Crappy Food Critic Funeral: Johnny Carino’s Sicilian Fire Sticks

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With apologies to Shakespeare: I come to bury crappy food, not praise it.

Last night, the fam and I had dinner at Johnny Carino’s. As is often our wont, we decided to get an appetizer. I’m not sure when they updated their menu, because we don’t eat there but once in a blue moon, but I noticed a distinct lack of our favorite appetizer, the Sicilian Fire Sticks. Asking our waitress confirmed it: they are no more. We settled for the Italian Nachos, which are good, but have one glaring flaw, which is that they are not Sicilian Fire Sticks.

For those unfamiliar, the Sicilian Fire Stick is a crispy red tortilla wrapped around chicken and spicy Italian sausage as well as a host of sauces, cheeses, and chopped jalapenos and onions. They were traditionally served in orders of three in a distinctive paper cone, with dipping choices of ranch dressing (an appropriate pairing) and marinara sauce (frankly baffling to me; I never tried it). They didn’t set your mouth on fire, but they did have a zesty kick.

Those of us hoping to satisfy our Fire Stick cravings in future must now make do with a copycat recipe. Looks good enough to me—makes 24 sticks, which is eight times the amount of a typical order, and there’s always the potential for tinkering. I’ll try to give it a shot sometime, and report back if I do.

Good night, sweet Fire Stick. May a flight of angel-hair pasta sing thee to thy rest.

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