For competitive eaters, there’s more to the northeastern United States than Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island every Fourth of July. From year-round restaurant challenges to festival eating contests, the northeast serves up some delicious challenges with a focus on regional specialties. Check out Tailgate Fan‘s take of some of the top eating competitions for the remainder of 2015.
1. Our House Bistro
When mom said “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” she probably wasn’t thinking of the Hungry Man Challenge at Our House Bistro in Winooski, Vermont. Willing contestants must eat their way through a skillet laden with waffles, Canadian bacon, sausage, eggs and more. If you finish in 45 minutes by yourself, you get the meal for free. And even if you don’t, you won’t be hungry again for a long time.
2. Brick Lane Curry House
Do you like your meals spicy? Well, just how spicy? The Phaal Challenge at the Brick Lane Curry House will challenge your stomach and tastebuds with some of the hottest curry pretty much anywhere. If you can eat this phaal, than you could probably eat fire (not that I would actually try). And your picture will be included in the restaurant’s P’Hall of Fame. This is no walk in the park, friends; participants must give a verbal disclaimer before digging in. Challenges can be booked in advance, too. Brick Lane Curry House has a total of five locations in New York and New Jersey.
3. Feast of San Gennaro
September 10-20, 2015
Score bragging rights and a trophy if you win the pizza-eating contest held during the Feast of San Gennaro in New York City’s Little Italy. Contestants have six minutes to gobble up as many pizza slices as possible during this fast-paced contest. The festival, now in its 89th year, will be held September 10 through September 20 and includes a parade, Mass, and other events.
4. East Petersburg Days 2015
September 17-19, 2015
How much do you love whoopie pies? If you’re a fan of the cream-filled baked goodies, then head out to East Petersburg, Pennsylvania, for East Petersburg Days 2015 September 17 through September 19. The festival will hold whoopie pie-eating contests for children and adults, where challengers must eat as many whoopie pies as possible within five minutes.
5. Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta
October 3-12, 2015
Bundle up and celebrate the arrival of fall — and eat your way through a pumpkin pie or two — at the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta. Held October 3 through October 12 in Damariscotta, Maine, the celebration of all things pumpkin includes a pumpkin pie-eating contest, where challengers must eat a pie as quickly as possible. The winner receives a commemorative T-shirt and a medal. Two age categories are available.
6. 32nd Annual Oyster Festival
How many oysters do you think you can eat? Those with an appetite for oysters can try their hand — or stomach — at the 32nd Annual Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay, New York, held October 17 and 18. In previous years, contestants had a time limit of two minutes and 40 seconds to eat as many oysters as possible. The contest is open to amateur eaters only, and the winner takes home $50. If that’s not enough, you can also participate in the oyster-shucking contest.
Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.