Wednesday, 28 August 2019


"We bring the four corners of the world to your plate."

Many years ago LJ & I ventured across the river into Quebec, Gatineau specifically, to try Buffet des Continents (BDC), a buffet of the continents. It sounded interesting - food from all over the world in one all-you-can-eat extravaganza. It was ... not good. We did not enjoy the food and we did not go back. Well, it had been about 10 years and one evening we were out and could not decide on what to eat. The idea of going back and trying BDC was floated, and we decided, let's give them another chance.

It was a Friday night and we thought it was going to be crazy busy; the last time we were there there was lines out the door to get in. No such lines on this evening.

The place is, well at least 10 years old, but it still looks pretty new inside. It's huge with lots of seating. The place is decorated like different parts of the world: faux buildings from Italy, China, Greece etc. There is seating upstairs overlooking the buffet, on the main floor, and some overfill areas in other rooms off the side. Even when it's not at full capacity, it's loud, but there's lots to look at.

You come in and the hostess seats you. Dinner ranges from $17.99-24.50 depending on the night of the week and your age. Drinks are not included, and if you get a pop like I did, there is only 1 free refill. Then it's all-you-can-eat. Our waiter was good at letting us know what was going on, refilling drinks and clearing our used plates. However I have another service story I'll talk about at the end*

 I think you want 3 things in a buffet:

  1. Lots of Selection
  2. Everything fresh
  3. Everything tasty
This place has the selection. You've got Italian food, Asian food, seafood, grilled items, carved meats, pizza's, salad's, North American cuisine and much much more. The menu also changes depending on the meal and the night of the week. The items also seemed to be refilled fairly regularly and with good size crowds, they have to, so the food stays pretty fresh without sitting around forever. So check on #2. 

This was my first plate:
  • Caesar Salad
  • Sausage
  • Meat Balls
  • Chicken Wings
  • Onion Rings
  • Montreal Smoked Meat

I really like the variation of food here, in theory at least. Most buffet's around here are Chinese, so having a change of pace is good (even though you can get bastardized Chinese food here). Actually all the food here is bastardized, so don't expect any authenticity.

So how was Plate #1?
  • Caesar Salad = not bad; creamy, fresh but nothing fancy
  • Sausage = ok, but pretty flavourless. 
  • Meat Balls = pass. Big pass. Had a sour taste to the sauce & did not enjoy.
  • Onion Rings = crispy, hot - really decent onion rings
  • Montreal Smoked Meat = really good! Really moist and tender, and tasty!
I'll talk about the wings later on.

Plate # 2

I decided to do some more world traveling:
  • Shrimp = Nope. Super fishy and did not enjoy. Was luke warm too.
  • General Tao Chicken - Pass. The chicken was kind of mushy & the sauce tasted like no General Tao I've ever had before.
  • Egg Roll = Eastern Ontario/Quebec style made with cabbage not bean sprouts. It was ok but any Chinese restaurant does it better.
  • Chicken Ball = little chewy batter, chewy chicken. It was meh. The sauce was not red sauce but cherry sauce which wasn't for me. 
  • Shawarma = they actually carved this from a spit! It was good but nothing like a real Shawarma. Just realized I didn't get a good photo of the actual wrap.

Plate #3
  • Pizza = pepperoni. Where is the pep you ask? It's under the cheese. And it's more like salami than pepperoni. I liked the cheese and the floppiness of the slice, but the sauce and crust was a pass.
  • Fried Potato = fried nope. Just over cooked and not seasoned enough.

Plate #4
  • Fries
  • Montreal Smoked Meat
The smoked meat was so good I went back for more. This time I grabbed a roll, split it, added some mustard and mayo, and filled it with that great meat.  Added some fries on the side (crispy but nothing special). This was tasty.

So I've left the wings for last, but you've seen in the photos I've been getting them all along. The wings were found in the "Cuisine NORD-AMERICAINE" or North American Cuisine. This is where you find fries, onion rings, fried potatoes, steamed veggies etc. I found the wings, and that was the most important thing in this particular tray.

