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Atlas Tavern – Spiciest Dish In Columbus Series

In our never-ending quest for the hottest foods across America, we will do our best to try the spiciest dishes in whatever city we are in. Since we are based in Columbus, we’ll begin there.

This week we went to Atlas Tavern in Polaris to track down their spicy Reaper wings. Atlas Tavern is a fairly unassuming bar, tucked in between the Polaris mall and 71 South, so initially it was a little difficult to find. It’s not an overly large location and feels like it would be a choice spot for watching any sort of sports. Saw a ton of Blue Jackets apparel, even when the game was not for another day.

We had heard of Atlas Tavern from following a thread on r/Columbus about the spiciest dish in town. We’ll be attempting to make it through the entire list to help you know which are duds and which dishes are going to light you up.

Behold! The wing sauce list. We went with the “Best of All” which is half a pound of boneless wings (essentially tenders) and half a pound of traditional wings and the always awesome, waffle fries. Bone-in we went with Reaper BBQ and boneless we went with Reaper Buffalo. We forgot to get a side of Reaperaki for the waffle fries, so we’ll still need to try those out at some point. On the side, two nice thimbles of blue cheese to help cool off.

The lady of Fartley Farms instantly told me to keep it away from her as even the smell lets off a decent amount of heat. I was pleased with the portion size and gave both chickens a try to see which would be consumed first and which would wait until the end. When eating spicy things I like to try it all and then eat the spiciest thing first so I can end the meal on a light note.

Between the Reaper BBQ and the Reaper Buffalo, the BBQ was definitely the hotter of the two. Both have a great Reaper flavor to them and are true to their last names. The BBQ is thick and tastes like it has a molasses and brown sugar base. A little sweet but not overpowering, and then the heat kicks you in the teeth. My nose completely shut down and would not stop running the rest of the meal. I got through the four bone-in wings with no problem, even with my nose leaning into its own agenda. Some sauces I’ll just wipe off my hands, but this Reaper BBQ I licked off completely.

“Onto the Reaper Buffalo!” I shouted to a room of patrons that paid no mind. The father of the farm had tried these already (he’s the type that puts habanero powder on everything), liked the flavor and was unbothered by the heat. I opted to move to a knife and fork approach to avoid additional reasons to wash my hands and went to town. The Reaper Buffalo sauce is true to its name and tastes like a lot of other buffalo sauces but with a big ol’ kick at the end. Not as hot as the Reaper BBQ, but still enough to get your attention. This is the type of heat I would want for eating a full pound of the wings, whereas the BBQ was good for a small portion.

With waffle fries gone, blue cheese downed, and five to six waters consumed, I had finished the hotness. The spice lingered on my lips for several minutes afterward as I sat and contemplated the next morning’s adventures. Overall I was extremely pleased with the heat and flavor of the Reaper sauces and will definitely be headed back in the future. Hands down we would suggest the “Legendary” boneless wings over the traditional unless you are a purist and encourage the use of the knife and fork. We all know you’re brave, but dear spice meister, don’t be braver than you need to be. As for the heat of the wings, we asked Atlas Tavern via Facebook and they said “we use a reaper extracted paste that we mix with our house BBQ.” Same goes for the Reaper Buffalo and the Reaperaki. This stuff is legit.

Is it the spiciest dish in Columbus? As wings go, it’s definitely at the top of the list at the moment, but then again, we’ve only just begun. As such, we would like to give our official stamp of approval to Atlas Tavern. Keep on melting faces and causing people to cry. I’ll be the guy in the corner sniffling uncontrollably.

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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