Thursday, March 20, 2014

Off The Mark at Off The Grill

Off The Grill is a rotisserie chicken and ribs type establishment in Woodside where the old Arby's was previously located, and also very close to one of my favorite wing places in Dartmouth – Pilot’s Pub.  My last visit was in November shortly after they opened.  Wings were ordered and the overall experience was great however I failed to post a review at the time.  I was back in the area tonight and decided to stop in and follow through with the review this time however I was quite surprised with the turn the wings took.

The wings are not breaded and a pound comes in at $13.49 or $7.49 for a half pound.  There was also a half rack of ribs and half pound of wings on the menu for $19.49.  I was craving wings once again and ended up ordering a pound.

Breading: n/a – Breading is not an option here so this category will go unrated.
Wet naps and a good helping of sauce
Overall quality: 2/5 – The wings were surprisingly greasy and contained a lot of dark meat on the majority of the wings, not overly appealing.  There was also a little protruding feather on one of them, seemed like the cherry on the cake based on the quality of the rest of them.  I do have to say the flavor of the good meat was delicious, this is how I remember them from my last visit, a great tasting wing.  I’m not sure if there was a change in the supplier or what happened, but sadly these were not the same type of wings that I had back in November.

Not the best quality wings
Little feather on a little wing
Sauce selection: 2/5 - BBQ, BBQ Hot, Honey Garlic, Sweet Chili and Frank's Buffalo are your options.  There are also large containers of ‘serve yourself sauce’ on the counter that I should have paid more attention to before I placed the order as I went with Frank's on the side which came with a couple of good sized sauce dishes.  I love that sauce but I’ll choose a different one next time knowing there is a large supply of Frank’s readily available.
Help yourself
Service: n/a – You just walk up to the counter and place your order so this category will not be rated.

Size: 2/5 – A step below your average sized wing and I’m still surprised at the amount of dark meat based on the size, this may forever remain a mystery. 
Even the drumsticks didn't contain much meat
Overall rating: 2/5

I’ve also tried the rotisserie chicken here and it was delicious, I still need to try the ribs though, tempted both times I went in but wings got the best of me.  I really hope this was just an off night for them.  Have you had the wings here?  If so, what was your experience like? 

Four months between visits can make a big difference based on both experiences I’ve had here,   I think another visit is in order within another four months just to see if this was a one off experience, I sure hope it was and I will update this post as soon as the verdict is in.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pizazz at Pizza Pizza

Pizza Pizza is one of those places I’ve seen around a lot but haven’t tried anything on their menu until a few months ago and since then I’ve been hooked on their wings.  After a wing craving tonight I decided it was time for a review. 

I placed an order for pickup online (great ordering system by the way) and noticed the order would be free if it wasn’t ready in 20 minutes, I’ve never been the recipient of this type of luck but the wing gods were with me tonight.  I walked in to pick the order up with a few minutes to spare and sure enough the wings weren’t ready yet and they held true to their promise, free wings!  At this point I wish wishing I had have ordered 20 instead of 10, but this is still a victory nonetheless. 

They offer non-breaded and breaded as well as a few different serving sizes – 6 wings for $5.79, 10 for $8.99 and 20 for $15.99, the prices aren’t too bad considering some places charge over $15 for a pound now.  There is no specific wing night however they seem to have frequent specials on larger orders and wings are usually included. 

Breading: 5/5 – An excellent coat with the perfect crispiness, breading doesn’t really get any better than this.
Crispy breading
Overall quality: 4/5 – Sometimes with a crispy breading the meat can get a bit dried out, but not in this case.  The chicken was moist and had a great flavor however there were a few fatty spots strewn about.

Sauce selection: 5/5 – There are 15 different types of sauces to choose from, even though some of the options are questionable with wings, they are still sauces.  If you choose to dip your wings in Seafood or Italian Marinara sauce, I won’t hold it against you.  All of the options come in a little dipping cup to which is convenient.  I wasn’t too risky with my selection so I went with an old favorite – Frank’s Red Hot.

Some interesting choices
Service: n/a – This isn’t a sit down and get waited on type of place so this category is not rated.  Although I will say the guy working didn’t try to give me a hassle about the 20 minute rule, so that was cool. 

Size: 3/5 – There was a range of some pretty good sized wings so some smaller ones, but all in all they balanced out to a pretty standard size. 
Fairly standard size
Overall rating: 4.25/5

Pizza Pizza has become one of my new favorite places for delivery/take out wings, I’m sure I will be placing a lot of orders over the coming months, and I hope some of those orders take longer than 20 minutes.  I went to the location in Cole Harbour and it’s interesting to note this place is right next door to Wing Dings, this is a great plaza for wing choices.


