Is it just me, or do people seem to be getting crazier and crazier these days?
From doggy paddling 73 days across the Atlantic Ocean (and soon to attempting the Pacific) to jumping 25,000 feet out of a plane without a parachute, sometimes I find myself wondering how far people are willing to go.
And apparently, it doesn’t end with food.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of some of the most wild and crazy restaurant food challenges and competitions in the United States.
If you’re feeling like living on the edge or taking a walk on the wild side, visit one (or many) of the following locations to tackle the seemingly impossible.
1. Burger Stop - Layton, Utah
The Burger Stop in Utah challenges its diners to eat a 2 pound burger (called the Deuce) within a half hour timeframe. People who accomplish the feat are rewarded with a prized t-shirt and a photo posted on social media for the world to see their accomplishments.
The restaurant itself describes the Deuce challenge as, “our signature 2lb burger, not for the weak and designed for the biggest appetite! nearly two pounds of fresh ground beef, 5 slices of cheese and 4 strips of thick cut bacon all with our special sauce and topped with crispy fried onion rings! If by chance you do finish it, in less than 30 minutes, you make claim to the one and only.”
2. Big Texan Steak Ranch - Amarillo, Texas
With the slogan of “Home of the 72oz Steak,” the Big Texan Steak Ranch doesn’t try to mislead you.
The 72oz Steak Challenge started when owner Bob (RJ) Lee opened up his doors and saw exactly how enormous the steaks were that his customers were requesting. Not only that, but tourists and stoppers by would oggle as the local eaters tried to “outdo” each other with the amount of steak that they could eat.
And hence the 72oz Steak Challenge was born.
Included in the challenge is the 72oz (or 4.5lb) steak, a baked potato, shrimp cocktail, salad, and a bread bowl. If the diner can stomach the entire plate, the meal is free.
3. Acme Oyster House - Louisiana Multiple Locations
Aw, shucks. An oyster challenge!
This challenge isn’t just any normal food eating competition. Only the bravest are able to take on the Acme Oyster House 15 Dozen Club - where participants are challenged to eat 15 dozen oysters in less than an hour.
That’s right. 180 oysters. 60 minutes. 3 oysters per minute.
If you’re able to finish, you get ½ off all of the 15 dozen oysters, as well as a name on the specific Acme Oyster House location’s “Wall of Fame” and a free hat and shirt.
If you break the record, all of your oysters are free. Don’t think you’re going to be doing that anytime soon though; Sonya ‘Black Widow’ Thomas holds the record at 52 dozen oysters at the Metaire, Louisiana location.
4. West End Tavern - Boulder, Colorado
If you’re feeling spicy, then West End Tavern in Boulder, Colorado is the place for you. During the Wing King Challenge, contestants have to eat 50 wings over the course of 30 minutes.
Bones have to be showing, and if you’re able to finish then you get the wings for free, a championship t-shirt, and an “immortalized” photo on the website until “the end of time and thereafter”.
5. The Cheese Truck - New Haven, Connecticut
Cheese lovers unite at the Cheese Truck in New Haven, Connecticut (or wherever the trucks are conveniently located for the meal time rush hours). In the Cheese Truck Challenge, participants are invited to tackle 10 grilled cheese sandwiches with at least one topping of your choice in an hour or less.
And boy oh boy, do they hook you up with the reward if you’re able to finish.
Winners get all 10 sandwiches for free, one free sandwich every week for the following year, and a sandwich of their choice named after them.
6. Allan’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant - Portland, Oregon
This is a challenge not of size, but of spice.
What it lacks in size, it makes up in utter spiciness. Allan’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant in Portland, Oregon created the beast itself, the Diablo, to challenge diners to test their spice boundaries.
According to Uproxx, they themselves describe it as, “a scuba dive into a volcano, after walking on hot coals the day after you went camping in a forest fire.”
The only stipulation to the challenge is that you finish under 10 minutes.
Only two people have been able to conquer the Diablo. According to Allan’s, “if you succeed in defeating the Diablo Burrito Challenge in a time faster than the current record, you will win free burritos for up to one year! That's right, one free regular burrito for dine in, per day, for 365 days.”
7. Pho Lucky - Novi, Michigan
Doubt that you’re going to pho-gettabout this one, pho-real!
Pho Lucky hosts a Pho Challenge where pho-enthusiasts slurp down a heaping bowl of pho in an hour.
What does that include? Well, two pounds of meat (including plenty of tripe), three pounds of noodles, and a whole lot of broth.
If you can finish in the hour time limit, you get the otherwise $20 bowl for free, a t-shirt, as well as a picture hung on the restaurant’s wall of champions. The best part is that if you lose, you also get your losing photo on the company’s website where you have to hold up a sign saying “Loser”.
Talk about some un-pho-gettable shame!
By no means is this list exhaustive; for a list of 50 food challenges across 50 states, see this map as a resource.
I also want to hear from you! Have you participated in or hosted any fun restaurant food challenges? Comment below!