If you poll a table full of wings eaters
about their favourite sauce, you'll rarely get a consensus. Everyone has a favourite, and the smart grill will be able to cater to that. The traditional wings flavour – Buffalo style – is made up of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter. The chicken itself is deep-fried, not breaded – and then coated with the famous sauce. But there are many variations on that sauce now. Don't forget to dip it in the famous Garlic Dill sauce!
Some Toronto bar and grills now boast up to 20 different sauces, and it's like travelling the world. There's a Cajun sauce, Hot Sweet Asian, Sweet Asian BBQ, Caribbean Jerk and, yes, a Buffalo Ranch sauce. Then there are Hot and Honey sauces, Honey Garlic, and Mild and Medium Dry sauces. For the adventurous – or seasoned wings lover – there are the really spicy ones: ‘Hotter than Hell' being my personal favourite.
Wings were invented in Buffalo and they're being perfected in Toronto. If you're in a work situation, you may worry about the mess but some bar and grills now offer boneless wings. You can eat them with knife and fork, which sounds like heresy, but you can go back to work without that telltale bit of sauce on your shirt!
Believe it or not: Some People Order Other Stuff!
There may actually come a time when you want to order something other than wings. A well-rounded grill menu has to include that great Canadian
addition to culinary excellence: Poutine. It's a spectacular hit of calories and taste, with fries, gravy and cheese curds. Gourmet onion rings, burgers (go for the 100% Angus beef), and Bacon Wrapped Mac and Cheese appetizers are good additions. And then there's another favourite – the Garlic Dill Chicken Burger
, which is an intense, juicy experience of lightly breaded breast, Famous Dill Sauce and onion straws on a gourmet bun. In other words – it's all comfort food.
As an incentive to branch out from wings, some bars have daily deals. A Wednesday $5.50 Angus burger, the Friday night Wing and Rib combo, or a Saturday Triple Play menu. And, for a late Sunday brunch, why not have ‘A Pint and a Pound' – a pound of boneless wings and a 20oz. domestic pint. For the purists, there's a Monday night boneless chicken and 20oz. domestic pint special, or Tuesday's half-price wing night - served with fries and that famous Garlic Dill sauce!
Atmosphere is Important
Wings are the kind of food you can enjoy with friends and family, and the favourite bars in Toronto are relaxed, casual spots where a team or workmates can gather. Relaxation is the order of the day. There needs to be large screen TVs because nothing goes better with wings than watching sports. Or, in the summer, the ability to engage in another spectator sport: watching passerby's from a patio. But it keeps coming back to two things, the first being a casual environment to enjoy quality time with friends and family. That's easiest in a bar with a "small footprint” – that is, not a big barn but something that feels more like your living room.
And the other thing? Wings, of course! Wings, wings, wings!