Stadium – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series
Opening mid-pandemic is tough, but Stadium survives!
In the small downtown area of Gahanna in the Creekside Development, Stadium stands out from the rest. From the mind of Darrell Ferguson (who you may know from his other restaurant SuperChef), Stadium was created as “a sports bar for foodies.” With countless televisions adorning the walls and a sports-themed menu, Stadium is bringing all sorts of new takes on traditional sports dishes to the Gahanna area. With dishes like All-Star Nachos, Triple Threat Shrimp Kabobs, and NBA Jam (a marinated burger, topped with compound butter, garlic aioli, smoked gouda, argula, and bacon jam), Stadium is leaning in completely to their sports theme.
Most notable is the way they break down their menu in 1st Quarter, 2nd Quarter, Halftime, 3rd Quarter, 4th Quarter, and Overtime to represent the different stages of a meal that could very well match up to the three hours of watching OSU on Saturdays or the Super Bowl Browns on Sundays. The Lady of the Farm snagged The G.O.A.T. a deep-fried marinated chicken breast tossed in 4th quarter sauce with cajun mayo and brown sugar slaw. The Cajun Mayo brings a slight kick from its spices, but between the two, the 4th Quarter sauce stands out more within the sandwich. More on the 4th Quarter sauce later.
If brunch is more your speed, they’ve got some additional menu items including Omelets with loaded tater tot hash, a 12-inch breakfast pie, and pancake poppers (deep-fried pancake balls).
Founder and Co-owner James Dawson was kind enough to relay some secrets about their wing sauces from Chef Sterling, which we’ve outlined below. In total, Stadium carries 12 sauces and rubs for their wings with another on the way. They also have one of the most unique wings we’ve ever seen, coming in at $50 for 5, it’s the 24 Karat Gold Trophy Wings, as seen on the Travel Channel and Food Network. Yes, wings with edible gold flakes. On wings. Seriously.
4th quarter – The perfect time for a comeback, we gave these wings a little pep talk and dove in. Sweet, with a slight heat and an underlying BBQ flavor, it’s not going to bring you to your knees in defeat, but it is enough to play some Tressel-ball and close the game out. Seemingly unaffected by the level of heat, the Lady of the Farm gave a nod, her universal sign that it’s a fine amount of spiciness for most mortals. From the chef himself, “4th Quarter is a house-made hot sauce with a sweet twist. Hot sauce base with ingredients such as brown sugar, maple syrup, and molasses. Not too hot, not too sweet, but the perfect flavor combination for an individual into sauces but no too spicy.”
If the 4th Quarter is a representation of quarter-by-quarter spiciness, then Hella Habanero must be the spicy equivalent of spraying champagne around in the locker room (though we would not recommend spraying this sauce on anyone, even those wearing goggles). Its orange-yellow hue shouts “good game” as it lightly punches you in the mouth, sending a smooth spiciness to the far corners. Initially, the focus is on a slightly fruity sauciness (thanks to some apple cider vinegar and the citrus of the habaneros) that gives way to a traditional habanero burn, doing its best to get your locker room dance on TikTok to go viral. As it peaks, there’s an extra hint of flavor which was revealed to be spicy mustard, a secret ingredient from Chef Sterling.
As I put on my spicy letterman’s jacket, I pondered if Hella Habanero could win state. With the heat emanating over time, it’s got a solid linger that puts it further ahead than Wing Snob for sure. All that in mind we’re placing Stadium at #35, just after SilOHs Screamy Reaper Burger and right before Thai Grille’s Extra Spicy Pad Kee Mao.
An extra spicy scoop, Stadium has a wing sauce spicier than the Hella Habanero in the works. Sources tell us Stadium is “currently working on a Reaper Sauce which will probably come with a waiver. So yes, definitely turning the heat up just in time for summer.” You heard it here first folks, keep an eye out for a new contender for our Top 10 coming this summer!
Look below for more on our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
Recently featured in the Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series:
- Min-Ga [Bethel Rd.]
- Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace [Downtown]
- Huli Huli [Powell]
- Little Palace [Downtown]
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