There's a strange culture surrounding food that is almost too hot for human consumption. These brave (or stupid) few who are dedicated to torturing themselves with incredibly spicy food, for whatever reason, seek out everything from hot dogs to ice cream that promise to punish the taste buds with heat ratings in excess of 500,000 Scoville units. (For reference, the average jalapeno clocks in somewhere between 2,500 and 5,000 Scoville units.)
The side effects that come with eating hot peppers are serious, and the evil geniuses at East Dallas hangout Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House are totally willing to help you experience that unique kind of pain. Alongside the more innocuous pork belly and bacon jam-topped burgers, you'll find The Annihilator, an entire quarter-pound of pain wrapped into a delicious all-beef patty.
After being sprinked with ghost chile powder and seared on the grill, The Annihilator is ready for Goodfriend's ridiculously spicy sauce. The sauce-making process often requires that kitchen staff wear gas masks while it is being prepared, which hints at the brutality to come:
As Chef Zach Brown explains, each pepper, including ghost chiles from India, Texas-grown scorpion chiles, and habaneros, are prepared in the way that best extracts their spicy essence. Some are grilled while others are roasted, and the dried chiles are reconstituted in a top-secret liquid that infuses flavor and plumps them back up. The prepared chiles are then mixed with fresh chiles and pureed into a sauce with onions, garlic, and other spices. Once the sauce is smeared on top, a slice of habanero jack cheese and housemade horseradish pickles go on top to add insult to injury. (Supposedly, the non-spicy elements blended in the sauce exist to balance the heat of the peppers, a truly futile process.)
The resulting burger tops out at 1,000,000 Scoville units, hot enough to induce everything from nosebleeds to serious gastric distress. Add a side of the Nitro Sauce, usually served with the restaurant's wings, and the added ghost chile extract will leave you crying, drooling, and in the case of only the truest chili heads, possibly still begging for more.
Chef Brown notes that The Annihilator is an extremely popular burger at Goodfriend. On a busy night, the kitchen can expect at least 10 orders, which he says sometimes come from unexpected patrons. Instead of the burly bros you'd expect to have the kind of bravado to order this burger, it's often 20-something women — which perhaps makes sense when you consider that women are naturally equipped with a higher tolerance for pain (sorry, dudes).
If you think you're brave enough to try The Annihilator, it's a regular fixture on the menu. Just be sure to order a glass of milk on the side, because none of Goodfriend's many delicious beers on tap will be able to relieve the searing of your tastebuds.