Have you ever noticed that the best spicy dishes are never labeled as such? They warn you of what's to come, but they never mention fire, suicide, or anything related to volcanology. That's just how they are supposed to taste. Here are the dishes that get our noses running in the best possible way.
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Thus far, Sausage City has focused mostly on European-influences sausages, in part because Chicago has a strong tradition of Polish, German, and Italian butchers. But that's changing today, because the good news of Thai sausage, in this case from the superb restaurant Thai Aree in Irving Park, is a gospel worth spreading.
Though this column has only been going on for a few weeks, I've of course been eating sausage all year long. In the spirit of year-end lists, then, here are some highlights from 2011 that are worth a detour to try.