Chef Rich’s Kitchen – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series
It’s a confident move to name your restaurant after yourself, but Chef Rich’s Kitchen holds up across the board.
We’d driven past many times, seen the posts on all of social media, and heard about it from our friends, but we finally were in the area at a good time and made it to Chef Rich’s Kitchen. Sitting back off the intersection of Schrock Road and Cleveland Ave, Chef Rich’s Kitchen re-opened for temporary hours of Tuesday-Thursday 4:00-8:00, and Friday-Saturday 4:00-9:00. If you’re interested, be sure to check their site or social media to confirm the hours are still the same. Touting “fresh made food from top quality ingredients” Chef Rich’s Kitchen serves up top-notch burgers and “The Best Wings You’ll Ever Try.” While we didn’t go for wings this time around, we did come away with a new spot for fried green beans.
The Lady of the Farm opted for cheesesteak and onion rings and we both plowed through the Fried Green Beans and housemade ranch. The breading on both the onion rings and fried green beans was light and crispy, a nice change from other restaurants that completely drench them in breading.
We’d heard stories about these so we had to give one a try. It’s the Ghost Pepper Mac and Smoked Brisket Eggroll, a classic of Chef Rich’s Kitchen. In terms of spice-levels, nothing too crazy and likely doable for anyone looking to eat portable mac and cheese. We also pounded a Reuben Egg Roll because portable wrapped foods just taste better. Fried green beans and other small items gone, I opened the box for the main event.
Time to light it up with the Crazy S.O.B., a juicy 8oz. chorizo infused medium-rare beef patty with “Jalepeño Bacon, Ghost Pepper Cheese, and House Made Roasted Salsa.” We’ve eaten spicy burgers before and are compiling our spiciest burgers in Columbus list, but each is unique in how spicy they can go. When it is cheese alone, the burger doesn’t tend to be as spicy, but we’re always willing to give it a try.
Grabbing the burger in one hand and calling out to J. Wellington Wimpy on our Oiuja board with the other, I chomped on in. The first hit of flavor comes from the chorizo infusion. Many burgers that have tried to get chorizo into their patty also suffer from the patty being dry and lacking heat, but Chef Rich nails this one. Popping with paprika and keeping things juicy, we were off to a solid start. Paprika brings with it just a little tickle for your tongue, but next up on the spice train was the ghost pepper cheese.
Keep in mind, not all ghost pepper cheeses are created equal. Compared to the ghost pepper bison burger at Crafty Pint, Chef Rich’s ghost pepper cheese is on a completely different playing field. Immediately you get the familiar warmth of the ghost pepper that starts on your tongue and begins to coat the entire back of your mouth. The grease of the chorizo beef patty helps as a binding agent and after a couple of bites, there was a solidly built heat factory in my face. Brick by spicy brick, the Crazy S.O.B. continued to build on top of itself, with each layer attempting to pump out more heat.
Cheese and chorizo in tow, most burgers would stop there and they would be fine to do so. Chef Rich’s Crazy S.O.B (and their regular S.O.B.) pushes forward with something extra. That’s right, we’re talking about jalapeño bacon. On southwest-style burgers you typically see raw or pickled jalapeños slapped on top, but jalapeño rubbed bacon was a new take and a pleasant one at that. Stacking onto the ghost pepper heat that was sticking around, the jalapeño bacon adds a gentle kiss of spiciness before drifting away.
At this point, I was absent-mindedly halfway through my burger and was feeling a bit flush in my cheeks. No nose drips or brow sweat, but there was a comfortable spicy warmth that lingered. That last part, the linger, is really what pushes this burger forward in the spicy ranks. The outstretched arms of cheese coverage allow the heat to build with every bite.
Feeling a bit bold, The Lady of the Farm asked for a bite. Saying nothing (as to not add bias) I handed it off. She managed to get out “Great burger…” before the pepper hit, she coughed and gently passed the burger back before reaching for a drink. It’s a reasonable heat level for mid-level spice seekers, but she confirmed it would be too much for entry-level spice n00bs.
Tossing the last bite into my mouth, I was left with a gentle ghost pepper reminder for the next few minutes. Longest linger of a burger we’ve had and the combination of the ingredients is phenomenal. A well-crafted burger by Chef Rich that I would gladly eat again. Thinking further, we’re placing the Crazy S.O.B. at #33 on our list, just below the Bamboo Thai Kitchen Extra Spicy Green Curry and above the Kirin Noodle Spicy Beef Noodle Soup. It’s currently the spiciest burger on our list, though we’ve heard the Hell Week Winking Lizard burger is likely the spiciest. For now, we’re satisfied knowing that instead of just slapping cheese onto a burger and calling it spicy, Chef Rich has put together a solid pairing of flavors, spice, and everything nice with the Crazy S.O.B.
You can find Chef Rich’s Kitchen at 2521 W. Schrock Rd Westerville, OH 43081.
Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
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