Right now, tens of thousands of free spirits, innovative artists, and fabulous freaks are flocking to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for the annual Burning Man Festival. Since we can’t take a week off to attend this year, we wanted to commemorate the event from afar. So, we sought out super-hot dishes that will set your taste buds ablaze. Please note: We are not responsible for any discomfort that may arise from enjoying these dishes. Just sayin’. Celebrate Burning Man at a restaurant serving one of these 11 hella hot dishes.
The Cecil, New York, New York
Chef JJ Johnson packs heat into his Portuguese piri piri sauce by using African bird’s eye chilies, which are many times hotter than jalapeños. The fiery condiment accompanies well-spiced, broiled giant prawns resting on a yam flapjack. Please restrain yourself from singing, “It’s getting hot in herre!” while eating it.
Pepita Cantina, Arlington, Virginia
Chef-owner Mike Isabella loves a good taco. For his version starring stewed goat, he adds citrusy, spicy-sweet candied habaneros to cut through the meat’s richness. We wish he would sell the peppers on their own, so we could snack on them when we needed a proper pick-me-up.
The Blind Burro, San Diego, California
Bacon makes everything better – even when those dishes are already awesome in the first place. Case in point: these bacon-wrapped, tongue-tingling jalapeños stuffed with chorizo and mozzarella-style queso Oaxaca paired with a zingy chipotle-tomatillo-piloncillo sauce. Muy impresionante!
Fang Restaurant, San Francisco
Starting with a classic recipe from China’s Sichuan province, chef Kathy Fang wanted to kick her spicy sausage mapo tofu up a notch. So she incorporates plenty of chili, hot Italian sausage, and diced jalapeños to bring the heat. Make sure you have plenty of water on hand, though we find Hainan Punch with pineapple vodka and ginger ale works wonders, too.
Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Virginia
Heat-seekers will love this dish. It’s simply called “The Warning,” because it’s THAT spicy! It’s actually scratch-made, hyper-hot Thai panang-style curry that chef-owner Cathal Armstrong packs with house-cured pork belly, soft tofu, and crispy garlic. When you’re sweating profusely and tearing up, you can’t say you weren’t warned. [Ed. note: You may not be able to say anything at all because your mouth will be on fire.]