I love me some BBQ. It's not always easy to get good American Southern BBQ in Canada, and rarely is it authentic. That's ok because sometimes you find something new that tastes good. So when I heard a new BBQ place opened up in Ottawa, I was excited to try it.
I started following them on social media, and one day they announced a special for wings. It was great, but by the time I read it was in the evening long after dinner. It wasn't a regular wing night special, and I was kinda bummed. I had seen other people post photos on social media of their wings and I was really jealous. Then one day it all came together - they posted another wing special, I was hungry and free for dinner, so off to Moe's I went!
Moe's sits in a little sad strip mall. Driving in you don't notice it, but when you are right out front you can't miss the pictures of brisket and BBQ sandwiches. Inside has a nice BBQ joint feel, with lots of wood themed decorations. I went in May during Ramadan and the place was pretty quiet - in fact the only sound in the place was the fireplace playing on a tv with the sounds of crackling and snaps you get with fire. There was only one other guy eating at the time. By the time I left, I had seen plenty of delivery service pick ups and people in for take-out and was told that once sundown happened the place would be jammed.
You mosey on up to the counter and order from there. The menu is up on big screens but they also have a physical menu to hold and check out. There were only two guys working and one came from the back. He was friendly, but when I mentioned the wing special on Instagram, he didn't know anything about it. He asked me to show it to him, and then he was like "Awesome!" as in I found a good deal. There are no sauce choices for the wings, but he did ask what sides I wanted pointing out 3 new ones to the menu. I picked my sides, and he asked what table I was going to sit at, so he could deliver the wings when they were ready.
I grabbed a drink from the fridge and took my seat. I didn't have to wait long, and soon I had an awesome looking platter of BBQ before me. I was pumped.
The two sides I went with were Smoked Beans and Cornbread. The smoked beans looked really good and smelt good, but I quickly noticed it wasn't the usual BBQ bean fare of pinto beans, but instead kidney beans. The flavour had a nice smokiness to them, and almost a meaty quality (hopefully with BBQ drippings) but as much as I liked the sauce flavour, an entire bowl of kidney beans was just too much for me. The cornbread was fairly thick, dense, but a balance between dry and moist. It wasn't too sweet, nice corn flavour.
There were two side sauces in tiny little cups. The dark sauce was their Signature BBQ Sauce, which was quite sweet. I liked it, but wouldn't want my wings completely covered in it. In the other cup was what looked like an Alabama White Sauce, as it was creamy, but also had a lot of bite. I would love a big tub of this sauce to dip my dry wings in. It was awesome.
The wings come in orders by the pound, but the wings are served whole. You get 7 whole wings, which breaks down to about 14 individual wings. I don't mind getting the whole wings because you still get the tips and while not everyone cares for them, I love the crispy little pieces with a little bit of extra skin and crunchy cartilage.
However you get an idea how small these wings are when you think about getting 14 in one pound. They are average meatiness relative to their size. At least you get a whole wing and that feels bigger.
The texture on the skin is mostly crispy due to the charring from the grill, but it's not uniform. The meat is SUPER tender though. The wings just pull apart easily and the chicken inside is most and tender. Most smoked wings are tough and dried out, but not these.
The wings don't come with a sauce, but they are rubbed in a seasoning blend. It isn't strongly flavoured, but there is what I think was fennel, of which I am not a fan on it's own, but it worked with the chicken.
Sadly, there was almost no smoked flavour to the wings. I even questioned if they were smoked because they weren't tough texture-wise nor had that distinct flavour. But because they were fire grilled, they did have that slight fire kissed taste.
Overall I was expecting a much bolder flavour. These wings had great texture, and they tasted good don't get me wrong. I just expected more. More seasoning or at least more smoke.
I definitely enjoyed my BBQ wings at Moe's. The wings were so tender, had some nice char and a good flavour - I just expected a bigger punch in seasoning or spice. The white sauce that came with it was soo good. Cornbread was good and the beans, while in a tasty sauce, was just too much as they were just kidney beans. I'd go back to try other fare, and I would have the wings again, but only when on special personally. 9.5/15
2446 Bank Street, Ottawa ON