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Apr 19, 2010 07:26 PM

It's PHX. Who brings the heat?

I was reading a story about India's ghost chilis, the hottest in the world, and it got me in the mood for a gut-wrenching, brow sweating, tear duct filling spicy meal. However when I hit the local Indian place, the food was tame.

What places (or even singular dishes) should be explored in PHX if one wants and S&M eating experience? Mexican, Indian, Chinese, etc?

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  1. Anything with the habanero salsa at Restaurante Huauchinango.

    Restaurante Huauchinango
    7620 E Mckellips Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

    1. if you really want hot, like in essentially all cities, you're gonna need to find carribbean food.
      Thai chilis, jalapenos, serranos, etx just aren't really hot. You can't make the food hotter than the chili itself even if you add a bunch. Hence, foods that feature these chilis just generally aren't that hot if you're into really hot.
      Really the only cuisine I've ever had that I have thought twice about going back (due to extreme heat) is carribbean. I order all of my stuff XXX hot, Thai hot, 10/10 hot, whatever the magic words are at the place in question, and I love it. But a couple of carribbean places have put me in my place over the years.
      Never had anything at an indian place that was really hot either, probably never found one using ghost chilis though....I'm sure if used correctly it will melt your face.
      Haven't been to any carribbean places in Phx yet; but if you search specifically maybe you'll find a serious one.

      1. You can order up a pretty hot meal at Thai E-San on Indian School in Phoenix .

        Thai E-San
        616 W Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013

        1 Reply
        1. re: misohungrychewlow

          Just tried Thai E-San last night for dinner, after remembering reading ur post.. VERY good. I would say right up there with Thailana.

          I ordered thr thai toasts as an app and the spareribs special for dinner (Dry Ribs deep fried). Really amazing.

          My husband had the thai basil chix with the heat level at 3 we thought that was plenty spicy!! I am looking forward to going back soon for lunch and trying a curry dish. Too many good dishes to choose from.

          Thai E-San
          616 W Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013

        2. What's your local Indian place? Majarajah Palace in Glendale has made me throw in the towel. They do a couple of combination plates for dinner -- with meat or vegetarian -- and you have the option of ordering them normal or spicy. I asked for spicy, once, and they warned me that it was really spicy. I said I was fine with that, and they brought it to me, and I could only get through about a third of it. It's a huge combo; I normally only get through a half, anyway. I boxed the rest to take home and spread the pain over a couple more meals. I am not a chile lightweight, having spent seven years in New Mexico. It was HOT, but so tasty, it was hard to stop eating, despite the pain.

          The thing is, I still remember that meal (meals) fondly. Hurts so good!

          2 Replies
          1. re: themis

            I don't have one. I love Indian food but I avoid it because I order way too much food and overeat ridiculously. I (almost) never take food home; I eat it. That's me. I used to like Pasand in south Tempe for a good Indian hit but it's been a long time ... I like The Dhaba but I can't speak to their heat quotient -- haven't explored it yet.

            1. re: themis

              Didn't name it because I went at lunch where they cater to mostly non-Indian, "every-day" folks, so I'm willing to absorb responsibility because almost any ethnic eatery in any part of the country will dumb down their fare for the larger, general audience.

              I suppose a good starting point would be ethnic places catering to ethnic eaters. That said, there are some Yankee dishes that can split sides... one such treat being really well crafted hot wings, or certain sauces in New Mexico.

            2. Well, first you must lay down the gauntlet, and tell the kitchen that they do not know "hot." Likely that they will bring the heat. Many menus will be "tamed down," for the regular diner. Challenge the kitchen, and see what they bring to the table.

              My step father-in-law though himself a great Cajun chef. He'd trot out a dish, and offer it with, "bet that this is too hot for you." At first, I would tell him, "not, that's not all that hot." He'd grab it away, only to return with a boosted up version. "Bet that's too hot for you." At some point, he'd be right. It did not take me long, before I realized the game. When seasoned correctly, I'd say, "yes, that is too hot for me," and enjoy things, before they DID become too hot for me.

              I noticed the comments on Caribbean cuisine. I have a few jars of Wormwood Jerk Seasonings and love that stuff, but in moderation. A little goes a long way.

              I love heat, but only so long as it works with the dish. If I only want heat, I can always drink boiling water, just for the pain. I want depth, in my seasonings, and pure heat is not that.