Winking Lizard – Spiciest Dish In Columbus Series
A multi-wing excursion at a spicy sauce saloon…
I’ve been going to Winking Lizard since I was young lad (grew up in the Akron area) and hadn’t been there in a while, so when this popped up on the list I was excited to get back to my roots and dig into their spiciest wings.
On this evening we joined two friends for Wing Night ($0.50 boneless and $0.60 bone-in) at Winking Lizard in Westerville, OH. I initially got lost because the friends we were meeting were “in the bar area.” There were at least four bar areas and I picked all the wrong ones initially. Once we found them it was time to get winging.
Previously I’ve focused on just one dish at a time, but this trip I wanted to go with the top two spiciest, the “Fire in the Hole” and “Magma”. Wanting 15 wings, I added on an order of “Goldfinger.” I asked our server what makes the wings so spicy, but she was convinced I needed her to go check on ingredients for allergy reasons (fair enough), so I dropped it. We later learned from the Winking Lizard Facebook page that the wing sauces do in fact use Scorpion peppers, and not some Scorpion extract. Off to a good start!
The wings arrived and they looked hot. Fire in the Hole doesn’t look too menacing, but the lady of the farm took a whiff, recoiled and said “whuuuu, get those away from me.” The menu warns about Fire in the Hole: “Eat at your own risk! A blend of Trinidad Scorpion peppers and the hottest spices we could find.”
The Magma wings are caked in a thick sauce that tells your eyes to prepare the rest of your senses for what’s about to go down. It’s essentially their 911 sauce times two, with a bit of Scorpion pepper in there. The 911 sauce itself is a spicier version of their Hot sauce, which is an aged cayenne-heavy sauce with garlic salt and vinegar.
Goldfinger was true to the description as a yellow-y sauce with a mustard base and cayenne peppers for heat.
We began with the Fire in the Hole wings. The first hit of flavor is all of the spices, a bit earthy, focusing more on savory than sweetness. The Scorpion heat starts to creep up, but never gets too intense. The wing meat is fairly standard and garnered no complaints on our end. As a palate-cleanser I tagged in the Goldfinger wings. I’m a sucker for mustard-y sauces and these were awesome. Out of all of their sauces, I’d probably be most likely to buy Goldfinger by itself.
With the heat of the Fire in the Hole wings mostly gone, I hopped over to the Magma wings. The heat of Magma is different in that it hits you a bit faster with the cayenne base. The linger is similar, but is gone in less time. Without an e-tongue to test the Scoville Heat Units of each sauce, we’ll have to take Winking Lizard’s word for it that Magma is second spiciest. Both wing sauces had great flavor and induced sniffling, but with the linger of either not staying for long, and the initial heat not reaching as high as the Atlas Tavern wings, we put these in the middle of the pack with spiciest dish in Columbus.
Especially with the description of Magma as “911 times two!! May cause blistering of the tongue & esophagus” I was expecting them to pack a kick that would leave me questioning my reality, but the overall wing-eating experience was enjoyable so no complaints here.
With 20+ sauces to choose from, Winking Lizard sits toward the top of our list of best wings in town. With daily specials on drinks and food, it’s a great spot if you’re craving wings that pack a decent amount of heat.
Lizardville sits at 496 Polaris Pkwy, Westerville, OH 43082.
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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