Restaurant worker reveals the heartbreaking truth behind those sizzling fajita dishes: ‘My entire life is a lie’
A TikToker working at a Mexican restaurant recently exposed the shocking industry secret behind those sizzling fajita dishes — and simultaneously broke millions of hearts.
@sallamibrahim24, an employee at Doña Leti’s in Houston, gained over 2.4 million views, nearly 200,000 likes and over 2,700 comments when he pulled back the curtain on what gives fajitas that special sizzle.
While we’ve seen employees’ trade secrets go viral in the past — like this nurse who revealed the truth behind all those diapers and baby supplies in delivery rooms — @sallamibrahim24‘s video is forever changing the way people see restaurant experiences.
In the video, @sallamibrahim24 walks back into the kitchen of Doña Leti’s to grab a table’s order.
But right before handing off the plate, the gloved cook takes a squirt bottle and strategically splashes some kind of clear liquid around the dish.
Immediately, the plate begins to smoke and sizzle. @sallamibrahim24 then takes the dish and begins walking it to the table, a cloud of smoke wafting around him.
TikTokers rushed to the comment section to express their shock.
“THATS how they do it?” one user asked.
“wow. this ruined my day,” another user commented.
“My entire life is a lie! It’s artificial sizzle 😭,” cried another user.
“oh it’s the artifizzle…. 😏 I’ve been deceived,” wrote one user.
In another video, @sallamibrahim24 provides a closer look at how the “artifizzle” is achieved.
As @sallamibrahim24‘s video began going viral, other TikTokers started stitching video reactions to the footage — and revealing even more trade secrets in the comments.
“Sizzle sauce = oil, soysauce, lime juice,” one user wrote in the comments of @scottysdaysoff‘s stitched video (which went viral in its own right, gaining over 6.9 million views).
“former server at chilis – yes. The sizzle sauce goes on and you take the longest route you can to get to the table to intice others to order it,” another user wrote.
Another former Chili’s worker chimed in, “It’s soy sauce & fat 😂 I worked at chilis . The pan isn’t even hot to begin with. They put food on a ‘cast iron pan’ heat it up and add sauce.”
“Former chilis server, yes true,” yet another Chili’s server added. “When it’s been sitting in the window a bit we put it on a hot plate and put the sauce on to get it goin😂.”
But apparently, it’s not just Chili’s blowing smoke with their “artifizzle.”
“Applebees heats it back up on a hot plate and sprinkles water on for the sizzle😗,” one server wrote.
“It’s true, at Dennys too they don’t have sauce but will splash drops of water to make the skillets steam,” another server added.
“I worked the kitchen in a Mexican restaurant we called this the fajita effect. After one goes out that’s all we make for the next hour,” one server wrote.
“I was so disappointed when the waiter from our fav Mexican restaurant told us everything is made in the morning 😭😭,” one customer commented.
However, the vast majority of commenters weren’t those who work in the restaurant industry — but those who were heartbroken and hurt by the revelation.
“all that and they have the audacity to say ‘careful! it’s hot!’ 😡,” commented one angry user.
“none of us asked. we just wanted to keep a lil magic🥺,” one disenchanted user wrote.
“Weekend is ruined…thank you,” huffed another user.
“My world is collapsing around me,” cried another.
However, one user chose to see the sizzle sauce bottle as half-full: “The sizzle is artificial, but the happiness is still very real.”
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