CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Here’s a question for you: How hot is too hot when it comes to spicy food?

If you want to find out first hand, it’s Hell Week at the East Coast Grill in Cambridge.

For those who aren’t familiar with the event, the restaurant cooks up what may be the spiciest dish you could ever eat.

Before you can even order the Pasta Plate from Hell, you have to sign a waiver saying you understand that you are putting yourself in danger.

Those who think the waiver is some kind of a publicity stunt only need to look at an incident Tuesday night.

The spicy food forced one man to get medical assistance. An ambulance showed up after witnesses say the man passed out.

WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias reports

Owner Chris Schlesinger created the Pasta Plate from Hell. He says it’s aimed at a specific clientele.

“All the people that like hot and spicy food consider themselves gun slingers and they come looking for trouble,” he said.

Cameron Butts from the Coast Guard summed up the experience.

“Pain. I can’t breathe. I can’t talk,” he said. “It tastes good at first. Now I can’t taste anything,” he said.

Countless others echoed that same sentiment.

Fortunately, there is an antidote that the restaurant keeps handy.

Chants of “wimp” accompany the delivery of the coveted orange Popsicle – a true lifesaver here.

“I saved another soul,” a server cracks.

The secret ingredient of Hell Week is the Naga pepper, one of the hottest peppers on the planet.

A scoreboard keeps a tally of the torture. Many have tried, but only a handful have eaten the whole bowl.

And while there have been trips to the hospital, the good news, according to Schlesinger, there have been no fatalities so far.

Comments (124)
  1. 3rdarm says:

    Its antidote not anecdote.

    1. Dave says:

      That’s anecdotal!

    2. Mark in IAH says:

      LOL…that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all week!

    3. John Steele says:

      I have yet to find food in a restaurant to hot to eat. Try Henry’s Hunan in San Francisco… truly hot food and really god

    4. Rushgroove says:

      It’s “It’s”, not “Its” in teh context in which you use it…

      1. Rushgrove says:


      2. LMAO says:

        LOL your correction needs a correction. Hello Kettle…

      3. John Moser says:


      4. John Moser says:

        I mean right.

    5. Lazybum says:

      Wow- If I had known the difference between anecdote and antidote, my friend Timmy would have survived that snake bite when we were kids….I do think he enjoyed hearing the story about my puppy, though.

      1. DougC says:

        That’s funny!!

      2. Jerk Store says:


      3. Sam Kunz says:

        Nice. “Deep Thoughts” By Jack Handy, came in handy. Give credit where credit is due LOL

    6. Sally Burke says:

      ? It said “antidote.”

    7. MarvPDQ says:

      A bunch of them damned deer has got antlers on ’em, folks. Now that ain’t natcheral, as everbody knows. In fact, it’s downright filthy, and any medical doctor worth a warm bucket of spit will tell you as much! Yep, it’s unclean and it’s un-natcheral and un-Godly, too, and the time for talkin’ is past! Now let’s get out there and SMASH ‘EM, BOYS! THEY GOT CLOVEN HOOVES AND HORNS ON THEY HEADS JUST LIKE SATAN HISSELF HAS GOT, AND WE GOT TO GET OUT THERE AND SMASH ‘EM ALL!!!!Oh my yes!A rich, tender, delicious Jew sandwich with roasted cow’s meat on dark, heavy German rye with some of that killer Kraut mustard and a frosted mug of pilsner beer…

    8. John Patricio says:

      The article did say ANTIDOTE … the antidote being the orange Popsicle. Didn’t say anything about any anecdote at all.

      1. 3rdarm says:

        The article did get EDITED. You turd.

      2. Larry Croft says:

        I didn’t read the article when it was fresh. My guess is that the writer read the comment and made a correction.

    9. Beauxdog says:

      I agree… funniest comment I have seen in a long time.

    10. 'Nother-Son-O'-Ursus says:

      Re: “LOL! You’re gasping for breath and the waiters-come-and-tell-you-an-amusing-story…” {newzwatcher}…

      …Ironically, such a situation would be referred to as ‘Being-COLD!’, on the waiter’s-part!

  2. Willow says:

    So,,,does the waiver apply if a person dies from eating such a hot dish?

    1. Andrew P. says:

      One would assume that is the point of the waiver… to remove the liability of pain, suffering, hospitalization, and death from the restaurant.

      I can’t see any other reason to ask patrons to sign a waiver. Can you?

      1. Matt says:

        It is a gimmick

      2. matt says:

        Yes, publicity & for macho-ness. Sorry, that’s two.

  3. Willow1 says:

    I’m curious. If a patron dies from eating this dish, does the waiver still apply?

