Fire & Ice Improvisational Grill

I don’t know what to say in this post other than I love Fire & Ice restaurant (sorry – "improvisational grill" – a marketing term that I think is brilliant).  I know some people can’t stand the place, but if you like to cook but want someone else to do the work and clean up for you, its about as good as you’re gonna get without having a maid. 

For the uninitiated, you fill a bowl with all sorts of noodles, meats, vegetables, fish, etc. and then choose a sauce – or mix several sauces – and bring it to a big round grill.  The "chef" takes it from you and does a stir fry with it along with all the others.  When the grill gets full its pretty impressive.

The sauces are the key – everything from Teriyaki to barbecue sauce; from sweet chile to green curry.  I like to mix my sauces to get a little bit of heat and some different flavors, depending on what I get – lots of fish and udan noodles usually gets a teriyaki and spicy chile sauce mix.  Sausage, chicken, shrimp and pasta gets a spicy sauce to do a jambalaya type thing.

There are a number of people who I know that don’t like – or even hate – Fire & Ice, but I think it depends on how comfortable you are with mixing ingredients.  If you aren’t good at mixing flavors and being comfortable in the kitchen, that you’ll probably be lost in a sea of seafood, meat, and other ingredients, never mind the 15 sauces you have to choose from. 

The good part is that you really can’t go wrong with the combinations, other than picking something that is too spicy for your tastes, but everything is marked clearly and there’s little tasting cups for each sauce.  Go crazy!

I didn’t realize until this most recent visit that there are only four of them: Boston, MA; Cambridge, MA; Providence, RI; and Tahoe, CA.  I always thought it was a bigger chain, which means making Fire & Ice a recommendation to out-of-towners qualifies as a unique local experience, which makes me feel better about recommending it, since I always thought of it as similar to recommending someone should go to the Cheesecake Factory or Fridays.