I haven’t really heard from many people that have tried Pizza Pizza but there must be a few around.  Let me know if you’ve tried their wings and what your thoughts are, or if you have any other favorites on the menu.

Debateable at the Delta

After a few weeks of stumbling around the Scotia Square food court trying to decide on what to grab for lunch I noticed a sign for some lunch deals down at the Delta Halifax, wings were on the menu and of course I had to try them.
Delta lunch deals
As you can see on the sign all the deals are ten bucks and the wings are served with house chips, which are delicious.  If you’re more on the hungry side a full pound of wings will run you $17. 

Breading: n/a – Breading is not an option so this category will go unrated. 
Non-breaded, the chips in the background are delicious
Overall quality: 2/5 - This is where it gets tricky.  The first few wings were great, cooked perfectly, nice flavor and minimal grease.  Once I started to dig in to the larger wings it appeared as though a bit more time in the fryer may not have been a bad thing as a few contained more pink meat than I would have liked to see.  I’ve seen veins in other wings which can be expected and they are usually pretty dark, the insides of these larger wings were a bright pink. 
A little on the pink side
Another wing, still too pink for my liking
I know a bit of pink in chicken is technically ok but I get a bit paranoid when I see this.  What are your thoughts – would you have thought twice about this or would you be perfectly fine with it?  Maybe it’s just me. 

Sauce selection: 1/5 – Mild, Medium or Hot are your options.  I went with hot on the side and it didn’t have much of a kick to it.  A few extra sauce options would be nice to see here. 

Service: 5/5 – We were greeted, seated and drinks were offered as soon as we arrived.  Our server was very polite, told us about the specials, drink refills were offered and the meals were out in less than 15 minutes.  All things considered, the service was top notch.

Size: 3/5 – My order contained all drumsticks and they were a pretty average size. 
Average sized wings
Overall rating: 2.75/5

Based on getting a bit bored of the food court (and eating way too much at McDonald’s) I am can see myself going back to the Delta to try more options on the Ten for Ten lunch menu, some of the other lunch options on there sound delicious. 

After tweeting a pic of the full order of wings Delta tweeted back and that’s when we started talking about the details.  I have to say they were very concerned with this and offered for me to go back and try them again, which I plan on doing within the next week and I’ll post an update as soon as I do, I'm really hoping this was just a one off experience.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Halifax Wingman Pizza!

As you may already know, I eat my fair share of wings.  I also enjoy pizza, so a while ago I decided to combine the two and made a chicken wing pizza, this may have been one of the best concoctions I’ve ever came up with. 

There have been two successful wingman pizzas created in the past however I never quite got around to posting anything more than a few pictures.  So, for the third time around I decided to share the details in case anyone was interested.

Here is what I used to create this wonderful masterpiece:

- Pizza dough – I went with the Blue Menu Multi-grain Thin crust (the only kind that was in stock from what I noticed).  I’ve never made pizza dough from scratch and I didn’t want to start now.
- Dave’s Famous Chicken Wing Sauce (hot) – this is used for the base of the pizza.  I've also used Frank's Red Hot Thick sauce in the past, this works nicely as well.
- Wings of course – Crisp and Crunchy Spicy Southern-Style baked and then hand picked.
- Maple bacon – What doesn’t bacon go well with?  Enough said.
- Pepperoni – Chris Brothers mild.
- Red and green peppers
- Jalapeno
- Habanero cheese
- Slivered almonds
Ingredients for a wonderful meal
All of this set me back $42.46, not a cheap pizza by any means.  Keep in mind though I still have lots of ingredients left over.

Steps

1. Bake the wings, I used parchment paper and find this stuff really helps to crisp them up.
All cooked and ready to go
2. Once the wings are cooked (and cooled off) you will then want to start ripping the meat off the bone while making sure not to take too many pieces for yourself, running low on wings is not fun. 
Shredded wings
3. Cook the bacon.  You will want to cook more bacon than you need of course, makes for a great snack while everything else is getting ready.  I choose to crumble a few strips up to use as bacon bits and then cut a few strips in thirds to get good size pieces on the pizza.
Bacon!
3. Cut the pepperoni in to fairly thin slices then fry them up a bit.
Fry these bad boys up
4. Cut the red and green peppers in to strips, I used half of each pepper.  Chop up the jalapeno as you normally would for nice little circles of hotness.  And you'll want the green onions in nice little pieces too.
Vegetables
5. Slap a nice layer of Dave’s on the dough, not too much and not too little.
The assembly has begun
6. Time for the assembly.  Throw on the meat from the wings, peppers, bacon, pepperoni, green onions, a good helping of cheese and top with a few slivered almonds.  The order probably doesn’t matter much here, as long as you start with sauce and end with cheese.
The beginnings of a great pizza
Coming along nicely
Cheese next
7. Throw the pizza on a pizza pan (I couldn’t imagine the mess this thing would deposit at the bottom of the oven) and cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 10 – 15 minutes  and that should be it. 
Ready for the oven
Ready to be consumed
If you ever try this recipe or something along this line, please let me know, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. Curious what other ingredients may go with this as well, I'm sure there could be a variation of some sort that would also include donair meat in there.