Each of the buffet items had a description of the dishes, in both French and then in smaller letters, in English. At this station, this was the 'Ailes de Poulet' description:
Chicken Wings, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, tobasco, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar
This is an interesting recipe. It's almost like someone at home who has never made chicken wings before and mixed these ingredients together. Ketchup and Tobasco, hmmmmm.

Obviously this is AYCE, so there is no specific number in an order, you have as much as you want. It's also equal split of flats and drums. What was great was that they kept it refilled pretty frequently.

The wings were not big - pretty small actually. But, they were relatively meaty. Well the wingette's were not that meaty, but some of the drummette's were. The meat itself was tender and pulled away from the bone.

As for crispiness, I think these wings might be baked in the marinade. I suppose they could be fried and tossed in the sauce, but there isn't a lot of sauce and it seems to have permeated into the wing. So I don't know what the texture is from cooking, only that the wings have a crisp, but also not crisp. They are kind of saucy in that you get sauce on your fingers, but there isn't really visible sauce on the wings.

The flavour on these wings were ... surprisingly good. I was kind of addicted. They are sweet, sour, slightly sour, slightly spicy. It made me feel this nostalgia for this spare ribs recipe my family used to make many years ago that was made with ketchup and brown sugar and a little spice.

I like it, and it's got this generic goodness to it. Wing and spice connoisseurs would not. You might not. But there was something about it that I enjoyed. I didn't love them, but I did like them. You get me?


This buffet is really hit and miss. Some of the items are bland and others are just no. Some items are good. The carving stations are the best; loved my smoked meat. For me, the wings were worth second and third trips for. They are all over the place in flavour while being safe and generic, but they were good.

Now the photos from this review and the story was from our first visit. The service was great. Then *we went back and brought the father-in-law like two weeks after, and it did not go as well. Shawarma was gone, as were some other dishes, but they had others (but nothing special to write about it). Our waitress started out friendly, but then she was gone. Once checked in to refill waters but that was it. Now she was busy looking after a few big groups and other tables. But once it was time to go, she was just gone. We waited and waited. LJ & her dad went to the car and I said I would take care of it. But she was no where to be seen. I eventually asked another waitress and she said ours would be back soon. But she wasn't. Then I saw our waitress who was back helping one of the groups pay out, and the other waitress let her know about us waiting. She said she would be with me shortly, but she disappeared again. LJ came back to get me wondering what was going on. We gave up and went to the front desk to pay out. Our waitress ended up there but ignored us so we had to get someone else to pay our bill. In the end, it was almost 45 minutes AFTER our meal that we finally left. Unbelievable. The wings were ok, but we aren't heading back anytime soon. 7/14

Buffet des Continents
4 Impasse de la Gare Talon, Gatineau, QC

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

#lostwings = Popeye's Wings tossed in Louisiana Hot

#nonwingsunday = Poutine & Burger Bar @ the Rideau Carleton Raceway

Snacking on Hot Wing Popcorn

I did a full on recipe 10 years ago! Check that out HERE.

#fryday = Aroma Pizza in Orleans

See the original review of Aroma's Pizza in Orleans from 2018 HERE.

#nonwingsunday = Smoked Meat Pete return ...

See the full review from 2017 HERE.

More Wing Art

Friday, 16 August 2019

McDonald's Remastered Big Mac

Without very much warning, I found out this week that McDonald's was revisiting and remastered the classic Big Mac. How would they improve on "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun" ???

I didn't know this until I got home, but apparently it's not just the Big Mac, it's also the Cheeseburger & Quarter Pounder. Why are they going back to reinvent the classics? As far as I know, the Big Mac has remained relatively unchanged since it was created in 1967.  Well back in 2016 McDonald's had a crisis - it turned out only 1 in 5 millennials had ever had a Big Mac. Overall, people, not just millennials, want fresher burgers.

