Winking Lizard Pt. II – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series
When a “Hotter Than Hot” menu comes out for a mostly local restaurant, it is our duty to return. This week was no exception.
The Hotter than Hot menu is one that we’d seen previously way before we started doing this list, but didn’t think anything of it at the time. It’s possible that it was because we’d just watched the Cleveland Browns play, were at a location in Cleveland and met Hanford Dixon, but regardless I had eaten the Burnin’ River Burger. It packed a punch, so when the menu returned this week (h/t tastebuds614 for letting us know), we knew we had to go back.
We’d reviewed the Magma and Fire in the Hole wings previously and they currently sit at #14 on our list, so we were curious to see where the menu would stack up.
The menu is still active today, January 17th, but look at that list. Everything made with Pure Evil Sauce (which they still haven’t said what is in there) and the Hellfire Chili is made with dried Carolina Reapers, Trinidad Scorpion, Ghost, Habanero, and Lemon Drop Peppers. they even claim that the Hellfire contains straight Capsicum. The lady of the farm is not a big fan of the Winking Lizard, so we tagged in Serrano Seth and headed back to the Polaris location.
Visually, nothing to worry about with this chili. Maybe a pepper seed or two here and there, but from looks alone, the chili didn’t look spicy. First bite and the extract hit immediately. We’ve eaten enough extracts that the flavor (not great) and heat are noticeable right off the bat. Second bite and we were able to get a bit of the peppers that were mentioned. We were expecting the heat to rise and build, but it tapered off a bit. Forehead beginning to sweat and nose beginning to run, the heat of the chili is definitely pretty high. Adding crackers may have helped remove some of the spicy bite, but the heat that is in this dish started to weaken with each bite. We’ve heard of others that eat this dish and it’s extremely hot, so we’re wondering if we got a weaker batch. After all it’s just a tiny cup. No mouth-breathing, but definitely a nose-dripper, we’re placing the Hellfire Chili at #13 on our list.
Onto the wings!
The Pure Evil Wings were next on the list. We offset them a bit with a few Bourbon Barrel wings to make sure the chili had worn off. Picking one up, it was already a bit of an enigma. We had expected the wings to be wet with the Pure Evil Sauce, but they were mostly dry, almost like it was just a rub. A bit nervous I bit into the first one. Yep, immediately hot. The dryness makes these wings out to be almost entirely pepper powder that is added. Just guessing, we’d say that it’s a similar mixture to what is in the Hellfire Chili with Reapers, Scorpions and Ghosts. Not a ton of flavor but the peppers used knocked me back a bit. Two wings in and I was mouth-breathing. Not the cool like, yeah I got this, but the gross, lower jaw out, mid-bite breaths.
All five wings down and 15 tissues later, I looked at the plate and sat back impressed. I was not expecting that level of heat (especially after the chili was less hot than expected), but these wings knocked me out a bit. The crispiness of the skin and the dryness of the sauce didn’t allow for vinegar or anything else to subdue the heat, so I was left to just sit there and take it.
No spicy margs for us because we do not do spicy drinks, so our time with the Hotter than Hot menu was complete.
We bid farewell to Serrano Seth and headed home, lips still tingling from the Pure Evil Sauce. That was the surprising part of this sauce. It wasn’t necessarily the initial blast of spiciness, but the linger. Thirty minutes later my lips were still tingling a bit, reminding me that the next day would not be kind. All things considered, this is a top 10 spiciest dish in Columbus. It comes around once a year, but when it does we definitely recommend the wings. The burger might be good to, but we’ll not know until next year. That in mind, we’re placing the Pure Evil wings at #7 on our list. Not tear-inducing, but this is the grossest my nose has been in a while.
If you’re looking for something spicy this evening, definitely check out the Hotter than Hot menu at Winking Lizard. If you try the spicy margarita, definitely let us know, but again, we are staying far away from it.
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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