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Tommy, March 28 2022

Connecticut "Hot Ones!"

Sean Evans has gained fame through his series called “Hot Ones” on the First We Feast YouTube channel. There, he interviews celebrities while taking them through a series of ten very hot wings as they sweat, laugh and cry. I mean it’s funny to watch people suffer, right? It just is.

While the Wingaddicts idea was never about competitive eating or super hot wing eating, it is clearly a part of the game. A part of the "wing-a-verse." So every once and a while, we’ll rise to the challenge.

Wingchef Ryan is in his 30’s. He’s an actual chef, an awesome consumer, and is fearless when it comes to the hot sauces. He actually drinks them! 

Doni the Cleaner is in his 40’s (at least for another few months). Though lactose intolerant (he pops pills off camera before each episode) he’s pretty adept at consuming the hot stuff. He’s actually the first person I saw consuming 2,000,000 SHU’s (Scoville Heat Units) on camera.

Me, I’m on the back half of my 50’s. I was all about the Dave’s Insanity Sauces and the whole list of original face melters back in the 80’s and 90’s but with my advanced age has come wisdom and I currently value my colon too much to abuse it on too many occasions. 

But sometimes its fun! 

Following is a list of the hottest wings we’ve encountered to date, during stops at over 150 Connecticut restaurants. Click on the restaurant’s name for a link to its website and click on the photo for a peek at that Wingaddicts episode. Keep in mind, we seldom order the hot stuff so we’re not claiming to have eaten the hottest wings in CT!

If you’re a heat lover, then you’ll want to try out the “FU Hot” wing at Groggy Frogg in Southington. Chef Aaron Kanute delivered our wings wearing a mask and black rubber gloves as the clientele gathered around to watch. It was Wingchef Ryan’s VERY first episode with us and he and Doni did a great job burning, while I did a great job filming. We’ve been told that Chef Aaron has recently dialed back the heat a little since our 2020 episode there. All three of us partook during the Wingaddicts RELAPSE episode in 2021, and (accoring to a reliable source) they weren't quite as fiery.

Also in Southington, the Tipping Chair Tavern brought us the heat with their aptly named “Eruption Wings.” Because their wings have a breaded flour dredge, they held that heat in place. We all ate that batch and I ended up in the fetal position on the bench. Extreme heat. This is the hottest wing I've personally had as a Wingaddict. It goes down at the 13:49 mark of the video.

The "Widow Maker" at Old Well Tavern in Simsbury is a favorite of Wingaddict Jim Stack who posts them up in our Facbook community frequently. We weren’t planning on having them, but they came out anyway. Normally made with more of a dry rub (which holds the heat in your mouth longer), we think Chef Frank Co took a little mercy on us and softened them up first! Guest Wingaddict Jennifer Berry at hers with no trouble while Wingchef Ryan got a little teary eyed! (Granted, he had just done two shots of Louisiana Hot Sauce five minutes prior).

Willimantic Brewing Company (Willibrew) is a pure treasure on your wing trail and we enjoyed many great flavors there before a dip in the “Oy Vey” pool. Guest Wingaddict Ronnie Swierbitowicz, who had gone to school at Eastern CT State University across the street, turned us onto the place and was the one who pushed for the hot one. I took a pass, but he and Wingchef Ryan fired them down; pun intended. OY VEY!

Blarney’s Cafe is literally around the block from Willibrew, so we walked there immediately afterward for game two of a Wingaddicts double header (while Doni was away). An awesome dive college bar, Blarney’s is a big ECSU hangout and has a great selection of wing flavors. We ordered the “Insanity” wings with a side of “Murder Sauce.” We at the insanity wings. Chef Ryan drank the murder sauce which is a combination of the world’s two hottest peppers (carolina reapers and trinidad scorpion peppers). At the 13:45 mark begins an instant Wingaddicts Classic!

One of our great Wingaddicts, Bill Steiny is a huge hot fan in his own rite and turned us onto the “Screamin' Demon” at Side Street Grille in Hamden. Nothing fancy there. Straight up heat. Enjoyable but certainly survivable. This is a great hot wing. Check the 8:35 mark of the episode.

