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Powell Bar & Grill – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series

Just north of Downtown Powell off the beaten path sits Powell Bar & Grill.

A cozy spot, I happened to wander in on their loudest night where they have Singo set up as an activity (most Wednesdays). With a sprawling bar menu, you can choose from sliders, burgers, wraps, quesadillas, pizzas, and of course wings.

Slapping my exposed belly as I saddled up to the bar, I yelled, “I have come for your spiciest dries, and your spiciest wets!” Realizing I’d yelled to no one, I sat patiently until my order was ready then scurried home for a quiet evening of pain. Opening the box, the Flamethrower wings and Polaris Dry Heat Rub wings could have been more different from a coating perspective. The Flamethrower wings with their traditional wetness, the Polaris Dry Heat Rub wings with their Atacama Desert-like look.

powell bar and grill wings

Second spiciest on their menu of 19 flavors (both dry and wet), Flamethrower has a bit of a buffalo flavor with a medium heat. With some visible seeds in the sauce, it’s possible there are low SHU peppers, or lightly touched by habaneros. Nothing to write home about in terms of the level of heat here. If that was the second spiciest sauce they had to offer, I was skeptical that the Polaris Dry Heat Rub would pack much of a punch.

powell bar and grill flamethrower

Procuring my heat loupe, I examined the exterior of a Polaris Dry Heat Rub wing. True to the name, this was definitely a dry rub with speckles of ground peppers, black pepper, and salt (likely their Salt & Pepper Rub with some sort of chili flakes added). Dragging the wing below my nose like a fine cigar, I caught whiffs of the black pepper and a hint of whatever other chili was being used. “Enough assessment!” I shouted into the darkness.

Biting into the first wing, the salt and pepper hits you right away, then an extra flavor creeps in. Moving to wing two, there was something building. Salt, pepper, slightly familiar taste, pain. Third wing, same thing. Dry, dry, more familiar taste, more pain. I squinted as I tried to place the extra taste, when my concentration was broken by a building wave of heat in my cheeks, tongue, and lips. My eyes widened as I recognized the familiar flavor of a superhot pepper. I can’t be sure, but from years of grinding super hots, the Polaris Dry Heat Rub either contains Ghost Pepper powder or Carolina Reaper powder. From linger and build, I’d lean toward ghost pepper, but the damage was done.

Moving to wing four, a rare phenomenon occurred (graphic description incoming). When all the spicy stars align, and a dry rub is dry enough, the rare lava snot emerges. Also known as “magma mucus,” this rare event dislodges the mucus in your nose, which travels into your throat, forcing a cough and triggering a terribly spicy cycle of snot, coughing, and a slight feeling of death. If it’s happened to you before, you know what I’m talking about. Working through the final wings, the globule of magma mucus continued, creating a never-ending loop of spiciness. Eyes watering, I finished the final wing, blew my nose several times, and collapsed to the floor.

Lips still tingling, I thought about where to place these wings. The dryness of the rub makes for a bizarre spicy experience, while also bringing quite a bit of heat. All things considered, we’re placing the Polaris Dry Heat Rub at #11 on our list. I was not expecting to be hit this hard by a dry rub, so a tip of the cap to Powell Bar & Grill.

You can find Powell Bar & Grill at 26 Grace Dr. Powell, OH 43065.

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