I love spicy food. It’s amazing! Not only does it clear out your sinuses, but there’s just something deliciously pleasurable about making your face suffer while you eat wonderful food. It’s a juxtaposition that most people probably don’t see enjoyable.
I used to, until my wife took me to a Thai restaurant last night for an early birthday dinner. I’m still recovering.
I love Thai food. Everything about it is amazing. The flavors, the spice, the bamboo shoots…incredible! Thai is always my first choice when we go out to eat. And, overtime we do get Thai food, I make sure the waiter knows I want it as spicy as possible.
The last time we got Thai food, the waiter kindly told me that I can’t return it if it’s too spicy. I told him that was fine, that I wasn’t planning on trying to get a refund. I ended up eating the entire thing of super-hot curry. Needless to say, my Thai waiter was extremely impressed. He said that he’s been asked for a refund from folks before, so he didn’t believe me when I told him the spiciest wouldn’t be a problem. And that’s what I do at every Thai restaurant; I have them make my food as spicy as possible, and it’s never a problem.
Until last night.
Thai on the Fly is one of the only Thai restaurants in the area that I hadn’t been to yet, and my lovely wife surprised me (literally blindfolded me) by taking me there for a birthday feast. Of course, I ordered pad ped and, of course, asked for them to spice it up to the max.
My first bite was fine. It always is. Then I took another, and another, and then I was on fire. Fine. That’s not a problem. That always happens. I asked my wife if she wanted to try some, so she did. She took a small portion of semi-contaminated rice (still white in places with only traces of sauce).
She nearly lost it.
She couldn’t imagine how I was eating something so saturated in spice when she could hardly stand the little she had! I laughed, and took a swig of water. I know water makes the spice worse, but I couldn’t help myself. It was hot. I let the water rest in my mouth, soothing my taster.
After each bite I did the same thing, sipping up some water and letting it dam up in my mouth. By the time I was finished with my meal, my lips were red, my cheeks were flushed, and my mouth was burning. On the bright side, my nasal passages were clear as an uninhabited cave.
I also ended up drinking three glasses of water (not to mention some I stole from my wife’s glass).
The pain was excruciating. I thought I was going to throw up, but I knew if I did, it wouldn’t only burn everything on the way out. Fortunately that feeling passed, but we drove home, skipping the Wendy’s frosty we were going to get. Yes, it would have felt good on my burning face, but there was just no more room inside me.
All last night I felt the burning in my stomach, a constant reminder of the great-tasting food I had previously eaten. And, as if afraid I had already forgotten about the meal, this morning I was forced to visit the loo at work as soon as I arrived. And then again later in the afternoon.
I’ll be honest, I don’t mind the loose bowels spicy food causes. I don’t even mind the burning in my stomach. What did it for me is the water. I drank way too much, so that there wasn’t room for much else. But what I realized from this is experience is just because I can handle spicy food, doesn’t mean I necessarily should.
Which is unfortunate, considering how much I love it.
Well, luckily we have another Groupon for the place, so we’ll be back, and this time I won’t make my food so spicy.
We’ll see what happens.