This is a great restaurant in Harvard Square if you happen to live in Massachusetts.

This place is not only pleasing to the eye, but almost overly pleasing to the stomach. You get to go up to a meat bar and fill a bowl with uncooked meat, go to a vegetable bar and fill it with veggies you like, and then pick out the kind of sauce you want. Once your bowl is filled as much as you like, you put it on the side of a bar. In the midddle of the restaurant are 4 cooks who take your uncooked mess, and make it into the most delicious meal right in front of you. The best thing about this place is that it's all you can eat, every night. Before you get your main meal there is also a big salad bar, which is also all you can eat. This has to be one of the best restaurants i've ever been to, go to it if you live in the area!

Last summer I taught math in Boston, and one day I decided that I had to bring all my friends who taught with me to go to Fire & Ice. They were rather surprised that I, being not a native of the People's Republic of Cambridge, had already been there three times. Of course, I'd also only been in Boston for no more than two weeks in my life previous to that. It's probably safe to say that I'm just a Fire & Ice fanatic. *mgrin*

The reason Fire & Ice has its name is because there are basically two eating options (plus drinks and a bar). You can have the "Ice", which is a fairly dinky salad bar (unlimited portions, of course). You can also have the "Fire" option, which like DancinFool said, consists of several buffets of vegetables, meat and seafood items, and then about 15 sauces of differing spiciness. They have both vrery mild sauces and also ones that are actually spicy. As somebody who enjoys spicy foods, I would also like to point out that Fire & Ice carries a respectable hot sauce at their tables: Melinda's.

Once you have thrown all the ingredients into the bowl you want, and the sauce into a small accompanying bowl, you take your order up to the big circular grill in the middle of the restaurant. There are usually 3-5 "Knights of the Round" (or so say their T-shirts because they all work at one of the hugest round grills you'll ever see) working in the middle who throw your food onto the grill along with the sauce. Once it's cooked, they put it into a new bowl and hand it back to you. When you get back to your table you have rice and flour tortillas to eat your bowl of hot goodness with.

Not to bring in non-meatatarian viewpoints, but they have a separate cooking area for people who choose not to partake in the meatier items. Because of the popularity of Fire & Ice, getting food may take upwards of a half hour on a really busy night (weekend nights more often than not). However, not many people eat vegetarian (or haven't been there enough to know that it can be a good choice even for meatatarians) and so you can usually walk right up and have your food cooked right away. That's the secret to quick eating at Fire & Ice. Because some people will not eat meat, it can be common to be confused over whether your friends who are not eating meat are "vegetarian" or just too lazy to wait. This leads to things being overheard in line like "Wait are you vegetarian? The last girl I dated was a vegetarian. We couldn't go anywhere and so it just didn't work out.".

This restaurant is so incredible that one of my good friends who wanted mementos from Boston requested that I gank one of their menus for her. The menus at Fire & Ice are very amusing because they are simply one page: back and front. The fact that they have menus is funny because the only thing you can order there is a single trip to the buffet or multiple trips. Other than that, there's nothing else. The menu is more of an instruction manual for how to get your food cooked rather than any sort of choice on what you can order.

You may have seen other places that let you pick ingredients, throw them in a bowl, and then have somebody cook them for you, but they're not the same. For example, Big Bowl is one place that sort-of allows you to do this if you order the "Create your own Big Bowl". If you live in St. Louis, the International Mongolian BBQ (on Olive and 141) will do the same thing with fewer ingredients and a Chinese restaurant atmosphere complete with standard buffet items. There is also another restaurant whose name escapes me that I went to randomly with my fambly while on vacation. However, none of these places matches up to the atmosphere, food, and total experience that is...Fire & Ice.

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