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Another Portland Blog

Monday, June 23, 2008

 

Deep-fried hell balls

The contents of my stomach after I walked into Salvador Molly's in Hillsdale on Saturday night:


  • Three glasses of Champagne.


  • Two bowls of cereal


  • One microbrew


  • A handful of tatter-tots


  • A ball of rice wrapped in grape leaves


  • More rice


  • Potato salad


  • A very large slice of cheesecake wrapped in a mochi-style, green tea outer shell


  • Ham...yeah, I'm pretty sure there was some ham in there too.




  • We arrived on the heels of a wedding reception. I wasn't the one that suggested ordering a plate of "Great Balls of Fire" but I would have if someone else hadn't beaten me to it.

    [insert junior high-level gag about eating something ball-shaped being "totally gay" here]

    The size of golf balls, they seemed so innocent-looking and hush puppy-ish on that plate, next to what looked like a dipping bowl full of marmalade. But within their deep-friend shells lay unholy pain.

    I only made it halfway through mine. It wasn't so bad when I first bit into it but the second I started chewing the ball filled with my mouth with fire. We're talking a level of spiciness that caused Homer Simpson to start hallucinating coyotes that talk like Johnny Cash. I began profusely sweating and had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom. Not to puke but to get a look at what these horrible little balls of hell and brimstone has done to my face. It took 20-minutes and lots of water and margarita gulps to make the pain subside.

    I engaged in this contest of gastrointestinal stupidity with two others. One admitted that his ball made his hair sweaty but that he had endured worse. A colleague to my left downed my extra half after I refused to finish it. He even vowed to return to Salvador Molly's at a later date to take the 5 ball challenge that would earn him his picture on one of the restaurant's walls. Females included, everyone at the table was impressed with this display of bravery.

    Twenty-minutes later he was sitting in my car with a "Whatever Level of Dante's Hell Was Actually Hot" case of the hiccups. Each hiccup reportedly blasted up his esophagus like a nitro-fueled Brillo pad. I didn't try the dipping sauce, thank God, but he had. It wasn't marmalade. Far from it. It was actually super-spicy jalapeno sauce.

    He spent the rest of the evening slumped in a recliner in a daze. I had to go home to clutch my stomach for a few hours after adding another three beers to the mix.

    Full confession time: the balls burn going down and coming out the other end. Consider this a warning if you ever decide to punish yourself with Salvador Molly's deep-fried sadomasochism. If you aren't gagging yet, I think you'll enjoy this:




    When it comes to local culinary challenges, I think I'll stick with my dream to one day conquer this one.

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