Some restaurants around the country pride themselves on a signature dish. And some of these places love their signature dish so much they decide to prepare it in mass amounts… and then challenge guests to eat as much of it as they possibly can. People from all over the world visit certain establishments to try these crazy food challenges. If they are victorious, they win not only pride, but usually a spot on a wall of fame.
All of these restaurant challenges have one thing in common — participants have to eat a ridiculous amount of food, and sometimes within a restricted amount of time. But not all of these challenges are created equally.
For example, The Inferno Soup at Nitally’s ThaiMex Cuisine challenges participants to slurp down an insanely large 48-ounce bowl of spicy soup (that includes 12 different hot peppers from around the world) in 30 minutes. Additionally, Randy's Wooster Street Pizza in Connecticut challenges participants to eat a stuffed pizza so large they claim they can’t even list the amount of toppings on the menu.
From donuts to pho, we’ve compiled a list of the most unusual restaurant challenges and ranked them based on the amount of food, as well as any other special regulations like time limits and the spice factor.
1. Seiad Valley Store and Café: Seiad Valley, Calif.
This challenge may feature pancakes, but participants eat enough food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during this event. The restaurant serves breakfast and brunch classics in large portions. Competitors in the "Pancake Challenge" are given 5 pounds of pancakes, topped off with butter and syrup. Guests need to finish the meal in two hours or less and it’s free.
2. Sushi Delight: Lomita, Calif.
Participants may not feel "delightful" after this challenge! At Sushi Delight, guests can participate in the Godzilla Roll challenge, which consists of a 6-pound roll filled with various kinds of fish and topped with a special blend of house sauces. Those who complete the challenge in 60 minutes win a picture on the wall, a T-shirt, and of course, bragging rights.
3. Knucklehead Hot Dog Diner: Roseville, Calif.
Knucklehead’s boasts that they serve up the best hot dogs in California and have a variety of hot dog styles on the menu to back up their claim. For those wanting to really indulge, they can order the "5-Pound Knucklehead Challenge." Five 10-inch hot dogs are piled into one long bun and then topped with 3 pounds of homemade chili, cheese, onions, pickles, and tomatoes, all served with a 1-pound side of fries.
4. Jake’s Sandwich Board: Philadelphia
At this Philly restaurant, guests can participate in a challenge in honor of the hometown favorite, Philly cheesesteaks. The challenge is to consume a 2-foot Philly cheesesteak (filled with their house-roasted vegetables and meats), four soft pretzels, one box of TastyKakes, 24 mini peanut chews, and one cherry soda. Winners get their photo added to the hall of fame, and if they consume the meal in less than 45 minutes, it’s free.
5. Port Royal Pub & Grille: Islip, N.Y.
Port Royal Pub & Grille doesn’t have just one challenge, but two! One challenge focuses on seafood while the other features land meats. But the one we're focusing on, the "Davey Jones Locker Challenge," is for seafood lovers. The meal could reasonably serve four to six people, but participants must take down the meal on their own. The challenge consists of 2 pounds snow crab leg clusters, 1 pound of jumbo shrimp skewers, 1 pound of steamed mussels, 1 pound of fried clam strips, and their signature twin jumbo seafood stuffed flounder. Oh, and it also includes soup or salad and two family-sized sides.
6. Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza: Connecticut
This pizza joint calls their challenge "The Challenger," and for good reason. The pizza is 22 inches (and 10 pounds!) and stuffed with "a combination too big to list." Guests participate in pairs, and if two people can consume the stuffed pizza in a one-hour sitting, it’s free. Winners get a picture on the wall, a hat, and a $50 dollar gift card.
7. San Francisco Creamery Co.: Walnut Creek, Calif.
This ice cream shop is scooping some daunting sundaes. Their "Kitchen Sink" challenge includes… pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. The actual sundae is even served in one of their specially made sinks, and includes three bananas, scoops of your choice of eight ice creams, eight servings of toppings, mounds of whipped cream, and chopped toasted almonds and cherries. The shop says it serves six, but one person can take on the pound of dessert (if they dare). If you complete the challenge in less than 30 minutes, you get a spot on the wall and free ice cream for a year.
8. Gus & Paul’s: Springfield, Mass.
Gus & Paul’s boasts of using all-natural, fresh ingredients in their home-cooked dishes everyday since their opening in 1958. In their signature challenge, "The World’s Biggest Corned Beef Sandwich," pounds of fresh ingredients are used to create the monstrous dish: 2.5 pounds corned beef, 1 pound Swiss cheese, two sliced tomatoes, half a head of lettuce, a 1.5-pound water roll, a half-pound of mustard, 1 pound sliced pickles, 1pound coleslaw, and 1.25 pounds of french fries go into this giant feast. If you can eat all of it in one hour, it’s free.
9. Pho Garden: San Francisco
Pho Garden invites pho lovers to indulge in a massive bowl filled with the restaurant’s signature soup. The challenge is to consume three bowls of their Pho Garden (Xe Lua) soup poured into one giant bowl, which totals to 2 pounds of noodles and 2 pounds of combination beef. If you can slurp down the meal in less than 60 minutes, it’s on the house and your photo will go on the wall of fame.
10. Acme Oyster House: New Orleans
Winners of this seafood challenge get more than bragging rights; they are welcomed into the "15 Dozen Club" at this institutional New Orleans restaurant. The restaurant has been serving legendary oysters since 1910. Participants have to eat 15 dozen oysters (180) on the half-shell and have an hour to slurp down the seafood.
More from The Daily Meal