May 13, 2014 10:39 am

The search for Saskatoon’s best wings

Kevin Stanfield / Global News

Who has the best wings in Saskatoon?

We’ll get to the meat and potatoes (hold the taters, please) in a moment; there was plenty of pontificating to do beforehand. What makes a good chicken wing? What defining criteria will generate a winner?

For me, it’s all across the board. It’s easier to just tell you what I liked and don’t like than it is to judge them based on a “perfect wing” – especially since I don’t know what a perfect wing is.

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What was decided was that I should have a staple wing flavor everywhere I go, then something of a finer signature; that said, I’ll be swinging for the fences with medium.

It’s also worth noting that the atmosphere of the restaurant is important. How was the service? Is it a brighter or a darker eating space?  That’s important for wingers; nobody wants to sit across from someone with a face covered in sauce unless they’re in a high chair. The darkness helps.

Without further adieu …

Saskatoon’s best wing winner is… – July 11

What a journey it’s been.  I’m fat now, so you know.  Well, okay, fine, you can watch on TV and know I’m being facetious but I’m soft in the midsection.  So there’s that.

And I did it for you, loyal readers.

This whole idea bloomed like one of those rare flowers that only pops out of its bulb for five minutes in its lifetime.  Think 1993’s blockbuster Dennis the Menace, starring Walter Matthau.  It wasn’t there one minute and then it existed.  Those are the best kinds of adventures to go on.

I had a couple of people inquire as to whether Shaw was paying for this – the answer is no; given how sporadically this concept came to be, I couldn’t place expectations on my employer to shove meal tickets my way.   Each and every one of my 15 stops was entirely out-of-pocket, a testament to my enjoyment of wings, though I’d still like to show gratitude to Shaw’s brass, who both followed and supported this mission.

On that note, thank you for your support and for following along.  It’s been a long and winding road, filled with sauce-under-the-fingernails.

Let’s get to the champs!

As the top article mentions on this blog, the criteria were, I thought, well-defined (and not just because I defined them):

  • There is no such thing as a “perfect wing,” as it’s subjective
  • The atmosphere and staff are important to the experience
  • The “juice worth the squeeze” principle, pertaining to price-point

Okay… so when it came to final judgments, I read through everything again, looked at the pictures and all that fun stuff.  I want to highlight that I wasn’t let down along the journey all that often.  Saskatoon, you know good chicken wings.

Third place is a tie.  Bridges and Somewhere Else both put out great products at great prices and with great tastes.

Second is Rain.  That whole “ten bucks for all the wings you can eat” thing really sold me into the realm of hating myself for eating so heavily.

The winner, by a nose: Beily’s.  Ten bucks on a Thursday filled me to the brim, with a great taste that made me keep eating well into the compulsive range.

As I’ve said in this blog before, quoting Louis CK: “The meal’s not over when I’m full, the meal’s over when I hate myself.”  I hated myself after you, Beily’s.  I hated myself so good.

I need to give an honourable mention, once again, to the Saskatoon Club.  Their wings were spectacular, but because they aren’t publicly accessible, I can’t give them a better nod.  Still, if you get the chance, get the wings!

Again, thank you for joining me on this quest.  I hope you had some fun with the read-up.  I know I had a blast writing it.

 

Tony Roma’s – July 9

Well, I bombed this one pretty hard.  Apparently, the wing night at Tony Roma’s is in fact on Monday.  Monday does not equal Wednesday.

Alas, I said this was the last week and I meant it and the primary criteria for Saskatoon restaurants to be ‘entered in this contest’ is having a wing night, so, wings were had.

Did I fail to mention that Tony Roma’s has but one flavour on the menu?  It’s buffalo, which is always my pick at restaurants anyhow, so, good on you, Tony Roma’s.

The one-flavour wing night concept makes me miss the good old days of McDonald’s having a single menu item at a reduced price each day. I’ve eaten far too many Big Macs.

I digress, the flavour arrived and the presentation was lovely, as the picture suggests.

