Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Return to SUMMERHAYS GRILL - Ottawa ON

Back in 2008 I checked out Summerhays Grill in Centrepointe part of Ottawa. I liked the wing special but wasn't crazy about the sauces. I went back with a friend a few years after that, but didn't do a return review. Well on a beautiful April night, I figured I'd go check out if they still had their wing deal and how the wings were doing 10 years later.


I was on my own for dinner and I rolled up to Summerhays, which has undergone a reno since I reviewed them 10 years ago. The parking lot was relatively busy, but I noticed the patio was empty.


 It was one of the most beautiful days in April after having an ice storm not too long before, so I decided I was going out there for sure. I couldn't believe that no one was sitting out there. I saw a slow, steady arrival of folks, but it seemed like many were getting take-out.


My server was Caity, who was a great server. She made me feel welcome, was friendly, checked on me frequently, and was doing some training of a new server. She answered a lot of my wing questions, like what the wing special was now or what Dave's sauce or Crazy Paula's sauce (its a suicide/honey garlic and suicide/bbq I think, I wasn't ordering so I missed the exact detail, sorry). There are a lot of sauces to choose from, some are homemade, some coming from a bottle.


I didn't have to wait long and pretty soon I had a big feast of wings while sitting outside.


The wings are described as being seasoned, then baked, then fried. That sounds like quite the process, but I'm not sure that is what they actually do. They just seem fried to me (well seasoned, then fried). Wings come in by the pound, which works out to be about 8-9 wings in an order.


I knew Summerhays' wing special as being something like everyday after 2 or 3pm being like $0.35 a piece. Caity told me that the deal now was everyday (Mon-Sun) half price after 12 noon. That seems crazy because that means they are $6.95 for a pound almost all day except for like 1 hour a day when they are $14 or for take-out.


The chicken was a good medium medium-plus sized wing. They were pretty meaty too, especially the drummettes. The meat was average tenderness.

The skin on the wings was very nice and crispy. Especially the dry rubbed wings, you got a real sense of the crispy texture. The sauced wings lost a bit of crispness but the wings didn't get soggy.



 I went with 2 orders and 4 flavours to maximize my tasting and reviewing. 1lb of Hot, 1lb or dry Cajun, with Suicide & Smoked Sweet Mustard on the side for dipping. They charge $1 a piece for the extra sauce, but they came in giant containers, so I didn't mind.


HOT

It was ok. As I ate it, I thought it was kind of cayenne-y, but also tomato-y which I wasn't crazy about. Near the end of my wings, I found a little sauce deposit at the bottom. I tried just the sauce and it was very buttery, salty, Buffalo-y taste. So where was the tomato flavour coming from? I went back and tried the sauced wing and had that tomato flavour again. I don't know what was going on.


CAJUN

This was a great Cajun dry rubbed wing. Lots of flavour, your garlic, the salt, the herbs. This was a really seasoned wing.


There was a very generous amount of the rub. Look at that big pile of spices and seeds!


SUICIDE

The first couple of wings I dipped in here I really liked. It had a nice peppery kick, it was thick, it was good. But the more I ate it, the more I grew to dislike it. That's because that tomato flavour just seemed to get stronger and stronger. Like cloyingly tomato. I had to put it aside. It wasn't killer heat, it was above a hot, but it wasn't going to make you cry or cough.


SMOKED SWEET MUSTARD

This was my favourite - it's basically a honey mustard with a hint of smoky flavour. According to Caity this is a popular sauce, especially in combination with the suicide. The suicide is homemade, but this is a commercial sauce. I'm not sure I'd want my entire order of wings to be this sauce, but paired with the Cajun, c'est magnifique.


FINAL SCORE:

I'm very torn on these wings. They are a good size, meaty and crispy wing. The sauces are unique, the dry Cajun generously rubbed, but the Hot and the Suicide (or maybe the wing itself) had some tomato flavour that was just not jiving with me. The service was great, the wing deal not bad. I'll be back, but no rush. 10.5/15


Summerhays Grill
1971 Baseline, Ottawa ON
summerhaysgrill.ca

Monday, 21 May 2018

Happy Victoria Day 2018!


