Carlsbad Tavern Habanero Cheeseburger

The other day I picked up a copy of snoozeweek because it had a story about Star Trek. While looking for the story I happened upon an article about the 50 best hamburgers in the U.S as chosen by Bobby Flay. I don't know how they picked them, but doubt they tried "every" hamburger in "every" state (I digress). Anyways I looked to see what was the best hamburger in Arizona and they had the "Carlsbad Tavern Habanero Cheeseburger".

I have eaten at CT many times and never tried it, so today I tried it. At first I almost chickened out because the description states "This burger may cause temporary blindness or loss of hearing." But you only live once.... (twice max). While waiting for my order I noted 2 tables away an older couple in their late fifties had ordered the same thing. The waiter had come over to them and said "I told you it was hot" The guy had only take a couple of bites out of his and looked mad. The woman had eaten about half of hers. The waiter asked if they wanted a box and they said no. The woman stated that she liked spicy food but this was too spicy. They left almost all of their food. While waiting another couple sat down 1 table away and the woman wanted to order the CTHB. The waiter warned her that it was VERY HOT. She chickened out and ordered the Green chili burrito, the guy ordered something that looked like chili, but wasn't. Neither of them finished their food or took any home, leaving enough food for 2 or 3 meals.

Finally my CTHB came and I took a bight, it was hot but not anywhere near as hot as I thought it would be. Being lean ground beef it was a bit on the dry side. It came with fries and a small salad. The salad had their house dressing "jalapeƱo ranch". The fries were coated with something that made them crunchy (if it was spicy I couldn't tell). The hamburger was "meh". If you like spicy food you should try it, but otherwise it wasn't super wonderful. The waiter seemed surprised that I finished it. I overheard another waiter say that most people can only eat about half of one, then they start sweating profusely. I would say compared to the "Sun pork" I had at some Chinese Restaurant, and the "Chile Colorado" I had at Arriba's this was number 3 with the "Sun Pork" being so hot I couldn't finish it and didn't sleep all night, and The Chili Colorado being almost to hot to finish.

I have eaten at CT many times before, and of the things I have tried I would recommend the "Carlsbad Ribeye (excellent)". the "Prime rib Quesadilla (Very good)", and the "Carne Adovada plate".

Update: On a later visit I ordered the CTHC and on that occasion it was about 3 times hotter than the first time. It was so hot that I almost couldn't finish it. The next day I had serious stomach problems (repeated trips to the restroom), and a bum that looked like a Japanese flag! Eat this burger at your own peril.

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