I’d heard many stories surrounding the claimed ‘world’s hottest burger’ at Burger Off in Hove, and to be honest quickly dismissed the massively hyped urban legends and over the top YouTube clips of people attempting this so called challenge. I mean how likely is it that some grubby little burger diner in the back streets of Brighton & Hove really have something that nasty? I couldn’t resist but to go and find out.
First of all, let me say, that along with all this hottest burger nonsense (a claim that is impossible to substantiate) Burger Off comes with a reputation of serving one of the best burgers in town. Many other websites and magazines have awarded these guys the title, and I must say after sitting down and devouring the owner’s highly recommended double Mexican burger, I could see why!
This is everything you could want from a burger. Despite the humble surroundings and polystyrene container, the patties were cooked fresh on the grill, served in a soft white bun and loaded up with peanut butter and homemade chilli sauce. As a burger experience goes, this wasn’t a gourmet gastro pub effort that’s going to win any beauty pageants, this was a ‘sloppy get your chops messy and leave with a big smile’ type event. I really couldn’t fault it and would have to agree with the rest, this really was a magnificent burger.
Now on to business. I had managed to rope my friend in to taking on their ‘worlds hottest burger’ challenge. This guy I know can handle his spice, and I thought if anyone would be able to tell me if this was worthy of its title then Craig would. After speaking to the owner in great detail about this burger, I started to realise that all the rumours and urban legends could in fact be true.
You did have to sign disclaimer before eating this fiery monster, and yes many people had ended up in hospital as a result of doing so. It’s been such an issue in the local area that the NHS have actually tried to have the burger banned permanently. When I asked about the substance that makes this dish so unbearably hot, the owner Nick Gamodella simply said it was a concentrated chilli paste he has imported from an Indian village and is one of the core components of the CS Gas used as a riot control agent. This was actually no joke and I’ll admit I was getting nervous for my friend Craig who was as game as ever on getting the job done.
*The Challenger looking confident
*’The worlds hottest burger’ – challenge he faces.
These are the photos which followed.
At first he started confidently and ploughed through 2 or 3 bites without too much trouble. I really thought he might do it, but pretty soon it all started to go down hill. Craig described the experience as incredibly painful and this only got worse as time went on. After the initial pain and numbness created in the mouth and throat, this soon translated to excruciating stomach cramps which he described as ‘Like having hot coals in the pit of your stomach’. After throwing in the towel roughly half way through, the experience continued to get worse for hours afterwards. Cold sweats, cramps, anxiety and eventually sickness. His effort was commendable and onlookers even said they were shocked how far he made it. Watching him deteriorate over the half hour or so I was with him, I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it. It was like watching someone get seriously sick within seconds, and by the end of it he looked like he was suffering from radiation poisoning.
I don’t know whether Nick Gamodella has in fact created ‘The world’s hottest burger’, but I can safely say what he has created is something that is as hot as the human anatomy is physically built to cope with. I would recommend approaching this challenge with extreme caution. Do yourself a favour and get one of the many delicious burgers on offer which doesn’t put you in A&E.
For my burger at least
52 BRUNSWICK STREET WEST, Hove BN3 1EL,