Popeyes ghost pepper wings serve up the bland

ghost-pepper

I thought ghost peppers were spicy?

After seeing a poster for ghost pepper wings at my local Popeyes, I had to give these a shot. After all, according Guinness World Records, the bhut jolokia, ghost pepper is the hottest pepper on the planet.

It’s 900.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

So today I tried Popeyes ghost pepper wings. First, take a look at this ad for the product:


It only implies that these wings are spicy. A marketing genius must have decided to target a portion of the population that likes to say they love spicy wings, but actually can’t handle anything hotter than vanilla yogurt.

I've had glasses of water spicier than this!

I’ve had glasses of water spicier than this!

After I ordered my six-wing lunch — including fries, a biscuit, and medium drink for $6.99, I had to wait about then minutes for my wings to be ready. When I got them, they looked like typical wings, batter-fried with a hint of red below near the flesh. My first bit tasted exactly like a chicken wing. There was not a hint of spicy. I’ve had mild wings that had more kick than the ghost pepper wings.

If you are thinking I’ve developed a tolerance to spicy food, I’d agree. Except spicy is still spicy. These wings were not spicy. I like Popeyes, but I suggest you stay away from the ghost pepper chicken wings. Apparently they mean’t “ghost pepper” in the figurative sense, not the literal. They certainly taste closer to a non-corporeal form than anything spicy.

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Review: India Kabab & Curry

indian kabob1The décor featured a room colored in earth tones and orange. Pictures and paintings of Indians wearing traditional clothing hung on the walls of the restaurant. I found the place to be a little too dark; more lighting would have been better. On small televisions located at opposite corners of the room, Bollywood music videos played. The videos are quintessentially Indian in nature: exotic rhythms, Indian dancers, lovers staring for long, very long, times at each other and a rapper, his words occasionally bleeped when he uses Indian profanity. The rap performer, with the censored language, created laughs in our group.

I went India Kabab & Curry to try its lunch special, an all-you-can-eat buffet for $7.99. It’s an everyday deal, bucking the trend of many buffets to charge more on weekends.

The buffet was small, but featured a variety of Indian dishes. Buffets tend to create a few problems. First, unless you know your cuisines, you tend to grab a bit of everything, not knowing what entrée goes with what side dish. The second is that, while eating, it is difficult to cleanse the pallet between dishes.

I started my gastronomic adventure with Daal, a lentil soup. A mellow, almost faint, curry taste served as a gateway food, introducing me to the choices requiring a little more courage. However, it was a little too bland, being the most forgettable part of my meal.

Our waiter served Naan, a flat bread cooked in a tandoor clay oven. It was chewy, but not doughy, with a light garlic taste. Like most breads, I used it as a tool for sopping up the extra sauce on my plate.

indian kabob2A dish of cabbage deep-fried in a chickpea batter surprised me with its light crispy exterior and delicious cabbage center. Unlike many dishes I have had featuring overcooked cabbage, the vegetable still maintained much of its character while cooked just enough to be soft and easy to chew.  Of all the dishes I had at India Kabab, this remains my favorite. My grandmother, a Russian, made pirozhki with cabbage and this reminded me of her pirozhki, although a bit lighter.

Having the chicken masala and fish masala over rice, I found both to taste essentially the same. The masala sauce, sweet with hints of ginger and cinnamon, tasted fine with the rice, but remained another bland choice. I enjoyed the fish much more than the chicken, but both had a dry tough texture from sitting too long under the buffet’s heating lamps.

For dessert, I tried the rasgula, a cheese ball soaked in sugar syrup. Although a little too sweet for my taste, I enjoyed the sponge-like texture in my mouth. Others in the group did not like the texture of the rasgula.

I doubt I will return to India Kabab & Curry, but I enjoyed the cabbage fritter and the naan a lot. Some of the other dishes had qualities I liked, but I found them too bland or overcooked. I may search for another Indian restaurant to try and see how it compares to India Kabab.

India Kabab & Curry
1091 S Virginia St
Reno, NV 89502
Phone: (775) 348-6222

Store Hours:
Open 7 Days: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM