Where can I find a good EATING CHALLENGE?
March 13, 2009 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know a good EATING CHALLENGE? Looking for a restaurant that offers a "finish it in an hour and it's free" type challenge, where you get your face on the Wall of Fame.
posted by jabraham to Food & Drink (37 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Big Texan Steak Ranch, home of the 72-oz steak dinner. Eat it in under and hour and its free.
posted by The Gooch at 9:00 AM on March 13, 2009

You do know there's a tv show about this, right?

Man vs Food.

You can probably find links to the places where he pigged out.
posted by elendil71 at 9:00 AM on March 13, 2009

There's a TV show, Man vs. Food, based around the "big food" concept.
posted by nitsuj at 9:01 AM on March 13, 2009

Here's some.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 9:03 AM on March 13, 2009

Any particular area? Or are you just looking to take on the whole world?

Spike's Junkyard Dogs in Rhode Island/Massachusetts. Eat 6+ oversized dogs and get a polaroid on the wall. Beat the champion (something like 25 hotdogs) and get it all for free.

The Mews Tavern in southern Rhode Island sells a two pound, loaded "Mt. Everest Burger", served on an entire loaf of italian bread. With fries. Costs like $39, but eat everything and get it for free. Plus they have 69 beers on tap to wash it down... if you have room.
posted by csimpkins at 9:05 AM on March 13, 2009

This question has been asked before on Ask Metafilter!
posted by vacapinta at 9:09 AM on March 13, 2009

I just checked the IMDB on Man v Food and there's a Josh Abraham listed as production assistant. Are you actually from the show looking for new ideas?
posted by csimpkins at 9:11 AM on March 13, 2009 [12 favorites]

Crown Candy Kitchen here in St. Louis makes their own ice cream and candy. WIth that ice cream, they make shakes (the kind that can fill a sundae dish three times). If you can eat five shakes in a half hour, you get your name on the plaque. You have to keep it down, though. One is (delicious) enough for me.
posted by notsnot at 9:49 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Eagles Deli in Boston has a "challenge burger" - I'm somewhat confident I could put down a 5 pound burger; the real minefield is the 5 pounds of fries that must also be consumed -
posted by jalexei at 9:54 AM on March 13, 2009

I just checked the IMDB on Man v Food and there's a Josh Abraham listed as production assistant. Are you actually from the show looking for new ideas?

It should be mentioned that historically the site is totally fine with that. Lots of people look for advice associated with work; Adam Savage from Mythbusters has used AskMe to ask for show ideas a couple times.

In any event, is this national? Global? Or do you want to specify a locale?

I don't know if you get it free, but Flameburger in Columbia Heights MN has some sort of epic multi-pound apocalypse hamburger for which you can definitely get your photo on the wall.
posted by nanojath at 10:04 AM on March 13, 2009

There is tiny greasy spoon in Syracuse called Mother's Cupboard that offers a free meal and your face in a Polaroid on the wall if you finish a full fretta. It's not much, but it's cute in that extra-grease greasy spoon kind of way.
posted by wg at 10:08 AM on March 13, 2009

Response by poster: Yup -- I'm from M v. F.
We've got hundreds and hundreds of recommendations but are always looking for more. Thought the Metafilter hive mind would be a great source for more. And yes, the whole wide world is our region. Thanks for the suggestions thus far, please keep 'em coming.
posted by jabraham at 10:11 AM on March 13, 2009

Dennys Beer Barrel Pub in New Jersey. Offers 6 and 15-pound burger challenges.
posted by The Gooch at 10:19 AM on March 13, 2009

Oh, it looks like they do 2 and 3 pound burger contests as well.
posted by The Gooch at 10:20 AM on March 13, 2009

The meal isn't free afterwards, but if you finish the 48oz steak, a potato, a piece of Texas Toast, and a trip to the salad bar at the several Alexander's Steakhouses throughout Central Illinois within an hour, you get your picture on the wall and a half-price coupon for your next meal.

