In the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, good and evil forces battle over the Ring of Power, an artifact of unspeakable power. Why is a dinky little ring so important? Because the Dark Lord Sauron, the fearsome evil overlord, forged the ring in the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, imbuing it with magic and power.
For some reason, things that are forged in volcanos are just cooler than things that are forged in, well, normal forges. That fact applies to things other than magical rings, of course. It also applies to flaming swords, invincible shields, and hot dogs.
Yeah, why not? If I had a volcano in my back yard, I’d grill hot dogs on it, too.
That’s what the chefs at El Diablo do. Located on Lanzarote Island, a Spanish island northwest of the African country of Morocco, El Diablo has access to their own volcano. Now, it’s probably not quite what you’re imagining. It’s not a giant black mountain that spews lava. That would be a real problem for health code inspections. It’s more like a hole in the ground that vents volcanic heat up from the bowels of the earth.
But who’s counting? Let me ask you something. If you could eat a burger fried on a boring ol’ stove, or a burger grilled over the fires of the molten magma core of the earth, which would you choose?
And if you’re not impressed, the restaurant has more to offer than a unique source of heat. The view from the dinner tables is as beautiful as it is weird. The landscape of Lanzarote Island is not a lush tropical paradise or a lovely cliff overlooking a serene ocean. It’s a barren wasteland. Really, the surroundings look more like they belong on Mars than Earth. The soil is red, alien, and barren.
But not so barren that you can’t order shish kabob. Or maybe you’d prefer grilled chicken, which is roasted over a 600°C (1112°F) volcanic fire.
What I’d really love to know is how volcanic heat affects (if at all) the flavor of the food. Grillers reading this would know that you can add certain types of wood to a grill to give food a smokier flavor. Does the food at El Diablo have a more, uh, lava-y taste? I have no clue, but boy would I love to find out