Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >
Jan 24, 2008 06:19 AM

Hot Lovers

Thought the title would attract interest - my wife and I like spicy food (hot lovers). Not being familiar with the names of dishes in NO (cajun style etc...) I am not sure which items are prepared spicy and those that you need to ask to be made spicy. I welcome suggestions for dishes that are spicy - as well as particular restaurants that prepare such fare. I'm not talking mind blowing, break down and cry hot - just a nice warmth to add to the flavor.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Virtually every (non-fine-dining) restaurant in south Louisiana offers at least one kind of hot sauce on every table; many places have multiple varieties (the most I've seen on one table was 5). It's typical that people seeking heat will add it at the table--they won't necessarily "make it spicy" for you in the kitchen.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      I love to do the hot sauces at the table. I was also thinking of particular dishes that are cooked with the spice. I find those flavors much different than putting a hot sauce on top of something. Maybe there isn't much in the way of that? - or menus will clearly say if it is a spicy dish...

      1. re: teacherfarmer

        tf, If you want a place that serves dishes that are cooked with spice try Bennachin (1212 Royal St.). It's African cuisine & is served mild, medium or hot. And the hot is HOT!! Be forewarned ;0) Also, it is BYOB. Enjoy!

        1. re: philmaur

          excellent suggestion philmaur - thank you.
          So what is the deal with BYOB? - this is new to us. Grab a bottle of vino or a 6 pack of beer and bring it in?? Is there a cost to bring in your own?
          Thanks for any info.

          1. re: teacherfarmer

            tf, That's the idea & no additional cost. There is a grocery store, Verti Mart, on the corner where you can buy your beverage(s) of choice ;-)

    2. I think it's a common misconception about New Orleans cooking that it is particularly spicy. It generally is not, although people do like to spice up their food with hot sauce.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Blumie

        Your are probably correct Blumie. I did think that NO cooking was spicy. I am starting to learn that it is more the "Louisiana hot sauce" that drives the legend...

        1. re: Blumie

          The same is true of Cajun cooking. Red pepper is a frequent ingredient in a variety of dishes, but the the heat is but one element usually not an end unto itself. That being said, however, there are a number of dishes that are often quite spicy, including red beans and rice, jambalaya, etouffee, gumbo, and boiled crawfish.

          My local KC council makes a yearly jambalaya that can melt concrete.

        2. I find that New Orleans cuisine (and that of its environs) tends to be spicy, more than hot. There is a rich diversity in the use of spices and seasonings, but none is something that I would call hot. However, as is mentioned in this thread, various chili and pepper sauces are usually available to kick up the Scoville points.

          When I think of heat, it's usually Thai, or the old Kolb's horseradish - now THAT was HOT!

          If it is heat that you seek, you might mention this to the server, as many dishes can be "kicked up a notch," without horribly corrupting them. A few more dashes of cayenne might make it unbalanced for the chef, but put it right where you want it.