Brave suped-up spice at these hot spots!
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
Five heat levels go all the way to the ghost, habanero and cayenne pepper- infused “Shut the cluck up!!!” at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, a Nashville- based, chicken-focused eatery with a location in West Midtown. For those looking for a less painful thrill, birds are also offered in Southern (no heat), mild, medium, hot and damn hot levels.
Well-known for its dumplings, Gu’s Kitchen in Chamblee serves Szechuan street food with a kick. The Szechuan spicy fried rice, made with an assortment of chili peppers, might be the hottest thing on the menu. It’s listed alongside the warning “fire extinguisher might be needed, no returns!!” Other powerfully piquant dishes include the spicy dried beef noodles and Chongqing spicy chicken featuring spicy chicken nuggets, dried red chili peppers and “numbing” Szechuan peppercorns.
For a taco with a piquant punch, Little Rey’s El Diablo wraps up spicy shrimp and salsa macha, a Tex-Mex sauce originated in Veracruz that starts with dried chiles, garlic, onion and cumin. This one also has pureed sesame seeds, peanuts, cloves, tortillas and reduced chicken stock. The spicy burning heat is paired with avocado crema, cheese and cabbage. And, for a little extra kick, jalapenos are on top.
Scoville Hot Chicken
Before opening Scoville Hot Chicken in Atlanta, Korean-American restauranteur Justin Lim developed his Scoville sauce after researching hot chicken eateries in Los Angeles and Nashville. With locations in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, West Midtown and Chamblee, this fiery spot specializes in fried chicken sandwiches (with fries) in six spice levels ranging from “Not Spicy” to “Reaper,” the latter claiming 1 million Scoville heat units—the scale used to rank hot peppers.
Giannina S. Bedford is multi-faceted writer and editor. Her work covers design, travel, food and business. She’s penned Simply Buckhead’s home feature since inception and held a variety of editorial roles at the magazine. Her freelance work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, Virtuoso Life, Hemispheres and TravelandLeisure.com. She also contributes regularly Atlanta Business Chronicle. Fluent in Spanish, Giannina was born in Miami and grew up in Brazil, Chile, Hawaii and Australia. She currently lives in Dunwoody with her two kids and husband.