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  • 🥵 This pizza challenge will have you sweatin’

🥵 This pizza challenge will have you sweatin’

Plus: ⛈️ Brace for a sloppy commute

It’s Tuesday, Boston.

😌 It’s also National Relaxation Day. But even if you can’t fully celebrate with some PTO, you can still join MIT’s online mindfulness group at 2:50 p.m. today. It’s free and only 10 minutes (which you definitely have).

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Sloppy morning commute

  • Electric car deals

  • R.I.P. Cop Slide at night

Up first...


The spiciest ’za in town

Image courtesy of Bardo’s Pizza. Illustration: Emily Schario.

If you like spicy food, you’ll love Boston’s newest food challenge. Bardo’s Pizza in Southie is putting its spin on the viral Hot Ones series this month with a hot sauce pizza challenge.

So I took one for the team and gave it a go. Here’s what to know:

🥵 The challenge is simple: Every Wednesday in August, Bardo’s is topping one of its South Shore-style bar pizzas with four unique, locally made hot sauces that get progressively hotter. The lineup includes sauces from Burke’s Hot Sauce, Decimation Hot Sauce, Craic Sauce, and Hillside Harvest (which will also be there so you can grab a bottle post-challenge).

🏆 The prize for finishing? The satisfaction of supporting several local businesses … and dragon breath.

😅 Bardo’s co-owner is no stranger to food challenges. “I’m a sucker for peer pressure,” David Lombardo said. He won a local oyster-eating contest by slurping down 56 in two minutes; drunkenly devoured 40 Chicken McNuggets in under two minutes; and conquered the infamous one chip challenge, which had him lying on the bathroom floor for hours in his skivvies. So creating a challenge out of two of his great loves — pizza and hot sauce — was a no-brainer.

👋 The challenge is surprisingly approachable. Which is kind of the point. “These hot sauce companies did a good job of creating great heat without ruining your day,” Lombardo said, giving people a reason to try them again. Plus, the fat from the cheese slightly mellows out the heat, allowing you to actually enjoy the flavors in every bite.

❤️ But even if you can’t handle the heat, you can cool off for a good cause. Bardo’s will be selling homemade creamsicles for the challenge, with proceeds going toward the Hope Lodge in Boston, a center providing homeaway care for cancer patients and their caregivers.

🌶️ The hot sauces to keep an eye on: Lombardo and I agree that Burke’s tangy Verde Serrano sauce is the one we’d voluntarily eat on pizza again. He thinks Craic Sauce’s Golden Pumpkin is the spiciest of the bunch, whereas Hillside Harvest’s Carrot Escovitch (which might as well be hot sauce concentrate) is what did me in.

👀 Want to see what the challenge is like? You can watch the full video of me trying it here. Spoiler: Expect sweat, tears, and plenty of milk gargles.


🌶️ What’s your max spice level?

Let us know below!

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Looking for a budget-friendly night out?

Image courtesy of the Celebrity Series of Boston

🎉 If you’re 35 or under, you’re in luck. The Celebrity Series of Boston has rolled out an exciting $35 under 35 program for young arts-lovers to save big on performances all season long. Discounted tickets (for prime seats) go on sale through the program starting on September 13, but you can sign up online ahead of time to secure your spot. Once you're enrolled, you'll receive a monthly email with access to $35 tickets for the following month's concerts — no exceptions. With over 50 incredible incredible performances lined up this season, you'll have access to events like:


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

⛈️ Brace for a sloppy commute this morning. TL;DR: Pack your umbrella (again). It’s another one of those stormy, sloppy days that’ll have you sweating through your raincoat by 9 a.m. Local meteorologists are predicting torrential downpours and some thunderstorms this morning, with Boston potentially getting 1.5 inches of rain by the end of the day, so prepare for the possibility of flooding. Things should let up a little this afternoon with some lingering fog, with another round of heavy rain expected later tonight.

🚗 Buying an electric car in Mass. just got cheaper. Thinking of switching to an EV? Now might be the time. As of last week, all Mass. residents can take advantage of the full benefits of the state’s rebates for buying or leasing an electric car. Depending on your eligibility, you could save up to $5,000 on an EV, plus another $1,000 for trading in your old car. Plus, the federal government has its own rebates you can stack on top of the state ones, potentially saving you an additional $7,500. Read up on the eligibility rules here.

🎓 College essays may be an affirmative action work-around. Harvard and other selective colleges and universities might have figured out how to maintain diversity on campus without using race-based admission: College essays. These new essay prompts ask students to share what they would want a roommate to know about them, how they would create an inclusive community, how their background will enrich the school, and more. While it may take schools more time to parse through the apps, the hope is it'll result in a diverse student body.

😢 The sad Bruins news keeps piling on. It looks like Patrice Bergeron is starting a trend: David Krejci announced his retirement after 16 seasons with the B’s. The clutch centerman ranks ninth in team history with 786 points in 1,032 games and will be remembered for his playmaking during big moments. And while Krejci’s career didn’t exactly end on a high note — he was nursing an injury during playoff season — he did manage to squeak out a goal and set up two more in the painful overtime Game 7 loss to the Panthers. We’ll miss ya, Krech.


R.I.P. Cop Slide at night


On this week’s installment of “this is why we can’t have nice things:” The days of the Cop Slide for a nighttime spin are no more.

Boston officials installed barricades around the infamous slide, which went viral after a Boston Cop flew down it like a sack of potatoes, as a way to prevent adults from giving it a go after hours.

While the slide is technically always closed at night, a spokesperson from Mayor Wu’s office said the heightened attention had made it necessary to take more drastic steps.

To twist the knife, the Google Maps listing of the slide, where users gave it five stars and noted it was “faster than the Green Line,” has also been taken down.

😭 Thanks for reading! I’m honestly more sad about the Google Maps listing being taken down. Those reviews were gold.

💜 Special shoutout to today's sponsor, Celebrity Series, for supporting local journalism and fostering a vibrant Boston arts community.

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