Whether you want to test your stomach’s limits, one up your friends or re-create John Candy’s iconic steak-eating scene from the The Great Outdoors, there’s a restaurant challenge for you. The prize could be a free meal or a t-shirt and definitely a great story. Failure could land your mugshot on the establishment’s wall of shame… and probably still get you that great story. So the question is: what’s stopping you? Be sure to check out the rules beforehand regardless.
Here are five restaurant eating challenges worth trying, should you have the stomach for it.
An omelette with an egg or two is standard fare for many restaurants, but Beth’s Cafe ups the ante with a 12-egg version. Choose from the Southwestern Exposure or the Northwestern Exposure, or go all-out with the Triple Bypass. Or opt to create your own using some of their many ingredient options. The cafe doesn’t offer any prizes if you manage to eat one of their giant omelettes, but you’ll definitely have bragging rights, not to mention a full stomach. Should you chicken out, sharing with a hungry friend or two (or three or four) is another option.
Blue Ash Chili
Three locations in Ohio
If you’re looking for an even bigger gastronomic challenge, then consider the appropriately named “No Freakin’ Way!” from Blue Ash Chili. This giant tray includes 2 ½ pounds of spaghetti and another 2 ½ pounds of chili, all topped with two pounds of cheddar cheese and one pound of jalapeño caps. That’s eight pounds of food that entrants have 60 minutes to finish. Success gets you a t-shirt, a spot on their wall of fame and a free meal. Failure gets you prime placement on their wall of shame… and a bill for $39.99.
Crown Candy Kitchen
St. Louis, Missouri
How much do you like malts? If you like them enough to eat five in one sitting, then consider trying the five-malt challenge at Crown Candy Kitchen. Located in Old North St. Louis, the ice cream parlor has a long-standing challenge (since 1913) to drink five malts in 30 minutes. Those who can — and do — down five malts get the cold refreshments for free, as well as a T-shirt, a place on the wall of fame and probably a colossal case of brain freeze.
Mel’s Country Cafe
Everything is bigger in Texas, as the saying goes. That’s certainly true at Mel’s Country Cafe, which offers the Mega Mel Burger challenge. It’s 1.5 pounds of ground beef, plus one full pound of bacon. Piled on top of that is a quarter pound of cheese and toppings. You have two hours to eat it all, and you must be able to walk and talk after you finish. Those who complete the challenge can see their name on the wall.
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap
There’s spicy, and then there’s food so spicy that you need to sign a waiver before you take a bite. At Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap in Chicago’s Near North Side, you can earn a spot on the restaurant’s Wall of Flame by eating eight of their Original XXX Hot Wings. The sauce for the wings features the Trinidad Scorpion Pepper, which is actually hotter than the legendary Ghost Pepper. There’s no time limit for finishing the challenge, and cooling agents are provided. You even get to wear a plastic firefighter’s helmet while your mouth burns.