Wednesday, 19 September 2018

KFC HOT WINGS in the $10 Chick'N Share Bucket


I used to love KFC chicken. Actually I used to love Kentucky Fried Chicken. When I was a kid it was so exciting to see that bucket - whether it was at home for dinner, or a pot luck event that someone was to busy/lazy to make something at home but that was ok because the chicken was great. In recent years, the chicken doesn't taste as good, the pieces have gotten smaller (they even started cutting pieces in half to make more in a bucket - that's a crime!).

I even had to write in a complaint not long ago to one location when I had a car full of kids and a few adults who wanted fried chicken. It was half an hour before 11pm (closing) and I went inside the store. The kids working in there told me I had to go through the drive through, so I did, and then I was told that they didn't have chicken because they close at 11. One of the kids asked "how does KFC not have chicken?"  In a rare move by me, I got snarky with the kid and said "so you basically are closing 30 minutes early?" She just ummed and we ended up finding a Popeye's that also was also closing at 11pm but was still making chicken. I wrote a tempered but angry e-mail and KFC never got back to me. Also, the KFC Canada website is a mess - always has been). Trying to find info or prices without ordering food, and then being told you can't see the info because Delivery or Pickup isn't available in your area yet (but I can order it off Skip the Dishes on that website) its just so frustrating. I tried to just watch a video on the site for this review and it said "Not Available". Garbage.

Ok rant over. Sorry about that I kind of went off there. So despite all the negative experiences with KFC lately, I still go but it's not so much for the regular chicken as for the wings.


My wife and I are on the road quite a bit and a quick and easy stop is in Kingston Ontario, where we go to a Taco Bell/KFC hybrid restaurant. We usually just get Taco Bell, but we had gotten the $10 Chick'N Share combo at another location in the past and decided to share a bucket.


Billed as a "bucket built for two" it's a decent deal of 10 Hot Wings for $10 (it's 12 wings for $10 in the States, but what can you do?) considering 2 wings are just shy of $3. You can also get popcorn chicken, or just chicken, or tenders, but we were there for the wings.


As we were trying to get going on our road trip, we went through the Drive-Through, but there was no mention of the Chick'N Share combos. Heck, I couldn't even see if they had wings. I was pretty sure they did, but these boards just have too much dang info on them (ignoring that half the board is for Taco Bell). Fortunately I asked, and they did indeed have both Hot Wings and the Chick'N Share combo.


They don't ever seem to have wings ready like they do their regular fried chicken, so it takes a little bit longer to get your order. That's ok, I'll wait 5-10 minutes for freshly fried chicken!


We got our chicken, pulled off to the side and dove into our chicken wing order. The last time I reviewed KFC wings was 10 years ago in 2008 when I was reviewing their Wicked Crunch items. How would I feel this time around?



Wings come in all sorts of orders - 2, 5, in a combo, in this bucket - too many ways to list all of them. We've gotten this deal a few times, and normally it comes in their half-bucket containers (remember "bucket for two"?), but this time they just came in a box.


The length of these wings are small. That's disappointing. But to make up for it, these are a really meaty wing - not scrawny at all. They are also breaded (the menu says it's lightly breaded, but it's more of a medium breaded). This makes the wing super crunchy, the kind that you can hear someone take a bite of.



Wings should always be eaten as quickly out of the fryer as possible and these are no different. The meat inside is moist and tender, and it seems so fresh, the bones are easily pulled out.


See above? That's where the bone used to be, but it came out so clean and smooth, making these a truly boneless wing. That's how tender they were.


These wings are a dry wing, with no sauce. There is hot sauce you can ask for, a cayenne based hot sauce, but they don't need them. They are salty, and they have a hint of heat. The heat is dry, and more goes after the back of the throat rather than the lips. Heat wimps might find it hot, but I don't think the general public will find this hot.

The ingredient list is a bit crazy though:

Fresh chicken. Marinated in: salt, monosodium glutamate, spices, potassium chloride, tetra potassium pyrophosphate, sugar, garlic powder, citric acid. Breaded in: wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, sodium aluminum phosphate, dextrose, high monounsaturated vegetable oil (canola and/or sunflower seed) (manufacturing aid), colour (contains wheat flour), spices. Cooked in: canola oil (dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent), TBHQ). Contains wheat.

Umm, I don't know what a lot of that is. I do notice MSG. That's ok with me. What I do know is that 'spices' is mentioned twice without explaining what spice is actually used. No idea what the heat is.


FINAL SCORE:

Forgetting all the wrongs KFC have done in recent times, these wings stand out for me as a redeeming factor. The wings are small, but they are meaty, tender and moist. The skin is wonderfully crisp/crunchy. The heat factor is low, but the salty chicken tastes good even without the sauce. There's a reason these are some of my wife's favourite wings. 8.5/14


KFC
29 Warne Cres, Kingston ON (and other locations)
kfc.ca

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!


