Sunday 13 June 2021

PONG's POUTINE - Stittsville ON

 Sometimes the stars align and everything just works out the way you want. A few years ago I heard about a little chip truck in Stittsville called Pong's Poutine that has always gotten rave reviews. Not only do they seem to have killer fries and poutine, but every week they have a different special and sometimes that's General Tso chicken. And I love General Tso chicken. I don't get out there often, and when I've been in the area and down for some fries, they've been closed ...

Then one day I was out in the west end of Kanata when I saw a post about Pong's special for the day: Bacon Cheeseburger with Poutine & a drink for $10, but the weekly poutine was General Tso ... I mean, I had to go!

Pong's is located just off the 417 on Carp Road in the parking lot of Ritchie's Feed & Seed, next to a flea market. It's a standard chip wagon but they've carved out area for seating (when COVID is not going on) with trash cans and their set up. I love their giant mascot on the wagon of a fry guy weilding a spatula like a sword!

The menu itself is pretty standard chip truck fare: fries, poutine, burgers, pogos etc. What sets them apart is the daily and weekly specials, often with an Asian flare, like Pad Thai or sping rolls, or in the case of this trip, General Tso chicken. 

There was already a crowd outside, which I had tried to bypass by calling ahead, but they were busy and didn't answer the phone. Despite being busy, they were friendly at the window. It's clear they have regulars who know them well, asking about their kids, business etc. 

I ordered the bacon cheeseburger combo, but asked if I could upgrade the poutine to the General Tso. They said yes. With taxes and tip it came to $16. They gave me a number and I waited for about 15 minutes. It felt like forever on this sunny and hot day!

The combo was packaged up in a cardboard box and I was given the option of a bag to take it in, in which they put in a fork and several napkins. I went back to the a/c of the car and opened up lunch.

Wow what a box! It was jammed pack with poutine goodness and a big burger! Even if this wasn't the upgraded poutine this was a great deal.

I went for the burger first. The burger was not what I expected at all, in a good way. I expected the standard chip truck frozen burger patty and cheap utilitarian bun. Instead, I got a handmade patty and a fresh kaiser bun! The bun to meat ratio was a bit off - while the burger is thick, it's not a wide burger while the bun is quite wide.

I was asked what I wanted on the burger and for some reason I said just mayo. I wasn't looking for a ton of toppings, but why I just said mayo I don't know. So my burger was super basic, but it was good. The bun was fresh and very soft. The burger patty was from ground beef and tasted so much better than the frozen pucks most places serve. The bacon was crisp with a little chew and the cheese I believe was processed as a good burger should have. Meaty, bacon-y, cheesy goodness!

Then there was the poutine. It was a big serving - much bigger than I expected. Half the box was loaded down thick with ingredients and I ended up eating this portion size for a few times after!

This General Tso Poutine has your classic fresh cut fries, layered with squeeky cheese curds and gravy, which is topped with fried chicken chunks with Pong's version of General Tso sauce and sesame seeds for garnish. A-mazing. 

Evaluating just the poutine - I loved it. The fries are skinnier than a lot of places, skin on, crispy. The cheese curds are generous, large, and squeaky. The gravy is good but it got a bit lost with the General Tso sauce. This poutine was aces in my book.

The rest of this dish was topped with deep fried battered chicken chunks. There were about 7 or so pieces which were crispy, but also tender on the inside. Then Pong's topped it with the sauce. It didn't taste like any General Tso sauce I've had before, and I wouldn't say my favourite. The dominant flavour was sesame oil with something very very sweet. It was good, but General Tso sauce to me is a balance of sweet and spicy. This was mostly sesame oil. 

Overall I was very happy with my meal. The combo deal was great, the food was fresh, reasonably priced and just made me very happy. That burger was homemade with crispy bacon and cheese and that kaiser bun changes the burger game up. The poutine is spot on, and while I wasn't crazy about the General Tso sauce, the chicken chunks were pretty good. I'm sad I've only gotten it after so long, and I look forward to going back!

Pong's Poutine
2079 Carp Road, Stittsville ON

Bi-Annual Grill Clean & Jerk Chicken

Wednesday 2 June 2021

PC SMOKIN' STAMPEDE JUST DRUMS - Quarantine Frozen Wing Review

So I haven't done a frozen wing review in a while, which worked out because I had a box of wings in the freezer that had been there forever.

I posted on Instagram back in May of 2020 after shopping at Real Canadian Superstore that they had wings on sale. In particular, it was their Smokin' Stampede BBQ sauced wings but they had two boxes at 2 different prices: Flats only for $11.98 and Drums only for $4.94! Now normally I'm slightly more on Team Flats, but for $5, how could I pass up a box of drums?!?!

I find it interesting of all of PC's wing flavours, they only did the Smokin' Stampede as Drums or Flats. If you aren't familiar with Smokin' Stampede, it's one of President's Choice's lines of BBQ Sauces.

I actually really like this BBQ sauce. Of all the grocery store BBQ sauces, it's my fave. Particularly Beer & Chipotle. It's sweet, smoky, layered in flavour and just a hint of heat. If I make a quick and easy spicy BBQ wing, I just mix this and some hot sauce and I'm good to go. So how would the frozen version turn out?

The box is 907g and they guarantee at least 13 wings. While PC does make a Tequila Habanero version, but this is Beer & Chipotle. Cooking instructions are either doing the oven at 425 F, but I was planning on grilling them.  The ingredients weren't egregious, I mean for a frozen wing. But the 'seasoned wing' and the 'glaze' did mean there were a lot of things going on here.

Inside the box was just the bag of wings. I was shocked, as PC seems to just always add sauce packets on the side. Thank goodness.

