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Bring the heat!

By Aaron Kinney
Friday, February 16th, 2007 at 2:49 pm in Uncategorized.

We wrote an article last week about The Swingin’ Door, an iconic pub in San Mateo that reopened under new ownership on Jan. 22.

Before it changed hands, the pub was called the Prince of Wales and it was known for its ramshackle appearance, darts tournaments and spicy food. (The bar was actually called The Swingin’ Door once before; Jack Curry changed the name to the Prince of Wales when he took over in 1974.)

Among all the items on the menu, Curry’s habanero hamburger was king. For some Silicon Valley employees, coercing new co-workers to eat the burger, which was topped with a homemade hot pepper sauce, developed into a ritual.

We noted in our article that Curry’s famous recipe is no longer on the menu. But new owner Warren Chapman called to inform us that the burger has been resurrected with a new recipe. The sauce is still hot and the burger itself might be better, Chapman said.

“It’s a similar approach, where we put the actual paste, the sauce, on the burger and slow cook it on the grill,” Chapman said. “But the recipe is a lot different (and) the taste is a lot different.”

Chapman invited the people at Silicon Graphics and anyone else grieving the old burger to give the new one a try.

Chapman said he’s learned from experience that habanero peppers, some of the world’s hottest peppers, don’t come cheap. In fact, prices are rising, he said. When he inquired as to why they were getting more expensive, he was told that domestic pepper growers were struggling with the high costs of workers compensation claims filed by field workers who’d touched their eyes or gone to the bathroom after handling the peppers.

“Habanero farming is a dangerous occupation,” Chapman deadpanned.

We can’t verify the accuracy of Chapman’s account at this time, but we thought it was worth passing along.

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2 Responses to “Bring the heat!”

  1. Karen Says:

    It would seem that trying to emulate the awesome burger of the Prince of Wales is the new owners waste of time. Nothing can compare to the famous San Mateo County Prince of Wales Habanero Burger!

  2. Mike Says:

    Well said Karen,
    All that Mr. Chapman says he has,”learned from experience”about the Habanero, he learned last week in an attempt to make a buck. The Habanero Burger,the dart tournaments,the Beers of the World Club, and all else that encompassed The Prince of Wales Pub was from the heart of Jack Curry.
    Curry is a World dart champion, hence the longest running dart tournament in the country. Curry is a professional state and world champion chili cook,hence the Habaneros. Curry is an avid music lover,hence the live music and good times.
    Like the Prince of Wales Pub the real Habanero Burger had soul, you could feel it,
    even the next day, because we all know the real burger burns ya coming and going. Not to mention the teary eyes, beads of sweat, and that overall look of nausea as those brave enough to try it, jump up and down in disbelief as they look for the nearest place to puke. THAT’S BRINGING THE HEAT!!!
    Jack Curry is a genuine person that opened and shared his life with the public for 32 years. For Mr.Chapman to tell us what he has learned through his experience in an attempt to emulate and profit from what Jack Curry created is highly offensive and truly a shame.
    On behalf of myself and other people that appreciate the authentic I say a big thanx, but no thanx!, to the guy that owns the door that swings both ways.

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