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Teriyaki Madness – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series

Madness?! This. Is. TERIYAKI!!!

Opened in late 2020 in Westerville, Teriyaki Madness is continuing to push forward, slinging their customizable bowls with varying levels of heat, protein, and carbs.

We’d been meaning to try it out for a while and eventually gave it a shot before moving 6 cubic yards of dirt at the home of the Parents of the Farm.

Proteins include: Orange Chicken, Salmon Teriyaki, Steak Teriyaki, Chicken Teriyaki, Chicken Breast Teriyaki, Spicy Chicken, Spicy Tofu Teriyaki, Chicken Katsu, and Yakisobaaaa. Once you decide on your proteins you move forward into your size, something other “build your own” chains haven’t done a great job with in the past. The three options include Junior, Regular, and Large. Large looked big enough to put away half immediately for your next meal, with Regular being juuuust a little too much.

After size and protein are selected it’s all about that base as American poet Meghan Trainor once wrote in her poem “All About That Bass” (I now feel I’ve made a spelling error somewhere). Anyway, the bases to select from are white rice, brown rice, noodles, fried rice, POWER BOWL (veggies only) or Yakisoba-style (wok-tossed with noodle base). We’re no mathematicians, but with all the different options that’s at least more than 20 different ways you can enjoy some quick tastiness. Veggies include broccoli, zucchini, and cabbage (a lesser-used vegetable).

No idea what the inside looks like since we got our order to go and picked it up Curbside, but everything was ready to go and correctly placed in the bag, so win-win for everyone.

Looming large with the intensity of Xerxes (but less face and body piercings) Teriyaki Madness is like a mashup of Chipotle and Panda Express. On this day we wandered in to try out their new-to-the-menu Mad Sauce which they claim is a “nice kick in the bowls.” Their hottest sauce, the Mad Sauce is available for a “short window” but these days who knows how long that is.

I loaded up with a Mad Spicy Chicken Bowl, which is “wok-tossed with our signature spicy sauce and then wok-tossed with our new signature MAD SAUCE.” Also snagged a side cup of the Mad Sauce, because can you ever really have enough spicy sauce? With veggies as a base to make it a Power Bowl, which we imagine would mean Zach Snyder would add another 2 hours to its consumption, the sauce falls to the bottom, not sticking too well to the base.

The chicken itself retains the sauce nicely and on the first bite you get a major zing of the signature spicy sauce. Sweet and savory, the sauce gives way to the madness, which tastes slightly like it may be playing with some pepper extract. We have no confirmation of this so it’s not breaking our rules, but the heat and the linger creep up on you and stick around.

Nose dripping I added some of the side cup of Mad Sauce to get the full effect. Same story, more sweet followed by savory, giving way to a creeping and lingering heat. The heat sticks to your tongue most of all, with some of the signature sauces thickness. As I packed up the leftovers (even a regular is a fairly hefty meal), I thought how deep into a hole this MAD SAUCE had kicked me.

We reserve the right to change this ranking if it does turn out they’re using an unnatural heat source, but as it stands we’re placing Teriyaki Madness at #30. Just before Quaker Steak’s Triple Atomic Wings and right after Lucky’s Grille and their Inferno Wings. The linger and physical effects play into this decision. It won’t power kick you into a hole, but it’s borders on the line of major spicy adventurer and those of middling tolerance.

Now, we did hear from Teriyaki Madness and they noted the Mad Sauce is spicy because of aged Cayenne Peppers and that was it, but we found that a bit hard to believe. We’ll be attempting to dig further, but may not come to any additional resolution.

You can find Teriyaki Madness at 833 Polaris Pkwy, Westerville, OH 43082.

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!

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