My self-conscious lightning concerns were ambivalent here, depending on whether you sat in the centre of the bench like a normal person or in the far back corner like a plotting super villain.  Bottomless soda pop is a sure winner wherever I go.

My companion, Curtis Anderson of Shaw, now with Cruz FM, found himself getting a good sweat on with these puppies and I can’t blame him.

It was among the ‘buffaloiest’ buffalo wings I’ve ever tasted.  Very strong flavour, excellent aftertaste, good crisp and nubs were all there (I’m lying on this last point, because I don’t know what I’m talking about).

Overall, it was a really satisfying wing.

As with before, I’m saving the winner for later, but Tony Roma’s, you know what you’re doing with chicken wings.

wings-KS

Beily’s – July 3

Thursdays are a toughie. It seems to be the most common day of wing deals. Not that it’s a problem, but it really elongates the process! I think that by next Friday, I’ll be ready with the adjudication.

It’s been a long, fattening road, but I regret nothing. Except this softness in the midsection that makes me become the “I’ll just have a salad” guy at any other restaurant I go to.

Yesterday was Beily’s. 5 bucks gets you a pound of wings, the flavor options were pretty slick, and on the waitress’s recommendation, I gave sweet chili another try. More on that in a moment.

Beily’s has the patio thing going on, and on the inside, it’s got a pretty solid wing-consuming atmosphere. I like my cave-like darkness while I’m stuffing the maw full of meat coated in sauce.

Service there was great, and frankly, I was shocked at the size of the crowd. It was nearly empty, to the point where I was the only one eating inside, with about 5 tables full up on the patio! I suppose I went around 5:30, but that’s not that early!

The surprise comes from this place being a gem. Seriously.

The wings were of a great size, great amount of sauce, great-tasting sauce, and just enough crispiness on the outside to give ‘em a slight crunch. By the last few in my 2 pounds, I was feeling stuffed, and in a good way!

Wings-Beilys

On several of my journeys, the fullness comes at the expense of the oil used, but not so much this time around.

The waitress admitted she was alarmed by my ordering the sweet chili after saying I didn’t like the flavour. Not untrue. This time around, however… oh man. So good. I enjoyed the buffalo even more.

Beily’s has entered the top 3, though I won’t say where! Tune in for the wrap-up next Friday!

 

Hudson’s – June 29

It was an unexpected encounter with some of the best wings I’ve had to date.  I went to Hudson’s with my friend, Jordan, to meet with Seth Armstrong from Rock 102, and enjoy the Saskatchewan Roughriders’s shellacking of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

What do I find on the table? One of those little plastic doohickeys that usually has a wad of paper stuffed in it, outlining a couple of drink specials in a font that’s strikingly similar to Comic Sans. Not here, though – here, it was a polished little evergreen slip that said “Beer and wings, ½ price on game days.”

After they used the defibrillator on me (I got too excited) I ordered up a pound of buffalo and a pound of the “flavour of choice” – for this location, that flavour was maple whiskey barbecue.

And holy heck, was it ever a gooder.

Wings-Hudsons

The flavours looked like they’d be a tossup between oily and non, with positive results.  I was kept silent as a church mouse during the affair of the meal, wasting not a noise or a moment to speak over the deliciousness.

The Hudson’s buffalo easily cracks the top 3, and the “signature flavour” now includes the maple whiskey barbecue. It was like eating a 4th of July picnic. Very sweet, with a little taste of smoke. Perfect.

Does Hudson’s outrank our current champion, Bridges? I can no longer say! We’re coming close to the conclusion, after all! But you should definitely check them out. They know what they’re doing!

Go Riders!

 

Boston Pizza – June 25

I had some people tell me that I should work the chain restaurants, as well as the not-so-chain restaurants, for the sake of this challenge I’ve undertaken.

Boston Pizza, therefore, warrants a mention, especially since they did some amazing stuff for Camp Easter Seal yesterday.

Boston Pizza knows exactly how to do ambiance for a wing night. The lighting was great, the wallof TVs gave me something to do, and the company (which, in the case of me being there for a charity cause was the staff) was awesome.

