#120 Anything served to you sizzling or on fire at a restaurant

It all started with Murg Mirch Tikka.

About ten years ago when I was crashing full-time at my parent’s place my friend Stephen and I would drive downtown for the weekend jams. Of course, by weekend jams I mean chicken finger dinners at local pubs, birthday dinners at busy restaurants, and occasional nights full of sweaty dancing and street meat.

Back then a few of our friends loved Indian food so every few weeks we’d end up at a samosa-filled joint filled with pillowy soft naans and steaming curries that absorbed into all of our clothes. Whenever we ate there Stephen would get something called Murg Mirch Tikka, which ended up just being three massive hunks of red sizzling chicken. He would go crazy for the stuff, taking another order to go and stashing it in his trunk for the drive home. Sure, it was delicious, but I can’t explain his torrid love affair except to say that it sure is great when anything is served to you sizzling or on fire at a restaurant:

1. Chicken fajitas. I was always a sucker for the fajitas (pronounced “fa-jai-tas”) while my friend Stephen insisted they were just a way the kitchen to outsource labor costs. “I came here to eat,” he’d say, shoveling a greasy nacho into a pool of watery salsa. “Not spend half my time building my dinner.” Sure, the man had a point, but Stephen’s fat burrito wasn’t saying much while I enjoyed my sexy sizzling platter.

2. Saganaki at a Greek restaurant. Okay, have you had this before? It’s a hot pan of extremely salty cheese that’s lit on fire just before it’s served to you. The staff circles around and yells “Opa!” before dropping this appetizer in front of you and your friends. Perfect for anyone hoping to destroy their appetite by eating a pound of cheese.

3. Rice Krispies at a motel buffet. You’ve hit rock bottom if you count talking cereal, though I suppose it does beat the watered down orange drink, shiny rock-hard muffins, and imitation brand Froot Loops at the rest of the buffet.

4. Korean grilling. Okay, admittedly the thin strips of beef at a Korean Grill restaurant are served to you raw, but they sure do get sizzling when you toss them in that grill in the middle of your table. Cook ’em up, eat ’em up, go home happy.

5. Dessert on fire. Now I’ve never had this but I’ve heard epic tales of banana flambe and some rum-soaked cake lit on fire and brought to the table. Best enjoyed after a dinner of saganaki, chicken fajitas, and flaming Sambuca shots.

Yes, facts are facts, everybody: when something’s served sizzling or on fire at a restaurant it’s a beautiful moment. Conversation stops, jaws drop, and our entire body starts amping up for the first bite.


Whoa, here’s a first: We were just told that due to demand the entire print run of The 2012 Calendar of Awesome has sold out. Now only available online here.

Photos from: here and here

22 thoughts on “#120 Anything served to you sizzling or on fire at a restaurant

  1. YES.

    I love when I go to SSS Barn (hopefully the Aussies will know what I’m talking about…) and they bring out my dinner with a friendly warning: “Watch that top plate, it’s extremely hot.”

    Cutting into the meat releases juices which sizzle on the hot plate with a satsifying sound of AWESOME!

  2. The sound is so satisfying! At the Vietnamese place near me, they have build your own salad rolls. It’s almost like you are cooking yourself so there is that satisfaction preparing a meal, without doing any of the work. Plus, all the meat comes out sizzling. Hurrah!

  3. You’ve missed the best, surely!

    Christmas pudding, set aflame at the Christmas table.

    Now THAT’S awesome!

  4. There’s a German restaurant in Houston where they make a flaming beverage. The owner is the only one allowed to do it, and he passes the flaming liquor back and forth between cups and it’s amazing. The end.

  5. The sizzling plates use to scare me, so I wouldn’t order them. There was just something about a hissing plate that didn’t appeal to me, but I love them now.
    Wow, the calendar is a hot item! I got mine in a new calendar store in the mall here.

    1. Nice! When I read that the calendar was sold out (SOLD OUT!!) already, I immediately thought: well, Bekah sure was smart to get hers right away! Well played, my friend, well played.

    1. An Englishman passing me by the grocery shops organic meat dept., said, “Get a load of them prices! I’ve never payed a penny for organics. I picks them up straight off the pavement; that’s right, “road kill is as organic it gets!” Seriously! My cheapness was tested this weekend, but I bought my meat from the grocer.

  6. I super agree. That’s just the best thing in the world. Ok, one of many, but definitely qualifies as AWESOME!

  7. it’s not so awesome when you work at tgis and you have to carry it out daily with hot oil spitting in your face!
    but the amount the customer gets excited is defintely worth the pain ;)

  8. I think the sizzling/flaming food allows us get in touch with our early ancestors who grilled food over open flames outdoors. It makes me wonder the first human’s reaction upon discovering the taste of food torched by fire. Was it a conscious decision or did he just come across the remnants of a recent forest fire?

  9. just bought this and cant wait to pull off everyday to see what the next funny day will bring. im leaving it on my office to desk put a smile on my face somehow. THANKS!!

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