Our Fearless Writer Took on a Spicy Curry Challenge—And Lost

Sean Kenniff

Crying, vomiting, fainting, nose bleeds, calls to 911: they’re all part of doing business for some of America’s longest-running restaurants. You may not think ambulance sirens would be a boon to business, but you’d be wrong, at least when it comes to restaurants with spicy food challenges. While these “emergencies” are by far the exception, the promotional competitions have been key to longevity for many neighborhood restaurants.

If you’re considering adding a spicy food...