As for the wings, they do have a buffalo flavour (apparently, everywhere does, if you ask… that’s a pleasant takeaway from all this) and it’s one of the best; just spicy enough! I also tried the chili lime, which is a big hit there and with plenty of people, but, since I’m already neck-deep in a flavour discussion, isn’t my thing.

Wings-BP

Yeah. I said it. I don’t give a care about chili lime.

They were meaty, but not too meaty and saucy, but not too saucy.

They crack the top 5, but because BP’s doesn’t offer up a wing night, I’m afraid they’re not in true contention. Have the perogy pizza instead. You’ll thank me!

 

Winston’s – June 17

I told you I owed you one, wing lovers! Then, I gave you two. Phew! My belly’s happy.

Tuesday night was Winston’s. And a first date, because nothing says “great first impression” like gorfing chicken. The service was a little slow, as it was rather busy.

We ended up getting a new waitress because the first was preoccupied with a slew of other tables. They were very kind, despite their trials, and I wasn’t in a rush.

No harm done, but for those of you who are in a hurry, this one might be tricky. Quoting Gretchen Wieners from Mean Girls: “I can’t help it if I’m popular.”

And for good reason.

The wings arrive, and my eyes widen a little. They’re presented by the pound on these platters, they’re meaty, they’re slathered in sauce (well, the buffalo was) and, at a first glance, I’m getting a little sketched out.

I’ve seen sauces like this at a few places, at least, by the look of it. I’m expecting to go home, eat a piece of bread, then drink three glasses of water so I’m not walking with a hunched back the next day. They seemed oily, buttery.

Wings-Winstons

Then I ate them.

Suddenly, they weren’t anymore, and were, in fact, the best-tasting buffalo yet. Yep. I went there. Sorry, everybody else.

Their lemon pepper left a lot to the imagination, with minimal taste compared to some others that I’ve had, but meh. Chicken. Lots and lots of chicken. I was content.

Great portions for 5 bucks a pound. Great size. Great taste. Is it the new winner?

…. I won’t say. I’m keeping the truth a secret until we meander our way to the very end of this, and we’re coming close! Only 5 more stops on my journey… want a say in which one?

Leave a comment here, or on Facebook, or get me on Twitter @StanfieldGlobal and we’ll wrap this up with style!

Original Joe’s – June 16

Hi, faithful wing-friends! As you may have gleaned from watching the show, I was off for a few days last week with a sprained ankle. In the spirit of “keeping off it” I missed every single wing night I wanted to check out last week.

I’ll make it up to you by announcing the theme of this one: meat sweats. Did I mention I’m single, ladies?

Anyhow, Original Joe’s has a pretty solid wing night. Four bucks gets you a pound, and you need to buy a drink with it, which is what you were going to do anyhow. Don’t lie.

Wings-Original-Joe

The menu doesn’t have either of the flavours I’ve been going for (as we all need a reminder, those are lemon pepper and buffalo), but if you ask, buffalo is easily arranged; I’m not telling any tales out of school when I say that this was the best buffalo I’ve had yet.

For a second flavour, the Caribbean Jerk was recommended, and I accepted the challenge. Thing is, it’s not generally going to be my first pick in the realm of chicken wing flavours, and while it was good, it was 7-year-old fridge artwork good. You enjoy it, but you’re never going to get it framed and hung above the mantelpiece.

Great amount of spice, the price was right, the size of the wings was great… however, I don’t think that OJ’s has unseated our current champion. Next up: Winston’s! (I owe you guys, after all).

Bridges – June 5

Full disclosure, wing blog followers; it turns out that eating 10 pounds of wings week 1, and another 8 pounds week 2…. yeah, that didn’t feel so good.

It wasn’t ‘sick day’ bad, but I have had to slow it down dramatically in order to continue enjoying the process. That means that this will be going on for a little while, because I want to do as much justice as possible to the amazing wing places we have here.

Please continue sending in suggestions!