At a Wingaddicts RELAPSE episode at The Hub in Naugatuck, we shot for the moon with their “Diablo 66” hot wings. Chef Ryan went to the next level by first eating the entire long-hot pepper on top of our hot oil pizza, and then washed it down with the hot wings before doing “The Hub Rub.” This was a great episode all around and the fire came out at the 11:53 mark.

One of the least-mentioned Hall of Fame wing joints in our Wingaddicts Community is Hot Rod Cafe in New London. Way down in the southeast corner, Chef Carlos Paucar and owner Rod Cornish treated us to an amazing array of wings wrapping up the night with some (not on the menu) “Paranormal” wings, which we named for that day. Chef had just gotten in a fresh batch of ghost peppers so he whipped us up a batch to be an amazing host with the most (and the ghost!) Scroll to the 14:08 mark of the video to see why they deployed the nuclear submarines in the sound that morning!

We had actually stopped off at Eli Cannon’s in Middletown before going to Hot Rod’s that day and fired down six flavors there. Though we did not order the “Lava” wings, they did bring us out a container of their “Lava” sauce so we could try it. It was straight fire at the 9:20 mark. And no, Ryan didn’t drink this one. 

One of the most-enjoyable face burning experiences we had was in Milford at Bonfire Grille. Rob Cyr and Frank Basile set us up with some “Bonfire Habanero Blaze” wings (named after the actual sauce that they sell there). We were filming outside on a 90-degree summer day, in direct sunlight, and eating habanero wings. Before we melted into a puddle, they brought us some frozen sangria drinks which quenched the fire immediately. We suggested they call that drink “the fire extinguisher.” I’ll eat those again! The habanero party started at the 9:00 mark of the episode.

Another super hot summer day, and another episode shot on the hood of the black Wingaddicts Jeep in a blacktop parking lot, with black Wingaddicts shirts on, saw us hammering eight flavors at MAG’s Pizza in Seymour and wrapping it up with the “Fuego” wings at the 6:36 mark on the video. Everything was extra hot that day! 

Though it didn’t melt our faces off, the “Slow Death” wing at Scooter’s in New Milford made our hot list  just for the name. It did have heat along with some type of sweet (maybe cherry) undertone. It was our favorite wing on the menu for sure. Tune to the 6:45 mark of the episode for Slow Death.

Knuckleheads in Wallingford was a spot where we experienced the “Smoke & Fire” dry rub wing. It came on the end of a six-flavor day which included their legendary “Pig Wings.” It was spicy, for sure, (9:35) but not too crazy.

We know that Wingaddict Effie Foster is a huge fan of the "Suicide Wings” over at TK’s in Danbury who actually dials it up one more with "X-tra Hot", but we didn’t go that way during any of our three separate visits. We also never ordered “Insane” wings at Sliders or ventured into the death zone at Dew Drop Inn in Derby. When the wing is called “Suicide” and there’s a disclaimer on the menu, common sense tells us to steer clear. But we have seen many people attempt them on video . . . unsuccessfully. Owner Jason Carlucci has often thought about (and may have by the writing of this blog post) taking them off the menu. Nothing good ever happens when you try the "Suicide Wings" at Dew Drop. Not ever. I could be wrong, but I'm not sure anybody has ever eaten two. Don't believe me? Click on the image below and watch Johnny Kraszewski from Armada Brewing trying them out on video. 

So there’s the Wingaddicts list of the “Connecticut Hot Ones” to date.  Just writing this blog post makes me want to go back and revisit every one of these spots. Some are WAY overdue!

Stating the obvious, restaurants don't want to murder their customers. Clearly any chef could coat wings with the hottest pepper capsaicin on the planet but that would be bad for business. If you want that, you'll need to get the hot sauces and do it at home! 

We’d love to know about some of your favorite hot wings. We’d also love your opinions on the ones we’ve mentioned here. 

Wings up!

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