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Oct 30, 2007 06:34 AM

Afterburn from Hell-o-ween at ECG last night?

Any Hell night participants from last night? Menu highlights? Going with a crew tonight.

Thanks -

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  1. I had my first Hell Night experience last night. It was fun and the food was delicious but i wasn't too blown away by the heat. Our table split the grilled shrimp, calamari, ribs and pasta for appetizers. Everything was good, the ribs were amazing. The pasta was a bit dissapointing, definitely didnt live up to the hype. Don't get me wrong, it was very hot and I'm sure if i had ate the entire dish myself I would have been hurting. But I had a few healthy bites and wasn't dying. I probably would have eaten more, but I didnt particuarly like the taste of it; it had no other flavor besides the pepper, the pastas was super mushy, and it needed salt. We had the salmon, duck, pork chop and steak for entrees. All were very good, the duck was a standout. All in all it was a really fun expereince, the margaritas are delicious, the waitstaff is really into it, great people watching and great food. But I would not be afraid that you won't make it to work the next day though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pamplemouse

      Do you remember the bomb levels of any of these dishes?

      1. re: DoubleMan

        nope. I know that we had to sign a waiver for the pasta though.

      2. re: pamplemouse

        See, again, I disagree with the "no taste" assessment. There were four of us who split the pasta from hell. And we all agree it tastes great. The common refrain was "the problem is this pasta is so good, you want to gobble it up, but you will get punished if you do." In our case, our pasta was not mushy, luckily. It was as hot, or maybe not as hot, as in prior renditions. We weren't sure if we're just getting used to it, or it is not as hot.

        The ruthless calamari was not that ruthless, but good. Wings were excellent, but you need to slather on extra sauce (provided) to truly bring the heat.

        We ordered the hell poive steak and the pork shank--both excellent, not that hot. Dang, we were considering the duck, but thought it would get lost in the heat.

        We recommend the sangria as the best heat-abater drink.

        Pasta was eight bombs (the highest). Oh, we had the hell oysters (7 bombs) which had a surprising after-kick. All four of us had the same reaction... "wait, what was that!?" I think the wings were six bombs, but could be made seven with the extra sauce. We actually asked for extra Inner Beauty for the steak. Steak and pork were maybe 4 or 5 bombs. The calamari was officially ranked higher, but I think it was 1 or 2 bombs at most.

        Made it to work on time. Morning was interesting, though. :-O

      3. My first Hell Night too...

        I am not a huge spicy food eater, but my friend has been complaining about the lack of spicy food in Boston, so we were on a mission.

        I have to say that the smartest thing I did was to eat one of the pickled jalapeno peppers that they put out with the pickles they usually give each table. It burned pretty good, and sort of acclimated my mouth for what was to come.

        We ordered the clams which to me tasted icky and not very spicy with a yellow pepper topping (3 bombs) - the Ruthless calamari I thought was great, but after the jalapeno, felt no further burn (4 bombs). The ladies thought it was quite spicy.

        I have to say that the dumbest thing I did was to let the women goad me into trying the (8 bombs and most on menu) Pasta from Hell (which my friend, who was dressed up head to toe as a Naga pepper - 1,000,000 scovilles strong - ordered with only the slightest hesitation.) Maybe we are not too strong, or maybe we got a particularly hearty brew, but I have to disagree with Pamplemouse -

        The initial flavor was quite mild and really tasty - detected sweetness and salt - but then the heat began to set in...building, building...until I was suddenly rocketed...transported...transported off the planet a planet called PAIN. My head throbbed, my mouth ached, I was virtually paralyzed on planet PAIN for 5-10 minutes from one good-natured bite...I think I understand the paralyzing principles behind macing someone - it hurt like hell...

        Eventually I came back down to earth, endorphins rushing, feeling psyched to have made it to the edge...and back.

        My friend went in for two rounds with the appetizer but threw in the towel - DNF. No antidotes though - we all muscled through. The ladies, being ladies, were smart enough to try only the smallest of morsels, and took lots of pictures of our suffering.

        The ladies had entrees of salmon (2 or 3 bombs) which was not actually salmon but rather some other similar fish, which they both loved...but pretty mild, at three bombs.