Here’s the list so far:

  • Montana’s
  • Rain
  • Fox and Hounds
  • Bell and Whistle
  • Somewhere Else
  • Saskatoon Club
  • Dublin’s
  • Yard and Flagon
  • Bridges

Lots more to choose from, so let me have it!

Yesterday, I went to Bridges with veteran Bridger Joelle Tomlinson, along with her friend and boyfriend, all of whom are born and raised Saskatonians; they eagerly looked around and recognized a fair dozen people each. Each. To call this one a popular spot is an understatement.

They did note that a recent rash of violence in the area seemed to be diminishing the usual crowds; that Bridges was more prone to being absolutely packed, to the point of seating becoming near-impossible to find if you were late to the party.

The service was good, but it followed that expectation of “you’ve been here before, don’t act like you haven’t” with regards to their policy: the wings are 15 cents apiece, but you need to buy a drink first.

That’s perfectly reasonable. However, as one who is working to not drink pop or alcohol for a little while (again, those two weeks of wings did a number on my stomach!), I passed my drink off to Joelle, who wasn’t ordering wings. Fair trade.

I just wanted water, anyhow. So, after the drinks girl had served us, the wings girl came by to take our order. I went for a pound of creamy Greek and my usual pound of buffalo.

I’ve already mentioned a slightly contemptuous waitress, but I’d like to focus on this factor next: they delivered my two pounds in one basket.

Were they low on baskets? A little bit of differentiation would have gone a long way, and the creamy Greek sauce drenched the bottom and created two flavours that weren’t all that different from one another.

However, the flavour they created was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Wings-Bridges

We have an undoubted new champion.

The buffalo flavour was perfectly zippy and didn’t leave poor ol’ me sweating and/or heaving for breath, the creamy Greek was in a league of its own. I gobbled my two pounds with record speed and felt incredibly satisfied by the end of it.

Also, the rule is you need to order a drink; it’s not by the pound. So, for $3, I was stuffed. Plus Joelle’s drink and a tip, I walked out $10 later feeling unbelievably satisfied.

By the end of it all, the biggest threat one faces is finding a spot to sit and enjoy, but it’s no wonder why. I can’t wait to go back to Bridges.

 

May 29 – Bell and Whistle

Wing Blog.  Part… 6?  7?  Part A LOT.

This time, it was Bell and Whistle. We (my parents and I) were a day late for their Wednesday Wing Night, but hey, my parents were buying, so I indulged.

The staff was friendly, the service, quick. My parents also followed suit and ordered wings, because apparently, I made them sound tasty. How were they?

They were big’uns. I ordered my usual 2 pounds and could get through only one of them before my stomach said “Yeah, let’s just stick a pin in this.”

For the record, that’s a good thing. Who doesn’t love bang for their buck? They were also juicier than the sort of gossip that makes Perez Hilton fly up walls. Yum.

As far as the flavours go, they were pretty ‘eh.’ Don’t get me wrong, that buffalo was phenomenally zippy at first, but it didn’t follow the zip with anything that made me sweat. That’s okay, I guess.

The waitress told me that if I was going to rock a “signature flavour,” the chili lime was my best choice. I’m sad to say that I got a lot of lime out of it, but not so much chili; I mean this in the context of, “man, this feels like someone dipped it in lime juice and said ‘have at ‘er.’”

Overall, Bell and Whistle absolutely gets an “I’ll be back.” I’ve done the Saskatoon Club’s fresh chicken, and that was tasty, but for meat, Whistle wins it. Granted, they haven’t knocked Rain off the podium!

May 26 – Fox & Hounds Pub

We’re back!  I needed a third week for this one, on account of missing quite a few important stops.  Actually, I’ll need a fourth week: the saga continues.  Last night, I met a swathe of pals at Fox & Hounds, where I’ve winged it up before.

It was a great time!  We discussed hockey, a little politics, and weekend shenanigans… guy stuff!  What never came up, so far as I could tell, was the wings we were eating.

I ate two pounds, lemon pepper and buffalo.  The lemon pepper were straight-up fried wings that someone dumped spice on.  The spice was delicious.  To be fair, the basest compound of the wing was as well; they’re meaty.  Still, as far as presentation goes, cue the Debbie Downer music from the SNL skit.

