Food Review: Keith’s Hot Sauce (Various Flavours)

Before we move onto my actual review I thought I’d give you a brief bit about the creator of the hot sauces we will be discussing today. Keith Habersberger is one of the founding members of the Try Guys, together with Zach Kornfeld, Eugene Lee Yang and Ned Fulmer, they created the format together back in 2014 while still working for Buzzfeed, debuting with their first video, Guys Try On Ladies’ Underwear For The First Time, which you can check out here

The Try Guys remained under the Buzzfeed banner until June 16th 2018, when they announced that they had left, and started up their own independent production company, 2nd Try LLC, with the new company later gaining the exclusive rights to the Try Guy brand. The stated reason for this transition was that their contracts with Buzzfeed were expiring, and they wanted to continue to expand the Try Guys brand, and develop additional creative pursuits.

One such creative pursuit spearheaded by Habersberger is ‘Eat the Menu’ where Keith, as well as his guests and crew attempt to eat the entire menu in a restaurant, you can check that out via this link. This specific show also presents some ideal synergy for his other projects, as he regularly invites on Alex Lewis and Hughie Stone Fish, whom he performs with in a comedy music group known as Lewberger. Additionally, as he consumes food on the show, he also gets the regular opportunity to naturally plug his hot sauces, which we are here to discuss today.

Keith debuted his hot sauce range back in November 30th 2019 with the release of his signature hot sauce, Keith’s Chicken Sauce, he has subsequently expanded the range to to include a Burger and Taco sauce. So I think that’s probably enough background information, keep reading to find out what I thought about Keith’s sauces.

Chicken Sauce
So these were marketed as having a ‘not-too-hot spice level’ so I’ll be honest and admit it was slightly spicier than I was expecting. That’s not to say that it was too spicier, or even that I found it unpalatable due to the spice level, but just that it didn’t align with what I was expecting. I’d also like to add that despite being marketed as the ideal side for chicken, I found that it was just as good, if not better, on a beef burger. I think something about the deeper, meatier flavours of the beef just worked really well with the flavour profile of the chicken sauce. However it tasted good on some grilled chicken, and on some McNuggets® too. So it has a very sharp and tangy taste, it’s pleasant and has a nice overlap with the burger sauce, which probably explains why it tastes so good on beef as well. I think that all three of the sauces have a similar core flavour profile, but each does something different, and there’s enough overall flavour diversity that each is worth trying on its own. I think this one especially builds on the palate really well, and it gets better as you eat more of it. 

Burger Sauce
First off, let me begin with a quick bit of promotion for a popular local restaurant. We bought the burger for testing this sauce from Tikka Way, and it was super tasty on its own, but Keith’s sauce really kicked it up a notch. So this one really lingers on the palate, its acidic vinegar forward flavour is really rich and moreish, and it really compliments the flavours of a juicy burger. As I touched on above with the chicken sauce, the sauces are spicy but not too spicy, this one has a really pleasant heat that enhances the flavours without overwhelming them. It’s really tangy and is easily my favourite of the trio. 

Taco Sauce
So whether it was intentional or not, and it would make sense either way as tacos often come in beef or chicken, but this sauce manages to find a line in terms of flavour that is right in the middle between the Burger and Chicken sauces, while also managing to be unique and distinct on its own. It has a deeper, richer flavour backed up by some invigorating citrus notes. It also captures the same acidic, and tanginess that’s present in all three of the sauces, but enhances upon it with a deep, smokiness  that’s super tasty. Not to keep going against the label, but I think this one would go much better on chicken, but as it turns out it’s also amazing on tacos. The tacos were brought to us by Tori from The Sad Girl’s Cookbook

So I can confidently, and honestly say that I enjoyed all three of the sauces, I feel that they managed to incorporate some similar elements, such as a tartness and acidic nature, but each does something different and has their positives and negatives. As I said above, the burger sauce is my personal favourite of the three, followed by the taco sauce, but they are all really enjoyable. I will add specifically that I’m not usually a sauce person, other than dipping sushi in soy sauce, and the occasional side of mayonnaise with my fries, I tend to avoid sauces as anything I eat I usually prefer as it comes, or with just a little salt and pepper for seasoning, but the burger sauce was the first sauce I’ve had in a long time that genuinely improved the meal I had. All three of the sauces though had strong and invigorating flavours, and I’d recommend them to you.

So I want to thank Joe and Sophie from American Munchies for bringing these back for me on a recent trip to America, otherwise it would have been prohibitively expensive to order them, factoring in all the extra costs with ordering things internationally. If you want to grab some for yourself, then you can grab them individually or as a trio from the Heatonist website via this link

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