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Jan 11, 2008 02:25 PM

Duff's - can't get there from here

This is all concerning the Duff's College St. location, so I can't say if I would get the same reaction at the Bayview one. Having determined that I find Duff's hot sauces to be acrid tributes to the palate cleansing power of vinegar, I decided to try my default wing strategy. Which is to ask the kitchen to mix half BBQ sauce with half Hot sauce. In this way, I tend to get a sauce that if not actually achieving a balanced blend of acidity, sweetness and heat, is at least in the ballpark.

In one visit, I was told that the kitchen could not do that. The server, who was actually relaxed and friendly, explained that the kitchen had large buckets of sauce and just dumped the wings in said buckets to order. To combine sauces, they would have to dunk already sauced wings into another sauce. This kind of cross contamination was not possible. Not wanting to push it, I ordered some BBQ sauce on the side.

Latest visit, I decided that it was ridiculous that someone in the kitchen could not pour two sauces into a bowl, whisk them up and then toss the wings in said sauce. The harried, stressed out waitress flat out said they could not do it. One look at her and I immediately thought, no way is this argument worth winning.

I said 'so if I want to combine two sauces, just order plain and the sauces on the side?'.

"That's right" she said in that quick, clipped way that really meant "Congrats, you made the right fraking choice"

So ten minutes later, I find myself mixing some BBQ and Hot sauce in the discard bucket and then tossing the wings in there to coat.

I'm here to tell you that a heavenly beam of light DID NOT hit me, angelic choirs DID NOT sing, the kitchen staff DID NOT appear at my table, gob smacked and falling to their knees in disbelief, and most importantly, my waitress DID NOT appear before me, weeping profusely and repeating over and over " I didn't know… I didn't know…"

The bus boy, however, did immediately grab my empty wing bowl. Thanks dood!

We emptied our celery bowl to use as an emergency back up and bravely soldiered on. Next time, we bring our own Frialator!

Note - My opinion of Duffs is that I've generally found the wings to be acceptably cooked. Hot and crispy, if not as crispy as they could be. Neither over or under done and far larger and meatier in size than most bars and pubs in town. The mild sauces are too sweet and gloppy, but still easier to take then "hot" sauces, which are just too vinegary. They are obviously cutting costs and conserving butter, because I can't detect any.

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  1. Duffs on Bayview is the holy grail of wings. I LOVE these wings. Meaty, crispy, coated with amazing sauce - my personal fav is the MH and I prefer hot to suicide almost everywhere else. Usually ask for 2 dill sauces so I can dip the fries. Top it with ice cold corona and I'm there!

    Please leave these world class wings for those of us that love them....

    8 Replies
    1. re: xssnrg

      I'm not impressed by them at all. For the best, go to the original. The Anchor Bar in downtown Buffalo. (and yes I have been to Duff's in Buffalo too).

      1. re: TexSquared

        Was at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo last week. Wings are large and juicy as usual with a real side of blue cheese dip (not bottled blue cheese dressing). If you haven't been go...but go early - 4p.m., as it does get very busy later in the day. After eating Anchor Bar wings, I agree that Duff's wings are a little on the acidic side (too much vinegar in the sauce?). The best wings I've had in Toronto of late is at the Tara Inn on Kingston Rd. in Scarborough (not the location on Eglinton). They serve meaty wings the tradtional way (i.e. not breaded) and serve them with thick FRESH cut fries.

        1. re: Finnegan

          How is it that traditional means not breaded??


          1. re: Davwud

            Original, traditional Buffalo style wings are not breaded...simply deep fried naked and tossed with sauce

            1. re: Finnegan

              I thought they were dredged in flour first?? Not really breaded but not naked either.


              1. re: Davwud

                traditional chicken Wings (i.e buffalo style) are not dredged in flour...into the deepfryer naked. A lot of wing places do dredge their wings, makes them crispier and makes them a little juicier, but if you cook them right in the first place at a high temerature, I don't think dredging is necessary

                1. re: Finnegan

                  Not sure why the term is used, but I've seen the breaded variety referred to as Florida-style as opposed to the naked Buffalo-style.

                  1. re: badbhoy

                    Perhaps because Hooters breads their wings and started in Florida.


    2. I find it hard to believe they have one bucket of each sauce that they dip wings into. It's usually poured over the wings in a mixing bowl and then tossed.


      1. They are always amazed to see that I bring in my own sauce that is tastier and hotter than their Armageddon (which are not 850,000 SHU).

        Defcon sauce has revolutionized the chicken wing.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MindGrinder

          Interesting. Do you buy the Defcon on-line or have you found it someplace in Toronto? Which do you do, Defcon #1 or #2?

          1. re: Davedigger

            Taste the 4th Sense used to carry it. Other than that I buy directly from the Creator himself -

            One is my favourite - but I just got his Defcon Death match sauce which is incredible. I also have most of the Defcon Zero Collectables.

            We had the Defcon Death match at Bishop and the Belcher last year. Great turnout!

            Anyways - order from the site directly. You can get one Defcon 1 and 2 in 16oz bottles now.