Wednesday, 12 June 2019

ROOST & GRILLS - Ottawa ON


Back in March of 2017 I was cruising down Bank Street in Ottawa looking for lunch. I came across an independent pizza joint called Dough Brothers and decided to give them a try. The review got lost and became, well, a lost mini review last summer. Little did I know that by August of 2017 Dough Brothers would be closed down. Sad, but in their ashes would arise another pizza place, but one that was very different ... Roost & Grills.



Roost and Grills seems to be an Indian influenced pizza and chicken joint. You wouldn't know that from the outside (or inside) but the menu reveals more than first appearances.


I really love the looks of R&G's; Black brick walls, light wood accents, faux pile of wood art to suggest wood oven cooking. I don't think they have a wood oven, but it looks good there. For a take-out joint there is a lot of seating - enough for about 21 people or so. I had confirmed online before walking in that they did have wings, but checked out a take-out menu when I got to the front.


This is their online menu - not the menu available inside.
The R&G's Dude came out from the back and asked what I would like after looking over the menu. He was friendly and helpful. I said I wanted wings but wanted to know about the flavours - specifically Risky Hot and Roost Special Sauce. Risky Hot unfortunately is just regular bottled hot sauce - I was hoping for something more unique and homemade with the added 'risky' in the name. Now the Roost Special Sauce was more what I was thinking. He told me "we make it; it's homemade. It's like a BBQ sauce with spices ... you'll like it, you'll like it." Sounds good to me!



He asked if it was to go or stay and I said stay. When it was ready, he still brought it out to me in a black take-out cardboard box, but with a Styrofoam plate, which I didn't really need. He also brought it with a smile and hoped I would enjoy it. All I knew at this point was it smelled really good.


After I opened it up, it looked really good too!



Wings come in orders of 5, 10, or 20 wings, and I went with 10. There are no sides or veggies included, but you could get a side dip for $1.25 more, and while Roost Special Chili Lime Dip or Spicy Buffalo Dip sounded good, I didn't want to pay nor thought I needed them.


The wings were kinda small to medium in size, however, the wings were pretty meaty, especially the drummettes.


The wings are deep fried and the skin is crispy - which held up relatively well to all the sauce. Really really nice texture. The meat is also pretty tender too and I'm pretty sure they use fresh chicken not frozen. They might have also been dusted before deep frying but it was hard to tell.


The wings were very nice and saucy. Each wing was very wet, with the sauce being runny but still a bit thick. There wasn't any reserve sauce at the bottom, but the wings were individually sauced so well you didn't need it.


The flavour of the wings were ... amazing. First, the wing tasted almost like it was grilled. Maybe it was after deep frying, but it almost had a smokey flavour. The sauce itself was a great mix of a slightly sweet BBQ sauce but still savoury. There's also a lot of spices mixed in (tandoori masala perhaps) that were nice, except for one spice that I wasn't crazy about (maybe anise?), but it was not a dominant flavour.


I really, really liked this sauce. I liked the wings. I was really impressed. This is one of those places that I hope that I find something special, and I do.


FINAL SCORE:

Wow, these were really great wings. Fresh wings, crispy, saucy, and so flavourful. The wings aren't big, but they are meaty and just so good. Will definitely go back. 10.5/14


Roost and Grill's
1202 Bank Street, Ottawa ON
roostandgrills.com


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