My ugly mug is up in their Champaign location. 56 minutes, baby!
posted by hwyengr at 10:29 AM on March 13, 2009

It's only a challenge to yourself, but the 25 scoop Royal George Sundae at Margie's Candies will make you realize that yes - there is a limited amount of ice cream that one group can eat. If one person could finish that I bet they would put your picture up on the wall.
posted by true at 10:37 AM on March 13, 2009

There's just a plaque, not your face on the wall, but: The Tchoupitoulas Challenge at the Creole Creamery in New Orleans. They make their ice cream in-house.

a sundae as big as its name - our most outrageous specialty made with eight scoops of ice cream and your choice of eight toppings served in grand fashion with whipped cream and cherries
Anyone who is able to finish a Tchoupitoulas sundae with no help will be immortalized on our hall of fame plaque.
posted by Night_owl at 10:40 AM on March 13, 2009

Free meal? A picture on the wall? Pfft... kid's stuff.

Bubi's Awesome Eats offers a $1000 cash prize if you can eat the Bunda's Big V8 (that's an 8lb. burger) in 90 minutes.

You know you are eating well when there is a liability waiver.
posted by pixlboi at 10:42 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

You should visit Piratz Tavern in Silver Spring, Maryland. They'll make you sign a waiver before serving you the Burnin' Bits (chicken in super-hot sauce), and you can wash it down with any number of flammable beverages, including the newly invented Red Flag Grog.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:45 AM on March 13, 2009

And yes, the whole wide world is our region.

Have you explored Northern Honshu, Japan? Iwate prefecture is famous for wanko soba, where your challenge is to eat soba (buckwheat noodles). You finish the bowl, it's refilled. Constantly. You try to stop the waitress from refilling it, by putting a lid on the bowl, and she distracts you. She's fast, but you have to eat until you can stop her from putting more noodles in the bowl. (picture, rules and pictures)

You wouldn't know it from how any two average girls here could fit in the pants of one American, but food challenges are everywhere in Japan, and all-you-can-eat (tabehodai or viking [buffet]) and all-you-can-drink set-ups are inexpensive and common.
posted by whatzit at 10:45 AM on March 13, 2009

Vinny's New York Pizza in the military town of Sierra Vista, Arizona (Fort Huachuca is adjacent to the city) has a 20 "Homicidal Buffalo Wings" in 30 minutes challenge. Picture on the wall and everything.

It's a wonderful mom-and-pop business, locally owned and operated for ~28 years.
posted by Precision at 10:57 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

The 29 inch XL Pie (pizza) - If two people can finish the 29 inch pizza in 29 minutes it's free.

And about a million others at EatFeats.com, sortable by food type.
posted by cashman at 11:28 AM on March 13, 2009

In Pacific Beach, San Diego, we have the Broken Yolk Café Special:

"A dozen-egg omelet filled with mushrooms, onions, American cheese and smothered with our chili and more cheese. On the other half of a 15-inch pizza pan is a generous pile of homefries and two biscuits. The Broken Yolk Special is Free if you eat it all within an hour."

posted by changeling at 11:37 AM on March 13, 2009

Check out the Clinton Station Diner in Clinton, NJ. They have a 50lb burger contest with smaller versions available too.

I love their fries and generally find their food very tasty. We're not locals, but we stop there every time we drive to New England.

Say "Hi" to Adam for us. I don't know why, but it amuses me to see him wiped out by a meal.
posted by onhazier at 11:40 AM on March 13, 2009

Sayler's Old Country Kitchen, Portland, OR

*Since 1948 the 72 oz. Top Sirloin Dinner has been served free to anyone who can eat the entire steak and trimmings within one hour. Because of the extra preparation time required in our kitchen, we ask that all attempts be limited to weekdays only, before 9:00 p.m. Ask your waitress for complete details.
posted by Fortnight Bender at 11:45 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Don't fill up on bread.
posted by snofoam at 11:59 AM on March 13, 2009

The Yankee Doodle Diner in New Haven has a burger eating contest, explained here. Thirty-four hamburgers sounds like a lot, but they're sliders.

I only spent a short time in New Haven but this place is an archetypal greasy spoon. From their site it looks like they may have run into some recession-related trouble. That would be a shame, but it might make an interesting angle for your show.
posted by thebergfather at 12:19 PM on March 13, 2009

Paulie's Pizza in New Brunswick, NJ.
posted by painquale at 2:40 PM on March 13, 2009

Restaurant in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles called Orochon Ramen has a contest where if you can eat a bowl of their spicy bowl of Special 2 in under 30 minutes, your polaroid gets on the wall.