I'm sure the Queen would have had hot wings, right?

Anyways, Have a great long weekend everyone!

Friday, 18 May 2018

Wingsanity is back at St Louis Wings


St Louis All-You-Can-Eat wing festival "Wingsanity" is back - for $19.99 it's all you can eat wings or boneless wings, all day long from May 18th to June 17th (father's day).

Will you go 'wingsane'?  I don't know how, and I don't know when, but I will, and it will be glorious.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

#tbt - Wedding Wings


Sunday will be my 2nd Anniversary of the day I wed my beautiful wife, my Lady of the Wings. So here's throwing back to such an amazing day, an amazing lady, and some amazing wings dipped into our now famous chicken wing fountain!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

CARLO's PIZZA & SUBMARINES - Ottawa ON

I had heard about Carlo's Pizza just over 10 years ago, but never did try their pizza. With my go to late night wing fix Casa Luna's closed for renovations, I decided it was the perfect time to try out Carlo's wing game.


It was a late Saturday night and I pulled up to this pizza joint. It's in the middle of a residential street in Wellington West area - the only business within a few blocks. I actually called my order in before I arrived - I had some difficulty because my phone was cutting in and out, and the older lady on the other end of the phone had a thick accent, but eventually, I got my request for wings in ok.


The inside is like many pizza places in Ottawa - bare bones and nothing changed in years. I was actually intrigued by the really old delivery maps from long ago still on the walls. I was surprised at the open display of all their ingredients (mustard, ketchup, oil etc) and I was surprised to see almost all were no name brands.

I was also surprised at the staff - it was 3 pretty elderly ladies working at like 10:30-11pm at night. One sat at a table doing prep work while the other two shuffled around making pizzas, answering phones and giving out the food to pick up orders and delivery guys. They looked tired, but the one lady who was taking payments was super friendly - she gave me a free pop! I said no but she insisted.


I didn't notice it when I ordered over the phone, but according to the take-out menu it's like a platter - comes with fries and coleslaw.


The food came in a cardboard box (yes - thank you for not using the Styrofoam containers!). They gave a very generous amount of fries that filled up almost 2/3 of the box. Unfortunately the fries were the frozen variety, so nothing special. I also would have liked to put on salt, vinegar, and ketchup, but that was on the counter on the restaurant and my order was wrapped up and stapled into a brown paper bag.


There was also a small cup of coleslaw - a vinegary slaw. I wasn't crazy about it, but I often am not. It was ok and a bit warm by the time I had it.


The wings that I had watched them deep fry, were put into tinfoil and wrapped up. They smelled good!


Wings only come in an order of 12. So there were 12 wings.


The wings were relatively small, and about a medium meatiness. Although the wings were fried and looked crispy, because they were wrapped in the tin foil they were basically steamed.


The wings were thus pretty tender, but again, were kinda soggy due to the steaming.


The sauce was a simple cayenne hot sauce. I'm guess Frank's or some sort of no name based sauce. It was good - classic hot wings, and there was enough sauce for the wings to soak it up.


FINAL SCORE:
I'm always sad when a local joint isn't a hidden gem. The wings were small and soggy. Yes there was lots of sauce, but the wings were not worth going back for. There was lots of fries but they also weren't special. Coleslaw was a pass too. Based on the amount of pick ups I'm willing to guess that the pizza is very good.  But I won't be back for the chicken. 5/14



Carlo's Pizza & Submarine
60 Harmer Ave, Ottawa ON
carlospizzaria.ca

Monday, 14 May 2018

LOTW Meme Monday - Suicide Wing Idea Before & After



The next night I'd be eating those suicide wings again.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Happy Mother's Day!!!



Special thanks to my mom and all our wing eating adventures together :)

Hope all you mom's out there are getting all the wings you want, and for all you kids, take your mom out for wings today!!!

Burger King Buffalo sauced Nuggets

I love me a Whopper from Burger King, or even recently The Angry King burger. But I have to say I am a fan of the chicken products at BK.


