Monday, May 30, 2011

Lowry Cafe Has the Ghost Pepper!

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photos of Hawkman taken by Ann Loyd of Local D'Lish.

I've got to hand it to my NoMi neighbors.  In the midst of the tornado cleanup, NoMi Passenger had the roof torn off of her house.  Yet I still got a text from her telling me that the Lowry Cafe has ghost peppers they can put on chicken wings.  Here she is, no roof on her home, and she's looking out for my taste buds.

So after getting roped into a press conference at 26th and Broadway, I moseyed on over to Lowry Cafe.  This would also be the first time I tried the Rogue beer they have available.

The photo might not make this entirely clear, but they serve their beer in a chilled glass.  "Beer should always be served in a chilled glass or frosty mug" is one of my most deeply-held nonreligious, apolitical beliefs.  Well done, Lowry Cafe.  Well done.

Now let's get to those chicken wings...

...When I first asked for the ghost peper chicken wings, one staff person wasn't sure they had them.  After checking with the cooks and owner, they confirmed that yes indeed I could get ghost peppers but it would cost a bit extra.  Given the serious level of spiciness, I was asked several times if I knew what I was getting into.

"You said ghost peppers, right?"

"You do know how spicy these are?"

"You're sure you want them?"

"Are you of sound mind and body?"

"Who is your next of kin?  Would you please sign this waiver holding us harmless of any serious health problems?"

You don't actually have to sign anything, although some restaurants do require this.  The owner was surprised I knew of the pepper and said they have to import them already prepped because of FDA regulations.  Isn't American bureaucracy great?  You can't actually prepare the pepper a certain way, but you can import it and EAT it.  Along those lines, chefs usually wear thick latex gloves when prepping the pepper, but of course you don't get any protective gear when you eat it.  This is one of the few foods that requires you to wash your hands AFTER you eat.  You really do NOT want to touch your ears, eyes, nose, open wounds, or (ahem) any other tender bits of your body until you have washed your hands more thoroughly than a germophobe during a flu outbreak.

The first bites reminded me there is a God and I am not him.

The bleu cheese and beer are absolute necessities to keep the spice at manageable levels.  But I managed to plow through the plate of a dozen and I was still standing.  My face was beet red and I was dripping sweat, but once again the Hawkman emerged victorious in a quest to conqure all things spicy.  If anyone else is up to the challenge, let's meet at Lowry Cafe and we'll see who can take the heat.

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