Friday, January 17, 2014

HIT @ HFX Sports Bar

After months of anticipation HFX Sports Bar was finally in business on Monday and I was there the minute they opened.  There was a lot of hype leading up to this day and I understood why the second I walked in, the massive screens above the bar area are incredible, and after taking a quick look around you can tell this is an upscale sports bar.  I could get used to this.

We were seated at a table by the bar area and the menus were on the table waiting for us.  I quickly learned that upscale wing prices are also included with the atmosphere - $16/pound!  I was shocked to say the least but of course I had to try them.  You can also get a half pound for $9 and two pounds will run you $28.  There is also no wing night yet however let’s hope that may change sometime down the road. 

Breading: 4/5 – Golden brown and lightly breaded however they could have used a bit more of a crispiness.  A pretty good start overall. 
Wings with 'crudite'
Overall quality: 4/5 – Very juicy with an excellent fresh taste however as I have mentioned many times before generally large wings take a hit when it comes to the quality of the meat.  A few wings contained some dark patches of meat and a bit on the fatty side, but overall they were delicious.

Sauce selection: 5/5 – I was glad to see a decent sauce selection which consists of Simply Mild, Simply Medium, Simply Hot, Simply Insane, Orange & Ginger Pineapple Glaze, HFX BBQ, Roasted Garlic and Honey, Jerk, BBQ Honey Bacon, Sea Salt and Lime as well as Thai Chili. 

They are also served with “crudité” and ranch or blue cheese dressing.  I really had no clue what “crudité” was so I looked it up and learned that it is a fancy term for raw vegetables.  I suddenly feel like I was the only person who was not aware of this term, oh well.

Service: 5/5 – Hiccups are to be expected for any opening night however our server was awesome and very attentive.  I initially ordered a Stella and learned there was a slight problem with the draught taps so it took a while to arrive however she handled it very well.  The food didn’t take long to arrive and she was back numerous times to see how everything was going and if drink refills were needed, and indeed they were. 

Size: 4/5 – The wings varied in size from a few mediocre flatties to jumbo drumsticks, overall they were pretty large though. 
Large drumstick with a mediocre flattie
Overall rating: 4.4/5


This is truly an incredible sports bar and I’m looking forward to returning on Sunday to watch the AFC and NFC Championship games however I think a few additions would be nice to see, including wet naps and some sort of wing discard bucket (sometimes it’s the small things that count).  Also, for being a sports bar, pitchers of beer are always a good thing to share with a group of friends, I’m still slightly confused as to why that is not an option here, hopefully we’ll see this evolve in the future.

Update

It has been quite a while since I've posted a review as I haven't been to many different places for wings recently, just re-visited places I've enjoyed and my focus has been on other things.  I will have a new review posted later today and will continue with at least a couple of reviews a month going forward, thre are still a ton of places to try out there.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Supreme at Swiss Chalet

I was trying to think of a new place to try some wings and was experiencing a bit of "wing block" them it came to me - Swiss Chalet, how did it take me so long to think of that?  A restaurant that specializes in CHICKEN!  I typically go to Swiss Chalet for the all time classic Festive Special and it never fails so off I went.

In my mind I pictured a plate full of non-split wings that were pulled from some leftover rotisserie chickens... I was happy to say I was very very wrong.  8 wings will run you $9.99, and for an extra $0.99 you can get carrots, celery and Blue Cheese.  I'm glad this is not built in to the actual cost as I never eat those and have a fond dislike for Blue Cheese anyway.

Breading: 5/5 – My jaw dropped a bit as the plate hit the table, these wings looked incredible!   They were well coated with a nice golden breading, off to a great start. 
Some delicious looking wings
Overall quality: 4/5 – This was the best tasting chicken I’ve had in a while, very flavorful.  There were a few small tinges of dark meat here and there but other than that they were perfect.

Sauce selection: 2/5 - Mild, Medium, Hot, Chalet BBQ, Sweet Thai chilli or Honey Garlic are you choices, I went with the Chalet BBQ on the side that I barely used, you don’t really need sauce with these wings.

Service: 5/5 – We were greeted promptly, seated within a few seconds and a drink was offered before the server even left the table, this was great as I generally really dislike waiting.  Our server came back to take our orders, made a return trip to see how our meal was and drink refills were offered, she was very efficient and personable, if I owned any type of a restaurant this is the employee I would want working for me. 

