Mega meals. Portion distortion. No matter how you phrase it, restaurant serving sizes have been expanding to epic proportions, and this phenomenon could be partly to blame for the obesity epidemic.
1. The Carnivore Challenge
Everybody loves pizza, but does that love have limits? That’s the question Big Pie in the Sky Pizzeria in Kennesaw, Georgia, has been asking. Its 11-pound, 30-inch pizza costs a whopping $50, but if you and a friend can finish one in 60 minutes or less, you’ll walk away with $250 — and a belly full of delicious pizza, of course. So far, only seven teams have been able to do it. Are you next?
2. Hail Mary Burger Challenge
Think you have what it takes to take on this massive meal at Stadium Grill in Columbia, Missouri? Well, consider this: It’s never been conquered so far, even though a professional eater and plenty of amateurs have attempted it.
This epic burger consists of four gigantic beef patties (each one exceeding a pound), nestled between two huge ciabatta rolls and topped with fried eggs, bacon, onion straws, and pulled pork. Plus, the restaurant serves all that with a whopping pound of fries. If you can eat it all in under an hour, you get a free meal, naming rights, and a $50 gift card each month for a year.
3. The Kitchen Sink Challenge
I scream, you scream, we all scream for this sweetly decadent challenge. To take it on, you must visit San Francisco Creamery and devour a gigantic sundae made up of three sliced bananas, eight scoops of your choice of ice cream, eight servings of toppings, mounds upon mounds of whipped cream, chopped toasted almonds, and cherries. It’s made to serve six, but if you can polish one off by yourself you get free ice cream for a year.
4. The Jack-n-Grill Challenge
Crave burritos? You won’t find one bigger than this beauty over at Jack-n-Grill Restaurant in Denver. Each breakfast behemoth consists of 7 pounds of potatoes, a pound of ham, an entire onion, tons of cheese and chili, and a dozen eggs. Better still? This health-conscious restaurant uses no MSG in its cooking oil and focuses on fresh, organic produce.
5. The 72-Ounce Steak Challenge
Everything really is bigger in Texas.
Legend has it this challenge has roots back in the 1960s, when hungry cowboys came wandering into The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, looking for some grub. Owner Bob (RJ) Lee staged a contest to see which of those fellows could eat the most in the shortest amount of time. And with that, a tradition was born.
You need to eat a meal that includes a 72-ounce steak, shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad, roll, and butter in 60 minutes without getting up. Your prize? A free meal (plus bragging rights, of course). But be warned: If you can’t finish your steak, it’ll cost you a hefty $72.
6. The Inferno Bowl Challenge
Ever wonder what it would be like to sip on hot lava? Well, wonder no more. At Nitally’s Thai-Mex Cuisine in Florida, putting down a 48-ounce bowl of Inferno soup in 30 minutes could earn you $100. (But if you fail, it’ll cost you $65.)
The recipe uses generous amounts of bhut jolokia (ghost chili), which is one of the spiciest peppers in the world. And if you were planning to using some liquid courage to take on this hot number, be careful. The rules clearly state that you must be of sound mind and body and totally sober to compete.
7. The Fire in Your Hole Challenge
8. The 15 Dozen Club Challenge
It’s said oysters are aphrodisiacs, so be sure to alert your romantic partner before taking on this challenge.
At Acme Oyster House in New Orleans, patrons are invited to try their luck at slurping down 180 oysters without getting up from the table. Winners get a free meal, a T-shirt, and possibly a whole lot of lovey-dovey feelings. If you want an extra challenge, try going toe to toe with the current record holder, who made it through 44 dozen oysters before calling it quits.
9. The Bomb Challenge
Did someone say bacon?
If you’re in Chicago, head over to Paddy Long’s and take on The Bomb. That’s 5 pounds of ground sausage, pork, and beef mixed with spices and wrapped in a weave of brown sugar bacon. Then, it’s slow cooked on the pig roaster and served with a huge side of fries (which normally serves six to eight people).
To complete this challenge, you’ll need to finish the whole meal in 45 minutes or less. Victory means a free meal, a T-shirt, a photo on the hall of fame, and eternal bragging rights about how you’re the biggest bacon lover of all time.
10. The Mount Olympus Challenge
Ever wonder where you can find a 50-pound burger? Well, we know the answer. At the popular Clinton Station Diner in Clinton, New Jersey, you’ll find a protein-packed monstrosity with all the trimmings.
Finish yours (with the help of four friends) in three hours, and your meal is on the house. And if that sounds like a bit too much to handle, you can take it down a notch with the Zeus 7-pound burger. You’ll need to finish that one in three hours by yourself or in 90 minutes with the help of a friend to score that free meal. No matter which you choose, all burgers are made in house with fresh, delicious ingredients.
11. The Pancake Challenge
If you ever find yourself in Seiad Valley, California, be sure to stop by Seiad Valley Store and Cafe to take on its popular Pancake Challenge. If you can finish 5 pounds of pancakes (slathered in butter and syrup, of course) in two hours, your whole meal is free. And you get your photo added to the winner’s wall hall of fame. Yum.
12. The Godzilla Roll Challenge
Are you a sushi fan? If so, can you tackle the Godzilla roll? At Sushi Delight in Lomita, California, patrons can satisfy sushi cravings with a whopping 6-pound roll stuffed with all different kinds of fish and topped with heaps of sauce. Successfully complete your meal in 60 minutes, and you get a picture on the wall and a free T-shirt.
13. Jake’s 5-Pound Philly Challenge
You can’t visit Philadelphia without having a cheesesteak. So why not make it a giant cheesesteak? At Jake’s Sandwich Board, you’ll find a challenge for the ages, consisting of one 2-foot, 5-pound cheesesteak; four soft pretzels; 12 Tastykakes; 24 peanut chews; and one Champ Cherry soda. Finish the whole thing within 45 minutes, and this $70 meal is free. Plus, you’ll take home a free T-shirt, and get your photo added to the wall of fame.
14. The J&J’s Kitchen Sink Challenge
Head to any of J&J Pizza Shack’s locations in Indiana, and you can attempt to conquer The Kitchen Sink Challenge. It consists of a ginormous deep dish pizza meant to serve six to eight and loaded with 11 different toppings. Finish the whole thing, and your meal is free.
This is yet another undefeated eating challenge, but interestingly the closest contender was a 12-year-old girl who polished off 16 of the 20 slices before surrendering.
15. The Baronator Challenge
There’s just something about big burgers and food challenges that go hand in hand. When it comes to big, The Baron’s Pub in Suffolk, Virginia, knows what it’s doing. To score a free meal and full tummy, all you need to do is eat an entire 3-pound burger on a 1-pound bun, topped with 2 pounds of cheese, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and other condiments. It’s served with a heaping pound of fries.