Monday, 17 September 2018

LOTW Meme Monday: Predator Wing Memes


The movie The Predator came out this past weekend. I haven't seen it yet (soon hopefully) but I am both excited and not expecting much from it. I have loved the Predator franchise since I was a kid in the 80's with Predator and Predator 2 and all the spinoff material. They weren't great but I did enjoy Alien vs Predator 1 & 2, and I think Predators was a great return to the franchise. This movie seems like it might tie a bunch of these movies together and I love the world building that can exist here. But there's a lot of room to fail too. Either way, here are some Predator meme's from the 4 main films:


They are not the same. Also, Pepsi is not Coke.


When you feel that gurgle, you need to get home NOW!


I'm not sure I get this one either ...


Blue cheese. Don't ever ask a Buffalonian for ranch.


Nooooooooooooooooo!




I have had many people worried I would get ulcers. No ulcer's yet!

I'm sure there is a better wing meme out there, but this is just gold itself.

I also don't care for places that place wings on beds of lettuce. Beds of more wings is more like it.


Sometimes I can't help myself.


Jess Ventura has some great lines in Predator, right?!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Reuben's Restaurant & Deli - Montreal QC

I don't get to Montreal often, but when I do, I'm going to have one of three things

  1. Chicken Wings (because I get those where ever I go)
  2. Poutine
  3. Montreal Smoked Meat
  4. Montreal Style Bagels

I was only in the city for a quick night, but it turned out that I was going to get 2 of those three. Tres exciting.


LJ had to go to Montreal for business and I tagged along for the ride. We got into the city late in the evening on a Sunday night, checked into our hotel downtown, and were exhausted and hungry. We didn't want to have to go far or get dressed up or spend a ton of money. Where to eat, where to eat? Fortunately I found one of the better ranked smoked meat places just down the block; Reuben's.


I was a little bit confused because two Reuben's with slightly different name's kept coming up in my search: Reuben's Deli & Steakhouse and Reuben's Restaurant Deli. The former is a bit pricey, the latter not so much. We ended up at the latter, which was great because I was more in the mood for low-key deli. But it turned out both were started by the same people, so it was going to work out one way or another.

The dinner locale has a small entrance off of the busy street and was the original location built in 1976. The actual restaurant is below street level, so you take a big staircase down to the lower level. Just outside is a large menu and special for people to see. Downstairs was much nicer than I expected - dark paneling and booths are brightened up by custom crafted Tiffany lights in the ceiling. The crowd was varied, but I suspect that it is mainly a tourist crowd. English and French is spoken here.


At the street entrance, below the menu displayed, is their Smoked Meat Sandwich Special - for $13.49 it's smoked meat sandwich with fries, coleslaw, pickle and a small drink. We both got the special although I did upgrade my fries to a poutine. When in Montreal, eh?

They serve Pepsi products, and the drink that came with the combo was pretty small. It was hot out and I was thirsty and I guzzled my Diet Pepsi down pretty quick. When I asked for a refill I got one, but it was $0.60 to upgrade to "Super Size" and get what was not super size but a normal sized glass between a large and a small size.


LJ got the standard platter - same as mine but with regular fries. The fries are thin and crispy, perfect for vinegar, salt and ketchup in my opinion. What it was actually served with was individual containers of mayonnaise which is really good if you haven't had, but usually I avoid because outside of Quebec it seems socially unacceptable.


My platter with the poutine - old school and simple - I was pretty happy with it.


My poutine was packed with curds and gravy. I added a bit of pepper. The fries, as I already mentioned, were crispy and held up to the grazy or poutine sauce. Poutine gravy/sauce is thin, light and golden. The curds were squeeky and fresh. This was simple but good poutine.


The coleslaw was vinegar based, and was actually pretty good. I watched an episode of Family Guy the other day and they made a joke about making the side of coleslaw no one ever eats, and when I looked at theirs, I assumed I was going to ignore it. But it was actually pretty good - sweet, tangy, vinegary. There was also the standard kosher dill pickle. It was alright - sour but not that sour, but soft, no crunch to it.


The smoked meat sandwich here was pretty classic - rye bread, smeared with ball park yellow mustard, piled high in the middle with smoked meat and cut in half. The size in the Special is a good size, but they do serve a Super sized one which is larger.


You get a choice of what cut of meat you want - lean, medium, fatty. We both went with the fatty. We both cringed ordering fatty, but it's the way to go. Montreal Smoked Meat is in the same family as pastrami, but has more spiced flavour (not heat). Reuben's fatty meat is nice and moist, but still had a great texture to it. The fatty just adds to that and the flavour.


It is so simple, so iconic, and just so good. This platter's pickle and coleslaw adds a nice balance of tang to the spiced beef and mustard. And poutine is just always great.


We also decided to go all out and have dessert too. Their servings are huge and they looked good going by to other tables. LJ went with the Colossal Carrot Cake which was layered with cream cheese frosting. It was moist and very fresh and carroty. I went with their Famous Homemade Cheesecake, which came topped with strawberries and stood over 15 cm tall I estimate. The cheesecake was good, but not as dense as I prefer in my cheesecake. This wasn't NY style, so there was no graham cracker base/crust, but there was these sugary little crispy balls on the outside (not shown) that were really good. The strawberries came with a strawberry sauce that was a little too sweet and artificial tasting for my liking.

photo from years ago ...
Would I go back? Yes for sure. This isn't my favourite Montreal Smoked Meat in Montreal, but it is pretty good. The smoked meat is tasty, moist, and hits the spot. Sides are good including the classic poutine. Desserts good but not amazing. Reasonably priced too. It hit the spot and fulfilled my Montreal cravings. C'est Bon!


