. I sat in the front window in a booth and enjoyed the lowering sunset. I had two waitresses, one who was named Katie (via my reciept), but I'm not sure which on she was. One who was really friendly, engaging, and able to answer all my questions. She confirmed it was wing night too. Both were attentive and would bring me refills on my diet Pepsi's.
The menu is pretty standard for pub fare, but I was happy with the wing section with several wing flavours. I was slightly confused because the sign at the door mentioned 'Spicy Caribbean Jerk' while the menu already had a Caribbean Jerk. Was this one not spicy? I didn't ask, but I should have.
I appreciated on the menu they have the weekly specials. Why don't more places do this? I mean, if it's a secret, what's the point? Good job Hurley's. So it's 1/2 Price after 4pm on Tuesdays, with the purchase of a beverage for every 2 pounds. That's about $19.46 for 2lbs and a drink.
It wasn't long before my giant platter with wings came out. I was pretty excited for my little feast to begin!
Wings come in orders by the pound, which in this case was about 8-9 wings. I also was given a bone plate with napkins and a wetnap for cleanup.
The menu stated the wings come with carrot sticks and sour cream. I asked if I could sub the sour cream for something else, and was told I think blue cheese or ranch and I immediately went with blue cheese. Why isn't blue cheese the default?
It came in a huge plastic container. Huge. It was a very generous portion of dip. However, the dip while it had big chunks of blue cheese and was creamy, was just kind of flat in flavour and didn't deliver. Still 100 times better than sour cream. The carrot sticks were also really thin.
Size wise we were dealing with a small to medium. Not tiny, but just not that long at all. They were pretty meaty. The wings were very crispy. Really nice and crispy skin. It was excellent.
The meat itself was relatively tender. They pulled apart with just a bit of effort. Overall, a pretty good textured wing. My dry rubbed wings were lightly seasoned, and the wet wings were individually wet, but there wasn't a lot of extra sauce hanging around.
I went with a double order of wings, one Frank's Red Hot, one Cajun Dusted, with a side of suicide. The funny thing is, this isn't what I had planned. Before coming I scoped out their website and menu to plan my visit. On the menu I had seen "House BBQ (Medium)" and I thought that sounded good, possibly homemade. So that's what I was going to get. Instead I ordered the Cajun with the side of suicide, but then I wanted something hot, and abandoned the BBQ at the moment of ordering. I'm frigg'n weird.
FRANK's RED HOT
So they just come out and tell you they use Frank's. Good. Most places just put Hot, and, well, it's usually just Frank's. It's reliable, classic, unpredictable
Mild mild flavour. I mean they were very lightly seasoned to the point you could barely notice they were seasoned with anything. I want my wings to be in a sandstorm of seasoning. They were salty, and that Cajun garlic/pepper/salt was going on, just in the background. But the skin on these wings were so crispy, that was ok.
If I had to guess, I would say this was Frank's Xtra Hot. It had a nice sting to it, not much depth, but a good sharp white hot bite. I ask one waitress and she said thought it was Frank's, which semi-confirmed my thoughts that it was Xtra hot.
She asked how I liked it and I said it was good - that it had a nice bite to it, "I know, I love spicy!" she said. Awesome. Overall, I could see the staff interacting with each other and customers and having a good time, and that's a good sign to me.
I was expecting some low grade frozen fare from Hurley's but I found some wings that were pretty tasty. They weren't huge, but they were fried very nicely with crispy salty skin. Hot was just Frank's, and the Cajun was a little light in seasoning, but the suicide had a nice bite. Pass on the blue cheese (but very generous portion!) and sour cream (ranch next time I guess). Ya, I'd definitely go back on wing night again. Friendly staff, good wings.
Hurley's Neighbourhood Grill
64 Stonehaven Dr, Kanata ON (and other location)