Heat lovers shouldn't miss the Mexican-Japanese fusion at this West Coast sushi bar. On Heat Seekers, Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking tasted the habanero-and-Sriracha-spiced Five-Star Roll, which arrives dressed with the signature "Shut Up Sauce" made with serranos, Thai chiles and lemon juice.
Feeling spicy? Try the chile-spiked oyster shooter, a "kicked-up" combination of oysters, horseradish and black pepper vodka. For dinner, there are plenty of mouthwatering, less spicy options, including lobster rolls, steamed littleneck clams in white wine and garlic, and grilled mahi mahi tacos.
A Santa Fe institution that's been serving up New Mexican cuisine for 40 years, Tomasita's is known for its red and green chile Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking recommend kicking up the heat with an order of Sopaipilla, a Mexican puff pastry stuffed with spicy pork and topped with red chile.
Nitally's Thai-Mex Cuisine is the brainchild of a multicultural husband and wife in St. Petersburg. To understand this culinary fusion, imagine Carnitas with Thai spices, Thai Peanut Chicken Tortilla Wraps, Chorizo Fried Rice and Curry Burritos. Willing souls can attempt the Inferno Soup Challenge.
Legend has it that Thai Place is known in K.C. for throwing down serious heat. It's "go hot or go home." For the true heat experience, try Ted's Famous Pad Thai made Thai hot, or attempt a Thai Hot Challenge. For those not into spicy, Thai Place has an entire menu of authentic, non-spicy dishes.
If you're looking for Cajun cooking in downtown Chicago, head to Heaven on Seven. The Southern-style food with a twist has been pleasing locals for more than 20 years. Try the Voodoo Shrimp, which Aaron Sanchez says is "packed with flavor," or the Hot As a Mutha pasta made with habanero peppers.
At The Wing Dome, also known as the "home of the burn," you'll find wings that are straight "from the face of the sun." Roger and Aaron tried the 7-Alarm Challenge, attempting to devour seven of the sweat-inducing wings in just seven minutes. Not feeling spicy? Try Thai Sweet Chile or Triple Garlic.
For authentic Creole food and the hottest hot sauces in New Orleans, head to this "world-famous" cafe and store. Sample 16 different sauces on the "Walk of Flame," then order the signature spicy gumbo, which Roger Mooking and Aaron Sanchez kicked up with spoonfuls of their World Famous Voodoo Sauce
This family-run, vegan Thai restaurant boasts some of the hottest dishes in Seattle. Try the Tom Yum Soup or the famous Drunken Mushroom Noodles, stir-fried with three kinds of mushrooms, garlic and chile. Roger Mooking says the noodles "start off smooth and then hit you with the heat."
Dig into BBQ dishes with a kick at Cowgirl. Spike up the spice factor with the smoking-hot pulled pork sandwich, or indulge in the Five Pepper Nachos with Salsa Diablo (add brisket for extra decadence). The Frito Pie is also a standout, complete with Fritos, chili, sour cream, cheese and jalapenos.
Chef Peter McAndrews blends French, African and Sicilian flavors at this Italian spot, which offers seasonal dishes with fresh seafood and housemade pastas. On Heat Seekers, Aaron Sanchez tried their harissa, a "deep, earthy" North African chile paste that goes into many of the dishes on the menu.
Featuring many more burger options than the comparably Spartan cheeseburger, KC Smoke Burger boasts a long list of meaty favorites, like the Gyros Smoke, Hawaiian, Danger Zone and Monster burgers. All come flamed, grilled and smoked to perfection, and all are served with a heap of crispy fries.
For a seriously hot drink that might just turn out to be a love potion, head to Mercadito Midtown in Miami and have a Vato Loco. Stay for traditional Mexican food mixed with seasonal and local sensibilities, and you've got a perfect date night.
Music and food go hand in hand at this cozy Southern soul food joint and music venue. Chef Keith Hicks serves steak, seafood and comfort food dishes like habanero-spiced Flash-Fried "Skrimpz," Texas-style Chicken "Wangs," and shrimp and grits topped with a fried egg to enjoy over live entertainment.
At this Los Angeles taqueria, tender, slow-cooked meats are piled into freshly pressed corn tortillas, which Aaron Sanchez said "burst with corn flavor." He and Roger Mooking recommend the "spiciest taco on the menu" -- cochinita pibil -- which customers can order on a spiciness scale of 1 to 10.