When 'Merica celebrates sending the Redcoats back across the pond, it's all about beer, hot dogs, conveniently getting food poisoning from said hot dogs on the 5th, and fireworks. In remembrance of India giving the crumpet-munchers the boot themselves, downtown curry emporium East India Co.'s offering a different kind of fireworks -- the kind that explode your sinuses, mouth, and stomach, rather than barges in San Diego -- with its Spice Challenge. Think you can handle it? (Yeah... it's tougher than it sounds. Tune in Friday and catch a brutal video of three attempts). Well, here's what you're up for: contestants tackle three 4oz portions of peppered-up vindaloo packed with their protein of choice (chicken, lamb, fish), which sounds pretty tame until you can't hear any sounds at all over your agonizingly throbbing mouth. Remember Battletoads? Well this is also going to screw you over at level 3. Level 1's a very literal warm-up. Ace that to get to level 2, and a habanero-heavy secret spice will start to numb your lips. Make it to 3, and you're crashing the space-bike that is your body into the wall when that secret spice blends with Ghost Chili powder -- one of the world's craziest spices, which, at about 285 times hotter than a jalapeno, is sure to make your face redder than even the fiercest Rash. Get through 'em all and you'll be rewarded with very necessary free ice cream and an also-free Facebook shout-out. Realize you're a gigantic pansy, and you can still enjoy the joint's Independence Day feast, which for $25 gets you four courses (app, BBQ, curry & dessert), and the ability to avoid men's room fireworks later that night.
Food & Drink