    1. TheRealKingMax says:

      Depends how good the deceased patron’s lawyer is…

      Frankly, I wouldn’t do this. In this lawsuit-crazy world, eventually someone will sue the owner, and a crooked lawyer and a liberal judge will make it stick, regardless of the waiver or it’s wording.

      1. Lived in the People's Republic of Cambridge for a Bit says:

        A liberal judge in Mass? No way!

    2. krp says:

      Capsaicin is not a toxic substance. It affects the pain receptors of mammals – including humans, but it is not lethal.

      However, if the physical reaction to the capsaicin exceeds a person’s capability to handle it, then there could be an adverse reaction. Just like a person with a heart condition being scared to death.

      1. gls says:

        Have to disagree with you. Capsaicin does cause cardiovascular reflexes resulting in elevation of blood pressure. that can physically kill you. I have published medical articles on it in the past

    3. Geoff says:

      I’m curious. If a patron dies from eating this dish, does the patron have to leave a tip?

  4. Denise says:

    They should contact Man vs Food…

    1. brian says:

      they’ve already been on man vs food

    2. Rob Smalls says:

      Adam Richman did this restaurant during Hell Week in a show on his first season. He tried the Pasta from Hell and had to get the antidote himself.

      1. Lazybum says:

        and nio Adam has an anecdote!

      2. Lazybum says:

        NOW…I hate it when that happens!

    3. James Kalinski says:

      I have had several HOTTT pepers eating contests in my younger years, Now I will live to SH ! T it the next day… 30 + yrs… LOL

  5. tsal says:

    I don’t see the problem. Just don’t go to the restaurant; and if you really do want to go there, don’t order the dish.

  6. tsssaaall says:

    I don’t see the problem. Just don’t go to the restaurant. If you absolutely have to go to the restaurant, order something else.

  7. reneV says:

    I believe MVF was already there, I recall the orange popsicle

  8. SouthTex says:

    Been there just last week. First of all it is a very nice little place.
    Chris is an excellent host and very interested in his customers comfort and enjoyment.

    The pasta from Hell was a bit spicy with a tangy aftertaste. I recommend it if you like Pasta. Don’t expect it to be as hot as Texas Chili, but it is an amusing little dish.

    1. Mexas says:

      Of course Texans likes things spicier – Mexicans have a cultural tolerance to spice.

    2. rjm2238 says:

      I agree with you. I am from New Mexico, the Chile Capitol of the world. We have some truly hot dishes, bowls of green chile, jalapeno peppers, piquine peppers and the famous habanero.
      All of it very good and all of it able to be eaten by the bowl full, and not as a spice, mind you, but as a main ingredient!
      Rich in New Mexico.

      1. Frank says:

        New Mexico green chiles – 1,500 SHU
        Jalepeno – 3-6,000 SHU
        Piquine (sic) – 140,000 SHU (pequin or piquin is correct)
        Habanero – 300,000 SHU

        *******Naga Jolokia – 1,000,000+ SHU

        Tried again, poser….

      2. rjm2238 says:

        Frank, do you eat them by the bowl full? Not one at a time or a slice at a time, a whole bowl full, prepared of course but not diluted?
        Didn’t think so.
        Rich in New Mexico.

      3. Frank says:

        You really don’t have a clue, do you?

        Nevermind…. asked and answered. Go back to your flaming NM greens….

      4. Omega 13 says:

        Sounds like Frank is just a trolling d-bag

      5. beefrits says:

        Actually Frank is right and Omega 13 is irrelevant.

  9. Crank says:

    Argh I was in Boston for 3 weeks and didn’t know about this place.

  10. Ramon says:

    People in Massachusetts are wimps. My buddy Travis demolished a “Death Burger” this past Saturday night, here in San Francisco, and he barely took a sip of beer to wash it down, AND he only drank the proffered milk, because he doesn’t like to waste food.

    1. Mark says:

      perk… death burger?? Where in SF?

      1. Mort Zuckerman says:

        Probably some gay bar. It comes with a side of HIV

      2. Ramon says:

        Dr Teeth & Electric Mayhem.

        Reply to Mort – the A-H living in his grandmother’s basement: Good luck in the seventh grade.

  11. David says:

    I think the Bill of Rights article 3 applies here-
    You do not have the right to be free from harm.
    If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful. Do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

    Of course in the US with the sue happy leftists amongst us, a waiver is necessary.

  12. Obama says:

    Wimp, I once ate a star for dinner and for dessert I ate a supernova. Now that was a hot meal. If you do not believe me, they are covering it on MSNBC tonight!

    1. Kevin Stowell says:

      Did you chase it with an anti-inflammatory?

