You say you like spicy food—the hotter, the better. But how much heat can you really take? These six dishes from restaurants around the country are some of the hottest that money can buy. If you think you can handle the extreme spice, add them to your red-hot bucket list—and make sure to have plenty of cool-down foods on hand to put out the fire.
1. Phaal Curry
Ever wondered what it would be like to eat tear gas? (No? Guess we're the only ones…) The infamous phaal curry at Brick Lane Curry House in New York can help solve that mystery, since one of its ingredients is a chile actually used to make tear gas. And it’s serious business—the chefs have to wear legit gas masks when prepping the bowl of pain. Oh, and did we mention it’s known to cause nosebleeds while being consumed?
2. 4 Horsemen Burger
What’s in a name, you ask? Four chiles, in this case: jalapeño, serrano, habanero, and the formidable ghost pepper. Diabolically unleashed at Chunky’s Burgers & More in San Antonio, the 4 Horsemen burger is so intense that brave/crazy eaters have to sign a waiver before getting their gloved hands (and inevitable sweat) on it.
3. XXX Hot Wings
Three words: Trinidad Scorpion Pepper. The second-hottest chile in the world (measuring a stomach-singeing two million on the Scoville scale) is mixed right into the XXX sauce at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap in Chicago. And the wings are aptly served up with a fireman’s hat for the punishment-gluttons doing the eating.
4. Inferno Soup
The menu at Nitally’s Thai-Mex Cuisine in St. Petersburg, FL pleads, “Please understand this soup is not a joke.” Boasting more than a dozen chiles—including Carolina Reaper, the certified world’s hottest pepper—this gargantuan bowl of liquid fire has a challenge that competitors must be completely sober to attempt. See, we told you it was no laughing matter…
5. Great Balls of Fire
Goodness gracious, indeed. These habanero cheese fritters come with a healthy side of (what else?) Sunshine & Pain habanero sauce for dipping/doubling down. Bold diners who manage to consume five of the hell balls that are fried and fired up at Salvador Molly’s in Portland, OR, make it onto the official Wall of Flame.
6. Emperor’s Egg Roll
Never felt threatened by an egg roll before? Clearly you haven’t spent enough time in North Andover, MA, where the China Blossom Restaurant & Lounge is cramming Naga Viper peppers into its off-menu Emperor’s Egg Roll—bumping the unassuming Chinese staple up to a staggering (not to mention face-numbing) 7.1 million on the Scoville scale. And the roll is also topped with 23-karat gold flakes, because why not make the pain fancy?
Bravotv.com’s digital series Going Off the Menu takes viewers on an exclusive culinary adventure as host Graham Elliot uncovers the most delicious offerings within Los Angeles’ underground food scene. From a secret supper club serving smuggled cheeses to an eight-course liquid dinner, join Lance Bass, Cheryl Burke, Reza Farahan, and more as they give fans the secrets to unlock these extraordinary food experiences.
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