Size: 4/5 – These were some pretty good sized wings and the flatties even contained a good helping of meat.
Great size
Overall rating: 4/5

I’ll be sure to return to Swiss Chalet any time of year for wings, I just wish they had a separate section with a big TV that played NFL games, but this is more of a family type restaurant, not a sports bar.


I couldn’t help but notice the chicken staring at me on the counter on my way in and way out.  I’ll admit it was tempting to haul him off the counter and run out but I have a guilty conscience and can’t run very far anyway, so that wouldn’t have ended well.  I’m going to ask where this chicken came from on my next visit as I’d like to place an order for one if possible. 
I need to have this

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Missing My Drink At Moxie's

Moxie’s is one of those places that has a nice upscale feeling type atmosphere to it, this is generally the way with any establishment that has cloth napkins though.  These are the types of places you usually expect a higher level of overall quality as well.  You also wait to be seated and have a choice of heading into the bar or the lounge area during your visit, we chose the lounge for tonight. 

 A pound of wings will run you $10.99 and there are no wing specials. 

Breading: 3/5 – The wings were sparsely coated in a non-crispy fairly light breading but did contain good flavor.
Sparsley coated
Overall quality: 2/5 – The wings were a little on the greasy side, the chicken wasn’t the most flavorful and had that taste like they may have been frozen for a bit.  I was also surprised to see a fair amount of dark meat considering how small the wings were.

Sauce selection: 2/4 – Sauces include Hot, Honey Garlic, Teriyaki and an option for Salt and Pepper which is pretty basic, but oddly enough they are a great combo sprinkled on wings.  I went with the Teriyaki on the side and quickly realized I’m not a fan of the Teriyaki. 

Service: 4/5 – We were greeted quickly, orders taken, food arrived quickly and refills were offered, this is what you expect at Moxie’s, the service was almost perfect.  There was really only slight mishap, probably nothing big to most people but I was a bit disappointed when I left:

I was happily enjoying a beer when I decided to take a quick trip to the men’s room for a moment - speaking of which, it happens to have TV’s above the urinals, you don’t see this too often.  Now that the regular NFL season is almost upon us it’s comforting to know if you happen to be watching a game you can step away for a minute and know you won’t miss a big play. 

Anyway, as I was returning back to the table to wait for the bill I was thinking how clever it was that I strategically left a couple swigs of beer in my glass to enjoy while waiting, but it was nowhere to be found. 

Like I said, not a big deal to a lot of people but if there is still some sort of liquid left in a cup, don’t assume it’s up for grabs all of a sudden.  Pre-emptive beer taking, I was really looking forward to that last little bit. 

Size: 2/5 – These were a little smaller than your average sized wing, not a whole lot of meat.
Smaller than the average wing
Overall rating: 2.6/5

If there was a point category for presentation, Moxie’s would have taken the crown for that one. 

This isn’t the first place that comes to mind when I’m thinking of heading out to watch a game (especially now that the regular NFL season has almost begun) but I did notice a few TVs hanging around, the volume was pretty low though.  I’m not sure if they make it a point to turn it up for any sports events or not, but if so it wouldn’t be a bad spot to check out and try some other food, it’s also nice to know they have a drink special every night. 


You also won’t even miss a play if you have to step away for a minute, but just make sure those last couple of sips in your drink are gone before you do.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lots More to try at Lew Murphy's

I am happy to say my favorite season is finally in full swing.  The summer is a great time for taking mini road trips so after receiving an invite to try the wings at Lew Murphy's (located just a minute off of exit 14 on the 101) I took them up on the offer and planned a recent day around it.

We stopped in on a Thursday afternoon on our way home from a sunny day at the Aylesford zoo and I couldn’t wait to try the wings.  A pound will run you $11.49 and two pounds is only $15.99 – that’s the same price for unlimited wings if you’re feeling hungry on a Thursday night.  

Breading: 3/5 - The wings are lightly dusted in house and had a great flavor however they were not too crispy as they were basted in a bit of butter as I learned after the meal.  More on this later.

Overall quality: 4/5 – The meat had a good flavor and didn’t contain that “frozen too long” taste that we all sometimes come across.  Only one of the drum sticks had a dark patch of meat.  Two wet naps arrived with the order which was nice to see but I couldn’t help but notice a little puddle of what I thought was grease forming on the plate.  This wasn’t too appealing but I later learned why this occurred.

Sauce selection: 2/5 - Mild, Medium, Hot, Honey Garlic, Sweet Thai and Jh Murphy (this is their suicide sauce – “Jesus H Murphy”) are your choices.  I went with the hot on the side and after the first dunk I quickly recognized this as one of my favorites – Dave’s Famous Chicken Wing sauce, you can’t go wrong with that.

