Many restaurants pride themselves on a signature dish, and some of these places, around America and abroad, 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 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 equal. For example, The Inferno Soup at Nitally’s Thai-Mex Cuisine in St. Petersburg, Fla. 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, while Randy's Wooster Street Pizza in Manchester, Conn.challenges participants to eat a stuffed pizza so large they claim they can’t even list the amount of toppings.
Occasionally, the restaurants will allow the diner to split the foot challenge with a few friends, but that almost always means it’s going to be even harder, whether you’re talking about Big Pie in the Sky’s 11-pound pizza down in Kennesaw and Roswell, Ga., or Clinton, N.J.'s Clinton Station Diner’s 105-pound burger, which officially makes it the largest in the world. It can be split 10 ways, but that doesn’t seem to matter: no one has yet bested this beef behemoth. Many restaurants also have rules disallowing visits to the restroom for those who might feel the sudden compulsion to be a little sick. The ones that don’t will likely at least admit that you’re probably going to have a rough night’s sleep after polishing off the pounds of (usually unhealthy) food they’ve dared you to eat.
From doughnuts to phở, we’ve compiled a list of the wildest restaurant challenges and ranked them based on the amount of food involved, as well as any other special regulations like time limits and the spice factor. From bacon-wrapped meat to two-foot-long burritos, check out our slideshow to see some of the country’s craziest restaurant challenges!
Have you competed in a restaurant challenge? Are there any others that aren’t included here that we should know about? Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment.
1. Stadium Grill: Columbia, Mo
The Hail Mary Challenge at Stadium Grill is a beast — and many have failed to conquer it. The burger has just about everything on it, and a lot of it at that. It starts with five pounds of beef, and is then topped with bacon, pulled pork, three cheeses, onion rings, and fried eggs, all served with a pound of fries. Challengers have one hour to finish the meal, and the winner is given the $49.99 meal for free, plus a $50 gift card for every month for one year or until the next person wins and he or she is dethroned.
2. Nitally's Thai-Mex Cuisine: St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Inferno Soup Challenge at Nitally’s ThaiMex Cuisine combines two food challenge components in one; not only is the sheer quantity of food challenging, but it is also incredibly spicy. The soup is served in a 48-ounce bowl and contains 12 kinds of peppers from around the world. The spiciest chile used is the bhut jolokia, also known as the Ghost Pepper. Many have attempted the scorching soup, but few have succeeded in consuming the massive bowl in the time limit of 30 minutes.
3. Paddy Long’s: Chicago, Ill.
The name of the challenge at Paddy Long’s is straightforward: "The Bomb." Participants have 45 minutes to eat The Bomb, which is five pounds of ground sausage, pork, and beef mixed with spices and then all wrapped in a weave of brown sugar bacon (yes, it is meat wrapped in meat). TheBomb is then cooked in the pig roaster and served with a large side of fries. Winners get a T-shirt and their picture on the wall of fame.
4. Mallie’s Sports Bar & Grill: Southgate, Mich.
This sports bar claims that it, and not the Clinton Station Diner, serves the world’s largest burger, so it is only fitting it has a challenge to go along with it. The "Hellfire Hat Trick" challenge is so hot that participants are required to sign a waiver before they start eating! The challenge tasks participants to consume one Hellfire burger (think: a 1/2 lb. Angus burger blended with Mallie’s fire sauce, jalapenos, red pepper flakes, ghost chile powder, buffalo sauce and topped with pepper-jack cheese), six Hellfire wings, and one bowl of Hellfire chili all in 30 minutes. The best part? Winners receive free burgers for an entire year.
5. Papa Bob’s Bar-B-Que: Kansas City, Kan.
Kansas City is known for its insane barbecue, and Papa Bob’s takes this insanity to the next level with its "Ultimate Destroyer Challenge." This barbecue delight is a massive sandwich, composed of a 12-inch hoagie bun, a half-pound of pulled pork, a half-pound of hickory-smoked sliced pork, a half-pound of hickory-smoked ham, a half-pound of hickory-smoked turkey breast, three half-pound hickory-smoked hamburgers, a half-pound of smoked brisket, smoked BBQ sausages, and plenty of sauce. Oh, and did we mention it comes with one and a half pounds of fries and four pickles? If you succeed, you’ll get your picture on the Papa Bob’s Wall of Fame, a Papa Bob’s t-shirt, an “I survived the Ultimate Destroyer” button, and bragging rights.
6. Acme Oyster House: New Orleans, La.
Participants have to eat 15 dozen oysters (180 total) on the half-shell and have an hour to slurp down the seafood. Winners of this challenge get more than bragging rights; they are welcomed into the "15 Dozen Club" at this institution of a New Orleans restaurant. (The restaurant has been serving its legendary oysters since 1910.)
7. Phở Garden: San Francisco, Calif.
Phở Garden invites phở lovers to indulge in a massive bowl filled with the restaurant’s signature soup. Three bowls of the restaurant's Xe Lua soup is poured into one giant bowl, which adds up to two pounds of noodles and two 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.
8. BGR, The Burger Joint
This small restaurant chain has a menu filled with noteworthy burgers, but one in particular stands out to those wanting to truly indulge: the 9 Pounder. The meat itself is nine pounds, but with condiments and toppings, the entire burger weighs in at 15.4 pounds. Two heads of lettuce, eight tomatoes, three red onions, four whole pickles, and a whole lot of mayo go into this massive burger. If one person can eat the entire thing in one sitting, it’s free.
9. Piranha’s Bar & Grill: Nashville, Tenn.
Piranha’s Bar & Grill has only paid out the $100 prize for finishing their 10-pound cheesesteak once — -which makes sense, because even a half-pound cheesesteak doesn’t sit easy in the stomach. The challenge includes slaw and fries, which are not on the side, but rather are in the cheesesteak itself. It costs a full $75 to buy the sandwich, and it needs to be completed within an hour.
10. Munchies 420 Café: Sarasota, Fla.
Munchies 420 Café prides itself on fresh-cooked food, late-night delivery, and huge portions. The place is known for its "fat" sandwiches, which are stuffed with items like mac and cheese and mozzarella sticks, but the challenge here features super-hot spicy wings. The sauce is deadly, based on the hottest chile in the world, the bhut jolokia Ghost Pepper. Participants are challenged to eat 10 of these super spicy wings in 20 minutes. Winners end up on the wall of fame; losers end up on the wall of shame.
See more of the country's most outrageous food challenges.
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