Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Spot on at Staggers

902 406 3661
Wing Night: Thursday - $0.50/wing
Regular Price: $10.95/pound
Review Date: Thursday October 22nd, 2015

After spending too much time at my favorite establishments indulging in wings and beer over the summer I decided the new review hiatus must come to an end.  The break wasn’t really planned at all, it just happened. 

So last Thursday ‘new to me’ wings were on the horizon, @RichYule@HalifaxRetales and I ended up at Staggers for the 96th review.  It’s a little pub located on Portland St. in downtown Dartmouth with a limited draught selection (I’ve never been one to say no to Moosehead) but big on service. 

In my opinion all pubs should be equipped with at least one pool table so I was very glad to see one here and I took full advantage of it after the meal.  I don’t mind sharing but more than one pool cue would be a nice addition. 

Even though this place isn’t overly large they have a little spot for open mic (and other entertainment I assume), it was nice to see Jeff Bonang strumming away and belting out some tunes.

Wing night is Thursday at $0.50/wing, any other day and you’re looking at $10.95/pound.  I’ve also heard they have some great lunch specials but I have yet to participate, that may change soon.

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

Overall Quality: 4/5 – The wings arrived and didn’t look overly impressive but that tone changed quickly after the first couple of bites. 
Un-breaded with a great crispiness factor
Un-breaded wings can be a hit or miss when it comes to the exterior, a little on the burnt side or slimy but these wings had the perfect crispiness to them.  The meat had a decent flavor and they managed to be moist while lacking grease and didn’t even contain any residual feathers.  Needless to say I was pretty happy.

Sauce Selection: 2/5 – A standard mix of sauces including Mild, Medium, Hot, Honey Garlic, Sweet Thai Chili and BBQ are your options. 

I ordered my sauce on the side but noticed some sort of sweetness to the wings for some reason and wasn’t sure where this was coming from.  I later learned when sauce is ordered on the side they toss them in a secret blend of dry spice to give them that little extra flavor.  I was glad to hear this because it made a huge difference to me, I’d like to see this mentioned on the menu.

Service: 5/5 – Their Facebook page mentions great service but I believe that is an understatement.  With one person working the bar and serving the food I was very impressed with how quick wings and multiple beverages arrived. 

She was polite and never seemed bothered anytime we ordered an extra beer (and there were a few) even though we were one of the furthest tables away from the bar.  That may not sound like a big deal but I’m sure everyone has been in a situation where you feel like you’re more of a bother than anything, but this didn’t happen here.

Size: 4/5 – Each wing contained a pretty good portion of meat.
Pretty good sized wings
Overall Rating: 3.75/5

Even though breading is my preferred way to go I would be more than happy to stop in to Staggers whenever I’m around the area again for a pound of wings and a cold Moosehead to wash them down.  I’m sure I’ll also try my luck at a game of pool afterwards, and I won’t mind sharing the pool cue.

Monday, October 19, 2015


Well, it's been a few months since a new review has been posted.  I've still been eating a ton of wings but mainly at the same places, nothing new for a while. 

So it's time to head back out to the unknown once again and check out some wings that I have yet to try.  New reviews will be on their way very soon.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mangled at Maxwell's

Twitter: n/a
Facebook: No official page
902 423 5090
Wing Night: Wednesday - $4.99 for 9 or $8.99 for 25
Regular Price: $8.95 for 9 or $16.95 for $25
Review Date: June 29th, 2015
Rating: 1/5


Those were the sounds of the good ol days at Maxwell’s, walking in and finding your way to a table with peanut shells coating the floor.  We would make sure to stock up on these peanuts at the bar before taking a seat and ordering the double hamburger with fries for $0.88, the purchase of a $1.89 Plum Pale Ale was also required of course.  

This was normal and expected at that time, crack open the peanuts and shove the shells to their new found home on the floor, this place was probably a nightmare for anyone with allergies to these tasty treats.  I imagine they went through quite a few brooms back then as well. 

Needless to say there were good memories made at this place but enough reminiscing.  After taking a walk by the other evening with my hunger scale on the high side I figured it was time to take another visit and check out the wings.

The menu lists 9 ‘pieces’ for $8.95 or 25 for $16.95.  Pieces?  I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into but I was assured the wings were good and popular on wing night which is Wednesday.  If you’re brave enough to order them wing night prices are $4.99 for 9 or $8.99 for 25. 

I took a seat at the bar, ordered a personal sized pitcher and proceeded with my order.  I will be sure to never make this mistake again. 
You may need a few of these to wash the wings down
Breading: n/a – No breaded wings here so this category will not be rated.

Overall Quality: 0/5 – I believe this is the second time ever that this category has not earned a point.  I look for the positive side in everything but I couldn’t seem to find much here. 
To start with, look at these wings!  I was in shock.  I don’t mind non-split wings so that wasn’t a problem but they just look bad from the get go.  I understood why they label them as pieces in the menu now, some of these things don’t really resemble a wing. 
Not overly appealing
It doesn’t take a self-proclaimed wing connoisseur to determine they look quite dried out but while staring in disbelief and thinking about this situation I knew I had to take a bite eventually.  They may not be appealing to look at but maybe these will be the best tasting things ever!  Well, that was short lived, I took a bite and almost spit it out.

