Dining Guide | 5 Crazy Hot Dishes in Scottsdale
While we may have had an easy breezy Spring, our Summer has definitely arrived and we are going to be paying for those 70 and 80 degrees days in the form of high 100’s for a good long time. Your first response might be to head to the pool or to your local fro-yo spot, and no one would blame you. Why not switch things up a bit and fight fire with fire? Embrace the heat of the day by pairing the temperature of your dinner with that of the thermometer outside. Be sure to have a chilled drink at the ready to pair with this selection of the Valley’s hottest of the hot dishes. Be warned, though, most of these dishes come with warnings, which means you order it, it’s yours. No refunds or exchanges, so make sure you can handle the heat!
5 Crazy Hot Dishes in Scottsdale
3313 N. Hayden Road| Scottsdale| 85251| 480.970.8164
For twenty years Carlsbad Tavern has been treating Scottsdale diners to the unique flavors of New Mexican cuisine in an eclectic and cave-like space. The majority of menu items here have a spicy kick, but none more than the Habanero Cheeseburger. As the menu description warns, “This burger may cause temporary blindness or loss of hearing.” With a warning like that, you would expect some serious kick, and you definitely will not be disappointed. They use freshly ground habanero chile mixed in with lean ground beef. This process allows the heat to really permeate the burger and in doing so, there’s no place to hide from the intense flavors. On top of the combustible flavors of the burger (if that weren’t enough on its own) they top the burger with melted jalapeno jack cheese. This addition adds to the level of flavors, and in turn the levels of heat. The burger is a house specialty, but be forewarned, as the menu touts, “You order it, you own it.”
Hopdoddy Burger Bar
11055 N. Scottsdale Road| Scottsdale| 85254| 480.348.2337
Hopdoddy is becoming synonymous with hi-end creative gourmet burgers; pairing unexpected ingredients into perfectly palatable patties. They offer up a Burger of the Month that celebrates the season or specific events or holidays. Their permanent menu is full of a variety of unique (and some expected) burger creations sure to please any taste. For the heat seekers, there is one gloriously fiery burger: the El Diablo. This burger pairs Angus beef with pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, habanero and serrano chiles, salsa Roja and chipotle mayo. With so many flavors combined, you might think that they would compete with each other, but they manifest as distinctive peppery levels of heat and flavor. The sliced peppers make sure a fiery kick in every bite and the slight sweetness of the onions helps to cut that heat, but only a little. This burger is devilishly hot. For an extra dose of wicked pair your burger with their Green Chili Queso Fries and cool yourself down with a Caramel & Sea Salt Milkshake.
2 Scottsdale Locations
23587 N. Scottsdale Road or 20825 N. Pima Road| 480.585.6442 or 480.513.8332
With a name like Jalapeno Inferno, one would have certain expectations about the level of heat in the dishes. While this spot has several Americanized dishes there is a whole section of the menu devoted to those that like it hot. Really hot. A serious spicy option is Courtney’s Favorite Burrito, a distinctive and massive burrito that is soon to become your favorite as well. The 10-inch beast is loaded with grilled chicken (or steak if you so choose), black beans, onion, cilantro along with red enchilada sauce and their Inferno sauce. One the ingredients are all stuffed into the jumbo flour tortilla they top it, enchilada style, with chile rajas sauce with rice and beans on the side. The meat is perfectly seasoned before being added to the burrito party and you can taste the slight char in every bite. On top of that, you’ve got the serious heat of the Inferno sauce, a secret blend of chili and spices. All of the flavors are melding together and offer a really nice flavor to heat ratio. The sweat on your brow may not be tempered easily but a sweet and salty margarita might help…a little.
Suh Noi-The Little Thaiger
7150 E. Thomas Road| Scottsdale| 85251| 480.941.7210
More often than not, the first thing you think of in association with Thai food is heat. If that’s the case, you’re not necessarily wrong. Thai food features a variety of spices, curries, and chilis, but the biggest components in dishes are balance, detail, and variety. This is why you will find that you are presented with so many types of sauces when you begin your meal. Suh-Noi has created a tried and true menu, complete with balance, detail, and variety. If you are on the hunt for some serious flavor and spice, treat yourself to the Temple of Fire; a rice bowl with intense flavors. This spicy chili fried rice bowl can be made with your choice of protein (chicken, beef or tofu) and topped with a star (fried) egg. While this dish is almost combustible, you’ll still be able to spot and enjoy a perfect balance of flavors, from spicy to salty then back to spicy with a little bit of sweet. For those nights when you need a quick heat fix, they even sport a drive through.
8140 N. Hayden Road| Scottsdale| 85258| 480.794.1404
Tandoori Times offers an extensive menu that offers dishes for any taste and diet, with a focus on healthy eating. They offer 7 different kinds of naan, a unique bread that is hand-shaped and cooked in a clay oven, served with an equally varied selection of chutneys for dipping. Naan can be considered a type of appetizer or an accouterment to your entrée choice. Naan paired with the yellow or red chile chutney will create a steamy start to your dinner. The yellow chutney has a complex flavor with the combination of lemon rind, vinegar, and jalapenos and has a nice balance of heat and tartness. If the yellow chutney isn’t hot enough for you step up to the red chili chutney; a combination of dry red chilies, spices and garlic melded into a paste and then combined sautéed in oil to give it an aromatic and tempting texture that might be deceiving at first glance. Your first taste will awaken taste buds you didn’t know were there and straighten up you posture. If things get a little too out of control in your mouth, a sweet velvety mango lassi might temper some of the flames.
This article was originally featured in the July 2015 issue of So Scottsdale Magazine.