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Quaker Steak and Lube Wants to Hurt Me With Their Hot Sauce

Um, habanero is hot, but not that hot.
Um, habanero is hot, but not that hot.

The first time I got some hot sauce from Quaker Steak and Lube, I promptly gave it away. I wasn't very interested in a chain that specialized in cheese steaks and hot wings. Besides, we'd already done a post announcing the arrival of the service-themed, fast food restaurant. That was enough, right?

See also: Quaker Steak and Lube is Coming to Dallas

But then another package came from the company, and I decided to take a closer look. Let's say today is one of those slow news days. I actually wish I'd paid closer attention to the package the first time.

I'm not sure what the folks at Quaker Steak are trying to say to me with this presentation. The orange bottle mimics the containers used to package pills for customers at the pharmacy. Is this to say that the hot sauce inside the bottle is some heavy-duty pharmaceutical grade shit? And if so, what does that mean exactly?

The bottle claims habanero, the world's hottest pepper, lurks inside, but they've got that all wrong. The hottest chili in the world is the Trinidad scorpion, followed by the ghost chili. Habanero chilies are what you give little children when you're trying to teach them what piquancy is.

The ingredient list is even more troubling...

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Where's the habanero? I suppose it could be hiding in that vague chili extract description, but it's a stretch to say the least. And it looks like this hot sauce isn't based on habanero at all, but Tabasco hot sauce. Tabasco kind of sucks.

Still with the warnings, and the waiver that's included in the package, my Neanderthal brain has decided it's a good idea to try the stuff. Which I'm doing right now...

OK, this is hot. Not as hot as the cluck you up sauce we wrote about at Bryan Street Tavern but respectably warm. A carefully measured quarter-teaspoon is enough to instantly ignite a full-face, front-of-the-mouth burn. At just over a minute my forehead is tacky but not perspiring, and I think the build-up of heat has stopped.

Actually, this is sissy stuff. It finishes with notes of black pepper and reeks of garlic powder. It does not taste good in any way.

Maybe Quaker Steak and Lube warrants a closer look, but I'm not hopeful if this hot sauce is an indication of their food quality. Still I've opened the can of worms, so I've got to go now.

Wish me luck.

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