      1. JustAGuy says:

        An Obamaroid Ointment might help.

  13. WDDB says:

    “Fortunately, there is an anecdote that the restaurant keeps handy. ”


  14. freecheese says:

    These weenies wouldn’t last one hour in Louisiana or Texas. What a bunch of whining pussies !

  15. CN Fan says:

    I heard Chuck Norris ordered this pasta, and the pasta was begging for merci.

  16. Peter says:

    I can eat a whole box of hot tamale candy… there

  17. Vindaloo says:

    Spill the beans. Are we talking ghost peppers here? What’s the secret ingredient?

    1. TJG says:

      “The secret ingredient of Hell Week is the Naga pepper, one of the hottest peppers on the planet.”

      Third to last paragraph.

      1. Vindaloo says:

        I missed that paragraph for some reason. Naga is also called ghost pepper.

  18. Matt says:

    Restaurants have been using the “waiver” gimmick for years. This is not news.

  19. Curly says:

    Think Curly, Three Stooges, tried to warn about these things – Naga naga naga

  20. Spanky says:

    “The secret ingredient of Hell Week is the Naga pepper, one of the hottest peppers on the planet. ”

    Racism! The cooks acted stupidly. They must go to the White House for a beer and crack summit.

  21. MarvPDQ says:

    Rumour has it that a prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon is offering “furry” makeovers to selected Hollywood insiders.The unnamed doctor, sources say, is able to provide his rich-n-famous clientel with full body fur, working snouts, including full dentition, along with tails, horns, and even hooves, tall ears, claws, and scales in any combination the client may desire.It is said that certain well-known Hollywood big screen types who have “aged out” of their traditional “hunk” or sex-kitten” roles are already lining up at this mystery doctor’d doorstep to be made over into vampires, werewolves, dinosaurs, space aliens, etc. in the hope of extending their careers as dedicated “specialty role” technicians.

    1. 3rdarm says:

      I hear ya, Marv.

  22. Daniel Fagan says:

    No one goes to a Yankee restaurant down here, Our cuisines include Cajun, TexMex, Soul food,(which we used to call plain ol’ cooking). There is an absence of flavor up north-( Cream of Mushroom soup is NOT a sauce). It does not surprise me that the thin blood of the inhabitants in Bean Town would be overwhelmed by the presence of a few chillies. Of course I cut my teeth on cayenne peppers. BTW, I do not go to a TexMex restaurant more than 500 miles from San Antonio, it’s like buying lobster in Fort Worth. I tried one of those “Nagas” or ghost peppers, They just make you ill, too much is too much. Self abuse is not really that macho.

    1. Bill in Houston says:

      Dude, Amarillo is more than 500 miles from S.A., and still in Texas. I’ve enjoyed TexMex there. Just a ten hour drive from my palacial estate outside Houston.

      I love spicy food. I like to taste it. I don’t understand the whole “gotta eat the hottest chile on the planet” crowd. They must have small genitalia. I’ve also had the ghost pepper, both cut up and in a bottled sauce. The sauce wasn’t bad, but the pepper just burned my tongue. Couldn’t taste it.

      I have two large cayenne plants in my yard. We use lots of them. For some reason, the damned squirrels eat them too. I hope they crap fire!

  23. Ryk E Lee says:

    White granulated sugar, sprinkle on like salt, does something to your tongue that cools off the hottest peppers, the better Thai restaurants have a little bowl of it on the table with your meal.

  24. Matt says:

    This made Drudge Report? There are restaurants ALL OVER the country that have legal waivers for spicy gimmick food.

    II went to the hospital after one attempt in SC back in 2001.
    No big deal.

  25. ThRealKingMax says:

    Ahhh…. good!

    So, tell me, gentlemen:

    Did you enjoy the delicate white sauce that I seasoned and tenderized the taco with previously?

    1. JustAGuy says:

      That’s disgusting! People get arrested for that, you know.

  26. HTuttle says:

    I tried that with my RazorbladeBurger restaurant but didn’t have much luck.

  27. Real Rick says:

    It’s obviously an advertising gimmick.

  28. Molly says:

    Wimps. Let them try delivering a baby after 38 hours of contractions.

    1. Lynn says:

      I know this is off the subject but I just have to reply to Molly. Molly, I had the previledge of watching my children being born and after seeng that I cannot see where the expression of women being the weaker sex comes from as I still don’t know how women can do birth. Thank God for women as two gays and a goat won’t work.