I've tried the stuff and I am not that masochistic. Had friends brag about their spice-tolerance, only to get their ego's bruised.

posted by liquoredonlife at 3:15 PM on March 13, 2009

This stuff is disgusting. Go at it! And it does not look as pictured. It was black.
posted by scazza at 4:14 PM on March 13, 2009

Pluckers is a wing's restaurant in Austin, TX. On the wall, they have a running contest: whoever eats the most of their hottest flavor of wings gets their picture on the wall, along with the next two or three runners-up. It's divided by gender, too, so men compete against other men and women against other women. You can go in at any time and do the contest, you just have to let your server know so that they keep a count of the wings. iirc -- I used to work there -- they bring the wings in increments of ten.

You also get your picture on a huge wall of pictures if you just eat, I think, twenty five of the hottest wings.

I have some stories about people who do the contest, though. Generally they'll come in and stay the whole day, eating slowly. Frequent trips to the bathroom are inevitable, if you get what I'm saying. For what it's worth, I've never heard of anyone intentionally throwing up the wings, it just sort of happens when you try to eat over a hundred of them. I guess there's no way to know for sure. Last I checked the top male record holders had something like 160 at once restaurant and 120 at a newer one. I think the female record at the oldest restaurant was 80-something. The other restaurants had sixty.

By the way, these wings are actually hot. I mean, really, really hot. We don't play in Texas. Even the next hottest flavor of wings there is too hot for most people. The medium wings are about what most places call "nuclear." And they're huge wings, probably about two to three times the size of most restaurants.

Doing the contest is terribly expensive unless you go on one of the "all you can eat" nights. You pay a set price and they start you off with twenty wings, then if you want more they'll bring you ten at a time.
posted by Nattie at 8:54 PM on March 13, 2009

You don't get your $12 back, but my son has his face on the wall at Blue Boys Sandwich Shop as well as a sweet tee shirt for finishing the Super Club. It's got nearly 5 pounds of meat on one sandwich.
posted by hollygoheavy at 9:03 AM on March 14, 2009

Yup -- I'm from M v. F.

no FREAKIN WAY. my girlfriend and I absolutely LOVE your show and watch it religiously. Best food-related show since No Reservations.

I know you already did Seattle (when we recently visited, I claimed that I could 'totally do' the Beth's omlette challenge, but realized my folly and skipped out), but there's a place there called Pike's Street Fish Fry that has a 15 minute speed challenge: something like 4 Hush puppies, a four piece of cod, fries, cole slaw/salad, all on a bun, plus you have to polish off a can of Olympia. They recently revised it (I think they added the hush puppies, which are super dense) and no-one has been able to do this particular challenge yet.

I don't know of any in the Bay Area (where I reside), but I will be on the lookout. Would love to see a Man v. Food in Oakland!
posted by fishfucker at 1:44 PM on March 14, 2009

Joe Rodgers Chili in Springfield, Illinois
you get your name on the wall if you eat a whole bowl of 'J.R. Special' chili and survive

The Diner Grill in Chicago
there's no wall of fame, but you get an awesome chintzy certificate if you finish a whole Slinger
"Slinger--Don't Ask/Just Eat--$7."
posted by andshewas at 2:05 PM on March 15, 2009

I believe Cheeburger Cheeburger - at least the one on Sanibel Island, Florida - will put your picture on the wall if you finish their 20 ounce burger.

Actually yeah, here it says that.
posted by Quidam at 11:36 PM on March 17, 2009

A plaque with my name resides on the "Wall Of Flame" at TNT Sports Bar in East Peoria, Illinois for finishing a pound of their hottest hot wings.
posted by vagabond at 4:31 PM on March 23, 2009

Timber Ridge Lodge in Lake Geneva, WI.

2 lb Burger, 1 lb of fries, plus what, a half or whole pickle, cheese, lettuce, (they have a whole list of ingredients that're required eating posted on their board.)

Wall of Fame next to it.

Bonus: Shares the building with an indoor waterpark.
posted by Seeba at 7:51 PM on March 28, 2009

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