I discovered Wild Wing the weekend after The Ottawa Citizen’s Rod Eade published an article about the new Canadian specialized restaurant chain.
I have got to admit that I was really really (really!) excited about this place and I simply could not wait to go. So I went.
Imagine, 101 kinds of wings!!! I have got to have them all!!!!
I’ll report back, but meanwhile, you can have a look at my Top 20 Wild Wing Countdown.
Wild Wing claims to be the fastest growing family restaurant franchise in Ontario. It was founded in 1999 in Sunderland (although their headquarters are in Keswick) and there are 36 different locations across Ontario, with 31 more opening soon, all in Ontario. And for the small sum of $440 000, you too be a member of the Wild Wing familly and own your very own Wild Wing restaurant! If you can’t, or won’t, then you do like me and you enjoy their products!
The focus of the menu at Wild Wing is of course the 101 types of wings.
You can get 10 of one flavour for $8.98 ($0.90 each).
Or 20 for $17.36 ($0.87) or 30 for $24.98 ($0.83).
You can start mixing two flavours with 40 for $34.25 ($0.86), three flavours with 50 for $41.95 ($0.84). four flavours with 100 for $75.15 ($0.75), eight flavours with 200 for $142.80 ($0.71), sixteen flavours with 400 for $276.95 ($0.69).
If you want to try a couple of flavour but don’t want to order that many, go for their Wing Sampler Platter, five flavours in groups of five (Thaĩ, Honey Garlic, The Good The Bad The Ugly, American and Mesquite) for $21.95 ($0.88 each – not bad).
But if you are really hungry, you’ll go for their best deal:
The Hillbilly Deluxe, forty flavours with a 1000 (!!!) wings for a mere $629.95, or $0.63 per wing!
Now that’s a Sweeeeeeeeeeet deal!
You can dine in or take them to go. (If you do get the special – let me know. I can help.)
But if you want to try all of their 101 flavours at once, you would then get 2425 wings for $1813.80! ($0.75 a wing)
A good thing about the menu at Wild Wing is that beside their specialty, there are a other things that can be found if you want to swing a non-winger in the place. They have a variety of deep-fried things such as poppers, chicken tenders, crab nuggets, calamari, onion rings and fries – they offer McCain’s products. They even offer poutine-like creations. For a healthier fare – there is a couple of soups, salads (surprise: big AND fresh) and wraps available as well.
But let’s talk about the actual product – the chicken wings.
I love chicken wings. I’ve tried them at many places. They come in many sizes and can be done many different ways. I love to make my own as well. I actually recently won a cook-off in Mitchell, ON, with a Red Hot Dry Rubbed wing which captured the blue ribbon. (Of course, I should point out there was only one other contestant – but I crushed him!)
This is why I was so excited about Wild Wing in the first place, and why I have been going back. They specialized in wings, and they don’t mess around with their stuff. For instance, Wild Wing gets its chicken fresh from Canada’s Maple Leafs packers. Never frozen, it makes the wings very juicy, even after the double deep-frying routine they go through to make them nice and crispy. So far, I have been please every time I went to Wild Wing. But you can also read reviews from this guy or from the the Lord of the Wings.
WW’s wings are usually fairly large (they’ll add more if they feel you’re getting shortchanged by smaller birds) and they are served hot and nicely mixed with the sauce of your choice. They sometimes come with too much sauce though, especially when they are very busy. The heat level displayed in the menu is not aways accurate. The number of flames doesn’t always turn out in a very flamy flavour. I supposed they can be seen as suchare in comparison to their other wings, but still, 6 flames should be freakin’ hot.
The good thing is that you can still adjust the flavour to your likeing with an assortment of sauces available on the table. Lime Ricky and Arizona Heat are the one most often displayed. Some of them are quite hot, so hot in fact that the french translation has melted weirdly along the way. .. (Sauce chaud. Ingrédients: le juice de limett du concentré, espices. Ce produit peut être trop piquant pour quelque. *Sigh*) I still bought the Lime Ricky, for its zesty lime taste which adds a good bite in a hot sauce mix).
Once you have eaten your wing, you can throw your bones in a nice big metal bucket! It can quick become a fun (but messy) contest. No problems, big rolls of paper towels are on deck, as well as wet naps. You are fully equipped to dig in your basket of winged wonders with no fear of sticky fingers hangover.
In my last visit, on Civic Holiday, I dragged a bunch of friends along for a pre-Rapidz-game-snack. Folks were quite impressed and I’m sure it’ll be easier to bring them next time. Especially since they got to eat your veggies anyway, carrots and celeri sticks always on the side.
Melissa always gets the Spaghetti Western. She just loves the stuff. It is basically a regular medium wing, topped with italian herbs and parmesan. And, somehow, it does taste like a good old fashionned spaghetti.
The mix of herbs really does work well with the parmesan, as long as they don’t overdo it like they did for Laura’s – they apparently sprinkled for a double order to make up for the fact they had forgotten half the chicken. This wing alone convinced me that there would be more gems hidden in the list of 101.
Lindsay felt chippy, so she went with one their selection who are supposed to taste just like chips. Their chippy selection also features Ketchup and Dill Pickle. Lindsay went for Sour Cream and Onion, and it did taste exaclty like chips.
Like an old bag of Maple Leafs’ chips, actually, as far as the flavour goes: very weak. No, they didn’t taste like potatoes, more like plain fried chicken. Which is really too bad because the concept is interesting. But they’ll need to review their mix of spices for this one.
Jerry went for the Some Beach kind, a strange combination of Medium with Renée’s Caeser, Parmesan and Buttermilk Dill. Obviously, it came in this very not pleasant looking sauce, a mix of glowing orange and ghostly white.
I tried one, and it was not something I enjoyed. Garlic amateurs will like it, probably, but I have got to say that the texture was too gooey for my taste. The Renée’s flavour comes across very strongly and there was way too much stuff hidding in there.
Théo’s pick was more like it. The Farmer’s Daughter, a nice mix of bbq sauce and mediaum heat with jerk, which doesn’t make its presence felt too strongly. It is kind of subdued and it works very nicely.
I’ve got to admit that I do like jerk but I understand that it is an acquired taste. This mix could be a nice introduction for those who are not familiar with the taste or for those who rejected it in the past. But, above all, this falvour got Théo hooked on Wild Wing.
I choose to go with a stronger combo of jerk and spicy mustard, dubbed the Island Girl. Not, this thing smelt very strongly – much stronger then it actually tasted.
That was fine, really, as the allspice came in really roundly and was well completed by the spicy mustard. It had a very nice heat to it, which helped me gulped the ice-cold Rickard’s Red that I ordered with it. But I should have ordered a blond, really, as the bitterness of the red didn’t go all that well with the heat.
One thing is certain – I’ll be back to this place. Although I might have to check out other locations – but it looks like the corporate image is fairly similar and well supervised by the big cheese at Wild Wing Restaurants.