New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

SPONSORED: Test your tastebuds with Hot Ones™’ new peppery pop-up

Recreate the show with hot questions and even hotter wings in your own kitchen with its new NYC-based delivery kitchen.

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Hot Ones™ with Sean Evans and scoffed at your favorite celebrity’s lack of spice tolerance, you can now beat them at their own game with the new Hot Ones™ delivery pop-up exclusively in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia.

Available on DoorDash, UberEats and Grubhub, as well as, the pop-up delivers plant-based, boneless and bone-in wings flavored with three classic Hot Ones™ sauces: The Classic Chili Maple, The Classic Garlic Fresno and Los Calientes Rojo. They also serve chicken sandwiches with all three flavors, french fries and an apple fritter. Their most entertaining item — and the one you can use to curate your own budget-friendly Hot Ones™ spinoff at home — is the Challenge Box, featuring 12 wings and six different hot sauces from the show, including the famed Last Dab.

Out of all the wings, my favorites were easily the Chili Maple, followed by the Rojo. Although I’m typically biased towards spicier foods, the tanginess of the Chili Maple sauce made it a clear winner. The Rojo had a spice that built up in the aftertaste and lingered for a while, but the sauce initially tasted very tomatoey with a slight peppery hint. It might be a bit much if you have a lower spice tolerance, but the heat level was perfect for me. Although I normally prefer boneless wings for convenience, I had to hand it to the regular bone-in wings on this one: they were crispy and held on to the sauce the best.

It’s difficult for me to find a good chicken sandwich — the bread-to-chicken ratio always makes them either too dry to enjoy or disintegrate in my hands. The Hot Ones™ sandwiches did neither of these things, however, because they got the golden ratio down pat. There was more chicken than bread, meaning the sandwiches were flavorful and juicy, and the spice mixes on the chicken ensured that it wasn’t bland despite the cutlet being so large. The vegetarian patty was indiscernible from the regular chicken, especially masked with everything else going on in the sandwich — even more so than the wings, I couldn’t tell the difference. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can order any of the vegan sandwiches and know that you aren’t missing out on anything.

If the Rojo wings seem too daunting for you but you want more of a kick than the Chili Maple, I highly recommend getting a Rojo sandwich. The fluffiness of the bread combined with the cooling effect of the mayonnaise and the sourness of the pickles — even if you, like me, picked them off — all cut through the spice of the chicken in a balanced way. You get the kick from the hot sauce, and it eventually builds up, but the condiments and fixings make it much more manageable and enjoyable for those with a milder palate.

The french fries remained crispy even after almost an hour of sitting in the box, which was an impressive feat. They provided a great break to the aromatic wings, as their light seasoning dipped in the ranch cleansed my palate between different flavors.

I was not expecting to come away from this meal raving about the dessert, but the apple fritter was easily my favorite thing off the menu. Crispy on the outside and pillowy on the inside, the fritter tasted like a warm hug. One bite washed away all of the spice and savoriness of the wings, leaving me with the sweetness from the condensed milk and the earthiness of the apple and cinnamon. If there is anything you decide to order off the menu, get this — it exceeded all of my expectations and then some.

The packaging also made getting the wings a unique experience. Everything came in compact-yet-cute boxes that helped preserve the heat and crispiness of all the food, as opposed to the large styrofoam takeaways common to delivery pop-ups that sometimes make everything a soggy mess. Pop-ups and ghost kitchens often lose their appeal because it can feel like you’re getting a generic product with no story behind it, but the branding and colors on the boxes made everything seem very intentional.

Currently, you can get 30% off a Hot Ones™ order on when you use the code NYU through Oct. 29. You can also find discounts on UberEats and DoorDash or free delivery and $5 off an order of $20 or more on Grubhub+ — a service all NYU students get for free. With the discount, proximity to campus and 11 p.m. closing time, the restaurant is a great solution to late-night cravings and study session breaks.

This article is sponsored by Mealco, the tech company which bridges the gap between the world’s top creators and their passionate fans, a partner of  Hot Ones™.

About the Contributor
Naisha Roy, Deputy Managing Editor
Naisha Roy is a second-year studying journalism and Spanish & Linguistics. She loves covering topics like immigration issues and NYU policies. In her free time, she's probably doing the daily crossword or cooking while listening to Taylor Swift. She loves spending her weekends finding cheap food spots around the city with her four best friends. You can reach out to her on Instagram @naisharoy9 if you ever need to rant about how AP Style doesn't use the Oxford Comma.
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