First of all, Happy #NationalHotSauce Day!

Second of all, congratulations on finding out about National Hot Sauce Day.

I still remember when I found out about spicy food. My parents never really embraced spicy food when I was younger. BBQ chips were about as hot as we ever got around the Dredge household when I was younger. My grandparents were even worse. Nothing spicier than black pepper ever made it into their grocery cart.

(Side note: After cooking for my grandma for the past ~10 years, she has actually developed a fondness, and tolerance, for spicy food. See. It's never too late to change.)

I was 7 or 8 and my uncle was visiting from Bloomington. He liked spicy food so he brought in his own chips. They were these


It was easily the hottest thing I had ever tried. I was in pain and hooked. I still to this day hold these toward the top of the spicy snack food list.

Since then I've always been ordering whatever was spicy on the menu. I've only come across one item from a Rockford restaurant that I could not handle. The level 5 pad thai from, now closed, Bamboo on State St. downtown.

Bamboo was one of my favorite places. It still lives on with the Wok N Roll food truck. The food is still excellent. But I loved sitting at their bar, eating some of their beef jerky and having a drink while waiting for some carryout.

I was a big fan of their pad thai. You could order it at a spicy level from 1-5. I was doing 4 for a long time and thought I'd dip my toes into a 5 and see how I liked it.

It did not go well.

I think I cried, the next 24 hours were kind of a blur. And I only got through about half of it. I had officially pulled a Harry Callahan and was aware of my limitations.

Fun times.

Has anything in town stopped your tracks? Let us know below.


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