Mexican food -plates specifically

Why must the plates at Mexican food restaraunts be so freakin’ hot…all the time…burn baby hot?

As far as I can tell only Mexican (texmex) places do this, and other food joints don’t seem to have a problem with their room temp plates. It almost always burns the waiters hand and seems like a liability for customers.

Who started this?

One possible suggestion is the construction of the foods. Most mexican or tex/mex dishes have multiple components that they pre cook and then just assemble for you, a lot of these end with a topping of cheese that they melt over everything (or inside things) they most likely assemble these, put the plate in a oven to melt the cheese through, add the lettuce/tomatoes etc and then serve.

It’s not just Mexican restaurants, many others do. Esp. steak houses.

Yep, BurnMeUp has it right. I used to work at Chi-Chi’s and there are two reasons for it. One, most of the food can be pre-mad and then assembled and popped in the oven. The other thing is since restaurants try hard not to kill anyone, they want to get the internal temp up to 180.

Ah, the joys of boiling sauce dripping down your arm… I miss it so.

Danger makes the food taste better!

I always like ordering fajitas, “dangerous” they are, 'cuz you can hear 'em coming…

In the places I’ve been you don’t really put the plates “in the oven.” That would be inefficient and take up oven space.

The almost finished plates would be slid under the grill to allow the cheese to melt over whatever the cheese is over. Time under the grill might amount to 30 seconds but it’s enough for the “hot plate” chant when serving.

Extremely hot plates allow wait staff to take forever to bring you your (still warm) food.

A hot plate can also assist in the melting of a final cheese topping without returning said dish to the salamander.

A really hot plate is also excellent for wilting any salad contained thereupon and enhancing the comingling of every flavor held by said platter. Neither being desirable.

Pre-mad food? That must be the stuff that gives me indigestion.

Salamander? As in some slippery little lizard? I don’t think I want to know why any of those would be in a restaurant. In a word: Eeeeeewww!