The problem with the wings here is the weight one feels eating them. Cue the buffalo flavour, which was only so tasty… by the time I got to them, they just felt heavy. It was like I’d washed them down by drinking thick cream, to the point where I’m still feeling “off.”

I couldn’t finish the buffalo. The sauce itself was a touch creamy, sure, but I think it came down to whatever oil they were using.  It left me feeling sad.

Wings---Fox-Hounds

The young lady who serviced the table got more than a few raised eyebrows from my company after making comments that were reminiscent of a 14-year-old sassing her pa.  I know I sound curmudgeonly, but the expectation that one should receive a modicum of kindness when one requests to not be served beer instead of judgment.

That’s a condition, by the way – 35-cent wings at Fox & Hounds, with the purchase of a beverage. Turned out I was right, too – I could have ordered a soda! Either way, the deal with the drink is still one heck of a deal.

The wings there are of a good size and quality, but my stomach, which has been nothing short of abused over the past two weeks, couldn’t handle this one.

I’d go back, if I had a hankering for wings on a Monday.  The price for a beer and two pounds was right, after all.  That’s Warman, just north of Circle.

 

May 21 – Somewhere Else

Of all the places I’ve gone to so far, few have been so widely appreciated and shouted back my way than Somewhere Else Pub and Grill, in the Avalon Plaza on Broadway.

The people who love it, love it, that’s for absolute certain.  It wasn’t hard to see why, either.

First, let’s start with the atmosphere. It had a Cheers-y vibe. Vibe. Not look. You won’t keep the shine on the bar with the sleeve of your coat, probably, nor will a wise man named Norm be available to dispense half-cocked advice.

However, as a first-timer to the establishment, all I could really do was drink this phenomenon in and take a seat. I felt welcome, even though I’d arrived rather early and my company, our jack-of-all-spades reporter Joel Senick, hadn’t yet pulled in.

The staff helped add to this atmosphere, too. Very, very friendly! The long and short: I was pleased.

How about the wings? At $6 a pound, it was about the price one expects from a wing night. Maybe it brushed to the higher edge in the pricing spectrum. Maybe.

As for taste, I went with medium, and, at my waitress’s recommendation, the hot n’ sexy. Their medium was the best I’ve had so far. Granted, this doesn’t include ‘buffalo’ flavours, but it had just the right amount of sting (2 hornets worth) and a good flavor.

Wings-Somewhere-Else

The hot n’ sexy started off with a nice sweet bit, and then quickly tried to punch my taste buds in the most enjoyable way imaginable. 5 hornets worth of pain. They didn’t make me sweat, but they might have if there were more of them!

Which brings me to my final point. Portion size. Was I filled by 2 pounds? Eh. Sort of. Could I have easily gorfed a third? What about a fourth? Absolutely.

These two pounds didn’t get any dad noises out of me, and in the immortal words of Louis CK, “The meal isn’t over when I’m full, the meal is over when I hate myself.” I wasn’t either of those things.

The verdict: we are not calling Somewhere Else the knockout element for Rain. It’s really, really close, though, in that heartbreaking territory where you’re gunning for the gold in figure skating but walk away with the silver because the one judge hates sequins.

It’s definitely worth the drive to the Avalon Plaza.

 

The Saskatoon Club – May 16

Friday was a different one. Yes, this blog is all about finding the best wing in the city. However, this one wasn’t as accessible as the others likely are.

I’m talking about the Saskatoon Club, where one can only come by means of an invitation from the club itself, or as a guest of a member. Mildly inconvenient, but hey, I get it.  Well, sort of… I “get it” in the context of exclusivity. That’s where the line gets drawn.

The gentleman that showed me around was exceptionally kind, but he was also honest. Like about how I wasn’t allowed to wear jeans in any room but the one I was eating. Boy, was my face red.

I had a nice jacket on, but I may as well have had a helicopter pinwheel hat on for all the propriety that I displayed. I found myself saying “indeed” a lot, too.

