Spiciest Dish In Columbus Series: The Rail
The broadest range of slightly spicy items we’ve seen so far…
Locally-sourced everything, The Rail is an Ohio restaurant that started in Cleveland and has been making it’s way south. With five locations, including one in Dublin, OH, we set off to checkout what spiciness they could provide.
We’d been hearing about The Rail for a bit now, but had yet to make it to their restaurant. With 15+ burgers, the spicy boi that stuck out was the Bonfire Burger. Burgers are what they do here and they are pretty adamant with that being the big draw. Another nice feature for The Rail are seasonal foods like the Angry Bird Sandwich (chicken burger with Monterey Jack Cheese, roasted red pepper pesto, red onion, and arugala) and their homemade Apple Pie(also available A La Mode). Any spot that has seasonal foods builds in a curiosity around what to expect when I go back in the Fall and Winter.
Looking further through the menu, there are a lot of slightly spicy looking items on the menu, so props to The Rail for bringing some more intense flavors to the Dublin folk.
We started off our spicy adventure with the Smoked Gouda Mac ‘N Cheese Bites which come with a nice Buffalo Ranch Dip. Nice and crispy little balls of deliciousness with just the right amount of smokiness. The Buffalo Ranch Dip wasn’t a mind-blower, but we’re from the Midwest, so anything that’s Ranch is fine in our book. A little more focus on the buffalo portion would have taken this to a top Ranch contender in Columbus.
We had also debated getting the Roasted Habanero Boneless Wings, but after a 10-minute shouting match about it potentially being too spicy to handle, we decided against it (there wasn’t really a shouting match, just trying to inject drama).
The lady of the farm settled on the Garlic Hot Chicken Sandwich, a fairly bold choice, but she was confident she could handle the garlic buffalo sauce and the pepper jack cheese without issue.
The chicken sandwich was light and crispy, not overly breaded. The bacon added a nice saltiness to the sandwich and I didn’t pick up on the truffle aspect of the truffle Aioli, but I don’t doubt it was there (see our comments on Truff hot sauce). Overall the Garlic Hot Chicken brings a nice little heat to it. Not something that makes your nose sweat, but a small kick of “oh, nice, there’s something spicy in here.” Great beginner heat for folks unsure of what they can handle.
On to the main show, the Bonfire Burger!
Topped with Pepper Jack Cheese, Housemade Jalapeño Relish, Sriracha and Housemade Roasted Habanero Sauce, the Bonfire Burger is the type of burger Bob Ross would paint if he painted burgers. Nice Christmas-y colors with the green relish and the red sriracha. The Roasted Habanero had been spilled a bit (no biggie), so we didn’t get to douse the burger in it completely, but I was able to get a pretty good sense of the type of sauce. It’s a bit more viscous than expected, with an additionally unexpected sweetness to it. Closest I can compare it to is a sweet and sour sauce with a habanero base. Heat-wise, the Roasted Habanero will be too much for some, but a on our 7-scale, we’d put it at a reasonable 3.
The flavors of the burger work well together and the Jalapeño relish was pretty tasty, focusing more on the pepper side of things than most restaurants. The patty itself was nothing to write home about, but also wasn’t a bad patty. Our preference is hand packed instead of using a mold, but we understand that’s not always the most efficient.
Did we mention the tots yet? No? Man, these tots are dope. Imagine one of the McDonald’s hash-browns crumpled into a ball and seasoned much better and that’s what you’ve got here. Nice crispy, chewy balls of potato that would make Samwise Gamgee shed a tear. For half of the tots we dipped them into the remainder of the Roasted Habanero sauce, while the other half we dipped into the Creamy Sriracha Ketchup. Again, the sriracha ketchup isn’t crazy spicy or anything but we’d be comfortable saying The Rail has the broadest range of spicy items on any menu we’ve seen so far. Roughly half the items on the menu have some sort of spicy slant, so that’s pretty awesome.
Last thing to mention is the Rail Twist Fries. These things are amazing. Steak fries tend to be too thick and the middle a bit bleh, but the rail twist fries are just the right thickness that you still get the crispiness and a great cook all the way through. The lady of the farm had ordered these instead of the sweet potato fries, and when they came out they did not last long. Excellent choice of a side.
Now that we know everything about their potatoes, where does The Rail rank on our Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series? Well, it’s definitely not the top. The Roasted Habanero sauce has a kick and the Bonfire Burger is overall a good choice, but it will start on our list at #18, bumping Roosters Nu-Killer wings down a spot and sitting just under the Level 6 Vindaloo at Amul India. Major points for the multiple spicy items on the menu, but none cranks up the heat enough to be in the top half of the list.
You can find the rail at 5839 Frantz Rd, Dublin, OH 43016 or up in the Northeast in Akron, Strongsville, North Olmsted or Canton.
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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