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Mar 21, 2011 09:20 AM

SPICIEST food in New Orleans!

I am searching for the spiciest restaurants and dishes in New Orleans. Any kind of food qualifies: both traditional NOLA cuisine and more ethnic varieties. I love SPICY food! The hotter, the better. Can anyone suggest where I can find the BEST of the best? Thanks.

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  1. I think if you went into K-Paul's and asked Chef Paul Prudhomme to spice it up, he could accommodate you and sear your tastebuds at the same time.

    When I follow his recipes, I always use half the pepper.

    1. Lamb vindaloo at either Taj Mahal or Nirvana, two Indian restaurants owned by the same family. Get it "like the Indians eat it". You will be sweating, I assure you!

      1. I like Thai food a lot and a usually like spicy food. I ordered something hot at Sukho Thai on Magazine and they asked if I wanted it American hot or Thai hot. I said American hot and it was so spicy I couldn't even eat it. I imagine that the Thai hot would have made me bubble up.

        1 Reply
        1. re: shanefink

          Yea, made the mistake of ordering Thai hot at Basil Leaf. I ate a bowl of rice trying to alleviate the burn.

          Ta Tee,
          While the food was much hotter when Chef Paul was in the kitchen (which he hasn't been for a long time), it was never as hot as the recipes in his books. It seems the food has been reworked to better suit the masses. I preferred it when Kay and Paul were there.

          Basil Leaf
          1438 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

        2. Many people mistakenly believe that traditional cajun and creole food is spicy. While it may be spicy relative to the traditional American diet, it is not at all spicy relative to many ethnic cuisines available in New Orleans, like Vietnamese and Thai.

          That said, when I'm in the mood for traditional cajun and creole food AND higher levels of spice, I usually sit at the bar at Coop's, where I can douse my red beans and rice (with sausage) or my jambalaya with the habanero version of Tabasco sauce, which is readily available on the bar. That usually gets a pretty good sweat going (without fundamentally altering the taste of the food)!

          1. In very general terms, NOLA cuisine is very spicy, but pure "heat" is not what it's about. Instead, the spices are in layers of flavors. If you are looking for just the heat, then, as others have suggested, tell the server to nudge the chef to "kick it up a notch." There are plenty, who can accommodate, whether their regular dishes incorporate that heat, or not.

            Be careful what you ask for though. Some chef's will take this as a gauntlet, thrown down upon the table, and the result could be lethal.

            My late F-I-L was a chef in New Orleans, and prided himself on using more heat than others. He'd serve a dish, and say, "bet that this is too hot for you to eat." I learned the drill, and would wait until he'd gotten it just right, then answer, "yes, this is too hot to eat." He'd smile, and respond, "I told you so." Then, I knew that he'd stop, and I could enjoy the dish. I think that it was a "machismo thing," and he wanted to prove that he could produce a dish, that was too hot to eat.

            I've mentioned to a few servers, at both Mexican and Indian restaurants, that dish ____ could use a little more heat. Wow, can the kitchen ever turn up that heat, and I have inadvertently ruined a few, with but a simple request.