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Hell Night Questions

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Hi all. My wife and I are looking to visit the east coast grill for hell night next week. Reservations filled before we could book but they tell us the bar is first come first serve. Has anyone tried to get bar seating before? If so, do you feel we need to get there right at opening to ensure seating?

One other question. My wife loves spicy food while I don't like the feeling of fire in my mouth as much. Am I going to be able to find something enjoyable or will I be begging for a glass of milk? Any input is much appreicated. Thanks.

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  1. hell night is properly labeled; this is not hot food, but ridiculously hot food. your wife has to be prepared for something that will make her sweat.

    you should call and request alternative food or do not go. it will be inedible.

    11 Replies
    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

      I took my daughter to the October Hell Night. She was able to order the "not hot" veggie platter. It was fine, except a drop of inner beauty found its way onto the plate and gave her a little trauma. My son and I found that if we made it through an early "hot" appetizer, the later dishes were no nearly so hot, even if they were labelled with more peppers.
      I think you'll have fun.

      1. re: cambridgedoctpr

        The regular menu has always been available. Plus the 1-3 bombs aren't all that hot.

        1. re: ac106

          Yeah, for people who are in the "i like spicy food, but i'm still a normal human being", the 1-3 bomb range is about right.

        2. re: cambridgedoctpr

          Sorry, anyone who says this obviously has not been to Hell Night. First, although some dishes are extremely hot (e.g. Pasta from Hell and the Chili) others (marked with one a couple "bombs") are very mild, even in comparison to "regular" food. Most importantly, there is always an entire section of their menu that is "ordinary" non-spicy food, so you definitely do not need to call and request alternative food. If someone in your party really likes spicy food, don't miss a Hell Night.

          1. re: lipoff

            LOL lipoff, chill out. Sometime you might actually try hanging out with the large percentage of the population who would consider 1 Hell Night bomb to be too spicy.

            1. re: Tir_na_nOg

              Then why on earth would they attend an event called "Hell Night"? I mean really, it's like going to a concert and complaining about the noise.....

              1. re: ac106

                I've seen people who say, "Hey, I like spicy food" but can only handle 1-3 bomb dishes. I don't think that a lot of folks who frequent hell night realize just how hot the food is compared to what the average person thinks.

                1. re: jgg13

                  but that sounds about right to me. 1-3 bombs are in the range of a person who says "Hey, I like spicy food"

                  Anything higher then that, they should know better. Especially given the titles and descriptions on the menu. :)

                  Now, if they are the type of person who waves at their mouth from Taco Bell hot sauce packets, well, they should steer clear or I have no sympathy.

                  1. re: ac106

                    The kitchen staff wears gas masks - 'nuff said.

                    1. re: ac106

                      I don't disagree with you, and hey, I also know people who are exactly those types of people but still enjoy going simply because finding things in the 1-3 bomb range can be difficult in day-to-day life (plus the atmosphere is fun).

                      But I've also known folks who are those sorts of people and had no idea the world of hurt that they were in for. Yeah, you could say that the website warns you, the menu is all crazy, etc - but think about how much false advertising in that vein is out there in our world. How many times do you see 'nuclear' wings that are barely hot at all? Hell, the Taco Bell 'fire'/'volcano'/etc stuff is marketed as being super hot.

                      This dovetails into another issue I have (which I saw the other night), when people ask "how spicy do you want it" - using a number scale or whatever. If both people aren't using the same measuring stick, it's completely meaningless. And in this case, unfortunately the "bomb" isn't exactly a standardized measure :)

                  2. re: ac106

                    Speaking of noise, Hell Nights are easily the loudest nights at ECG.

            2. I guess it depends on your chili tolerance, but I find that one- and two-bomb dishes aren't really that fierce. I generally draw the line at five or so, and avoid the burn-you-at-both-ends dishes like the insane Pasta from Hell, which is loaded with whole fresh habaneros.

              Dining at the bar is a bit cramped and hectic there, but the whole experience is worth the crowding. It's kitschy and corny, but the food is delicious, and there's a whole "wimp" menu of non-fiery but still worthy dishes.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              4 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I think the bomb ratings are very inconsistant: the three bomb hell bones slathered in Inner Beauty sauce I found very spicy (and delicious), the 5 and 6 bomb main courses I had after: the pork chop and short ribs, weren't nearly as hot either inherently or 'cause we'd burnt out our heat sensors on the ribs and wings of mass destruction.
                See this thread for more comments:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/655983

                1. re: justbeingpolite

                  My experience has been that apps are generally a fair amount hotter per-bomb than entrees.

                  With the entrees, what I've also noticed is that if it is say, 6 bombs, that there's something on the plate that is really hot, but most of it probably isn't anywhere near that hot. Once you identify the culprit you can choose to avoid it or tackle it head on.

                  1. re: jgg13

                    Although there is the theory that the apps only seem hotter because your nerves are already well jangled by the time the entrees come out.

                    Sorry - Tir na n0g already said that
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                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I disagree though, as I've had various configurations. apps only, entrees only, app + entree, etc ... it isn't a universal truth but there's definitely signal in there.

              2. My memory is that there is a small section of the Hell Night menu that is not spicy. Even one Hell Night bomb is probably too much for people who don't like spicy food.

                We often hear that the apps are spiciest part of the menu, but I'm beginning to suspect that is only because the apps desensitize your taste buds for the rest of meal. The 4-bomb samosas I had last time were the 2nd hottest thing I've ever eaten (2nd only to the 10-bomb Pasta from Hell, which gave me a massive endorphin rush), and the subsequent 5-bomb pork chops barely seemed to register.

                Isn't the milk $10/glass?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Tir_na_nOg

                  if you cry uncle, they run around yelling "antidote!!" and bring you a creamsicle. :)

                2. The last time I went I had some friends who don't do spicy at all. They just ordered off the wimp menu and enjoyed the food and festivities. As for me, the hotter the better. Also, as others have said, the bomb system doesn't seem really consistent.

                  1. Worth noting: Christina's Ice Cream is right next door and can provide sweet relief if you make a Horrible Mistake. Last time my wife ordered the samosas which were MUCH hotter than the 4 bombs would suggest and she ducked next door for a small bowl of vanilla between courses so she didn't have to face the shame of ordering milk or a creamsicle.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: cdtatro

                      Glad I'm not the only one who thought those samosas were screaming!

                    2. I've participated in Hell Night twice before and I'd have to agree with everyone that you can make the night as spicy as you want or don't want.

                      With regards to reservations, if you don't have any, I would show up around fifteen minutes before a typical reservation time. For instance, we showed up around 7:45 at the bar and it cleared out after a few minutes for 8 PM reservations. The bartenders are great and will definitely do their best to seat you.

                      I'm heading there next week too so hopefully we'll both enjoy it!