Last night Art, Art’s nephew Michael, my wife and I headed all the way up to Brooklyn Park to Girvan Grille for their legendary Ghost Wing Challenge. As many of you know, Art and I have been slowly working our way up to this by attempting to eat anything and everything possible to prepare for this event.
After some recommendations were given by readers on the best place for hot wings, we tried Babe’s in Lakeville and found the wings to be tasteless and not anywhere near spicy. Then we decided that the best solution would be to come up with our own hot wings and they were definitely spicy although probably not as hot as we needed for this. I even went solo and tried grilling habaneros and eating the “habanero” wings at LS Pizza Shack in Burnsville and while the grilled habs were spicy, the wings were nothing more than plain old Buffalo style (to which my mild mannered wife even remarked that they may be “medium”).
Situated in the middle of Edinburgh USA’s clubhouse in Brooklyn Park, Girvan Grille is a bit more upscale than what you’d expect would be hosting a wing eating challenge. But with Restaurant Manager Jon Fehrmann looking to bring in a wider clientele and Executive Chef Jim Malinowski looking to light people’s tongues on fire with a touch of real class, they devised the Ghost Wings Challenge–a 15 minute rampage of your all your senses which leaves you reeling from the pain in numerous ways, except your taste buds.
The wings came out and were beautifully prepared. I was a bit surprised at how temperature hot they were and that we were given almost no time before the clock started to tick on our 15 minutes of flame (sorry, couldn’t resist). We were told that regardless of how fast we eat them, we had to wait the full 15 minutes before we could eat, drink, or cleanup. Being that they were so very hot, we took our time as not to burn our mouths anymore than the wings already would.
The wings themselves had some excellent sweet flavor along with the blazing Scoville heat. We were told ahead of time that the recipe includes all homemade ingredients and no extracts. Recently it has evolved a bit to include fresh habaneros because, as the chef later told us, he wanted some fresh pepper flavor to go along with the dried ghost peppers which is the only way he can get them here in MN (something which I have found as well). The wings were an absolute delight to eat and while it took us nearly the entire 15 minutes to get them down, I must admit that I have never enjoyed eating a hot wing as much as I did on this night.
Before, during, and after, various staff members including the executive chef (seen above in the video) came out to give words of encouragement as several there have eaten them as well. The executive chef told us that he routinely eats his creation, something which I must admit makes me extremely jealous but shows that he knows what he’s serving. After the challenge we were kindly escorted to the bathrooms to wash up before our pictures were taken for the wall of flame. We were extremely thankful for the escort but Art could have used it on the way back to the restaurant as he was a bit buzzed from the “chili high” and began to walk the other direction, right towards a private wedding party, something which he was not dressed for–especially while sporting a fresh Ghost Wing sauce stain dead center of his shirt.
We were told that they plan to bring back all previous challenge winners to compete amongst themselves in something like an all-you-can-eat Ghost Wing event. The winner will receive something special, like a crystal skull from Dan Akroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka. Girvan Grille really knows how to get people interested in their restaurant and get them to keep coming back again and again!
If you enjoy extremely spicy foods and are looking for something that is not only homemade but has incredible flavor and don’t mind lasting 15 minutes without wiping your hands, drinking, or eating, I highly suggest you head to Girvan Grille to check out their Ghost Wing Challenge and even if you don’t, they have an exciting menu which Art and I commented we’d definitely like to go back and try again–when our taste buds return to normal :)
Have you participated in the challenge or have you eaten at Girvan Grille for any other occasion? Perhaps you know of a place that serves even hotter wings (Manager Jon Fehrmann mentioned that there’s a place in Duluth that serves Ghost Wings on a 1 to 5 scale!)? Whatever you have to say about the Ghost Wing Challenge, please comment on and share what’s on your mind!
8700 Edinbrook Crossing
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
Monday – Saturday: 11 AM – close
Sunday: 10 AM – close
See all the pictures from today at Girvan Grille on Flickr here.