10 Tasty Ways to Turn Up the Heat

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Looking for a new way to sweat? Scottsdale’s renowned chefs and mixologists have found deliciously creative ways to turn up the heat. Here are our tasty - and toasty - favorites:

 


DRY HEAT MARGARITA AT CITIZEN PUBLIC HOUSE


This spicy sipper combines silver tequila with mango-serrano chile syrup for a drink that's most definitely not for the faint of heart! A cayenne salt- and sugar-dusted rim caps off this local favorite. 

 


SMOKED BRISKET TORTA AT THE MISSION


Served with a smoked habanero barbecue sauce and aji amarillos (yellow Peruvian chile peppers), this dish is as feisty as it is tasty. Order the Expresso Churros, which come with a chocolate milkshake, to cool you off after this spicy meal.

 


PORK BELLY TACO AT CRUJIENTE TACOS


Known for their crave-worthy, hand-sized street tacos, CRUjiente Tacos turns up the heat on this dish with house-made "quick" kimchi and peppery sriracha aioli. Still hungry? Try the Texas Wagyu Cap Steak Taco, which gets its formidable zip from fresh horseradish and karashi mustard.

 


THE GLADIATOR BURGER AT DAILY DOSE


Ask for an extra napkin before doing battle with this beastly burger. A perfectly-seared beef patty is nestled on a soft egg bun, then topped with cheddar and jack cheeses, caramelized jalapeños and onions, peppered bacon and red chili cheese sauce. 

 


Aji Pizza at Craft 64


Who would have thought that jalapeño peppers and pizza would be such a great pair? Well, that’s exactly the combo Craft 64 celebrates with their Aji pizza. This delicious and spicy pairing features house-made mozzarella, parmigiana reggiano, fennel sausage, sautéed onions, ricotta and their Spicy Aji jalapeño sauce.

 


CUBANO SANDWICH AT TORO LATIN RESTAURANT & RUM BAR


Hot Chinese mustard gives this two-fisted sandwich its kick. The Cubano starts with a soft roll that’s piled high with pork carnitas, cured ham and swiss cheese. If you’re really hungry, warm up your taste buds with an order of Crispy Chicken Wings in spicy plum sauce.

 


Spicy Thai Chicken Bowl at Hula’s Modern Tiki


This bowl of Polynesian delights features marinated chicken breast swathed in a spicy Thai sauce and resting on a bed of black beans, rice and Napa cabbage. Want it hotter? Ask for chopped Scotch Bonnet peppers to kick it up a notch. 

 


RED CHILI PORK CHOP AT OLD TOWN TORTILLA FACTORY


A zippy sauce of ancho chiles and raspberries dials up the heat on this signature dish. The 10-ounce pork chop is grilled to perfection and served with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies. Enjoy the dish on the patio, in the shade of 100-year-old pecan trees.

 


POLLO CON CHORIZO AT BARRIO QUEEN


This local favorite features juicy spice-rubbed chicken, caramelized onions and roasted poblano peppers bathed in a spicy cream sauce and topped with chorizo and fragrant cilantro. Looking for more? Pair it with one of the Queen’s fiery Jalapeño Margaritas!

 


VEGAN ENCHILADAS AT LOS SOMBREROS


Though not the spiciest of dishes on this list, these enchiladas will still warm you up! Filled with fresh spinach, zucchini, carrots and broccoli, these babies are smothered in guajillo chili sauce (jalapeño’s more mild-mannered cousin) and topped with creamy vegan cheese.