Service: 4/5 - We were greeted quickly, food arrived at a reasonable pace, refills were offered and our server was very nice.  The menu has a few unique items on it and I wanted to start with the Brisket Poppers however I was informed they didn’t have any.  Not a huge deal but they sounded so good (you can check out the menu on their site).  I was slightly disappointed to find out at the end of the meal that the Brisket Poppers were actually available, I’ll try them next time I’m there.

Size: 5/5 - These were some pretty big wings, I was very happy to see that the larger wings did not contain a lot of dark meat as they sometimes do.
Overall rating: 3.6/5

I had the opportunity to speak with the owner (Joey) and the chef (Rick) at the end of the meal and it was great, I rarely get that chance.  He had no idea I was there until after the meal.  He mentioned they have their own smoker, all bread is made in house and is also the only restaurant to offer Certified Angus Beef in the area, I was impressed. 

This is also when I learned about the butter basting and a bit on how the wings are prepared.  There was no dry spice choice on the menu and I asked if it may be possible to throw some dry Cajun on if they had any and I was told it would not be a problem.  In order to make the dry spice stick to the wings a little butter was mixed in, so that explains why they appeared so greasy.  Next time I’ll skip the dry spice to enjoy the breading more.


This is the second visit that I have had to Lew Murphy's, the first time was in the “pre Wingman” era and recall the food being delicious back then as well.  I’ll be sure to take a stop in the next time I’m around the area to try a few other items off the menu as I still can’t stop thinking about the Brisket Poppers.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ho-hum at Hugo's

After looking for a new place to try some wings, a small group of us ended up at Hugo’s Bar & Grill which is located in the Shannon Park Plaza.  I havn’t even heard of this place until about an hour before I went there so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but then again, I was pleasantly surprised the last time I ventured to an unknown spot. 

Hugo’s consists of a fairly large open space with a couple of pool tables, and I was surprised when we walked in, a bit after 6:00 PM, that we were the only people there besides a few chancing their luck on the VLTs.  There was also a guy playing guitar and singing on stage, which was very loud even though we sat at the back of the place and still had to talk really loud or lean over and talk directly into someone’s ear to carry on a conversation without just smiling and nodding at every sentence.  

I understand places have live music but I thought that usually waited til a bit later in the evening, but maybe he was just getting warmed up and testing out the speakers.  Even though I could barely hear myself think, I was still wondering why this place was so empty on a wing night. 

An order of a dozen wings is regularly $12.95 but that price drops to $5.00 for their wing night on Thursdays.  The apps are also half off between 5:00 - 7:00 PM on wing night, even though the menu is very limited.

Breading: 2/5 – The wings were coated in a lightly crisp breading and looked great when they arrived minus a few burnt spots here and there, but lacked flavour.
Not the best breading
Overall quality: 2/5 – The wings had potential since they were cooked well and didn’t contain any dark meat, but I couldn’t get over how bland they were, no flavour at all.  A little bit of care during some preparation and perhaps some dry spice mixed with the breading could have went a long way.
Strike 1, 2 and 3
Sauce selection: 2/5 - You can choose between Mild, Medium, Hot, BBQ, Sweet Chili, Honey Garlic for your sauce, even though it arrives in a very small sauce cup, not adequate for dipping at all.  I went with Hot on the side and it was the best part of the meal. 

Service: 3/5 - We were greeted fairly quickly and drink orders were taken however the food took a while to arrive.  A few more people arrived as the night was going on and that’s when I noticed there was only one server for the entire place.  I’m not sure if this is normal for them or not.  Needless to say drinks were taking longer to get and after sitting around for quite a while waiting for the bill we decided to walk up to the bar to pay just so we could get on with our night.

Size: 3/5 - Even though there were a few oddly shaped wings there were still a fairly average size. 
Fairly standard sized wings
Overall rating: 2.4/5

As a side note, a couple people ended up ordering some nachos and I have to say these were the saddest looking nachos I have ever seen; the cheese situation was pathetic as it took all the cheese from the entire order just to coat one chip.  I couldn’t believe it.

Hugo’s may not be the best spot to stop in for a bite to eat based on this experience however it may not be a bad place to stop by for a game of pool and a couple of drinks on the weekend as it has more of a bar than a grill type feel to it, just make sure you’re full before you go.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Unexpected at East Side Mario's

Garlic loaf and salad - as much as you can eat.  That’s what comes to mind when I think of East Side Mario’s and I always tell myself to go easy on that because before I know it the main course hits the table and I’m already full from overindulging, but it's so good.

