I’m going to do something in this review that I rarely do – admit that I was horribly, painfully wrong about something. I’ll get to that later, though.
On a recent Saturday, we wanted to try a new restaurant, so I posted a request to Facebook asking for recommendations. My friend Tabitha recommended a diner in Oak Ridge called The Other One. Tabitha knows I like spicy food [foreshadowing] and suggested I try the “Sean’s Spicy Burger” because it has ghost chili peppers on it. That’s all I needed to hear, so we headed to Oak Ridge.
We started off with an order of Garlic Parmesan Wings. They were a little small but the flavor was quite good. As you can see from the picture, the kitchen didn’t skimp on the garlic.
We also tried the Spicy Pickles. They were very good as well, with just the right amount of crispy and heat.
Our son had a Hot Dog and Sweet Potato Fries. The Other One includes Apple Butter as a dipping sauce with the sweet potato fries, and while I was skeptical before trying it, it was an awesome combination. In typical 2 year-old fashion, however, our son refused to try the apple butter, despite our best efforts at persuasion. He liked the hot dog, of course, and the fries were perfectly good by themselves.
My wife ordered the Vol Burger with Onion Petals as the side. She liked the burger just fine and the onion petals were good as well. One thing I really liked about the petals and the other fried items is that they were all perfectly crisp with no excess grease.
I ordered the Sean’s Spicy Burger, of course. And this is where I admit I was wrong. Before trying this burger, and specifically the Ghost Chili Peppers on it, I thought I could handle any spicy food that came my way. And in my defense, I’ve eaten at lots of Thai and Indian places and, after requesting the food be “Thai Hot”, “Atomically Hot”, “Off the Scale Hot”, and “Hot Enough to Hurt Me”, I was able to handle it all. Sure, I might sweat a pound of water weight off in the process, or need to ask for a glass of sweet tea to dampen the burn, and on one or two occasions admit something was just beyond the pain point I wanted in a spicy dish. But nothing, not even eating Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce, had prepared me for eating raw ghost chili peppers.
To ensure my first bite had a ghost pepper in it, I lifted the bun to check out the pepper distribution. Satisfied, I took a good sized bite and started to chew. I knew exactly when I bit into the ghost pepper because a wave of heat began in my mouth. I kept chewing, and quickly swallowed as the heat became exploded into agony. At this point I put the burger down and took a gulp of my Diet Coke, hoping to dull the pain. The next few minutes are a blur, with the memory of frantic grabbing and stuffing of practically every food item on the table into my mouth in an attempt to find something, anything, to stop the burn made fuzzy by my mind’s desire to forget how badly it hurt. In my mad rush I ate: half a hot dog bun, a handful of sweet potato fries, a fork full of apple butter, a chicken wing, some onion petals, fried pickles, and an entire glass of Diet Coke. Nothing worked. In the end, I just had to wait it out, and over time the pain lessened and a sort of numbness settled into my mouth.
I picked off most of the remaining ghost peppers. Why only most? Partly because I didn’t want to admit defeat, but mostly because I’m an idiot, I guess. Picking the peppers off by hand was another mistake – one for which I’d pay for the next few hours across multiple hand washings. Later that evening I ended up soaking my fingers in vegetable oil and dabbing it on my face.
So I learned a very important lesson that day: there is such a thing as too spicy, and I absolutely can’t handle ghost chili peppers.
Aside from the capsaicin-induced agony, I really liked The Other One. I take responsibility for the agony, although I believe they should change the warning on the menu under Sean’s Spicy Burger from “****WARNING this is REALLY HOT****” to “This will make you feel like you’re dying.”
I’m looking forward to returning to The Other One and trying something else next time.
This is post 8 in the #NaBloWriMo #vDM30in30 30 Day Blog Challenge