I like spicy food. And by spicy, I don’t mean something you might taste and say, “Ah, that’s a little spicy.” I mean food that makes you break out in a sweat spicy. Remember the bald dudes from Fringe? That’s the kind of spicy I’m talking about. I’ve found habanero-based salsa at a couple of Mexican restaurants that was spicy enough to interest me, but typically I have to go to a Thai restaurant to get what I like. Then I just have to figure out how to convince them that I really do want it spicier/hotter than they normally serve American customers - even those who say they want it “Thai hot.”
One of the only places I’ve found in Knoxville that will satisfy my desire for spicy food is Kasume and Thai Cafe. I had to go throught he usual dance with them the first couple of visits - ordering it as high as their scale (1–5) goes, then asking for something “homemade” to make it spicier. Now they know me, so I just ask them to give me an 8 and the homemade chili oil/paste.
Today we had a new server, and she did something adorable when I asked for the homemade chili sauce. She brought me a bottle of Sriracha Sauce. Since I find that stuff to be barely spicier than ketchup, I asked one of the other servers who knows me to bring me the homemade chili sauce and to make sure my dish was an 8. She took good care of me.
We started off with our usual appetizer - the pot stickers. These are pretty good, especially with a bit of the homemade chili sauce tapped into them. Our toddler likes them too, albeit without the spicy sauce.
My wife and son split an order of the Orange Chicken. I’ve had a few bites of this and it’s the best version of this dish I’ve ever had - and one of the few examples I would bother to order if I weren’t in the mood for spicy food. I ordered my usual, the Cashew Nut Chicken, level 8. I usually mix it up well and then take a couple bytes out of the middle to see how spicy it is before I mix in the homemade chili sauce. It didn’t disappoint today, and I’d say it was probably hotter than most folks I know could tolerate even without the sauce, as it was pretty painful.
Some of my friends ask me why I like my food so spicy and I can’t really say I have a good answer besides I just like it that way. I’m not always in the mood for spicy food, and that’s probably a good thing. But today’s extravaganza of heat won’t have any lasting effect on me - heartburn or otherwise. But I really like eating food that’s spicy enough to make me sweat, and push me right to the point, or beyond, of wondering if I’ve found my limit.
Kasumi and Thai Cafe is a good place for tasty Chinese and spicy Thai food. I highly recommend it.