(A table decoration)
I visited Misty’s in March this year. Yes. That long ago and I never got around to writing about my experience even though it was definitely something worth writing about. Not until Eat. Drink. Stagger. has done a review on it though so I am now inspired to write about it.
Misty’s Diner is one of those extremely kitschy (supposedly) 1950’s American diner that has to be seen to be believed. Despite serving favourite American junk (and let’s face it, favourite American junk is not high on my foodie agenda), I have been told by a friend who used to frequent the joint with her American ex that the place does a ‘really authentic’ chilli fries.
(Reese’s Pieces thick shake – $7.95)
Who am I to question authenticity claim by a native? So we rocked up one day. And oh wow did the kitschiness exceed expectation. We loved the decorations and were at once tempted by the a list of ‘thick shakes’ (and they can naturally be ordered doused in bourbon or whisky, of course). This was a bit of a mistake because the thick shakes turn out to be more of a melted sundae. Warning: it is not a drink, people. If you are not an American, it’s a dessert. So save it for later. Mind you, it was rather good.
(Side chilli fries)
The menu (full menu on Misty’s web site in PDF) consisted entirely of your stereotypical American diner food including all the things you have heard mentioned on TV and really have no idea what it is. We both decided on burgers because hey it was our first visit and a lot of the food items just seemed too scary and diabolical. We order fries as our sides. Not just any fries. Nope. I decided that I had to try chilli fries. I didn’t really know what chilli fries were but my instinct of normal fries topped with chilli con carne topping turned out to be the correct one.
(the death sauce)
This is where the story gets interesting. The chilli fries, in addition to the chilli con carne topping on cheese, comes with chilli sauce. You can choose between mild, medium, spicy, are you crazy? you’re going to cry? or xxx (something along that line at the time anyway, the menu is slightly different now). The waiter asked me which sauce I wanted. The Thai bravado in me, naturally, said, ‘get me the hottest one please’ He paused and said, in a very typical American teen movie accent, ‘are you sure? It’s called the death sauce!’ I raised my eye brow and kindly let the lad know that yes please I am up for it. This sauce (above) showed up.
(Mad Dog hot sauce)
Misty herself showed up a bit later to see the idiot girl who had ordered the hot sauce. She asked if it was hot and at that point the food hadn’t arrived yet so I just took a bit of the sauce and tasted it on its own and shrugged. It was hot but it wasn’t hot enough to actually elicit any change in facial expression from me (it wasn’t nice hot by the way there was no flavour in it other than hotness so I’d pass on it next time). So she disappeared into the kitchen and came up with a bottle of thick, black concoction. She proceeded to shake out the bottle and put a few drops on a plate. It was thick, nasty looking black liquid. About the consistency of kecap manis.
She said, try a little bit. I stuck my pinkie on one of the drops and she said ‘No! Too much!’ I paused and wiped off some of it so I had about 1/4 of a drop on my pinkie (let’s face it, I may be Thai but I am not stupid) and licked it.
(the bottle of the sauce on sale at Misty’s)
Well, that did it. It really was the hottest thing I have ever had in a long. long time. My tongue went completely numb for about 20 minutes. It was so freaking hot. And while my reaction was contained to ‘oh wow that’s really hot!’ which seemed to disappoint Misty a little because I didn’t resolve into tears, it was still literally the hottest thing I recalled ever having in Melbourne. Josh tried a bit too and Misty got the same reaction from the skinny white boy. God, he’s come so far. When I first met him, he thought Nando’s hot was hot. Have I mentioned I love the man?
(Josh’s ‘Mexican’ burger $14?)
Unfortunately for me, the rest of the meal went with a blur because my tongue had lost all abilities to taste for about solid 20 minutes after wards. So I couldn’t tell you what the food tasted like. But I could confirm that the burgers texture were on the dry side when I was hoping for lovely, big juicy burger. They weren’t.
(Josh’s side of taco fries – $6?)
The fries were also uninteresting but admittedly the lack of tongue functionality did hamper my review a bit.
(my burger – I can’t remember which one it was)
My burger – again dry, overcooked patty, uninteresting.
Overall I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the food but the kitschiness of the dining room and the experience made me want to go back and give it another go. I thought it would be a funny place to have a birthday party too. Just look at the pictures, people!
Oh, and here’s a warning label on the hot sauce bottle. For more fun, try searching Youtube.
This time last year I ate at: SiChuan Dining Room, Hawthorn