A search for the spiciest dish in Holland


Justin Anair

  I have shared many moments with Alex Lindemann out in public; however, he and I have never cried in a restaurant together, until now.


  Alex and I set out to find four restaurants in Holland carrying the spiciest dishes. We went to each restaurant with calm stomachs, healthy tear ducts, and somewhat stuffy noses, only to leave with intense stomach aches, teary eyes, and burned-out sinuses.


  Before we started, we came up with a set of rules: In each of the four restaurants, Alex and I had to request the spiciest dish that the restaurant offered. Each of us had to eat at least a quarter of the meal or eat until we started crying (which only happened twice, thankfully). We then ranked them based on spice and level of pain.


  The first restaurant we visited was Mizu Sushi. I have eaten at Mizu many times and heard of a spicy sushi dish with fresh, raw jalapeno pepper in it. Given my love for sushi and our new (forced) profound love for spicy food, Mizu was number one on the list. “Sniper,” the spiciest sushi roll on the menu, barely made me break a sweat. Its flavors were intense but the jalapeno wasn’t a large part of the sushi roll. “The sushi was mild for me. I could taste the strong spices but they didn’t have an effect on me physically,” Alex said. Despite including raw jalapeno, Mizu managed to have the mildest dish.


 Mexican food is often considered when it comes to heat and spice. El Rancho, a restaurant off of US-31, is known to serve some heat-packing dishes and sauces. Their spiciest dish, “Fajita Chipotle”, is made up of chicken, steak, bacon, and pineapple, in chipotle sauce covered with shredded cheese. To challenge us further, the chef doused our meal with habanero sauce to give it an extra kick. Despite the extreme spiciness of the dish, we managed to hold our tears back and eat the majority of the meal. “The taste of this food is really good. The spice is pretty hot, but I’ve had much worse than this. If I keep eating it [without a break], the spice doesn’t get too bad,” Alex said. Even though El Rancho had a decently spicy dish, its flavor was mild compared to Thai Palace.


  Both of us had been to Thai Palace before, but only for the mild noodle dishes that kept our stomachs safe. The last time I went there, a certain dish captured my attention. Under its description, it said “EXTREMELY SPICY. Sorry, no return, refund, or exchange for this dish. This special dish contains fresh Thai HOT chili peppers and special Thai herbs.” The dish, “Pad Naroke,” was clearly the spiciest dish that Thai Palace had to offer, and we had to try it. Upon arrival, the dish was a heap of meat, vegetables, Thai herb leaves, peppers, mushrooms, and a spicy broth. After five minutes of eating the Pad Naroke, Alex and I had experienced enough of Thai Palace’s spice. “My nose hurts and my eyes are watery… I don’t know, it’s not as bad as I was expecting but it’s [the spice] been lasting forever. It’s been going on for a couple minutes now, at least ten,” Alex said. Thai Palace packed enough heat for us to leave with watery eyes and running noses. While its spices were intense, Thai Palace still fell short to Buffalo Wild Wings.


  As we entered Buffalo Wild Wings, we had a good idea of what to expect. We heard stories about Buffalo Wild Wing’s infamous Blazing wings, yet neither of us had ever tried to eat them. We’ve seen the tears flood from people’s faces as they experienced the intense spices and flavors this wing had to offer, and it was not something we were looking forward to. After 15 minutes of anxiously waiting, our wings finally arrived. Eight bright orange wings sat between us. The wings looked like torture, and their odor stung our noses. We both had two options: eat four of them each as fast as possible, or eat four slowly, letting the pain die down before trying another. We decided to go as fast as possible. After scarfing three wings down, the spice kicked in. My nose started running and I started crying despite trying to keep the tears back. “I hurt, my eyes are watering and my nose is running. My stomach doesn’t feel good either. I don’t know if I can go for a fourth [wing],” Alex said. Out of the four restaurants we tried, Buffalo Wild Wings definitely gave us the spiciest dish.


  After a week full of brutal stomach pain and runny noses, Alex and I finally found the spiciest dish of the four restaurants. Buffalo Wild Wings tortured us with the most spice that we thought a wing could offer.  Even though it packed a lot of heat, made us cry, and beat the other three restaurants, Alex and I will continue to search, taste, and suffer to truly find the spiciest dish in Holland.