I took it easy on the garlic loaf this time around to ensure there was enough room to try a pound of wings.  An order will run you $11.99/pound however if you arrive after 8:00 PM you get can all you can eat wings plus the loaf and salad for only $15, not a bad deal at all if you're on the hungry side.

Breading: 4/5 – A light crispy breading fully coated the wings and they looked great, from the outside.
Off to a great start
Overall Quality: 2/5 – The wings looked awesome when they arrived and were grease free.  The first couple of bites were promising and the chicken tasted great, unfortunately that took a quick turn in the wrong direction.
Kind of sludgy in there
I always start a batch of wings by ripping into a flattie for some reason, then move on to the drumsticks.  I’m not sure why but almost all of the drumsticks contained a fair amount of dark meat around the bone.  You may think it’s not a big deal and I’m exaggerating but that’s why I take pics.  Perhaps this isn’t a big deal to some people but I don’t find it overly appealing.
Not the most appealing
Sauce Selection: 2/5 - Mild, Medium, Hot, Honey Garlic or Garlic Parmesan are your options, Blue Cheese is also served with every order by default.  I went with Hot on the side.  I wish you could substitute the Blue Cheese with a different sauce if you aren’t a fan.  They are also served with a couple of carrot and celery sticks, perhaps people who eat those really enjoy dipping them in the Blue Cheese.

Service: 2/5 – We arrived a little after 7:00 PM and the place was still fairly busy but it didn’t take too long to get a table.  A few minutes after we were seated our drink orders were taken and they took a few minutes to arrive. 

The Bud draught arrived in a glass that mimics the look of a can of Bud, kind of a neat concept.  You can purchase the glass for five bucks which I wanted to do but they only had Bud light glasses, I’m not a huge fan of light beer by any means so I didn’t bother with the extra purchase. 

I took a swig and noticed what could potentially be an imperfection in the bottom of the glass (at least I hoped), but with a swirl of the glass and a poke with a knife due to my curiosity the imperfection turned out to be a couple of seeds (sesame or lemon I think) that began floating around. 

I wasn’t sure if I should really say anything or not since I hate bringing things like this to their attention but after a few minutes of contemplating I decided the seeds really don’t belong there so I mentioned it to the server on her next visit to the table and I also mentioned the hair we found in another drink too.  She didn’t give us a hard time at all and new drinks arrived, eventually.

We placed our order which consisted of two pasta dishes and an order of wings (of course) and waited for what felt like a very long time for the food to arrive (around 40 minutes).  It was nice to see a good quality wet nap and two extra napkins arrive at the table before the order.  I happened to have the luxury of being the passenger instead of the driver tonight which has a great benefit – bonus beers!  Well, that would have been great except we weren’t approached during the meal to see how things were or if drink refills were required, so one beer it was.

We waited once again for a long period of time after we were done eating until the bill arrived.  We were finally asked how everything was and I mentioned I didn't really care for the wings too much at all, she mentioned they smelled good. That was the end of that visit.  We were there over an hour in total, I don’t know why everything took so long. 

Size: 4/5 – The wings were a pretty good size, but as I’ve mentioned before it almost always seems like the bigger the wing the more dark meat you get. 
Pretty good sized wings
Overall rating: 2.8/5

I noticed the receipt contained one of those surveys on it so I filled it out and rated the categories for what I felt was appropriate.  I was surprised that the manager contacted me that same night and I called him the next day.  He was very genuine and really felt bad that we didn’t have a great experience and invited us back to give them another try.  I’ll try the wings next time I’m there and I’ll be sure to update this accordingly. 

I truly hope this was just an off night, it is comforting to know that the manager actually cared enough about his restaurant to want to have a conversation with me, that really shows pride so hopefully my return visit will end up being a great wing night, and if I’m lucky enough to no not be driving perhaps extra beer will be in order.

I also wanted to clarify that I don’t enjoy providing negative feedback about anything but this blog is about going out for wings and rating them based on the categories listed above during my visit, unfortunately not all experiences are perfect.  I don’t want anyone to think that I’m saying the same thing will happen to you, I’m just writing about my experience.

I also plan on re-visiting some previously reviewed places in the very near future that may have had an off day as well, stay tuned.

Also, if you have ever had the wings there please let me know, I’d love to hear about your experience as well.  Thanks.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Don't Pass by the Perfect Pour

I ended up at the Perfect Pour on Norm Newman Drive in Dartmouth on a mission to find a new spot for brunch.  This is an easy place to miss but it’s right beside the Rubber Duck car wash and close to the SuperStore on Portland, I’m not sure if I’ve talked to one person that knew where this place was yet but I realized it's a hidden gem.

