Three Spicy Things for Cinco de Mayo

I have a new-found appreciation for spice. I remember ordering Pad Thai “level 1” and never, ever touching hot sauce. Now, I can’t get enough spicy– whether that’s Sriracha or chipotle. I’m not going in for a level 10, I do find myself savoring the burn, no matter the cuisine.

PhotoWith Cinco de Mayo coming up (an entirely American excuse to eat guacamole and margaritas), I have a few suggestions on where to get some spice in the city:

1. Streetpops Pineapple Habanero popsicle.  Holy cow, these are good.  I had one at the recent Motors and Music fundraiser for the May Festival and I was warned: “They’re spicy. Do you like spicy? This may be too hot.”  Hardly.  It’s got the slow, heady burn of chipotle countered with sweet pineapple juice.  It was perfect to eat while looking at some pretty hot cars (yeah, I went there).

2. Bakersfield’s Short Rib Torta.  Do not listen to anyone who insists the tacos are the best thing on the menu.  The whole menu is good, granted, but the best thing on the menu is by far the short rib torta, served with a spicy salsa.  It’s super flavorful, easy to split, and I’m addicted (though now I sate myself with a bite of The Better Half’s sandwich instead of ordering my own. Sigh).  They’re doing a huge Cinco de Mayo celebration on Saturday, where you can try it out.  The party benefits OTR Community Housing.

3. Nada’s carnitas tacos, spicy. Don’t go with gringo style, go with the full on spice.  They’re delicious and just the right amount of heat.  You could also try the Al Pastor tacos, which probably won’t be as spicy, this weekend at their Cinco de Nada celebration, which benefits Transitions Global, which helps end sex trafficking.

I know I’m missing something– so what’s your favorite thing to eat that has a spicy, Mexican-inspired kick?  Let me know in the comments.

And if you want to make a killer margarita, here’s my recipe.