My buddy Carson was in town for the summer for work, and a couple of weeks back on a Wednesday evening in July we met up in New Westminster to catch up. We initially just hung out in the park at the New Westminster Quay Boardwalk, sitting at one of the benches overlooking the water and talked for a bit. Definitely a nice area for families to bring their kids for a stroll and people to walk their dogs. We saw a few people just sitting as well and watching the river, and a father teaching his son to fly a kite.
By around 9:00 p.m., both Carson and I were a bit hungry so we decided to check out the Paddlewheeler Neighbourhood Pub, which we could see was highly popular with most of the tables in the patio occupied. We figured one of the reasons might be their cheap wings special, where wings are just 35 cents on Wednesday nights (from 4:00 to 11:00).
(Photo courtesy of Paddlewheeler Neighbourhood Pub’s Facebook page. I didn’t take pictures that evening.)
We walked in and it was crowded, and though it was nice out on the patio, we decided to sit inside. We sat down at a table that seemed perfect (for me anyway), as we were facing one of their TV monitors where they had a Yankees-Indians game on that had gone into extra innings (a feed from Sportsnet, I believe). When we got the menu, we went through the list of wing flavours and decided on two to start: 10 of the Caribbean Jerk and 10 of the Honey Garlic to share. (Plus, I had a Coke and he ordered some beer.)
Since I didn’t think I’d tried Caribbean Jerk before, Carson proceeded to tell me that jerk seasoning is supposed to taste salty and hot overall. I wasn’t too keen on the “hot” part, but at least I had the Honey Garlic to fall back on.
However, when the wings arrived and we each tasted the Caribbean Jerk, we were both disappointed. It tasted a little bitter, and Carson assured me that’s not what the taste should be. For me, the Honey Garlic was okay, but we both agreed it was pretty ordinary.
As for the ambience, it was very lively with lots of people – just what you would expect in a crowded place: loud. One thing we noticed, though, was that as we were finishing off those wings – Carson was so disgusted he told me to take most of the jerk wings – most of the people had left or were just leaving. So, suddenly the place was becoming quieter.
Thinking the two flavours we had chosen were a one-off, we decided to order the Pineapple Curry just to see if those wings would be better. The problem, though, was that it took seemingly forever before our server came to our table. When she did, she brought a bill only to be told we wanted to order a dish of 10 Pineapple Curry wings.
I don’t think the wait for the wings was long, but rather getting our server’s attention seemed to take forever. Anyway, the Pineapple Curry flavour tasted better, so the evening wasn’t a complete write-off.
I actually didn’t take any pictures that evening, not thinking that I would include this experience in a future blog post. (Our main intention was to eat cheap wings, of course. 😉 ) Of course, in order to get pictures, we (or I) could go back another time. But when I suggested returning to the Paddlewheeler Pub again sometime in the future for those cheap wings – thinking maybe our experience was just a one-off – Carson emphatically said “No.” Never again, as far as he’s concerned.
I don’t think he’s being a jerk. He was really put off by those jerk wings.
(Photo courtesy of Paddlewheeler Neighbourhood Pub’s website. I didn’t take pictures that evening.)
Item: Chicken Wings (Appetizers; 10 different flavours available)
Purchased at: Paddlewheeler Neighbourhood Pub, 810 Quayside Drive, New Westminster, BC (located right on the New Westminster Quay just five minutes away from New West SkyTrain Station)
Price: 30 wings for C$10.50 plus tax (Wednesday Wing Nights special of 35 cents each; normally a pound of wings are C$10.95)
Final Thoughts: I would be willing to give them another shot, but my buddy thinks they’re not worth it. The Caribbean Jerk wings don’t taste like they’re supposed to. Service was slow even after more than half of the pub had cleared out. The patio would be a nice place to hang out on a good day or evening, but expect it to be crowded especially on Wednesday nights. (Can’t speak for the other days, obviously, due to a lack of first-hand experience.)