I love the original and the spicy chicken sandwiches. Chicken fries are pretty cool too. I am curious about their new Crispy Chicken sandwich too. But when I'm just looking for a snack, BK chicken nuggets are a good way to go.


The other day I saw the special, $2.99 for 10 pieces. For real? I'll take that deal.


In an unsaleable paper bag comes 10 crispy nuggets of goodness. Now as far as fast food chicken nuggets go, McDonald's is and will probably always be my favourite - it something about that batter on it. But BK nuggets are a close second.


Unlike the Golden Arch's with their 4 premade shapes, BK's are pretty unique to each one. They all look close to each other, but just slightly different.


The meat is all white meat, generally breast meat, that's clearly been processed and formed. They are then coated in a "home-style" breading and fried. Each bite is a bit crispy, with the tender formed meat. They are pretty good on their own, but often these things are just excuses to have sauces.

BK offers dipping sauces like BBQ, Honey Mustard, Sweet & Sour, Zesty, and the best for nugget dipping in my opinion, Buffalo.


I was a little off-put by the date on the container: 2009. I'm pretty sure that's a copyright date, but still that seems old in 2018. Also, you'd think Buffalo sauce would be pretty simple. I mean its normally just butter, cayenne hot sauce and vinegar. Not this:

Water, Soybean Oil, Cayenne Pepper Sauce (Aged Cayenne Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Garlic), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Egg Yolks, Modified Food Starch, Contains less than 2% of Dark Brown Sugar, Spices, Salt, Garlic and Onion Powders, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Polysorbate 60, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate added as Preservatives, Autolyzed Yeast Extracts, Oleoresin Paprika, Chipotle Peppers, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Diacetate, Annatto, Malic Acid, Extractives of Turmeric(Color), Butter Oil, Calcium Disodium EDTA added to protect flavor, Tocopherol

Wow, that's a crazy cocktail. I mean there is Cayenne Pepper Sauce, butter oil, and heck even some chipotle peppers. But there's a lot of stuff in there I have no idea how to pronounce.



The sauce is a bright neon orange typical of bottled Buffalo sauces, but not necessarily the real thing. There are flecks of pepper or spice throughout. The sauce is very thick and very creamy. When you smell it, it does have a kind of chemical butter/hot sauce smell. The sauce itself is zingy - not real heat but just enough to let you know this is a hot dipping sauce.


Of all the BK dipping sauces the Buffalo is my favourite for the nuggets. It coats each bite just right and pairs well with the seasoned breading. For fast food, this is a decent 'boneless wing'. The crunchy nugget, the creamy-zingy Buffalo sauce work so well together. I would recommend if this is the kind of thing you are craving.


Burger King
527 Hunt Club Road West, Ottawa ON
Burgerking.ca
burgerking.ca/offers
burgerking.ca/content/chicken-nuggets-0

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Happiness Happened Here - "Horror Show"


Happiness happened here.

"Horror Show"


#lordofthewingsblog #lordofthewings #wings #chickenwings #chickenbones #wingbones#bonepile #boneart #lotwbonepile #bones #hotsauce #happinesshappenedhere#horrorshow





Friday, 11 May 2018

#fryday = Merivale Seafood Grill



#fryday = fried Haddock & Chips takeout from Merivale Seafood Grill.

The haddock was tender, flaky & had a nice crispy batter. The tartar sauce was perfection & so glad I asked for extra because the containers are tiny. Coleslaw was ok. The fries were a bit blah because they were not seasoned at all & I wasn't given any ketchup, vinegar or cutlery for that matter. Yes I ate everything with my hands and I don't regret anything. Thumbs up on this fish!


#lordofthewings #fishandchips #haddockandchips #haddock #tartarsauce #fries #coleslaw #merivalefishmarket #takeout #fry-day #ottawaeats #ottawafood #merivale #itsnotallaboutwings #latergram

Thursday, 10 May 2018

THE BARLEY MOW (Westboro) - Ottawa On

I continue to re-review places in Ottawa that I haven't tried in a long time, and the Barley Mow was on my list. 


