A friend told me this Chinese restaurant in Peoria had killer kung pao chicken, and that it was so spicy she could hardly handle it. That sounded like something I had to try, so when I was in town to pick up a computer for work, I made a trip over to the place.
I stumbled onto one hell of a deal: their lunch special included the kung pao chicken, fried rice, 2 crab rangoons, a bowl of egg drop soup, and a pot of tea for $5.65 out the door. Hard to beat that!
The kung pao was familiar but for these two bean pods on top of the mound of food. I can’t stand beans, so I pushed the two pods aside to get at the good stuff.
The kung pao wasn’t spicy at all. It tasted great, but there was definitely no heat. Bummer. As I ate, though, I kept glancing over at these bean pods. They didn’t look too appetizing, as shriveled as they are. But hey, I’m a big boy, it’s time to try something new. I speared a piece of chicken, some rice, a bit of green pepper, and one of the bean pods and popped the shebang into my mouth.
I may as well have eaten a lit match.
I love hot food, and this is the first time I’ve regretted eating something. I sucked down a glass of water and fortunately the waitress spotted me for the refill. For a moment I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to taste food again.
Lesson learned: if someone tells you a dish is hot, the shriveled-up bean-looking things are not beans.