Drums N Flats
Drums n Flats offers a solution to the most perplexing of wing questions. Drums (the classic drumstick) or Flats? Often the subject of bar squabbles, Drums n Flats leaves the final choice to you, offering orders of entirely drums, flats, or a combination of both for the undecided or disinclined.
Inhabiting the old Honey's Beestro spot on Avenue by Wilson, Drums N Flats has been open for almost two months, helmed by the same operators as nearby Safari Bar and Grill. Appealing to sports nuts, wing fans, and surprisingly families, Drums n Flats blends a steady stream of rock 'n roll tunes, a modern and comfortable interior, and some of the very best chicken wings I've had in a long time.
The word "custom" is taken very seriously here, and it's not limited to the type of wing you choose, but also extends to the sauce selection. With 12 flavours ranging from mild to "burn your face off," and three methods (including a "double dip" option for you Costanza fans) in which to drench your wings, the menu can be a bit convoluted at times.
Chef Adam Pedwell sources his well-endowed wings from Ontario, and the restaurant observes a strict never-frozen policy. Menu options for those fools not here to eat wings include equally delicious and notably gluten-free chicken tenders (we ordered a kiddie portion for $6) and their hand-rolled pizza pies (starting at $11.99, with a gluten-free option for an extra $3).
Salads and greens also complicate the menu, and while edamame aren't our first thought as a wingman (har har) to their chicken counterparts, they do offer a pop of colour. When factoring in the Ace Bakery cheesy garlic bread and fresh-cut veggies it makes for a decent starter (World Tour, 3 appetizers for $15.99).
To properly judge the merit of chicken wings, one must order the standard fare--no fancy Mango Jerk or Creole Mustard--thus we ordered up pounds (for $11.49, a buck extra for fries): hot drumsticks, hot and honey flats, and a well-balanced combo of neutral medium, all served up in the conspicuous baskets lined with red and white checkered paper. These ain't your twice-cooked anemic, black chicken wings that most chains subject you to.
Perfectly cooked and succulently tender, the wings came with a few carrot and celery sticks as well as a dill sauce for dipping. The texture was crispy and glorious. Sauce-wise, if you're looking for heat, you should upgrade to the "Insane Heat that will blow your face off" sauce as the hot didn't quite cut it.
Noticeably absent and damn near required was a bowl to toss our bones in, but had my mouth not been so busy gorging, I'm sure I could have grunted at the wait staff and requested one. The hand-cut fries were decent enough; fresh and crispy, but they needed a dousing of salt.
After reading that they stock only Kawartha Dairy ice creams, dessert was suddenly mandatory. I loved their nod to local talent, and although the too-cold freezer required some thawing time on our fudge sundae ($7) and strawberry ice cream ($6), it was worth the wait.
Local isn't only reserved for food either; Drums N Flats carries a rotating (seasonal) selection of Mill Street, as well as their Organic, Cameron Auburn Ale and Dark 266, Creemore and Canadian on tap. The bottle list of over 20 offerings is a mix of premium, domestic and imports, while the wine list nicely represents the Niagara region.
Drums n Flats is everything a good neighbourhood wing restaurant should be; easygoing and friendly service paired with satisfying, diet-wrecking wings. Look for live bands to up the entertainment factor on weekends. Drums N Flats welcomes reservations and orders for take-out. It's not wheelchair accessible.