Reuben's Restaurant Deli
888 Sainte-Catherine St, Montreal QC
reubens.ca

Happiness Happened Here: "Gristle Club"


"Gristle Club"

Friday, 14 September 2018

Thursday, 13 September 2018

#TB & LOST REVIEW: Paula Dean`s Wing Sauce - Sauce Review



It's #throwbackthursday & another LOST REVIEW!!!


Back in 2011 I was given some Paula Deen Hot Hot Wing Sauce as a gift (sadly, I don't remember who gave it to me - thanks though). This was two years before Paula's racism was known and her disappearance from mainstream cookery media. 



I watched Paula Deen on occassion - I was shocked by her recipes. I could not get over the day I watched her make a super heavy spaghetti dish, and then topped it with butter. Butter, on top of a spaghetti with meat sauce. Wow.

Anyways, I was doing a sauce review of her Hot Hot Wing Sauce ... and to be honest I forgot all about this sauce until I found my trove of lost reviews. I had gone to the St Lawrence Market in Toronto (was living there at the time) and got some fresh chicken wings that I deep fried up, and added the sauce with some butter. I don't remember how the sauce was, so you will have to just enjoy the photos. But don't forget about the racism.










Wednesday, 12 September 2018

FAMOUS MOE's PIZZA - Ottawa ON


Here at the blog I always seem to be playing catch up. I can't remember when I was posting a review within the same week I went out and actually had my meal. I have a lot of content on standby. I started to get things in order at the end of 2016 into 2017 and just to get by I was doing mini-reviews in the Year in Review and also over Instagram, but I've gone back to some of the places to do full on reviews, and Moe's Famous Pizza is one of those. But this review is still from last month.


I did a quick re-post from Instagram in October 2017, followed by a mini-review of Moe's in my Year in Review 2017,  and finally another #fryday Instagram from this past March. A quick recap, back in 2017 I was driving and saw the sign for Moe's Famous Pizza - never heard of them (how famous are they?) never tried them before, but I decided to stop in. I ordered 10 Suicide wings, and I was shocked 3 times: 1) the wings, served in a box, which was so heavy it felt like I was carrying a brick 2) the wings weren't just plain fried wings but were something special 3) the sauce wasn't your typical pizza joint take-out wings either. I was super impressed. Since then I've stopped in and chatted with who I assume is the owner/manager, who is always happy to talk about their wings and sauces and accommodates my requests. I think it's family run, and it seems to make a difference.


The place is nothing special building wise - it's a take-out pizza place with a vacant store next door and a loan institution on the other. It's clean inside, and while you can sit at a few stools at a counter, this place is about take-out/delivery.


I've tried two sauces in the past: Suicide and the BBQ (which is 40 Creek). The suicide was really good - nice heat and it was made with a bunch of spices and a detail to the sauce. The BBQ was good too. Now, I ask for a Suicide/BBQ mix because together they are really good.


On this particular occassion, I called ahead and ordered my usual BBQ/Suicide mix. I arrived and they were ready pretty soon. I took them to go and pulled over to have some lunch wings.




Wings are proudly displayed in the window, $10.99 for 10, $19.95 for 20, or $28.95 for 30. 10 wings here have to be somewhere between 1.5 lb and 2lbs worth of wings.



 10 of these wings are more than enough for me for lunch - they are a large wing. They are also pretty meaty. This is not your average pizza joint wings. I also love that you can see spices and chilies in the sauce.


The wings I'm pretty sure come from frozen, and might have some sort of coating on them. The skin is crispy, which is great, but the meat is tough. Another downside is that the wings have an almost burnt taste to them - I'm guessing it's an old oil that's being used. It's not terrible, but I'm sure many people would not like it.


The wings are tossed in a generous amount of sauce - no wing is dry, and they are sloppy enough that there's extra sauce in the box. The BBQ is thick, sweet but not too sweet, while the suicide gives a nice bite. They use several spices and chili's added to the hot sauce to make for a unique and very tasty wing. These two sauces go really well together.


FINAL SCORE:

I was happy that I stumbled upon this place that fateful day. There are so many local pizza places that do wings ok - they deep fry plain wings and toss them in Frank's. Moe's Famous Pizza doesn't serve your average wings, and while Hot is just Frank's, their suicide is something special. While the wings can be a bit tough and can have a burnt flavour to them (they would have scored higher if it wasn't for those factors), they are big, crispy and have some very tasty sauces. I don't know what the pizza is like, but I keep coming back for the wings. 8/14


Moe's Famous Pizza
102 b McEwan Ave, Ottawa ON
moesfamouspizza.ca