        I had the pork chop (4 bombs), which was tingly and flavorful, and mercifully had lots of buttery fat. The pepper man had the pork shank (5 bombs) which he really enjoyed.

        Lots of good drinks, the staff was very fun and we all went in costume, and it made the whole experience even more fun.

        If you were to stay away from the Pasta from Hell, it need not be torture, as I had feared.

        DISCLAIMER: Definitely a wee bit of distress the next day, but I think I am hooked...would definitely go again.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          I think we were right beside you and your "pepper" friend. Were you in the Lava Lounge? I was seated with a party of eight with the "flame bandanas" back there as well.

          Anyway, I have to agree with Alcachofa that the pasta was very tasty. We dined family style so we split it eight ways and gobbled it up. We also had the "Wings of Ass Destuction" which were their usual tasty burn. The oysters with habanero relish were good but not very spicy. The ribs were also not very spicy but were delicious. One surpirse was the chili which everyone thought was really good. That chili was something I would love to make at home with good heat and great flavor.

          The swordfish and pork chop entrees had decent heat but were big hits at our table.

          One disappointment was the lack of the sausage appetizer. You can get oysters with one sausage but the waitress said she wasn't able to serve me a plate of them as an appetizer as they had in past years.

          All in all "Hell" of a night and not too bad of a morning. :)

          1. re: TomH

            Yep, Tom - that was us. Loved the bandanas - glad you had as good a time as we did.

          2. re: Bob Dobalina

            Thanks for the great reports. Appreciate all of the recommendations. Yum yum.

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              Great post, Bob Dobalina! Heh, had me laughing all the way through.

              BTW, I find Inner Beauty to be medium-hot at best. Anyone agree? Disagree?

              Granted, I'm a hot food freak, but Inner Beauty sauce just doesn't raise my cackles.

              1. re: Bostonbob3

                At the last Hell Night someone at a neighboring table challenged the waiter to take a shot of inner beauty. The waiter could not keep it down and spit it up all over the patron. It was really funny; everyone took it in stride.

                I think that pure inner beauty is on the 7-8 bomb level.

                1. re: DoubleMan

                  It's got a little bite, but you have to realize that I smear 1,000,000 Scoville Unit "sauce" (actually, an "additive") all over lasagna.

                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                    Jeebus, man! This should get shifted to the General Topics board, but how do you handle that kind of spice? Is it really pleasureable at that point? I still think the day after would hurt too much.

                    Comment to the table after my bite of PFH: I feel like it ate the enamel off my teeth.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I got introduced to incredibly hot peppers and spices as a very young kid.

                      Those, and Hot Toddies. :))

                2. re: Bostonbob3

                  It was a fun time and I definitely recommend going in costume, if only to get looks of horror and bemusement from the other diners. (I caught one guy checking out my legs *wink*)

                  BTW, the pasta from hell had a bunch of sliced and chopped peppers on it as well as a sauce, so not sure if it was all inner beauty that added to the heat. It was actually a little repulsive at first, in tha the capsaicin wafted like a tear gas cloud around the table when it arrived. Strong stuff to me, but I am not a hot food freak.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    Hey - I was at the table next to you. I was the one who had finished the pasta and was trying to tell you it wasn't all that bad. (I was also the one that Bob Oakes mentioned in the story on WBUR this morning. I'm famous now! Woo!)

                    This was my first hell night too. Your reaction to it pretty much mirrored my own. It was really a struggle to finish it, but about halfway in I figured "it can't possibly get any worse." Sadly, it did. The only thing that got me through to the end was the promise of a free t-shirt!

                    I also had the chili and the Wings of Ass Destruction. Both were good, but the wings were cold by the time I got to them and had lost something (I tried eating them at the same time but that was a mistake). Sampled the habanero martini that a friend got as well. It was good for about the first 2 seconds and then it just KICKED you in the throat. Very nice.

                    I'll definitely be going back next time, but it would really take a LOT for me to get that pasta again.