Here's what I knew: they were being remastered, and to promote this new sandwich, they are selling them this week for only $3 (normally a Big Mac is about $5.50). So I went to check them out without knowing what was changed.

Were they changing up the patty? New sauce? I had no clue. So it was just guessing. The box is still the same.

At first look, I couldn't see much of a difference. The bun looked a little shiny, the patty a little lighter brown. It still looked flat and nothing like the photos.

I should also note that I ate this at lunchtime, and within about 2 minutes of getting it after going through the drive-thru. I wanted it to be as fresh as possible - lunch time meant they would be cooking up a lot quickly without time to sit around.

Again the only thing I noticed different so far was more pepper on the patty?

Here are the things that I noticed that seemed different:

  • extra Mac Sauce - there was a lot, which I like. Made for a more moist sandwich
  • the burger patty didn't seem as dried out or over cooked

That was about it. Overall it was a really good Big Mac. It was really fresh, full of flavour, and was one of the better Big Mac experiences I've had, and I like Big Mac's. But if I didn't know about this remastering thing, I wouldn't really know there was a change, I would just assume I got a fresher properly made Big Mac. So what was different?

Well, the patties are still 100% beef, but they are cooked in smaller batches so they aren't sitting in those plastic warming trays. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I could taste that difference.

They've added the chopped onions to the grill to cook. This I didn't notice or at least, not consciously. I like this idea, it just wasn't apparent

Finally, they served the buns warmer. I don't know how they did this differently, but the bun did seem slightly softer.

So this wasn't a major revamp, just some slight adjustments. Adjustments that aren't huge but are welcome. Overall, a better Big Mac experience, but marginally. I mean, my burger still fell apart (that middle bun shifts as do the patties) making a real mess. But for $3, this was an awesome deal.

As far as I know, this is just in Canada for now ...

Thursday, 15 August 2019


I am severely behind in my posting - this review was from back in May. Perfect for #TBT!

My wife and I were visiting her father who lives in Whitby Ontario, just East of Toronto. When we go, if we go out to eat, we have a few of the same places we always go, and I usually don't get wings at those places. Well on this trip, we decided to go try someplace new. And when we got there, it was crazy busy and no seating. So we left, not sure where to go, when my father-in-law suggest The Pearson Pub.

I was shocked actually; he's not really a pub kind of guy. I've always wanted to go because it looks like a cool converted house in downtown Whitby and I've seen it advertise wing specials. It's in the Pearson Lanes block of shopping, and it used to be the Tilted Kilt Pub about 10 years ago (not associated with the chain). I think it was a different pub years before that. Funny enough, LJ's uncles both worked at the pub years ago when they first came to Canada.

The pub is a nice, charming, Victorian home that looks more like a nice tea house than a pub. It has a great wrap around porch that has some seating, but the porch is sadly not really wide enough to accommodate a lot of seating that I'm sure would be greatly taken advantage of.

Inside looks like a standard pub. It's pretty spacious, with lots of seating, rooms etc. One space seems cleared out as a dance floor. Another is the bar. I don't even know if there is dining space upstairs. When we got there, it was pretty dead. There was one dad with his little girl having dinner, and that was it for the main dining space. The other people were all seated at the bar for a drink. I didn't catch our servers name, but she was friendly and attentive.

The menu was classic pub fare, fish and chips, burgers, wings etc. Well that's what we got. I was interested in the wings and super surprised by all the wing specials they have; Tuesdays are half price, Thursdays are $0.65 wings, Sundays are 2-4-1 and everyday is a Pint and Wing special. Unfortunately, I missed every one of those specials.

LJ went with the 8oz cheese burger with bacon, which comes topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and red onion. She said it was good, but just ok good. She also upgraded her potato fries to sweet potato fries which were lightly battered, crispy, but limp too that came with an aiole dip.

Her dad got the Fish and Chips, which were to battered haddock pieces with fries and coleslaw. He's not much of a talker about his food, but I think he liked it. I know I really liked the look of the batter on the fish.

I got the wings of course, but I took the option to add some fries on the side. I liked the look of my plate when it came out!