I should have worn my glasses to the Saskatoon Club. They’re dilapidated and one lens is held in place by a Frankenstein-esque bolt, but sometimes it pops out. Surprise monacle! You’re envious of my classiness. I can tell.

To the chicken. Mm. Tahitian Lime (dry) and Buffalo (not dry). The wings were very fresh, and the meat was tighter to the bone than I was used to. The texture didn’t take away from the taste, but it was certainly different than the meatier variety that I was used to.

Can I just say that adding a vegetable side to any wing dish just makes it better for me? Seriously. That happened.

Tahitian Lime was one of the best flavours I’ve ever tasted, anywhere. I don’t know how they spiced it, but it punched you in the tongue with tang, then smoothed it out with something that bordered on sweet. The Buffalo did the same, but replace the senses with “sweet” and “spicy.”

All in all, we have ourselves a brand new front-runner – but should we? This isn’t public access, so I don’t know if it’s fair to toss it to them. At this point, it’s an honourable mention with Rain still in the lead.

That said, if you get the chance to visit the Saskatoon Club, or you know someone who’s a part of it, get involved, and get yourself some of the best wings I’ve ever had.

 

Dublin’s – May 15

Ah, Dublin’s. When I lived on Pendygrasse, my Thursdays were always filled with social activities, and I rarely got the chance to pop by for half-price wings. This led to much harrumphing on my end, but it also helped me appreciate them all the more.

The atmosphere’s pretty good. It’s a bar, after all, so the lighting’s perfect for slopping wing sauce on one’s face. Granted, over the three previous days that the challenge has gone on, I’ve gotten mighty good at not coating myself in barbeque sauce.

The sauces at Dublin’s are well rounded, always tasty and definitely unique.  How unique?

I had dill pickle chicken wings.

I never thought I’d want meat to taste like a stunted vegetable fermented in herbs, but boy howdy, was I tickled pink. I also did the classic buffalo flavour, which was more than satisfactory. For the record, this was the worst segue ever. The dill pickle wings were not because of a sauce. It’s a dry rub. Dry stunted vegetable fermented in herb-flavour wings. Yummy!

Kevin dives into the wings at Dublin’s on his quest to find Saskatoon’s best wings.

Kevin Stanfield / Global News

Good crisp to the wings, great service and the time between order and delivery was also excellent. My favourite part, as with just about all of these so far, is encompassed in the ‘little things’ category: I got to take my leftovers home.

Every other place so far has been wagging the no-no finger about that, so it’s nice having a few more wings available, for if I get peckish over the weekend and feel like having the same thing that I’ve had for five days straight.

Did it take the reins from Rain? No, but it was really, really close!

The lasting commonality with every one of our locations so far is that I’d go back for more.  Dublin’s is located in the plaza at the corner of Fairmont and Fairlight.

 

Rain – May 14

I went to Rain last night with Pat Dubois from The Bull and his girlfriend. I go in and right at the door, there’s a fella handing out wristbands for $10 apiece. I buy mine, slap it on, and suddenly, unlimited chicken wings become available.

A plethora of options lie before me and I wonder to myself if I will be able to survive this. “All you can eat” is a loose concept to me that quickly flips to become “You can eat all” – I’m kind of gross like that.

This is their second wing night, and as I’ve said, ten bucks = all-you-can eat. You order them a pound at a time.

I went through mango chipotle, lemon pepper, (dry rubs) then buffalo, and finished it off with their barbecue (the wet stuff).  Four lbs. Portion size is irrelevant. It’s unlimited.

Yes, they were smaller wings. They still maintained a good crispy-outside-to-soft-inside ratio, though. As for flavours, the mango chipotle had me dipping my finger in the leftover spices and eating it like crumbs out of a bag of chips.

A plate of wings at Rain.

Kevin Stanfield / Global News

Was it a little spicy? Yes. Did I cough? Yes. Was I ashamed? Definitely. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Pat got a good chuckle out of that one.