  29. Lynn says:

    There is a difference between a dish being spicy or hot. A spicy dish is to enhance the dish while hot is to over power the dish and does nothing but make the dish not edible. Some dishes use hot oils to do a bit of both and that is good but to just make a great dish hot is a waste. If you take the pasta with the real hot peppers to hot to eat just rinse them quickly in boiling water and retoss with a bit of butter and olive oil (or sauce) as it leaves enough residue of the peppers to make it a spicy dish with lots of flavors.

  30. Joe says:

    Yoyu want hot, spray yourself with pepper spray.

  31. JustAGuy says:

    Why would anyone willingly put themself through all that pain?

    It’s like voting for Obama in 2012, both are self-inflicted injuries!

    1. Patrick says:

      Ah, yes! There it is! Every article posted to Drudge that allows comments will feature someone mentioning Obama. Even an article that has NOTHING to do with him. You Drudgies are obsessed.

      I use Drudge Report as a news source as there are occasionally decent articles on there. But the people who primarily use it are…dense. Very much so.

      1. sfg says:

        liar – you use it constantly you lefty phag poser – first rule of liars – if someone has to lead by telling you they don;t do something – they do!

      2. JustAGuy says:

        Are they as dense as people who will vote for Obama in 2012, to their own harm?

        That’s like eating hot food, then needing to call the paramedics because you’ve injured yourself so badly!

  32. Jack P says:

    Bring it on. No wimps allowed.

  33. detroitjo says:

    why isn’t congress doing anything about this rouge terrorist restaurant?

    they should be shut down immediately and we should drop a few smart bombs on their family and friends….

  34. Gary Weeks says:

    The Mexican culture has nothing on hot you want to try hot in every dish you really should try some Thai food. Besides I grow the Bhut Jalokia (ghost pepper), bring on the pasta.

  35. JimRockuy says:

    Naga stole my bike.

  36. Tim says:

    They bottle what they call Inner Beuaty Sauce, I think, which is made with Scoth Bonnet peppers – supposedly the hottest pepper around – it’s delicious as is the restaurant. I’ll have to stop by soon – it’s been a while!

    1. caligula says:

      scotch bonnets only rate at about 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale…not much more than a jalapeno.

      the Bhut Jolokia (ghost pepper), Infinity chilli, Naga Viper pepper, and the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper have Scoville ratings in the millions. the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper is currently the hottest pepper in the world according to guinness…although the ghost pepper has recorded the highest SAcoville rating ever…it just wasn’t witnessed by guinness.

  37. John Malverne says:

    The vast majority of people do not participate in eating such hot food. And it sounds dangerous and unnecessary.

    Therefore, it should be illegal.

    Because that is the purpose of government, to allow the whim of the majority to restrict the freedom of the minority at every opportunity.

  38. I eat peppers like pickles says:

    I would so destroy this challenge with ease. Buy me a plane ticket. If I complete the challenge then thank you. If not then I will purchase a plane ticket for you to anywhere you wish to go! Not kidding!

  39. Dan says:

    We’ve had waivers in restaurants for years in South Carolina because of this. You guys need to check out our wings and BBQ.

  40. Chris says:

    Have the Andelman brothers shown up for this? Does this restaurant have fried mac-and-cheese?

  41. slickzip says:

    The restaurant should be shut down and the people who eat crap like that should be locked up for their own protection….

  42. William J. Flosi Sr. says:

    It must be all in good fun……because what’s the point of eating something that you can’t even taste after a while!

  43. Artist Patrick says:

    I wonder when McDonallds will make you sign a waver to eat their trash food?

  44. Matt Stephenson says:

    The “secret ingredient” for the Pasta is the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T which is hotter than your little Habanero’s that you use in your Texas Chili.

  45. BloodyStudents says:

    Get a job.

  46. Dan Abraham says:

    Hell night was a lot of fun. You have to make your reservations early, as it sells out within an hour of the announcement. Go with friends, and always order the Russian Roulette item. This time it was meatballs – each one is rated 2-8 (out of 10) but there’s no way to tell which is which.

    I got the pork chop, which in addition to being nicely hot, was a damned good pork chop.

    This brings us to the golden rule of spicy food. Hot is nice, but flavor is everything, and East Coast Grill has both in spades.

    If you didn’t make hell night, they always have one or two hell items on the regular menu. Also, just ask for the Inner Beauty sauce.

  47. Tom says:

    Seriously … a few you are stating manhood is proved by if someone can eat this kind of dish or not….what are you people 4?

    That’s ridiculous….super spicy food is stupid to me…there’s no taste at some point in a dish being too hot, so why eat it? The point of food is nourishment and taste…if it lacks taste I don’t really care about it.

    And a restaurant/chef boasting they have a hot dish is pretty silly as well…there’s nothing hard in someone creating a hot dish…..

  48. Ken says:

    you like apples? Howya like them apples!

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