The wings come in one size of order, which is about 7 or 8 wings.

The wings come with celery, carrots and dip. That's the way it should be! The veggies were fresh, and the dip was dill dip, which is awesome choice.

For $1.50 more I was able to add fries to my wings. These are, I'm fairly sure, frozen breaded fries. They were crunchy and were ok, but nothing special.

The size of the wings was decent; in between a medium and a large wing. They come dusted and are fried which makes for a crispy skin, but due to the sauce, they lost their crisp factor pretty quick.

The wings were relatively tender and pulled apart not too badly. They were also fairly meaty. Sauce-wise, they were pretty wet.

For the sauce, I went with classic Hot, and then I got a side of Suicide.

Hot = standard cayenne hot sauce. Good, but nothing standing out here. You know what you are getting.

Suicide = a little spicy, a little fruity, a little smokey.

It was good, but definitely an on the side sauce situation.


These were pretty decent wings. Nice size, dusted, fried, crispy, then less crispy because they were nice and saucy. Hot was simple hot, and Suicide gave a nice flavour to have on the side. Love that it came with veggies and dill dip, and some crispy breaded fries. And boy are there a lot of wing specials. The other food was decent too. Certainly no gastro pub, but a descent little pub. 9.5/15

The Pearson Pub
101 St Mary Street, Whitby ON

Chef Ben & Dad Harrison Ford grilling wings

This post blew up my phone and that's crazy.

By far this is the most popular pic I have ever put up on Instagram, and like my #2 most popular, is not even my photo. It's Chef Ben Ford and his dad Harrison Ford grilling up some wings (I know, right!?!) posted by the chef back on Fathers Day.

To get an idea of how big it is for me, as of this post 405 people liked it, and 4, 315 people checked it out. That's crazy big for me. Crazy cool.

#nonwingsunday = Big Mary

This was uploaded like almost 2 weeks ago but it still remains true. It was a really good chicken sandwich. Big Mary's even commented on my post!

Thursday, 1 August 2019

#tbt June WINGSANITY @ St Louis

Back in June St Louis had their Wingsanity deal back on - $19.99 AYCE wings. This time you got a full pound of wings to start with fries, and then half a pound, then like 5 wings after that. Here's what I know - I can't eat as much as I used to, and this is a slight compilation of two visits, although some of the flavours were repeated. Here's a quick review of what are probably my favourite flavours on their menu. All the wings were "Dusted" and they were all a very good size, crispy, and juicy. The sauciness of each of the orders was inconsistent as some were really saucy, and others not so much.


I used to have disdain for St Louis signature Hot sauce/wings - to me they weren't Buffalo wings and that upset me. Well, they aren't trying to be Buffalo wings. Once I accepted that fact, I've come to really appreciate them. They have a marinated hot sauce feel that's peppery but also rich. Since my first round was going to be the largest, I might as well get a good standard flavour.


This was LJ`s first order on our trip together, but of course I was sampling & I enjoy them. It`s like it`s tossed in hot sauce, then tossed in garlic Parmesan sauce. So it`s creamy, and a little bit spicy.


This is one of my favourite sauces - its sticky, sweet, savory and just really good on breaded fried chicken. I would save this for last, but I go second because these days I don`t know how many wings I can eat at a time.


Ok, let`s up the heat. Suicide has a nice heat but it`s not killer. Not as flavourful as Hot, but good.


I wanted to do a mix up of creamy and hot. This is pretty straight forward, but I actually wish they did Buffalo Dill, and mixed their Buffalo sauce with their Dill dip.


I like this powder/dry rub on the wings, although there wasn't much. I was creamed out and didn't know where else to go, so I went with my last few wings being crispy and dry. But I took advantage of all the Dill dip to, well, dip my wings. It's not how I normally would finish off my wings, but that's the way it goes.

Overall, it I had 2 successful trips where I left VERY full and very satisfied. I had good wings and good service and my second visit I definitely felt I had fully experienced WINGSANITY.