Sounds like a racial epithet, but probably isn't!

I have a head cold. I desired truly spicy food to deal with it, so I approached Nathan and asked for a suggestion. Nathan suggested a place he’d heard good things about but hadn’t tried: Szechuan Gourmet, on W 39th st . Conveniently, it’s not far from Penn Station; I figured I’d go down there, grab food to take out, meet Kate at her train, and we’d ride the subway home together.

The plan worked perfectly, and the food was awesome – dan-dan noodles (which I haven’t had since Mary Chung’s, in Cambridge); hot and sour soup; vegetables in spicy garlic sauce; dumplings in soy/chili sauce, and hoo, boy, you can just about see my sinuses from space at this point (which was exactly the effect I was looking for).

Among the authentic Szechuan dishes involving fish heads and beef intestines, however, one menu item, if you’ll pardon the phrase, kinda jumped out at me.

74. Smoky Wok Tossed Frogs *** with roasted chili asian celery 18.95

“Smoky Wok Tossed Frogs.” It’s got a pretty good cadence; maybe there’s a song in it somewhere. Also, given the spice level implied by the three asterisks, I’m going to guess that one would need to handle it with tongs to avoid catching on fire.