This was my first visit here and I wasn’t too sure what to expect.  It’s not a big place by any means and as soon as I walked in I felt right at home even though I was probably the only person in there that the staff didn’t know by name.  After the best brunch I’ve ever consumed I knew I had to go back and try the wings, so of course I did. 

The wings are $0.50/wing on Thursday’s and any other time you’re looking at $9.50/pound.

Breading: 5/5 – A well coated crispy breading mixed in with some spices, this was perfect.  After eating a lot of wings over the past couple of years you learn not to take a good breading for granted. 
Some nice looking wings
Overall quality: 4/5 – The wing meat tasted great and was cooked well but they were a bit on the greasy side and some wings contained a bit of dark meat but not enough to discourage me from eating the rest.

Sauce selection: 3/5 - Sauces include Mild, Medium, Hot, Suicide, Sweet Chili, Honey Garlic, Hoagie (mix of Medium and Honey Garlic) and Blue Cheese.  I went with the Hoagie on the side and it was pretty good.

Service: 5/5 – The supper rush was in it’s prime when we arrived however we were lucky enough to find a booth off to the side.  I began to remove my coat in preparation of sitting down when we were approached and asked if we wanted anything to drink, I was impressed right from the get go. 

Shortly after the drinks arrived and the food order was taken, extra napkins, wet naps and a wing discard bucket were all provided before the wings even arrived, I found this to be quite efficient.  Our server was very kind and personable and drink refills were offered, service doesn’t get much better than this and you could tell she took a pride in her job, you don’t see that too often I find. 

Size: 5/5 – The flatties were massive and the drumsticks were pretty huge as well. 
Lots of meat on these wings
Overall rating: 4.4/5

Based on the incredible service and fantastic food I was lucky enough to experience on both visits makes me look forward to returning for many more meals ahead. 

In case you were also wondering about the brunch you can get bacon, ham, sausage, a 6 oz steak, two eggs, toast and homefries for only $11.50, I have to say this brunch was incredible.

If you’ve tried their food and have any favorites on the menu let me know, I’d love to hear about it.  

The "Perfect Pour"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wingman Approved at Wing Dings


I have been looking forward to the opening day of the first wingcentric restaurant in HRM and needless to say I was there on their first full day of operation.  Wing Dings is located at 4 Forest HIlls Parkway in Cole Harbour and with a name like that my expectations were set high, I was hoping they wouldn’t let me down. 

For some reason I was picturing a pub type atmosphere with wings as far as the eye could see however I was surprised when I walked in and realized this is a fairly small place that had more of a family restaurant type feel to it with only a few tables, but I didn’t let that damper my spirit.  It wasn’t overly busy so we took a seat and began to study the menu.

Wings are are a bit on the pricey side at $6.99 for a half pound or $11.99 for a full pound but are well worth the price and you can choose between breaded and non-breaded (no price difference).  You can save yourself a dollar on a two pound order.

Breading: 5/5 – The wings were covered in a healthy coat of a perfectly crisp golden breading, off to a great start already. 
A perfect plate of wings!
Overall quality: 5/5 – Fresh all white meat with a great flavor, the only thing lacking here was any sign of grease, so I can’t complain about that.  Each plate is also served with a carrot stick and a celery stick, I'm not sure if anyone actually eats those though.  

Sauce Selection: 5/5 – This is where the ordering becomes difficult.  With over 100 flavors to choose from it’s nearly impossible to finally settle on just one.  They are broken down into a few different categories such as TailGate Party and Hawaiian Luau, which makes the selection process a bit easier and I was happy to see numerous dry spices to also choose from.

Each additional sauce comes in at $0.99 which can add up quick if you want to try a few different flavors.  I think it would be nice to see a slight discount if you wanted to explore a few different options, with so many to choose from it's hard to settle on just one.  

It's interesting to note that they also encourage you to create your own sauces, I'd be interested to hear if you try this and how it turned out.  

Service: 5/5 – We arrived on the first full opening day so I wasn’t too sure what to expect however I was impressed.  The staff were very polite and efficient and the order didn’t take too long to arrive.  Drink refills were also offered.

Size: 4/5 – These wings were bigger than average but not the biggest I’ve seen which didn’t bother me since I generally find that the bigger wings have a lower quality, bigger is not always better.  
Above average size.
Overall rating: 4.8/5

Even though it felt like a few things were missing such as a bone discard bucket, extra napkins and wet naps when the order arrives, I would still highly recommend this place if you are looking for excellent wings and an abundance of sauces.  I’m looking forward to returning real soon as there are still a ton of sauces I need to try.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Super sized at Sobeys

A morning craving for wings at work a while ago turned in to a drive down to Sobeys as soon as the clock indicated it was lunch time.  It’s a pretty quick drive down the road and I was surprised to see a few others with the same idea as me, it was going to be 13 minutes until the next batch of wings would be ready, but I decided to wait it out and I learned a few interesting facts while waiting around.

