Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series: Hoggy’s BBQ
For as big as Columbus is, there aren’t that many BBQ joints in town. City BBQ and Ray Ray’s Hog Pit tend to come to mind first, but Hoggy’s is another location you should be sure to add to your list.
We’d driven by quite a few times and had been within several steps of Hoggy’s in fact (Spicy Hop is right next door), but had yet to venture inside. After hearing of a potential top 3 wing candidate we had to see what all the fuss was about.
Every good BBQ joint has at least a handful of sauces for meat slathering and Hoggy’s did not disappoint in this area.
As you can see they’ve got a swath of sauces to try out including Hogfire, Hoggy’s Original BBQ, Sweet BBQ, Garlic Ranch, Jamaican, and Bourbon BBQ. Those are at least the ones we tried with our meats. The Original and Hogfire proved to be our top choices, with Jamaican and Garlic Ranch next up in the list.
As for the meats, we snagged Hoggy’s Grazer, “a sampling of ribs, pulled pork, chopped brisket, pulled chicken, mac ‘n cheese, baked beans, and corn bread with honey butter.” The meats were all well cooked and the ribs pulled off the bone easily. Big fan of the baked beans and corn bread, but was less excited about the mac ‘n cheese and the bread that the meats came on. No biggie though as the bread gets in the way of dipping into sauce anyway.
You can see the father of the farm in the background with his pulled pork sandwich and a pile of fries. The fries appear to be the beer battered or lightly battered extra fried type. Either way, it’s one of our favorite types of fry and you get a mountain of them when you select it as a side. So what’s so spicy about BBQ?
Now we remember. We were here for…dun dun dunnnnn…Armondo’s XXXInferno Wings. Made with only in-season peppers (when available), their Hogfire (made from Habanero and spicy peppers), and the traditional Texas Pete Hot, the XXXInferno sits atop their 14 sauce list. The wings are smoked, fried and then tossed in sauce, giving them a tenderness that helps it pull right off the bone. We’re a stickler for being able to get the wing meat off easily and Hoggy’s nailed it in this regard.
Bright red, the sauce looks hot. With seeds splattered throughout the sauce, the coating is thick and looks like it’s going to burn a hole in the paper lining in the basket. A customary whiff from the lady of the farm and she wasn’t getting much. I took a deep inhale as well and also wasn’t getting much in the way of spicy smells we typically get. Another thing we noticed was that, unlike a lot of “hot wings” there was a lack of an overly vinegary smell, a welcome change.
The first bite was unassuming. The thickness is noticeable, but still saucy. Through one wing, I started to pick up on the peppers in the sauce. The heat wasn’t overwhelming, but it was starting to build. I tossed a wing over to the father of the farm who put it down pretty quickly citing that it wasn’t too bad. As I picked up wing number two, the sweat kicked in. Super hot peppers in sauces tend to delay their heat release and the XXXInferno appeared to be one of those sauces. Three wings in and I was working with a good amount of sniffles. Not unbearable, but the heat was definitely still building. Finishing the basket, I was pleasantly surprised. A BBQ joint with a spicy wing? Definitely a new experience. Best part about the XXXInferno wings is that fifteen minutes later you can still feel the spicy tingle on your lips. Even with just one wing, the father of the farm continued asking for a while after consuming if he was the only one still feeling the spiciness.
The full wing sauce list includes: Garlic Ranch, Honey Garlic, Sweet Bourbon BBQ, Sweet Baby Rays, Teriyaki, Hoggy’s Original BBQ, Jamaican Jerk, Daddy’s Cajun, Sweet Chili, Lime Sriracha, Texas Pete Hot, Hog Fire and Armondo’s XXXInferno. We typically like to ask about the sauces after we’ve had them and this trip was no different. Learning the basics of the XXXInferno, we also learned that there are two versions. The version that most people get (myself included in this case) is a diluted version that is less hot than the full XXXInferno. Primary reason is because Hoggy’s likes to use fresh peppers for the full-blown sauce and was out of them at the time of this writing. We are currently in talks to get them some more super hots (Trinidad Scorpion, Ghost Pepper, Reaper) and will update once we’ve had the non-diluted sauce. In the mean time we’ll stick to our rules and rate this as we would any other “can’t ask for it special” dish.
So where does this fall on our list? The initial heat is deceptive and the linger is impressive, but Armondo’s XXXInferno (diluted version) misses a bit of the kick. We’re placing this at #8 on the list, supplanting Woody’s Wing House and their Diablo-Q, but falling just short of Fukuryu and their Level 4 Red Dragon Ramen. With the variety of sauces and their meat feats, we definitely recommend trying out Hoggy’s. If you’re a wing nut, or want to try the XXXInferno, every week they have 65 cent wings for Wing Wednesday. $6.50 for 10 tasty wings? Pretty good deal in our book.
You can find Hoggy’s at 830 Bethel Road, Columbus, OH 43214 for their brick and mortar location, but they also have catering, so keep that in mind for your next event.
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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