It may be winter, but menus all over Columbus are heating up with some of the spiciest foods around. If you're a chili-head, here's your plan for a fiery trip.
Hot Sauce - We take hot sauce seriously around here. CaJohn's makes some of the most award-winning hot sauces, salsas, barbeque sauces and rubs in the country right here in Columbus. CaJohn creates dozens of new products every year, ranging from wholloping-hot jolokia ghost chile extract to the more mild cayenne garlic sauce. Try the Trinidad Scorpion Morgua Hot Sauce - at your own risk. This stuff is powerful! Additionally, the house-made spicy sauce on each of the 10 or so tables at Skillet neat German Village is killer. The heat level is matched only by the flavor level - this is no hot-for-hot's-sake sauce - this is elevates the taste of everything it touches.
Entrees -The Szechuan cuisine of Fortune Chinese near the Ohio State campus naturally wows with heat of two kinds: the familiar chili and the Szechuan pink peppercorn, which has a numbing quality. The dan-dan noodles pack on chili oil, chili flakes, peanuts and ground pork for a delicious if slightly painful meal. For vegetarians, the Szechuan green beans are a great alternative.
Ice Cream - Yes, ice cream. You might think Jeni's Ice Cream's chili-infused Bangkok Peanut would take the cake for spiciest ice cream in Columbus - but the chocolate chili ice cream from Mardi Gras is so hot that it's not even normally in the display case - you'll have to ask for it, and if you love a slow burn with your cool, delicious ice cream, you will love it.
More Spice - And if you really love spicy food get to the North Market's Fiery Food Festival, Feb. 15-16! Activities include a hot wing eating contest and a spicy pizza challenge, amateur chili, salsa, hot sauce and guacamole contests and lots of live music. Of course, stop by the CaJohn's store while you're there and pick up the spiciest Jolokia hot sauce you can imagine.