I was curious if the wings I was about to consume were the same ones I noticed hanging out in the freezer as I was wondering around killing time, and I was surprised when I was informed that you can’t buy the wings they actually server to customers.  I was thinking they would use Compliments products that you could buy, but I guess not. 

I also noticed there were three varieties of wings to choose from – Crispy Plain, 2nd Degree Hot or Honey Garlic and I was told they cycle daily through six different kinds, the other three are Sweet and Sour, BBQ and Sweet Chili.  I’m not sure if there is a set rolling schedule for this but I’m not a fan of sauce on anyway so I went with the Crispy Plain. 

You have a few options to decide on for the quantity of wings you would like to enjoy – 5 for $4.99, 10 for $8.99, 15 for $12.99 or 25 for $19.99.  There are no regular wing specials, unless advertised in the weekly flyer.

Breading: 5/5 – I was very impressed with the enjoyable crispyness of the golden breading thoroughly covering each wing.

Overall quality: 2/5 – While digging in it wasn’t hard to notice residual feathers along the outer perimeter of a few flatties, nothing extremely protruding but still.  I don’t know the ins and outs of the process when it comes to removing feathers when preparing wings but a few were missed here.  I also found them to be a bit on the greasy side and due to the size of the wings there were a few fatty pieces I had to work my way around.
The pic doesn't do justice but there are residual feathers there.
Sauce selection: 2/5 - You can choose between 2nd Degree Hot, Honey Garlic, Sweet and Sour, BBQ, Sweet Chili. 

As a side note, if you are looking for the frozen boxes of Compliments wings you can find Mild, Buffalo Style, Honey Garlic, Barbecue or Spicy Breaded and a 907 gram box will run you $13.99.

Service: n/a – Category not rated since this isn’t the type of place where you sit down and have your order taken.

Size: 5/5 – These were some jumbo sized wings for sure.  The drumsticks were pretty fat and the flatties also contained a good helping of chicken.
Fat wings.
Overall rating: 3.5/5

I’m hoping the residual feather situation isn’t like that for all batches, and based on the breading alone I know I’ll be back to grab some lunch time wings to find out.  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jam Packed at Jungle Jim's


♫“Swing on in, swing in to Jungle Jim’s”♫ is the jingle played over and over in my head after watching one too many commercials recently, so I took the plunge and finally swung on in.

Jungle Jim’s is a family restaurant with a large menu and an interesting ambiance.  We went in around supper time on a Wednesday and there was a very powerful wing aroma as soon as I stepped through the first set of doors, I was hoping this was going to be a good sign.  We were advised there was going to be about a 10 - 15 minute wait for a seat and even though I’m not the most patient person we decided to wait it out and noticed a lot of people eating wings during that time.

Wednesday after 4:00 PM with a beverage purchase is “Wild Wacky Wing Nite” and that means a pound of wings is only $6.29 or if you’re feeling extra hungry you can get all you can eat wings plus seven different types of appetizers for $15.99.  There is a no sharing rule in affect according to the menu, however it didn’t mention what the penalty may be if you caught breaking that rule.  I was a bit on the hungry side that night so I went with the all you can eat deal and I knew I was going to need something to quench my thirst so I was glad to see a 34 oz draught was only $8.99 which isn’t too bad of a deal at all. 

Breading: n/a – Breading is not an option so this category will not be rated.

Overall quality: 2/5 – There was no dark meat which is good but they had a non-pleasant lingering taste to them, perhaps there were in a frozen state for a while before being cooked. 
Not overly appealing.
Sauce selection: 3/5 - Dry-Spiced, Honey Garlic, BBQ-Style, Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Thai, Mild, Medium, Hot, Suicide or Insanity Style are your sauce choices, I went with the Dry-Spiced on (which was very sparingly I may add) and the Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Thai on the side. 

If you are interested in the Insanity Style your signature will be required on a waiver and they challenge you to devour 8 of them bare to the bone within 10 minutes.  I’m not too sure if you get anything other than bragging rights on their Facebook page, but if that’s your thing this challenge may be for you. 

Service: 5/5 – We were fortunate enough to have an excellent server considering how busy the place was.  Our server made us feel welcome, came back on a few occasions to see how things were going and the food didn't take long at all to arrive.  

Size: 2/5 – The wings were under par in the size department. 
Some skinny wings.
Overall rating: 3/5 - A decent sauce selection and terrific service were the positive points for this review, it's too bad the wings weren't of a higher caliber.  I won’t be swinging back on in to Jungle Jim’s for the food any time soon, but if I do end up back there I’ll be sure to take advantage of that 34 oz draught again.