Yes I know Sweetwater Tavern isn't on here.
Now, in it's entirety:
Here we've got some of the hottest spots serving up the spice ... But fair warning: the pain level ratings scale was determined by someone who likes to feel the burn; adjust to your taste buds accordingly.
36863 Van Dyke, Sterling Heights • 586.983.3700
Gator Jake's in Sterling Heights is a no-frills sports bar serving up mandatory sports bar food, like classic hot wings. Spun in their house-made wing sauce made with Frank's Red Hot, dry mustard, garlic powder, black pepper and tomato juice, this is the kind of bright orange, runny hot sauce wings fans crave.
Pain level: 3 — Eat 'em by the dozen, but you'll probably poop orange.
25225 Telegraph Rd., Southfield • 248.355.4695
Nikola's in Southfield is a very unassuming place, but the food speaks for itself. They do barbecue, and they do it exceedingly well. The broasted chicken wings are a thing of bountiful beauty — one order is only $7.95 and comes with 12 huge pieces, but that's not even the best part. The breading is exceptionally crispy (seriously, it CRUNCHES) and is full of its own well-seasoned flavor. Then the wings are dipped in their homemade sauce and slow-cooked (almost caramelized) with cayenne pepper, molasses, brown sugar, Frank's Red Hot and vinegar. It is thick as honey, glossy, both sweet and tangy ... the flavors are rich and explosive with only the slightest hint of heat.
Pain level: 1 — Just a tickle; like foreplay.
Your Mother's Food & Spirits
61 North Walnut St., Mt Clemens • 586.468.4444
Named "Best Wings" by the Macomb Daily and a current nominee for WDIV's "Vote 4 the Best," Your Mother's Food & Spirits in Mt. Clemens has a rainbow of 17 different house-made sauces which include five hot sauces: Jamaican, hot garlic, hot, "Devil" and "I Dare You." These big, meaty wings are roasted and fried in oil to order, then sautéed in sauce. The Jamaican has a slightly sweet, smoky flavor with a nice kick from the jerk spice. The hot garlic is light on the heat but strong on the garlic. But the "I Dare You" is a sleeper: the sauce is thicker than marinara sauce, and bright red. Initially you feel nothing. You think to yourself, "I GOT this." Then it begins. The burn is slow, steady and severe. Mouth, meet fresh habaneros.
Pain level: Hot Garlic, 3; Jamaican, 5; "I Dare You," 8.5 — I'm not crying; it's just allergies.
Rub BBQ Pub
18 West Adams, Detroit • 313.964.0782
Detroit's newest upscale barbecue joint is Rub BBQ Pub, where they have something called "Pig Wings." It's pork on a bone (cut from the shank), and you eat them like wings — with your hands, drenched in your sauce of choice. Their six sauces are all made in-house, including the bright orange buffalo sauce with the classic Tabasco/vinegar flavor. The wing dings are deep-fried and crispy, but for something a little different try the dry rub wings which are smoked in-house (as with all their meats). Wash it all down with one of their 30 draft or 100 bottled beers, including a large selection of Michigan's best brews.
Pain level: 4 — Slather it on thick and you can get a nice sting.
4000 Cass Elizabeth Rd., Waterford • 248.683.3494
There are three restaurants in the world making a ghost pepper sauce hot sauce. One of them is O'Toole's in Waterford. Three times hotter than a habanero, the "ghost" pepper has been weaponized by India's Ministry of Defense. And THEY want you to put it in your MOUTH!! You should not eat this. NO ONE should eat this. And yet ... you're curious, aren't you? The pain is instantaneous and unmerciful. It is the (barely) edible equivalent of hydrochloric acid. Practice saying the following lines: "I can't feel the left side of my face."
Pain level: 10 — Has anyone seen my bowels? | RDW
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