Jesus G. Tallulah, at least vindaloo has the contours of flavor. Phall, which appears to be of Anglo-Indian origin, has nothing to do with it. Actually, India Tavern’s menu says it well:

“An excruciatingly hot curry, more pain & sweat than flavor. For our customers who do this on a dare, we will require you to state a verbal disclaimer not holding us liable for any physical or emotional damage after eating this. If you do manage to finish your serving, a bottle of beer is on us.”

Wish they’d said it as well to my face, but since I ordered delivery from d-dish, I received neither aid nor ale. And you bet they owe me a brew, because even though it’s totally unpleasant, phall is also intensely, physically addictive; I always manage to polish it off.

My own suggestion is to order it with mild, spongy cubes of the fresh cheese known as paneer, which at least provide milliseconds of respite from the lip-blistering, throat-searing curry. Forget balance; there are no salty, sweet, or sour notes—just a chili pall cast over all. But since it seems to lift within a few moments, you’re left with an endorphin rush that keeps you going back for more.

I say “seems” because a couple of hours afterward, your gut tells you in no uncertain terms the chili hasn’t dissipated at all. At that point it’s pretty much hacking away at your intestinal lining with a flaming machete.

Guaranteed, however, that months from now, I’ll have forgotten all that misery & I’ll order it yet again.