Habanero chiles power ‘Ring of Fire’ pizza at Hotroxs
In March, Eric Hamric and his wife Diane Notto-Hamric opened Hotroxs Buffalo Bistro (5489 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, 649-1742) in a space formerly occupied by Pronto Pizza.
The menu is stocked with “Buffalo-style food,” mainly dishes inspired by Notto-Hamric’s “It’s a Wing Thing” cookbooks. As you may have guessed, chicken in various forms and wing sauce are well represented, between chicken wing sliders, chicken wing dip and chicken wing fries.
“During Lent we plan on doing a shrimp po-boy with fried shrimp, in wing sauce, on a hoagie roll,” said Hamric.
Despite all that hot sauce, the hottest thing on the menu is a pizza called the Ring of Fire ($18.95 large). It’s topped with concentric rings of chile heat.
Tomato sauce goes down on the pizza crust first. Then Hamric puts a layer of hot banana peppers in the middle and sliced jalapeño peppers around for another ring. Then comes the closer: a perimeter of fresh sliced habanero chiles. “That’s why we call it the ring of fire, because you go from heat to heat to heat,” Hamric said.
It’s topped off with a shredded mozzarella-provolone cheese blend, and baked. Customer reaction has been “ ‘Wow, that’s a little bit different,’ ” he added.
Despite the chile inferno surprise, people have been known to return for it.
“Once they start eating it, it’s the challenge, because it starts with people saying ‘That’s a good pizza, it’s really not hot.’ Then they hit the habaneros, and all the sudden you start seeing their eyes watering up and them sweating.”
Pork Chop Dinner.
Dinner with drink and dessert from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday in Corpus Christi Church (165 Sears St.). Tickets: $12 adults, $10 children at door; $2 less presale. Call 896-1050.