Showing posts with label fried chicken wings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fried chicken wings. Show all posts

Drums N Flats (Toronto) for delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

There’s no shortage of pubs in the Yonge Lawrence neighbourhood and almost all of their menus offer chicken wings. But the pub that is most dedicated to the dish is Drums & Flats: showcasing it in their name and dedicating a quarter of their menu, including the option to have just the drums (the meaty “lollipop” third of the wing) or the flats (the middle portion).

For this order, one of their signature sauces was beckoning me – The Island Hot Hot Hot ($14.99). I imagined the heat of scotch bonnet peppers combined with sweet pineapples, maybe something like a jerk marinade. The three “hots” should have been a tip that there would likely be less fruit and more spice in the sauce. Three layers to be exact - buffalo, hot sauce, and chili flakes (?) - and not a tinge of anything tropical anywhere.

One bite into the bright red wing and the tingling heat began. The cooling carrot stick was not enough, but a dip into the lovely buttermilk dill sauce helped a bit. Nonetheless, after two wings, even that couldn’t calm the fire, only a big glass of almond milk could help me get through a few more of the flats.

Unable to get through the rest of the spicy wings, I saved them for the next day to build into another meal. After reheating them in the toasted oven and dunking them into a bowl of non-spicy instant noodles, the chillies combined into the broth creating a great bowl of spicy chicken wing ramen.

I should have stuck with our typical dish: the double-dipped hot and honey ($15.99), which takes the deep-fried wings and tosses it in the fiery sweet sauce and then grills them on the barbeque to caramelize that layer before tossing them in sauce again. While we kept it to a single flavour, normally you can combine two sauces to really develop something to your liking. Being cooked twice creates a smokier and stickier wing, but I find also makes them a little drier.

For those who don’t eat meat, Drums & Flats even has veggie wings ($12.99) using battered and deep-fried chunks of broccoli and cauliflower that are tossed in your choice of seasoning. Wanting to keep the crispiness in the coating, a lemon and pepper dry rub seemed to be a good choice and gave the dish enough flavour without rendering the batter to a paste.

While an inclusive idea, the dish is also extremely oily - the amount of grease that’s released after squeezing a piece in a paper towel is scary. The batter is too thick, more like fish and chips than tempura, which causes it to soak up so much oil.

The great things about wings is it works well for delivery arriving fairly hot and the veggie wings still surprisingly crispy. Plus, all inhibitions go out the window, you can really get in there and get messy in the safety of your own home. Take it from me, aside from the buttermilk dill sauce, you need a lot of napkins to go with chicken wings.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1980 Avenue Road
 Delivery: Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!

Is That It? I Want More!

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CLOSED: Uncle Mikey's (Toronto)

If you arrive at Uncle Mikey’s between 5-7pm, get ready for an affordable meal. Not surprisingly, their happy menu offers drink specials ranging from $6-$8, the soju negroni ($8) strong enough that you’ll feel buzzed after a few. The soju works great in the drink, giving it a smoother finish with the same kick.

There’s also a selection of small plates. The kimchi jeon ($5), an onion and cabbage pancake, is made with glutinous rice flour and spread thinly so the centre is chewy while the outer edges turn crispy. No kimchi is in the batter, rather the vinegary and spicy flavours come from a dipping sauce so even a non-spicy food eater can enjoy the plate.  The chicken wings ($5) were also hot from the fryer and quickly tossed in a lightly sweetened sauce. Pieces of pickled choyote (a neutral vegetable) helps cut through the greasiness of both dishes.

From their regular menu, the kimchi rice bowl ($9.50) is a nod to bibimbap, but not nearly as good since it doesn’t arrive in a hot stone bowl. Yet, it still has all the tastes and textures of bibimbap, including thinly sliced sesame oil laced cucumber, nori slivers, scallions, and crispy onions. Interestingly, Uncle Mikey uses stewed kimchi, which is mellower and heartier than the raw version. For an extra richness, we added an onsen egg ($2.50) where the yolk is creamy and cooked through.

Oh boy was the oxtail gnocchi ($15) good … crispy deep-fried nuggets slathered into a thick shredded oxtail ragu. Even though they were burning hot, I couldn’t eat these cheesy nuggets fast enough - in a flash, the delicious gnocchi were done! The meaty pulled ragu was also tasty and is a versatile sauce that could go on almost anything.

Uncle Mikey’s has a “hipster” vibe. If you’ve watched Shameless, their depiction of hipster places is extreme, but I’ve encountered my share of bad service from “too cool” attitudes and annoying clientele; so, while this draws some people to a restaurant, it’s a feature I have reservations about. Luckily, our waitress Emma put me at ease, her welcoming attitude brought a light-hearted feel to the dinner – almost like we were stepping into cool Uncle Mikey’s home.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1597 Dundas Street West

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Is That It? I Want More!

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