Category Archives: Other Reviews

Here is where we’ll place reviews for unique stores and other places.

Hooters review

While this certainly is not a “restaurant” and generally I don’t review bars/pubs/etc I feel compelled to do so on this one occasion. I really wish I’d had my camera for this.

I used to really enjoy going out a couple of times per month and indulging in a heaping pile of chicken wings and a wobbly-pop or three. These days I refrain from doing so more than say once a year due to my having discovered just how bad these tasty treats are for me.

So recently I caved in and having not done the “wing thing” in more than a year I justified treating myself to a limited number, in this case only 20. (hey , that’s nothing I’ve downed 120 before)

I didn’t feel like hunting around for a place and being only a few blocks from the NE Hooters location I figured they would do in satisfying my unhealthy urges on this particular occasion (hey I’m referring to the chicken wings here, okay?).

I ordered 20 “naked” wings -hot of course- a beer and some onion rings. The waitress was nice and brought me a paper to read while I waited. My beer was brought right away as well.

When the wings came I had to take a minute to let what I saw sink in, I have never seen chicken wings that were so small in my life. I remember having this same order at this very location in the past and receiving a hot, heaping pile of big wings that covered the platter it was served on. This scattering of pigeon-esque flight appendages was a mere shadow of what I’d expected and sat one or two deep in the middle of the mostly vacant platter. Now I was hungry and while disappointed I still ate these sad little flappers and drumettes, I did have to adjust my technique however as it proved difficult to even separate the tips and bones. It was impossible to just pick one up and eat as just to get a grip on the things was very difficult since most of it was covered with my not exactly sausage-like fingers. Now you know what a “drumette” is supposed to look like right? Yeah, a smaller version of a drumstick. Well these looked more like fingers, no plump piece of meat to bite off just a slight bump of mostly skin.

If these did in fact come from chickens I can just see the farm-yard and what it looked like while these things were alive…. They probably sat in front of the x-box all day long and were the ones chosen last for dodge-ball at school. You know, the skinny nerdy guys the other chickens picked on all the time, who developed slowly and I’m guessing had no breasts to speak of.

All kidding aside this was a very expensive and pathetic serving of skin and bones covered with hot sauce. The rings were actually pretty good and while over-priced I did enjoy them. Likewise for the beer, I got the brand I wanted and it was fresh and cold but also more money than it should have been. All in for the 20 wings, rings and two beer I paid over $40 and gave a $5 tip to the waitress who did provide good service (get your mind out of the gutter).

For the nearly $50 per person it cost for this truly sad meal I can go almost anywhere in the city and dine on actual food that is well made and fills me up. I will take a little more time in deciding where to get my next wing-fix and am never going to darken the door of Hooters ever again.

Hooters (2730 23 St) on Urbanspoon

Lloyd’s Patty Plus review

There’s a saying in business that applies to finding a niche. “Do one thing and do it better than anybody else”. This is something that can be taken too far and in the food business must be applied carefully. I’ve seen small places that made just a few dishes of a very specific ethnic food that were not able to attract the numbers they should have because they only served such a limited menu. Despite being great at what they did make they are now out of business.

Sometimes though the extreme application of this can make for success. Case in point would be Lloyd’s Patty Plus located in Short Pants Plaza(yeah, that’s the name) in Calgary’s NE. This place only makes Jamaican Patties, and has been quite a success. Okay you can pick up a few other Jamaican baked items such as coco bread as well – hence the “Plus”, but it’s all about the patties.

Jamaican patties are the meat filled turnover type pies you can often find at C Stores and in the deli section at supermarkets and are quite a popular snack. They’re recognisable by the yellow pastry which is a result of the egg yolk and turmeric used in the dough. You’ll only find beef or chicken filled ones in town although in Jamaica the fillings can include vegetables, shrimp, lobster, fish, soy, curry or cheese. I’ve loved them for years but have only ever had the reheated ones with the soft pastry. I always wanted to sample freshly made ones with crispy crust.

I heard of Lloyd’s by reading a post about them on Foodosophy and being someone who really likes hot Jamaican patties I had to make a point of dropping in to try their offerings.

Short Pants Plaza is a goldmine of small ethnic places and I’ve made a mental note to go back and investigate further the stores around Lloyd’s. This is a strip mall but it’s not in a residential area like one would expect. A very odd location in my view.

When you enter Lloyd’s you’ll see that it’s not a restaurant or lunch counter, there are a few tables, a cooler and the counter where you can order your patties.  As it turns out I’ve likely had Lloyd’s patties before as this is a wholesale bakery which makes and packages Jamaican patties for sale by others in the city, the retail side is a small part of what they do.

Lloyd’s offers only chicken and beef patties in either spicy hot or mild varieties and in as large a number as you want. You can buy ready to eat/hot out of the oven patties or ones to cook at home. I bought fresh hot ones and was in too much a hurry as is evidenced by my burnt tongue.

The patties are terrific. I tried both the spicy and milder versions of the beef filling and they are without a doubt the best I’ve tried. I would love to sample one with real scotch bonnet pepper but I can understand why they offer this at Lloyd’s. The scotch bonnet is third in scoville units of heat behind the bhut jolokia and red savina habanero peppers so most would not appreciate the addition of it to their food.

What more can I say? these are outstanding patties and I’ll be returning for more on many future dates, you can bet on it.

Lloyd’s Patty Plus on Urbanspoon