You would think that at an outing of three food bloggers, there would be at least one camera ready to record the experience. Well, you would be wrong.
Patent and the Pantry, Binky Silhouette and I decided to go somewhere off the beaten track for cheap wings, landing at my suggestion of Juliet’s Castle Sports Lounge, only because every time I drive by, it doesn’t really look open.
There’s a prominent sign you can see from 16th Avenue NE but the windows of this castle are all boarded up, and it’s nestled next to the glow of an adult sex shop and a sad-looking used appliance store. As Suzi said, “It’s got its charms… in a windowless kind of way.”
(This blurry picture, taken by cellphone, is what happens when everyone forgets her camera.)
The bar is clean, and fairly busy, with old-timers at the bar, a group of sports fans in one corner, guys playing pool in the other, and younger patrons using straws to sip something neon-coloured from pitchers. Almost everyone has a plate of wings on their table.
The wings have gone up by a nickel recently but regular price is still only 30 cents each. They’re a quarter each on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. You have to order by the 10s.
We started with 20 hot wings and 20 salt and pepper. Unlike many places, the former are actually burn-your-tongue hot, but there’s not much flavour after that. The salt and pepper were definitely the best.
Juliet’s wingettes (the part that’s not the mini drumstick) come attached with the tip. Doesn’t bother me, but it was unusual.
Heartened by the first round, we asked the waitress what other wing flavours were available. After the common teriyaki, honey garlic etc., she said, “Greek” and we were intrigued. Our mistake.
The Greek wings were sprinkled with some sort of “Greek seasoning” (mostly dried oregano) and bits of shredded Parmesan cheese. They were dry and terrible. Suzi who’s much wittier than me dubbed them Icarus wings.
However, I was excited that our pints of beer (we had Rickard’s White; we are classy ladies) were only $4. Gwendolyn gently pointed out, “That’s what happens when you’re not downtown.”
Juliet’s is nothing like its website that someone obviously abandoned halfway through — maybe he choked on an Icarus wing — but it’s an honest bar with cheap wings.
By the way, if you’re a wing connoisseur in Canada, you must have hotwings.ca bookmarked. They are THE chicken wing authority, and their site is well-designed and easy to use.
Juliet’s Castle Sports Lounge, 440-16th Avenue NE, Calgary, (403) 668-2914.