Dew Drop Inn
25 North Ave., Derby, (203) 735-7757, facebook.com/Dewdropinnct. Hours: Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
When regular New Haven Advocate contributor Austen Fiora and I set out to do these spicy food challenges [a regular online video feature on CT.com], we were hoping to explore spicy options nearby and maybe push ourselves a little bit. What happened last week was like a shove off the spice-threshold cliff into a lake of lava. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed ourselves (trust me), but neither of us had eaten anything like the Dew Drop Inn's Suicide Wings, and both of us were still recovering more than 24 hours later.
The folks at the Dew Drop Inn personally challenged us to their tournament-style Suicide Wing Challenge, and obviously Austen and I said "Heck yeah!" immediately. I don't regret the decision, but I would never do this again unless someone is offering me a butt-load of money. Or unless I run out of excitement in my life.
We started out strong. For like, a minute. These wings were slathered in Suicide sauce. (A sauce so spicy that you need to wear gloves and a mask while making it, and cleaning up after it.) From there until the end it was cumulative burn and pain, involuntary tears, full-body sweats and a throat burn I didn't even know was possible. The bread/butter and celery/bleu cheese they provided for us did help, but not much, and not for very long. Beer also helped dull the burn, but after each sip it came back on full force. It took a few slices of American cheese, a couple Coors Lights, and a grilled cheese for my mouth to stop burning. My lips took another couple hours after that to calm down. And then there's the rest of my body, which, I don't need to go into details over.
Despite the war zone in our mouths, the Dew Drop Inn itself is a pretty awesome little bar out of the way of New Haven's often-rambunctious night life scene. They've got a selection of craft beer taps that'll satisfy those who like Prime 16 and Cask Republic and other bars who focus on the real stuff. And while they were actively enjoying torturing us, the folks running that place are wicked nice and really love what they do. (Bartender Leah let us sample a couple of her mixed drink concoctions that were so delicious, she must be a wizard or something.) I'm definitely going back there to try more wing flavors (of normal or at least tolerable spice levels), like the peanut butter and jelly wings with a fluff dipping sauce.
If you're the kind of person who says "Yeah, I like spicy stuff!" but your only experience is putting Sriracha on everything, this challenge is not for you. Unless you want the physical shock of your life. Those of you that are constantly putting hot sauce or pepper on everything you eat, needing more and more wasabi to get a kick out of sushi, and have uttered the words "How much would you give me to eat that hot pepper?" this challenge is for you. It is not easy. It will hurt. You probably will not be able to eat all 10 wings. But cleaning your plate is not the point here. Masochism in the name of fun is the reason us spicy food nuts keep pushing our limits.