Weird and Wild WNY Eats: Buffalo Tap House’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” challenge

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Buffalonians are known for their love of spicy food- but a special appetizer from Buffalo Tap House is a challenge for even the toughest palates.

Those who take the “Don’t Fear the Reaper” challenge are tasked with finishing three jalapeno poppers made with California Reaper peppers in ten minutes. If you beat the challenge, you win a free drink to wash it down.

So far, only a handful of people have beat it.

“Not everyone makes it,” Buffalo Tap House owner Stephanie Smith said. “Even some of my friends who are really into spicy food- they’re like ‘yeah, this is really good’, but they’re crying.”

The Carolina Reaper pepper was named the hottest chili pepper in the world by Guinness World Records in 2013.

“It’s definitely spicier than Frank’s Hot Sauce,” Smith laughed, “But it has good flavor.”

The California Reaper popper was inspired by the Blue Oyster Cult song (Don’t Fear) The Reaper.

“I was listening to Blue Oyster Cult while making regular jalapeno poppers,” Buffalo Tap House head chef Gary Ranney said. “We had the Reaper paste, and I was like ‘we could put the paste in there, run it on Facebook as a challenge.”

The Reaper paste is also used to make the bar’s Miami Heat sauce, one of many chicken wing flavors available. The bar also features inventive flavors for its “Wing of the Week”- this week, the flavors are “Flaming Hot Cheetos” and “cheddar”.

“We’ve been really trying to expand on our flavor set and give people something new to try when they come in,” Ranney said.

Buffalo Tap House serves up homemade pub food and 31 beers on draft. They’re located at 85 W. Chippewa St. in Buffalo and are open from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily.

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