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Spiciest/Hottest Foods in Chicago

Spiciest/Hottest Foods in Chicago
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  • Spiciest/Hottest Foods in Chicago

    Post #1 - October 14th, 2009, 9:03 pm
    Post #1 - October 14th, 2009, 9:03 pm Post #1 - October 14th, 2009, 9:03 pm
    Being a huge fan of all foods spicy, and taking sick pleasure in the pain and sweat that accompanies eating extremely spicy/hot food, I was wondering if people had suggestions on places where one can indulge this guilty pleasure. By far the spiciest thing I've ever eaten was a slice of the "Gringo Killer" pizza from Chi-Town pizza on Division near State. As far as I know, they no longer make this pizza because it was just that damn spicy and people, including myself would basically go into shock upon eating it. The sauce was entirely made up of a variety of the hot sauce you're supposed to put only a drop or two into a big pot of gumbo, and the pizza was topped with habaneros. Despite eating as fast as I could, I made it through about half of the slice before it was too much to take. I spent the next 2 hours on the floor of a bathroom eating and rubbing white bread and pouring milk on my face...not my finest moment.

    I know a lot of wing places offer up their own take on ridiculously hot wings, and I'm all for suggestions on those establishments, but I'd love to hear about other places one should check out.
  • Post #2 - October 14th, 2009, 9:36 pm
    Post #2 - October 14th, 2009, 9:36 pm Post #2 - October 14th, 2009, 9:36 pm
    The "XXX Hot Wings" at Jake Melnick's Corner Tap (which have been mentioned in a dedicated thread here) are supposed to be pretty ridiculous...they do that whole "sign a waiver" shtick before letting you order them. They're mentioned in Forbes "World's Spiciest Foods" article.

    For something less gimmicky, check out the food at some of the cab-driver-frequented Pakistani restaurants on Orleans between Oak and Chicago. I recently went to Zaiqa (which has been mentioned in these forums here & there), and thought everything I ate was delicious...but I was hiccuping and wiping tears out of my eyes the entire time. The complementary condiment plate included a healthy pile of sliced fresh jalapeños, which added another layer of heat to the dishes. My stomach was pretty displeased with me, but my mouth was very happy.

    Jake Melnick's Corner Tap
    41 E Superior St
    Chicago, IL 60611
    (312) 266-0400

    Zaiqa
    858 N Orleans St
    Chicago, IL 60610
    (312) 280-1652 or (312) 280-6867
  • Post #3 - October 14th, 2009, 9:38 pm
    Post #3 - October 14th, 2009, 9:38 pm Post #3 - October 14th, 2009, 9:38 pm
    Go to Lao Sze Chuan. Order Boiled Beef and Ma La Spicy Chicken Pot, and tell them "full Szechuan spicy. No. Seriously. I want it all the way spicy."

    Don't eat any rice. Then, go over to Birrieria Zaragoza for the bhut jolokia salsa de molcajete while they still have the peppers. No Mexican coke.

    Close with Suicide Wings at Jake Melnick's if you're a yuppie, or dhal and tandoori chicken at Rajun Cajun "with the really hot stuff, black bottle" if you're a hipster.

    Antonio at Xni-Pec also has several things that can dissolve your soft palate. I'm shooting here for things that are reasonable food in addition to sheer Scovillemanship. Enjoy.

    [typed while Khaopaat was posting his. Good suggestions. Word.]
  • Post #4 - October 15th, 2009, 12:34 pm
    Post #4 - October 15th, 2009, 12:34 pm Post #4 - October 15th, 2009, 12:34 pm
    I tried the Jake Melnick Wings and didn't really think they were that hot. This will probably be a letdown for you if you're looking for extract-type heat levels. I thought the waiver was kinda silly after finishing the entire thing.

    If flavor is not an issue and pain and sweat is all you're looking for, go to Heaven on Seven and ask for "Da Bomb." They'll bring out a rack of the hottest sauces they have, the worst (best?) being 1.5 million scoville units. This sauce should be marketed as an instant cure for hangovers.

    If you want to take the heat home, go to The Spice House and get a few ounces of their powdered habanero. It still tastes like the fresh pepper but the heat is much more concentrated.

    Still waiting for Brick Lane Curry House to open a branch in Chicago.
  • Post #5 - October 15th, 2009, 1:25 pm
    Post #5 - October 15th, 2009, 1:25 pm Post #5 - October 15th, 2009, 1:25 pm
    Some of the hottest, most delicious, non-gimick food can be had at Sticky Rice. Order any of the salads or nam priks (dips) "Thai spicy." I agree with Santander that the baseline spice levels at the Pakistani "cabbie joints" (Zaiqa included) are impressively hot, considering they come that way without any special request or "doctoring." Don't discount the scotch bonnet sauce at Cafe Trinidad, either.
  • Post #6 - October 15th, 2009, 1:36 pm
    Post #6 - October 15th, 2009, 1:36 pm Post #6 - October 15th, 2009, 1:36 pm
    Just a wing recommendation, but the hottest food I've ever had in Chicago were the hottest wings at WingStop (ours were from the Elmwood Park location, but they have others in the city and throughout the suburbs). Looking at their menu I'd guess it was the Atomic wings, but this was around 4 years ago so I cannot be sure if anything has changed.

    What I can say is this: my wife is Indian - born and raised - and is generally looking for food as spicy as what she grew up on. When she orders and asks for very spicy, ethnic restaurants will prepare her food with the kind of heat they rarely provide to a gringo like me without a lot of extra talk. Some leftover lamb tikka masala at her usual heat level from Khyber Pass in Oak Park that she probably eats about once a month, um, "punished" my system for a solid 24 hours after consumption last week. The Atomic wings at WingStop were so hot that neither one of us could eat them. Even after a sad effort of patting them down with a paper towel to remove anything that could possibly be removed, they remained inedibly hot for both of us - though I clearly suffered even more than she did.

    I really wouldn't recommend those wings as something to be enjoyed, but they're worth a small order for someone seeking particularly hot foods.
  • Post #7 - October 15th, 2009, 8:40 pm
    Post #7 - October 15th, 2009, 8:40 pm Post #7 - October 15th, 2009, 8:40 pm
    Thanks for all the feedback. A visit to Sticky Rice and Birrieria Zaragoza appears to be in my near future as I've been wanting to try both of them and they seem to fit what I'm looking for...spicy food that's also tasty. I've had atomic wings at Quaker Steak and Lube and wasn't overly impressed by the heat level...don't know how they compare to the atomic wings at Wingstop. I've tried the Da Bomb sauces at Heaven on Seven, and they were pretty ridiculous.
  • Post #8 - October 16th, 2009, 8:18 am
    Post #8 - October 16th, 2009, 8:18 am Post #8 - October 16th, 2009, 8:18 am
    I was unable to finish a beef salad at Thai Aree due to heat - only time that's happened in my life. Insanity hot.

    Thai Aree
    3592 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60641-3959
    (773) 725-6751

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