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.
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.
Pay a visit to Big Al's, the self-proclaimed "home of the crawfish king," for some Cajun-country crawfish boils and Southern-style seafood dishes. New Orleans locals can't get enough of the crawfish, which are boiled in a secret mix of spices that includes cayenne pepper. Aarón Sánchez calls them "out of sight."
Try the "legendary" Diablo Burger made with Kobe beef, pepper Jack, bacon and roasted habanero devil hot sauce for what Aaron Sanchez calls "a whole different level of heat." The tavern also serves grilled cheese sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and a monthly rotation of featured wine and craft beer.
This family-owned spot serves an unorthodox cheese steak — topped with jalapeno cheddar cheese, grilled onions and Buffalo sauce. "The Heater" will "bring sweat to your brow." On Heat Seekers, owner Denise Campo said that if you're in the mood for "hot and tangy," this sandwich is for you.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Stop by Scoreboard for a full serving of sports and a devilish dose of "hot chicken" that will "blow your ears off," as Roger and Aaron experienced on Heat Seekers with Tennessee Titans safety Jordan Babineaux. The fiery chicken comes in multiple temperatures, from "sissy" to "Satan's Tongue."
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.