The spiciest foods in the Capital Region?

chili peppers at marketKathleen emails:

I recently discovered what I think is the spiciest meal in the Capital Region while dining with my Indian boyfriend Arun in Albany.
Parivar, the new Indian grocery store on Central Avenue, has a little food counter in back which sells the spiciest dosa I have ever eaten! They call it Spring Dosa. I asked Arun to try it, thinking it would be light and vegetable based, like a spring roll. Oh No! It was stick-to-your-ribs potato based, with plenty of spicy chilies.
I got to wondering, maybe we could make a list of the spiciest foods in the Capital Region so I could share more spicy food finds with Arun.

We've heard a lot of good things about Parivar, so we don't doubt it is authentically spicy.

Anyone have suggestions for Kathleen about other spicy local dishes? Please share!

photo: Flickr user Sugar Sweet Sunshine


I am a big fan of Indian food. My friend and I recently tried Phaal at Karavalli in Latham. On the menu, there are 4 peppers beside the description, indicating it is the hottest thing they make. In fact, when we both ordered it (I ordered lamb phaal, my friend ordered chicken phaal), the waiter second guessed us, and after the waiter submitted our order, a cook came from the kitchen to double check with us. It was surreal!

It was the hottest thing I've ever eaten. And it's the kind of heat that doesn't bother you if you're not eating, but, the second you start eating, your mouth is on fire!

There was a post on Table Hopping about this a few months back.

I'll say the same thing that I did then, the Lamb Vindaloo at Karavalli. Delicious, but it will make you sweat.

Sake Café on New Scotland has some *wicked* curry dishes.

yes..try the Chile Colorado at Salsa Latina. Chopped beef in a DEElicious but VERY spicy sauce, with rice, beans and tortillas. hot enough to make you sweat and clear your sinuses, but you just won't be able to stop eating it.

Both the Ale House and Holmes and Watson in Troy are well known for their suicide wings. H&W will even use Habeneros, if you ask.

The chili at Cafe Hollywood is fantastic, and they don't pull any punches. Also, the beef vindaloo at Tandoori Palace (R.I.P.) was atomic- hopefully it would be the similar at other Indian restaurants.

Bennett's stir-fried long beans!

my favorite spicy dish available is the chicken vindaloo at taj majal on jay st. in downtown schenectady. i am sorely disappointed by the fact all of the thai places here won't cook the spice in, they'll just give it to you on the side. it's not the same. there is nothing better than wicked spicy (but edible -that's the key) thai food!

The jerk chicken at First Choice Caribbean in Troy can be unbearably hot on some days and on others not hot at all.

I'm a huge fan of Indian and Thai food and I've also been hugely disappointed with the spice factor at places like Bangkok Thai, Blue Spice, Sake Cafe, and Shalimar; even after insisting to the server that I can handle the most extreme spice they can offer. Are these establishments afraid to serve super-spicy food even if the customer asks for it? Sounds like Karavalli doesn't hold back, I'll have to check them out.

@brig: Daniel B has a card that, as I understand it, essentially says "Don't hold back, give me the really hot food" in multiple languages.

I do indeed have a card. And it is for rent. The only condition is that I come with it and you have to feed me. It's one of the discontinued Chowhound Passports.

For those who are considering the offer, the card includes the following phrase in Filipino, Korean, Arabic, Thai, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese, "Please bring me the serious, authentic food...not the tourist stuff!"

Haha, yes that was an experience. When you have to open the windows because people's mouths are burning just from the fumes, you know you did something very wrong -- or very right?

Thanks everybody!

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