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Where's the heat?

I'm trying to find out what restaurants have the hottest dishes in Austin and/or who will add heat when you ask for it. Any cuisine is good. I'm not just looking for heat I'm looking for flavour too.

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  1. Madam Mam's. The Pud Cha (P16) is intensely spicy, yet extremely delicious. Their other four-star items are hot (Jungle Curry, Amazing Green Beans), but you can ask them to punch 'em up if you really want to get scorched.

    5 Replies
    1. re: tom in austin

      That's the only place I've found that makes green curry as hot and tasty as I like it. Have you been to the new location?

      1. re: hooliganyouth

        Yup! I prefer it over the original (due to ease of parking).

          1. re: amysuehere

            The original is on the drag. The "new" one is down south, across West Gate from Central Market.

        1. re: tom in austin

          OK - the hottest dish that I've had in austin in a long time, on par with Pud Cha, was the habanero enchiladas last night at Antonios. Standard enchiladas with rice and choice of beans, you choose 2 ingredients from spinach, cheese, muchroon, chicken, beef, pork (you can get 2 different enchiladas). - topped with a habanero sauce and cheese. Even though it was hotter than hell, it still had a nice balanced flavor.

        2. Go to Little Thailand in Garfield.Order the Thai Pepper Steak and have Surin substitute her homegrown Thai Chiles for the Bell Peppers that normally come with the plate.Flavors abound and there is a serious,very serious,heat punch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: scrumptiouschef

            Nothing I had on my one visit was super-spicy. Then again, when dining family style, that is probably standard.

            When I return, I won't be with a big group. I look forward to exploring more explosive menu choices. I can hardly wait.

          2. On balance I don't like Thai Kitchen nearly as much as I like Madam Mam's, and I certainly won't claim that this is the hottest food in Austin, but I do really, really like the Tiger Cry at TK. I ask them to make it super hot, and it is sensational.


            1. there is a dish at Pho on Guadalupe called Spicy Burning Tofu. it is bright red because it is covered in chile oil/sauce and surprisingly delicious and both spicy and burning. (there is also a shrimp version, but the shrimp is not cooked properly. stick with tofu.)

              come on ice cream.

              1 Reply
              1. re: yimay

                The Singapore tofu & chicken are both good but not spicy enough. I've eaten my way through their spicy fare. Tasty but lacking atomic burn.

              2. also, you might try Satay on Anderson. i'm not a huge thai food fan, but Satay is my favorite thai choice when forced to go thai. they have several dishes that are quite spicy. i imagine most places will cater to their customers if you ask for extra heat.

                1. Anyone know of a Mexican joint that brings the heat? I've heard fables about mind scorchingly hot Mexican food but most of it seems pretty bland.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: hooliganyouth

                    Years ago, Flores on William Cannon had a deliciously scorching salsa.

                    My last visit revealed that they have thoroughly tamed it. Sad.

                    I'm eager to hear what other folks have to say. I'm searching for extremely spicy Mexican food as well!

                    1. re: hooliganyouth

                      Try the enchiladas Mexicanas at Botanitas. I love this dish and the heat is intense but not overwhelming.

                      1. re: chucklesmcfarland

                        You could not have given me better advice! I'm desperately looking for something to love at Evita's Botanitas!

                        Any other Botanitas tips?

                        1. re: tom in austin

                          Not really, I've not strayed from the enchiladas though so I can't comment on the rest of the menu.
                          The queso and rajas is great as well, solid migas, lime cilantro rice.
                          I wish they would invest in a new a/c, especially considering the heat of some of the dishes.
                          Sounds like you've been disappointed, elaborate?

                          1. re: chucklesmcfarland

                            I can't remember what my wife and I ordered any longer. We tried the place twice; loved the Amazing Salsa Wheel, the atmosphere, and the warm staff. Disliked the bland and half-hearted queso. I should have taken notes...

                            Next time I go, I'll try the enchiladas. This won't help me convince my wife that we should return, though: she generally doesn't dig enchiladas. Any other Botanitas fans have any tips?

                      2. re: hooliganyouth

                        Hottest dish I ever had was the guajillo fajitas at Polvo's. Now normally they are fairly tame, but this time I guess they got a hold of some of that batch of flaming hot Hatch chiles and they put the little red dried chinese peppers in...anywho, long story short, we killed our friends and they have refused to eat out with us ever since (hubbers and I delightfully finished off the plate).

                        1. re: hooliganyouth

                          I rarely go looking for the heat, but I enjoy it when it is integral to the flavors of the dish. In that vein, the hottest Mexican flavors I've had in Austin have been in the tacos baƱados at La Regiomontana on Riverside. They are barbacoa tacos bathed in a very hot salsa tlaquepaque, described also in this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367316

                          The fabled hot Mexican food is really in west Texas and New Mexico, in my experience. There it is quite integral to the recipes and culture.

                          1. re: Knoblauch

                            Agreed. I've had facemeltingly spicy foods in New Mexico, and many hole-in-the-walls in Midland have pretty hot salsa (that reminds me of the old salsa at Flores, actually).

                        2. Went to the Santa Rita Cantina today. The salsa wasn't insanely hot, but it was definitely spicier than I anticipated. It was pretty tasty, too. Can't recommend anything else about the place: the tacos, enchiladas, beef fajitas, and queso compuesto were all decent -- if fairly half-hearted -- attempts, but not amazing.


                          1. The Guisada de Puerco at Polvos has an integral heat that really builds throughout the dish. The migas at Borrego de Oro seem to be chock full of spicy seranos.

                            1. Try the chilaquiles at Polvo's. I literally thought I was going to die.

                              1. The New Oriental Mart (On Airport and Lamar - near Big Lots) has a cafe inside that serves Jam Bong - it's a Korean seafood noodle soup that is very very spicy. I'd give it a try if you're looking for the super spicy bowl of red (the soup is very red).

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: christmascarol

                                  I been looking for a great jam bong in Austin for a while now, i just love it, do you know any other Korean restaurants that serve them?

                                2. The green curry dish - Gang Keow Wan - at Satay is probably my favorite dish in Austin that delivers great heat AND flavor. Just had it again today for lunch to clear the sinuses. :)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jwynne2000

                                    the red snapper filet in lemon juice, garlic and bird peppers at thai kitchen is one of my favorites in town, and its very hot and nicely balanced with the other flavors and doesnt overpower the fish. i only get it at dinner, and at at the guadalupe location.