The chicken did not have a very pleasant flavor to say the least, it was actually quite horrible.  Well they can’t all be that bad so I grabbed wing number two.  That wasn’t any better so that’s all I had. 

Sauce Selection: 1/5 – Hot or Honey Garlic are your options.  I went with the hot but that didn’t even mask the taste.  I did have sauce on the side as I always do but I’m not even sure if there would be any improvement if they were coated in sauce.  On the positive side of things they sauce dish was a pretty good size.

Service: 2/5 – I arrived around 7:20 on a Monday so the place wasn’t busy at all but most things seemed to take a bit longer than they should have.  

I was provided a menu fairly quickly and the drink followed shortly thereafter.  I took a quick look at the menu, closed it and placed it aside but it seemed to take a bit before my order was placed.  The wings eventually arrived, I tried two and pushed the plate of side.  They sat there for quite some time before anyone came over.  

Once the server came over to check on me she asked how they were and I was honest.  She was cool and there was no charge for the wings on my bill thankfully.  I would have liked to have stayed for another beer but decided that wasn’t a good idea and promptly evacuated. 

Size: 1/5 – This category earns a point because there was meat on the pieces.  Not much, but there was some there. 
Not even sure what to say here
Overall rating:  1/5 (4 points earned over 4 categories rated)

Well, I am glad that experience is over.  It’s unfortunate that this one didn’t fall in to the good memory category but you can’t win em all. 

Perhaps this was an off night, their supplier changed, someone grabbed the soup stock instead of the right pieces, I don’t know what happened but I really hope this isn’t the same wing experience everyone has here. 

I do have so say that Maxwell’s does have some excellent specials (food and drink) every day of the week.  Where else can you find a pound of mussels for $2.99 on a Sunday or $24.99 for 80 oz. of different draught selections every night of the week? 

Now I’m curious.  Have you had the wings at Maxwell’s lately?  If so, how did you like them?  There must be some Maxwell’s wing fans out there and I’d love to hear from you.  I’m sure I’ll be back to Maxwell’s someday down the road, but next time I’ll be sure to stick with the drink menu.  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Astounding at the Argyle

1575 Argyle St, Halifax

902 492 8844
Wing Night: n/a
Regular Price: $12 for a dozen wings
Review Date: June 8th, 2015
Rating: 3.75/5

The Argyle is a place I’ve had many fun nights at, especially on the rooftop patio during the summer, however I’m generally more thirsty than hungry when I arrive so I made a point to sit down inside (due to the stupid weather) and have a meal accompany my beverage this time around.

They have a great menu selection and I’ve heard their burgers are top notch but I didn’t have much of a choice for my food selection when I noticed wings on the menu.  

Wings are decently priced at $12 for a dozen and there is no wing night which is unfortunate.  

Breading: n/a – The wings aren’t breaded so this category won’t be rated.

Overall Quality: 5/5 – These wings looked awesome as soon as soon as they landed in front of me.  I’ve had my fair share of non-breaded wings however sometimes I find they can be more on the slimy side of the scale, thankfully this was not the case here.
Delicious non-breaded wings
They had the perfect crispiness to them and yet the meat wasn’t overcooked and they had a mouthwatering fresh taste to them.  I learned they are flash fried for a few minutes and then thrown on the grill for a bit, seems like a wing magic trick to me. 

Sauce Selection: 2/5 – Hot, BBQ, Greek (dry spice) or Thai are your options.  I went with the Thai which seemed to be a standard Sweet Chili Thai type of sauce however I didn’t even want to use the sauce, these wings didn’t need any. An extra sauce will run you an extra $1.

Service: 5/5 – I took a seat at the bar and was quickly greeted, my drink order was taken and a menu was handed down.  The server was polite, wings didn’t take long to come out and drink refills were offered.  No complaints in this department. 

Size: 3/5 – A typical sized wing however I’m afraid if they were any larger it may have interfered with the quality.  People sometimes go on about how big the wings are at some places but that doesn’t always mean they are better.  I’d rather go for quality like this any day.   
Quality over quantity
Overall Rating: 3.75/5 (total of 15 points divided by four categories they were rated on)

I have to admit there are times I don’t like my own rating scale and this is one of them.  I feel they deserve a higher score but this is the rating system I’ve been using for a while so it’s only fair.  There may be some changes coming to this after the 100th review. 

