NEW: Heat Hot Sauce Shop, Berkeley - reports?
I was there this week-end. I liked the Palo Alto Firefighter's Habanero Hot Sauce with lots of cumin and the Humboldt Hot Sauce (also habanero) both were medium hot inspite of the habaneros. Another good mild one was called Yin and Yang from Boulder, Co., habanero with fruit and spice. The place has an amazing selection and I hope it gets enough support to stay in business. It sure beats ordering hot sauce on-line and paying for shipping.
checked it out---it's right on MLK next to the hair salon. Cool space with hot sauces lining all the walls, and a tasting area set up with chips and water in the front. Selection was great. I needed to reup on some El Yucateco chile habanero green which I wasn't sure if they would have since it's kind of a commercial rather than local or artisan sauce, but they DID have it because apparently lots of people has been requesting. They also carry the hot sauces from Beauty's Bagels-- Pretty Dog is the label name. I got a bunch of stuff I'd never tried before, including a few trinidadian pepper super-hots that had a ton of flavor. The Cajohn's was really hot, but still quite flavorful. They also have a large selection of mild sauces, including fruit flavors.
I saw an array of ketchups, BBQs, rubs, and even fresh roasted new mexico chiles. The shop is split up really well by pepper type as well as flavor and heat type, so it's fun to browse around and look at all the different ones. There is also a section of ultrahot "extract" hot-sauces, but I appreciate that they are kept separate from the pure super-hots and other hot sauces that don't have extracts in them.
Overall, I really like the space and the selection seems perfect for any palate, ranging from sweet sauces to put on food, to hot sauces, to super hot sauces, and sweet-to-hot extracts or other sauces that could be used in cooking. Finally, there's a hot sauce of the month club a 'la wine club where they have a package with some selected sauces and recipes.
I was impressed, and just ate dinner alternating about 5 different hot sauces. Will be back for all future hot sauce needs. Apparently, they are working on their own in-house hot sauce and had a batch but sold out in less than two weeks. Would be fun if some of the local restaurants like Miss Ollies and Juhu Beach club bottled their sauces and made them available at HEAT as well. Glad this place is open, the location is great, and hopefully it becomes a local staple!