Almost a year ago (was it really that long ago?) I went to the Westboro location to do my first actual review of this Ottawa area pub chain, but never got around to posting the review (just a mini-one in my End of Year Review). I had never done an actual review, and had in the past only had their wings at the Orleans location in a brunch buffet setting where they were just ok. Back then they were just another generic pub, but these days they have tried to reinvent themselves as a gastro-pub.


The Westboro location is one of the newest chapters fo the chain but has been around for a few years now. Inside is slightly dark, with a classy yet rustic feel. It's very clean and sleek yet contrasted nicely with lots of wood features. There are sports on the screens around the pub, but there were lots of folks working on laptops and having a pint.



Now I knew that the Barley Mow has wing night on Thursdays from my last trip, but the sandwich board at the entryway was a nice reminder that they have 1/2 price wings after 4pm.


I scanned the menu and found the wing section. I was shocked at the $16 price point for the wings. $16 for what would turn out to be 8 wings was a little crazy. Thank goodness for wing night.


I went with a double order of wings and they didn't take long to arrive. I forgot that the orders came with a side of fries, so each was a big order of food.


The fries are fresh-cut, with the skins still on. They were slightly limp, but also crispy. They were seasoned well and I gotta say, they were very good. They come with a side of ketchup. I would have added vinegar, but I didn't bother because I knew I was going to be taking most of them home with me. Plus there was other dip to go with them ...


The wings come with Garlic Ranch Dip. No veggies (unless you count the fries as veggies). This was a very nice, creamy, garlicky dipping sauce. It went really well with the Cajun wings especially. Good with the fries too. Ok good for almost straight up drinking.



The wings only come in one order size which is about 8 wings per order. The menu actually says there is an option of Seasoned or Battered. I wasn't offered either and I didn't ask. Not quite sure which I got but I would guess battered because there was just a hint of extra coating on the wing, but it wasn't a full on breading or battering that one would normally expect.


The wings were about a medium in length give or take. Nothing too special. In terms of meatiness they were again about a medium with some being a bit more.

The skin was crackling crisp (on the dry Cajun wings anyway) and deep fried very nicely. If there was a batter, it was doing a nice job on that skin. The meat was relatively tender too. There was just enough sauce on them to be considered wet, but not as much as I would like.


When I was at the Barley Mow last year, I had tried the Hot with a side of suicide, and dry BBQ with a side of the 40 Creek BBQ. They discontinued the dry BBQ (which I found pretty undetectable). The Hot was standard hot and the suicide was too sour for my liking. The BBQ was slightly sweet and smokey.

Not really wanting to do those flavours again, I went with Hot, Cajun, and a side of the Maple Bacon BBQ to change things up.


MEDIUM

The Medium sauce was ok. Slightly gooey, more sweet than a hot, but nothing bold or flavourful on their own.


CAJUN
This dry rub was also, ok. As you can see it was a very very light dusting, which gave the wings more of a salty taste than anything really Cajun.


MAPLE BACON BBQ

I really wanted to try something different, and Maple Bacon BBQ sauce seemed to be the way to go. I was very skeptical of this sauce (I'm not a huge maple bbq sauce fan) and I was right; this was just not fore me. It was cloyingly sweet from the maple, with some sour in there too. I could faintly taste a smokey bacon, but there was some sort of spice like cinnamon or nutmeg in there that really turned me off. Again, this isn't my type of sauce to begin with, but others might like it.



THE SCORE:

I just wasn't feeling the wings on this trip. They are a decent size and have a nice crackle-crispness to the skin. The sauces are ok. The sides are great - tasty fresh cut fries and a garlic ranch dip that is awesome. The price is crazy, so wing night is the only night I would bother with. The location is nice, and my waiter Matt was very attentive (when cleaning crews threw out my take-out container of leftover fries while I was in the bathroom, he went and got me a new take-out container of fresh fries!). Maybe the other food is great, but outside of Thursday nights I wouldn't bother with the wings. 8/15


The Barley Mow
399 Richmond Road (and other locations)
barleymow.com