Mixed reviews is what I got. Half the people seem to hate it, either for the food or the service or both. The other half said it was a good place to go. Now I don't go by what every arm-chair critic says, or even professional critiques either. So I decided to check the place out for myself, the only critic I listen to.
The place was really strange inside - I couldn't describe what kind of place this was. It wasn't really a bar, a lounge, a family restaurant . . . it just looked like a mish mash of design ideas that went no where. In the middle was a strange spiral stair/ramp (seen in the photo above) that served no purpose but took up space and did nothing for the place. The menu had everything on it, trying to please everyone I guess, and it looked as if it was from the early 90's itself and had never changed. If I could recommend a place to Restaurant Makeover, this would be it.
There are four areas for seating: the patio (2 parts, one was closed, the other packed with people), the 'bar' with booths, the upper dinning lounge (closed), and the dining room I sat in. 2pm was a strange time to be eating, so the people there were hardly a good sample to define the place.
I was there for the wing special, and that's what I got. Decided to take advantage of this and try 3 different sauces, but I went a little overboard.
2008 THE SCORE 3.0: Summerhays Grill ~
Dusted, deep fried
$7.50 for 1lb (approx 10 wings)
$12 for 2lb
Heat had a sour tingle, but suicide had nothing to it
-hot was almost dripping 2.5
-suicide was thick 2
-BBQ barely had sauce 1.5
AVERAGE of 3: 2
Deep fried breading makes the skin pretty crisp, for the most part
-hot was sour but not bad 1
-suicide was not tasty 0
-BBQ was good 2
AVERAGE of 3: 1
One wetnap, 2 napkins, one small plate
$0.35 a wing, everyday, 2pm-
The wings have potential, but it wasn’t really worth it to me
Before I get into the 3 sauces, let me describe the meat itself. First, I was surprised at the size of the wings. I had read a few comments that said the wings were small, but these were large and looked meaty. I had order 10 wings of each, expecting tiny wings! I felt a little gluttonous siting there with 3 big baskets all to myself.
Despite their large size, added to slightly by their dusting, these morsels were kinda chewy. I'm pretty sure they were frozen wings, that had been thawed and then cooked. This really disappointed me as they could have been great.
They were pretty saucy, so I was happy about that. Well, the hot was pretty saucy anyway.
HOT: The hot sauce was what I call my 'pub classic' wing. Vinegar and hot pepper sauce, its tasty, sour, and pretty common. There was lots of sauce and these were definitely my go-to wings of the meal.
BBQ: This tasted like Duff's spicy BBQ without the spicy. It was good and thick (although they could have put on more sauce). It was more sweet than a smokey, but recommendable to non-hot eating wing lovers.
SUICIDE: I debated just getting suicide on the side, but at these prices, I took the plunge and tried the suicide on its own. This sauce also tasted and smelled very much like Duffs Death sauce with one exception: no heat. No heat at all! I ate one and waited, and there was nothing. So then I just tried the sauce . . . and no bite took effect. Hot was more painful than this, and it was a mild at best. I didn't enjoy the flavour, a thick style of sauce that by the end, I didn't want to eat anymore.
FINAL SCORE: While these were big and crispy, the chicken itself was just too chewy. There was nothing special about the sauces either. When I had a few left and didn't really want to finish them, my waitress just said no, I couldn't take them home, policy. She also only came to check on me when my wings were almost gone - another drink was needed. She wasn't bad, just not attentive or that helpful. So, while it wasn't a bad wing deal, I wouldn't bother with Summerhays again. 10.5/20
1971 Baseline Road, Ottawa