                    1. re: cdtatro

                      Ha, I thought you were being serious! You pretty much were, since you actually claimed the t-shirt. A lot, hmm? Maybe sweatshirts next time. :)

                      I've had the wings on a regular night and they have hurt me bad, so I would guess your mouth was just deadened from the pasta...

              2. Went last night for my first hell night, there were 2 of us. First impression: dang, they make this a fun time, with people in costume, the servers all gussied up and the general atmosphere. Sat in the lava lounge. Both of us enjoy spicy food more than the average bear, but not to the levels of a lot of the types attracted to hell night.

                Apps: Ordered the chili, stuffed banana and a handful of the sichuan ribs.

                The chili & banana came first. She started eating the banana, I dove into the chili. I'm not sure what sort of landmine I hit a few bites in but I was quickly reconsidering that I belonged eating at a hell night. It tasted good but oof that hurt. I stopped for a bit and started eating the banana. Between the burn from the chili and the heat (temperature heat) from the banana I wasn't getting the full effect but it was very good. The balance between the pork & the banana itself was amazing. Plus, it was cooling me off from the chili. (I think the chili was listed @ 6 and the banana @ 5). Went back and finished the chili and while it was hot, it was never as hot as that first blast - but it still tasted great.

                Then the ribs came, which weren't at all hot but were simply amazing. I'd go back just to order a dozen of those things. IIRC they were listed @ 4 bombs.

                While waiting for our entree, our neighbors asked if I wanted to try one of their wings, so I said sure. It rivaled the chili in terms of "hottest thing I had that night" but damn did that thing taste good. I made a fatal mistake here though, I took one of the wet naps for the ribs and wiped my fingers and then my mouth off .... OOWWW I GOT THAT SAUCE BURNING MY CHEEKS. Live and learn.

                Entrees: She had the swordfish, I had the pork shank. She really enjoyed the swordfish. I liked the shank, for a while. It provided a nice (and consistent) level of heat throughout the dish (seemed to be coming mainly from the sauce/broth), nothing excessive but just enough that you noticed it. The flavors were great. My only problem was that by the end I was both getting full and generally sick of it (while the flavor was great, everything tasted basically the same and there was a lot of it).

                She had one of the hot margaritas and really liked it, I stuck with beer (but tried her margarita and concured with her)

                All in all, glad I went and can't wait for the next one.

                2 Replies
                1. re: jgg13

                  I had the banana and the shank last night. That shank was a huge portion. It wasn't that hot if you didn't eat the rice, though.

                  We ordered the pasta from hell, which comes out looking simply terrifying. We had it as more of a gimmick, but it was pretty tasty, and blazing hot.

                  Surprisingly, one of the hottest things we had all night was the Bloody Mary. The waiter warned that it should have been labeled 6 bombs instead of the 2 on the menu.

                  1. re: DoubleMan

                    Yeah, on the shank it was definitely the soupy sauce in the rice that was bringing 95% of the heat. I suspect that different people would have different reactions to how hot it is (disregarding their normal tolerance) based purely on how much of that curry sauce was in the rice.

                    As for the pasta, if I was with a larger group I'd do it as the gimmick like you said (everyone eat a couple of bites, pretend to be able to handle it and then let it sit in the corner).

                    Funny you say that about the bloody mary, the gf was going to get one and then decided that she wasn't in a bloody mary mood. Ah well, that'd have been fun :)

                2. I totally forgot about Hell-o-ween! I can't recall but do small parties need reservations on Hell Nights or are we fine doing a walk-in? Voicemail at ECG doesn't give Hell Night reservation specifics. Thanks!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: kittychow

                    A friend of mine supposedly got the very last "table for 2" reservation a few weeks ago, and it sounded like there weren't other tables available either.

                    That being said, last night there were people showing up and being told that they could probably be handled if this or that table didn't show up.

                    1. re: kittychow

                      I would give them a call, but make sure you speak with a host/hostess - get past the bar staff. Plus I think seating at the bar is first come first serve.

                      1. re: kittychow

                        I called a month ago for a party of 8 and got the last reservation for Monday night. We also had to settle for 9:30pm because all of the other sittings were full. It is definitely something you need to plan wayyy in advance for. That being said a table may cancel and you could luck out!