I’ve had many good nights at the Argyle and now that summer is finally here (I think?) I’m looking forward to enjoying more of these wings, perhaps next time it will be under the sun on the best rooftop patio the city has to offer. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

On Point at The Old Triangle

902 492 4900
Wing Night: n/a
Regular Price: $14/pound
Review Date: May 25th, 2015
Rating: 3.6/5

Relaxing on a patio enjoying some food and beverages on a warm sunny day is such a great thing, and here in Halifax that window of opportunity doesn’t stay open long enough, so today’s lunch adventure took us to The Old Triangle to take advantage of just that.

The Old Triangle is an Irish pub situated in a nice location downtown and if anyone may recall, my favorite wings once found their way out of a kitchen in an old Irish pub that is no longer with us, so my wing anticipation was high.   

I’ve been here a few times over the years, but never during the lunch hour.  Their menu selection is great and it was nice to see ‘Aer Wingus’ as an option, needless to say that is what I ordered. 

The wings are $14/pound which is a mid-range price these days and there is no wing night, that's a shame because these wings were delicious.

Breading: 5/5 – Nicely coated and crisp with a nice crunch that seemed a bit different than your typical breaded wing.  I’m not sure exactly what their secret is but they sure did a great job (Panko like perhaps?).
Beautiful looking plate of wings with no shortage of sauce
Overall Quality: 4/5 – The juicy meat had a nice fresh taste to it and didn’t have any of those dark patches that I dislike however I did find the wings contained a fair bit of fatty pieces for their size.

Sauce Selection: 1/5 – The wings are served with homemade Jack Daniel's sauce and that’s the only option.  The sauce had a great flavor however it would be nice to see some other options with a bit more heat to them as this would be a nice compliment to the wings.  I ordered the sauce on the side and there was certainly no shortage.

Service: 5/5 – We were seated quickly and our drink orders were taken however after a short wait we were notified that our draught would not be arriving due to some updates they have been working on all night, that was a legitimate answer as we could see the service truck parked on the street beside us.  No fear though, bottled beverages were still an option.

The food took about 20 minutes to arrive which wasn’t too bad considering there were six of us.  Our server was awesome, very personable and took a few visits to offer refills and see how we were enjoying our lunch.  The service experience couldn’t have been any better.

Size: 3/5 – Both the flatties and drumsticks were a fairly standard size, not too big and not too small.
Not too big, not too small
 Overall Rating: 3.6/5

This is one of these times I don’t feel the rating scale justifies the wings, the reason the score is lower than is should appear is due to the one sauce selection option. 

Once the 100th review is complete (this makes the 93rd if my calculations are correct) I think it may be time to revamp the rating scale.  I’m thinking of keeping the same categories but putting more weight to certain ones.  I’m not the best person when it comes to math so I may need to consult a mathematician in the near future to see how I could make this happen.

The Old Triangle is a great spot whether you’re looking for a bite to eat during lunch or heading for a night out.  I will be back in the very near future for more wings and to do my part ensuring the work on the taps was well worth the downtime.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nailed It at Niche

902 423 6632
1505 Barrington St, Halifax
Wing Night: n/a
Regular Price: $10.95/pound
Review Date: March 8th, 2015
Rating: 4/5 

After receiving a recommendation to try the wings at Niche Lounge I decided to check them out on a Tuesday after work, and I didn’t leave disappointed. 

Niche is an awesome spot at the bottom of the Maritime Centre with an excellent atmosphere and a great patio, warm weather can’t come soon enough to take advantage of that.

The menu described the wings as “fresh buttermilk wings, hand breaded”, which only increased my anticipation to try them. 

Niche prices their wings at $10.95/pound There aren't any wing specials on offer, however they do have select half price appetizers from 4:00 – 6:30 PM daily (wings not included).

Breading: 5/5 – The coating isn’t thick, however that’s not the goal here.  The wings are hand breaded and they do a great job - flavorful and light with a perfect crisp to it, just the way they intended. 
Nice presentation

I inquired about what the breading consists of and I was told “flour, Cajun spice and a dash of love”.  These are essentials to any breading.

Overall Quality: 5/5 – I was genuinely impressed with the overall quality and flavor of the wings, fresh and not greasy. 

I later learned they are brined for a few hours beforehand, brining is a magical step to include when preparing wings, it always brings the flavor and juiciness out.

Sauce Selection: 2/5 – Fairly standard sauce options with Mild, Hot, Sweet Chili or Barbecue.  Based on the quality of the wings I think a couple of unique sauces would be really nice to see here. 

Service: 5/5 – We took a seat at the bar, menus were handed down and drink orders were taken.  The three orders of wings came out in less than ten minutes (very impressive, almost too quick).  Our server was attentive, never ignored us and drink refills were offered and happily accepted.

Size: 3/5 – A standard sized wing which goes back to my theory that bigger wings are generally a bit lower in the overall quality section.  These wings weren’t massive but the quality was huge. 
Bigger in quality than size

Overall Rating: 4/5

I was very impressed with the wings at Niche and they have one of the best happy hours around – an 18 oz. draught is only $3.25 after 4:00 PM every day.  I have a feeling I will be back for many wings and beverages on the patio in the very near future, if the weather ever decides to co-operate.