I've grown up loving everything about spicy foods. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, a lot of times I do.

It's almost an addiction. The other night my roommate was making macaroni and cheese and instead of being a normal human being and just eating it as-is, instead, I drenched it with one of my 10+ hot sauces in my refrigerator. For me, it definitely enhances the flavor.

One of my favorite things to do is explore spicy cuisine wherever I go, and the Quad Cities has definitely not let me down.

Below is a list of my favorites and where you can find them throughout the QC. I even have a "key" for you to follow if your spice-level isn't quite up to mine.


Stockbyte via ThinkStock

The fire icon means this dish packs the heat. If I use this picture, it's because it makes my mouth numb, makes me sweat, and is pretty damn hot.

Vima via ThinkStock

The red chili peppers mean this item is decently spicy, but nothing the average spice-nut wouldn't try.

Aleksandr Ugorenkov via ThinkStock

Finally, the jalapenos are for dishes that might have a little kick for some bland taste buds that are looking to ease their way up the spicy scale.

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    Pollo ala Diabla

    Azteca | Davenport, IA

    You know you're a local when you're ordering OFF the menu.

    I have a weakness for Mexican cuisine and Azteca's Pollo ala Diabla is the ticket to my spicy heart. Seriously, I probably go here on average, once a week.

    What it is: Small, cut up strips of chicken sauteed with onions and cooked in a spicy red sauce. It also comes with two tortillas if you'd like to make them into a taco. But my philosophy is - "why dilute the heat?"

    You know its spicy when it can make MY nose run.

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    Hot Salsa

    La Primavera | Moline, IL

    My now-roommate introduced me to this salsa last year for our Cinco de Mayo celebration and I've been hooked ever since.

    La Primavera in downtown Moline is a little Mexican restaurant and grocery store. The best salsa in the world (in my opinion) is located at their restaurant in the back of the store. If you're brave enough, grab a dish of their hot salsa and prepare to have your mind blown.

    It's fresh and it's spicy, so it doesn't get any better than that. If you really want a mouthful of flavor, be sure to ask for added onions and cilantro.

    Bonus: You can get large carry out containers for it!

  • Stockbyte via ThinkStock
    Stockbyte via ThinkStock

    Blazin' Wings (new recipe)

    Buffalo Wild Wings | Davenport, IA & Moline, IL

    It was pretty standard for me to go into a Buffalo Wild Wings casually on a boneless Thursday and order a small of their Blazin' wings, for a low-key weeknight dinner (did I mention I like spicy food?)

    Even I have a hard time with their new recipe, though. Within the past year, BDubs reinvented their Blazin' recipe to incorporate the "unrelenting heat of the ghost pepper."

    This things are a forced to be reckoned with,

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    Buffalo Wings

    Sneaky Pete's | Le Claire, IA

    I could eat buffalo wings for breakfast, lunch and dinner if it were socially acceptable. Every new restaurant I try that has wings on the menu, you know that's what I'm getting.

    I was at Sneaky Pete's in Le Claire two months ago for the first time and I tried their wings and they were DELISH. While they weren't the spiciest I've ever eaten, they had the best sauce I've had in the Quad Cities, hence making them delicious. Definitely a must-try if you're a spicy wing nut, like myself.


  • Aleksandr Ugorenkov via ThinkStock
    Aleksandr Ugorenkov via ThinkStock

    Firecracker Shrimp Tacos

    Barrel House | Davenport, IA

    Living downtown, The Barrel House is one of my go-to restaurants because they have great food for a great price.

    Monday nights are Mexican Monday's at the BH, so that's my favorite time to order their Firecracker Shrimp Tacos (for just $6!). The shrimpies are cooked in the BH's signature boom boom sauce and served in two soft-shell tacos with sriracha slaw.

    Or, if you're looking for a lighter fare with the same kick, they also have a Firecracker Shrimp Salad that is equally delicious.


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