After a year, the wings had a bit of freezer burn, but not so much that I thought there was a problem. The wings were all pretty frozen together, but after a few minutes they pulled apart not too bad.

The box said there would be a minimum of 13 wings in the box, and, well there were 13 wings in total. This begs the question, do you prefer 13 wings that weigh 900g, or a bunch of smaller wings that weig 900g? 

The bag was pretty saucy after dumping them out, but then with the seasoning and the glaze, that's a lot of liquid.

I got my grill heat up to 400 (the box says medium, but what does a box know?), and dumped the bag right on, then turned the temperature down a bit. 

These could have been decent in the oven, but really they were made for the grill.

The box said to turn them frequently. That sounded reasonable so that's what I did. With each turn the wings were getting more charred and crispy. They looked promising. 

All in all I cooked them for about 20 minutes until they looked good and ready. You have to be patient, and I didn't want to be patient.

A few got more crispier than others, but that just meant more crispy-sauced goodness.

Grilled up, they looked better in person than the beauty shot on the box!

You can cook them how you want, but I wanted them a bit charred and crispy, but still sticky with the sauce on them. I think they turned out pretty good.

The size of the wings were decent - not that big but not too small. They were more on the short side of length, but they were pretty meaty wings.

The texture on the wings was a mix of sticky and charred. With a wing so saturated in sauce there was no way the wings would develop a crispy skin. The meat was relatively tender, which I was shocked as both a frozen wing, and a wing that sat at the bottom of my freezer for over a year!

I ate one right off the grill, I couldn't wait. It was a little sweet, a little bit of spice, a little smoke, with a little tang. It didn't taste exactly like the actual bottle of sauce. That's ok in terms of flavour because the flavour is good, just don't expect it to be the same. 


Ya, especially for $5! It was a great deal and the wings turned out better than expected. These aren't amazing wings, but for $5 they hit the spot. The texture, the flavour was all on point. I ended up having leftovers, and I added chili flakes and a bit of hot sauce to kick it up a notch. I wouldn't get these at full price, and you could make much more amazing wings from fresh using the PC Smokin' Stampede Sauce, but for a quick wing, these will do. 9/14

President's Choice
Smokin' Stampede Just Drums

Monday 31 May 2021

LOTW Meme Monday = That's On Me I Set The Bar Too Low on Hot Wings


Actually my conversation goes more with people who "loooove" chicken wings, but then it turns out they only like drums that are just salt & pepper. Me, I love all kinds. Just not honey garlic.

#nonwingsunday = BK Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

I really did enjoy this sandwich. It just hit all the right notes. I was surprised that I had heard almost nothing about it, but after I posted this, Burger King Canada posted this:

Now you can try it for $1 now too!

Thursday 27 May 2021

#tbt & #lostreview - GALLERIA SUPERMARKET York Mills 2014 TORONTO ON

 It's time for another #tbt & #lostreview !

It's 2014. It was April and a Friday. I lived in downtown Toronto, and Korean fried chicken was just starting to be a fad in the food world. I had tried a couple of places downtown but I had the best was up in York Mills. 

With access to a car (rental? Zipcar? don't remember) I headed up to Galleria Market Place. I had never really been to York Mills, but Galleria was pretty easy to find. That was the last east part of the trip.

Galleria is a small chain of Korean/Asian supermarket. It's big, clean, and very bright. I wandered around just checking the place out. I eventually found the hot food stand where a small army of workers were making all sorts of fresh Korean food. I was a bit lost as almost everything was in Korean, so I wasn't sure how or where to order KFC (Korean Fried Chicken).

Galleria had branded their poultry as Mom's Chicken. I did find an ad for the reason I was there: $8.99 for Mom's Chicken Wings (normally $9.98) on Fridays. That's what I wanted! And it was Friday! 

I eventually watched others order and I followed suit. I put my order in and just like I had been warned, it took a long time for my order to get made. 30 minutes at least was the standard wait time, It was crazy busy, even though it was mid afternoon and it seemed like everyone was getting chicken.

When my order was I grabbed a seat at the counter and took in my wings. There are a few flavoured options to choose from: Seasoned (dry spice), Mild, Spicy, or Half & Half (Half sauced have Seasoned). It comes in a rotisserie chicken style container. I went with Spicy.

It came with a side of pickled radish. If you haven't had it before, it's cubed up radish that is mostly sweet with a vinegary-tang. It's great cooling agent when eating spicy food.

If you aren't familiar with KFC (Korean not Kentucky), it's chicken that is breaded and double fried. When done right it's juicy inside with a major crunch on the outside. It's usually served either dry like regular fried chicken, or mixed in sauce. I went with Spicy clearly.

The wings were medium in length but were pretty meaty. As they are very breaded, the size of the wings was larger. They were also VERY crispy/crunchy.

The chicken itself was very tender. The bones just pulled off the meat with no effort.

The wings were saucy AF. I mean you need a ton of napkins to eat these there's so much sauce. Every inch was covered in the sticky, thick sauce.

Spicy is made with Gochujang Korean pepper paste, which is spicy, but this sauce has a lot of sweetness too. It's not that spicy in my opinion, and the sweetness was stronger than the heat. 

The sauce is so sticky, you are going to make a mess, guaranteed!

This was a food experience. An adventure to get there, get my food, and eat. The chicken was super crunchy, the wings coated in sticky-sweet-spicy sauce, and the meat was tender as can be. I would have liked it spicier, but this was such a good meal. Unfortunately I never got back there to have it again. Mom knows what she is doing!

Mom's Chicken @ Galleria Supermarket
865 York Mills Road, Toronto ON (and other locations) (find the menu HERE)