Every flavour had its charm, and none of them tasted generic; they were rich, they were evenly coated (both the spices and the sauces) and they were worth the money.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new front-runner. I highly suggest popping by next Wednesday and checking it out!

 

May 13 – Yard and Flagon

Okay, we should start with nice things (and now you know the direction this is going to take), ‘cause the Yard and Flagon… I mean – it’s the Yard and Flagon!

I absolutely love having this eatery so close to my home. I walked there with my pal Blaine and I’m positive I’ll do plenty more walking there as we make our way deeper into the summer months.

There’s an amazing atmosphere, fun music (just the stuff that was coming off of the speakers), and great wing-eating lighting, too. My favourite part is the chalkboard. They constantly update their sign, and it gives the Yard a real mom-and-pop feel to it.

It makes chain restaurants feel like the DMV. Our staffer claimed she was brand new, but the service was unreal.

Blaine isn’t one for ‘adult beverages’ and so we just leaned back with our sodee pops and chatted it up. Whenever they were remotely low, the waitress snuck in like a ninja was new sodee pops for us. Our combined age is 58 but Blaine and I were slogging back sugarwater like we were 10-year-olds at a birthday party.

We order wings. They’re ready in a snap – we’re talking less than 5 minutes. This seems fishy to me, but so be it.

I order buffalo and lemon pepper – there’s no option for medium! Whaaat!? Anyhow, the wings were moist. Moist. Say the word out loud. Let it roll off the tongue. It’s not that pleasant, and from the perspective of texture, I made a face when I started off.

The tastes were acceptable, but nothing jumped off the page. The lemon pepper wings were very ‘meh,’ compared to others I’ve had in the city. The buffalo were a little too ranchy, and not enough hot-saucy.

I tried one of Blaine’s hot wings and it came down to the same story. The flavour didn’t stick with me for as long as a hot wing should, in my opinion. They were also relatively small (mind you, the portions were in multiples of 15, so I was still full enough to make dad noises the whole walk home), but I haven’t actually said the best part, yet.

60 chicken wings and 2 bottomless fountain pops ran Blaine and I a total of $20.85. That’s phenomenal.  $4 for 15 chicken wings is an amazing deal. Do I feel that I got what I paid for? Absolutely.

Wings-Yard-May-13-KS

They tasted good, even if I am saying “good” in the same way you’d tell it to your kid after he/she asks how they looked while skating and you can’t tell them they looked like a baby gazelle learning to stand.  No? Just me?

The main point to take away is that I’d be back, and next time, I’ll enjoy my wings with a frothy adult beverage.  Oh, and, one more thing – weighing all the factors, The Yard beats Montana’s handily.

 

Montana’s – May 12

Welcome to the first installment of my journey to find the best chicken wings in the city. Last night, I visited Montana’s with Jared Brown, the old president of the U of S Students’ Union, and his friend Mitch.

The only ‘big chain’ restaurant on the list, I don’t really venture there often. It’s not that I’ve had a bad experience, I’ve just never been blown away by them. The service was excellent, but the lighting was a little high. Did they do it with wings?

Firstly size. These things were meatier than Drew Carey in his Whose Line Is It Anyway? The Drew Carey Show days. They were saucier than Mimi, too. Well, some of them were. A few were dry in a bad way, and there wasn’t enough sauce left in the bottom of the basket to really enjoy them. Don’t get me wrong, though. Me man. Meat good.

As for taste, I tried their chipotle honey and then, as mentioned, medium. The former was too much honey, too little chipotle for my preference, and was the culprit of not being saucy enough.

There was a cracked black peppercorn flavour that I gave a try, as well. It was like eating a sexy campfire; very woodsy with a hint of char. I felt hair growing on my knuckles as I consumed.

How about the medium wings? They were medium wings. Reliable, trustworthy, medium wings.

Wings-Montanas-KS

The long and short of it: I’d go back. Six bucks for a pound of hefty wings is a pretty solid deal. Are they my favourite in the city? Time will tell!

Tonight’s wing adventure will take me to the Yard and Flagon!

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