I Out-Hotted the Chef at an Indian Restaurant

Out of town. Again. Which is all very good and well. Unfortunately, when we are out of town in Tennessee only one of us can have Internet access at a time. Yeah, we be in the sticks, Baby.

Anyway, we drove down har Friday and Saturday. We were supposed to get in early, but road construction saw to it that that didn’t happen. I can’t really recall what we did on Sunday, which means it must have been a throwaway day, though I do recall the lovely Greek yogurt with honey and strawberries snack that afternoon, so clearly that was the most memorable part of it. Oh, and I made some shots in pool that were totally SICK! But my breaking technique is still very un-Ninja-like. I think there’s a force field around the lead ball that diverts the cue ball away from the other balls and directly into the right corner pocket. If I had the funds, I’d conduct a several-month study.

Yesterday, we went to the Chihuly exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, which consisted of roughly two dozen pieces. And that was the only gallery open in the museum. Which would have made me all like “Whazat?” if we had paid the $10 per person admission price. But since Shawna’s brother is volunteering there for the summer to earn one of his “scholarships,” we got in for free. And we had some wicked fun in the hands-on learning center where the little Chumpy is doing his forced-volunteering. Until a bunch of damn kids showed up and took over the place like rabid wolves hungry for artistic fame. I made a print of a poisoned face (it’s like a smiley, but with misery) and constructed the Parthenon out of wooden blocks. Maybe I should say ‘a Parthenon.’ It wasn’t THE Parthenon, though that would be cool.

Before we left town to come down here, we went to Chely Wright’s reading, mini-concert and signing event in NYC on Thursday. We didn’t stick around for the signing part, which was my fault. I was kind of in “a bad place,” if you will. But whatev. It happens… usually at the most inconvenient of times.

We did have to eat that night though and Shawna pulled me into a basement-level Indian restaurant, named Spice Fusion, that we walked by on 8th Avenue. So, we get in there and the host tries to seat us at a table directly beside another couple, which is always annoying, so I ask if we can sit at the only other two-top that I saw (because, apparently, if two people are seated at a four-top table at a restaurant in Manhattan, someone kills a puppy). When the waiter comes and sees that we are in the back, he’s like, “What did you do to get put in the corner?” and I tell him that I asked for it and he says that it is a winter table, because you can feel the heat from the kitchen back there. But we are all cool. Literally and figuratively. Then, we order and I tell him that I want my food the spiciest that they make it, and he is like, “On a scale from 1 to 10,” and I say “10,” and he is like “10?” and I am like “Yes, 10.” And, apparently feeling that I need backup in relating my spice-consuming abilities, Shawna is like, “She’ll surprise you.” And with a laughing shake of his head, the waiter is like, “Okay,” and walks off to put in our order for spicy yumminess.

We get our food and it is way delicious, though, per Shawna, the Chicken Tikka Masala is not one of the best in the country. Per me, she should stop getting the same thing every time and then she won’t have to rank her meal against the to-die-for LA takeout Chicken Tikka Masala. Just sayin’.

The waiter returns after a few minutes and is like, “Is it good? Is it spicy enough?” And I’m like, “It’s good.” And, because Shawna lives to fuck with me, she says, “She said that she could handle more spice.” And I was like, “No, she’s kidding. I’m good.” But it’s too late. The plan has already started to hatch. Our waiter says, “It’s okay. You are in the right place” and proceeds to tell us that he is actually half-Indian and half-Spanish and his Spanish friend, who just happens to be trying to launch a line of hot sauce, brought some Spanish hot sauce to the restaurant for them to try. And that the cooks were sweating while they ate it.

And then he says it –

“I’m going to bring some out for you to try.”

And he merrily skips away.

Upon which I turn to Shawna with my ‘why must you always’ face. To which she replies, “Maybe he’ll forget”.

He didn’t. Thirty seconds later, he is back at our table with a bowl with a thin layer of hot sauce covering the bottom and a little baby spoon.

How I manage to be at the one Indian restaurant in NYC that has something on hand spicier than its own menu is a mystery of the universe that I suspect shall forever go unsolved.

So, I take one sniff of the sauce and I’m like, “Oh hell, this shit’s gonna sting.” Then, I let Shawna have a smell and she claims that her nose hairs have been singed. But burning nose hairs or no, I’m simply too proud not to try it. So, I fill the entire little spoon and swallow all of it right down. And holy mother of peppers, I have never tasted anything that hot in all of my life. I didn’t even know the potential for that hot existed in the food world. I didn’t cry or anything, but fuck was it hot.

But, whether I am just that stubborn or secretly, masochistically enjoy the burn, I eat one more spoonful. Then, I give up and start eating my level-10 Indian food to bring down the heat in my mouth… and it works.

So, the waiter comes back and I tell him about my failure. He tries to persuade me to finish the bowl and I admit that it’s just too hot and I can’t do it. Then, he goes away and comes back and he’s like, “I told the chef that you had two spoonfuls and he couldn’t believe it. All of the guys in the back could only eat one.”

At which point I feel duped, but oddly awesome.

Oh, and the on-the-house ginger mango mousse dessert was the bomb.

Thank you, Spice Fusion.

Similar Posts


  1. So based on the title, I thought this was going to be a story about how hot you are. But this was a good story too.

  2. What the heck? Your hottness will not be in question even after menopause! Don’t make me come up there and smack you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.