Wing King Challenge

10 food challenges to try this summer

When a regular meal simply won’t do, why not conquer a culinary challenge this summer? You don’t have to be a professional eater to attempt these tasty feasts of strength.

From hamburgers to chicken wings to doughnuts, there are plenty of palate-pleasing alternatives to sitting down for a simple meal. Dig in – if you dare!

Kookamonga Burger Challenge at Kooky Canuck, Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Kookamonga Burger Challenge

Kookamonga Burger Challenge (Image: Jay Adkins – Memphis, Tenn.)

Kooky Canuck owners Lana and Shawn Danko were inspired by a burger challenge they encountered on a family trip to Illinois. It led to the creation of a trio of hamburger challenges at the Memphis, Tennessee restaurant: the 4-pound Kookamonga Challenge for solo eaters; the 6-pound Kookamonga Challenge for two who consume 12 pounds of meat total; and the 12-pound Kookamonga Challenge for a quartet of carnivores who consume 25 pounds of meat as a team.

The original 4-pound Kookamonga Challenge involves one person eating one 4-pound ground chuck patty cooked on a flat-top griddle, a two-pound bun, a pound-and-a-half of lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and cheese topped with a whole dill pickle (a total 12,387 calories; the side of fries is optional). The burger must be consumed in one hour (no purging and contestants must have an empty mouth before time is called). It’s one of the toughest challenges around with a .62-percent success rate.

It wasn’t until a year and half after opening the restaurant and inaugurating the contest in 2005 that Patrick Bertoletti completed the very first challenge in 11 minutes and 21 seconds. Since then, there have been 4,182 attempts and 23 people have completed the challenge. The fastest time overall belongs to Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, who completed the challenge in 4 minutes and 43 seconds. Those who consume the $35.99 burger in one hour get it for free along with a framed color photo placed on the restaurant’s wall of fame.


The Bomb Challenge at Paddy Long’s, Chicago, Illinois, United States

The Bomb Challenge

The Bomb Challenge (Image: Paddy Long’s)

Those who take on The Bomb Challenge at Paddy Long’s in Chicago, Ill. have 45 minutes to consume a five-pound bacon, sausage and ground pork meatloaf wrapped with a maple and brown sugar glazed bacon weave and one pound of French fries.

“Though The Bomb was intended to be shared amongst groups of bacon lovers, the idea that there might be a few gifted/masochistic bacon maniacs out there who could eat the entire bomb on their own was too intriguing, and it certainly gets people talking!” said Andy Aronis, manager of Paddy Long’s.

Of the 91 challenge attempts in four years, only seven brave souls have managed to devour The Bomb, including Jamie “The Bear” McDonald, who completed The Bomb Challenge in 8 minutes and 10 seconds. They were each rewarded with the meal being free (a $70 value), a T-shirt, their name added to the restaurant’s wall and the “admiration/disgust of their friends,” according to Aronis.

“There is nothing about The Bomb that makes it easy for professional, or especially non-professional, eaters. It’s a huge, hot, spicy, dense rugby ball of bacon, and just when you think it’s over, there’s 1 pound of fries still waiting for you,” said Aronis.

The Broken Yolk Café Challenge at The Broken Yolk Café, Southern California, United States

The Broken Yolk Cafe Challenge

The Broken Yolk Cafe Challenge (Image: The Broken Yolk Cafe)

Since 1986, hundreds of diners, including “Man v. Food host Adam Richman, have taken on The Broken Yolk Café Challenge at one of the 16 Southern California locations of The Broken Yolk Café. It’s a 12-egg omelet filled with mushrooms, onions, American cheese and smothered with chili and more cheese accompanied with a pile of home fries and two biscuits served on a 15-inch pizza pan. Folks have one hour to eat the $29.95 breakfast. If they do, along with a free meal, they get a T-shirt and their name added to the wall of fame.

Wing King Challenge at West End Tavern, Boulder, Colorado, United States

Wing King Challenge

Wing King Challenge (Image: West End Tavern)

Twice a year – February 17 and July 29 (National Wing Day) – patrons of the West End Tavern can test their eating skills at the Wing King Challenge in Boulder, Colorado. The challenge is to eat 50 Buffalo wings in 30 minutes or less. Diners pay a $25 entry fee, which includes all the wings they can eat in 30 minutes. Those who eat 50 buffalo wings, a feat only achieved 5 percent of the time, also get a $25 gift card and a Wing King T-shirt, along with bragging rights. If there is more than one person that finishes the 50 wings, the overall title goes to whoever finished them the quickest. That overall winner gets free wings for a year, their framed mug shot in a place of Tavern-ly honor, as well as on the restaurant’s website, and a $100 gift card. Think you can handle the heat? Richman of “Man v. Food tried and was defeated.

Mick and Angelo’s Italian Challenge at Mick & Angelo’s, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Mick and Angelo’s Italian Challenge

Mick and Angelo’s Italian Challenge (Image: Mick & Angelo’s)

Since Mick & Angelo’s opened 20 years ago, the Niagara Falls Italian restaurant has offered the Mick and Angelo’s Italian Challenge, a fun way to feature all the restaurant’s most famous handmade Italian dishes. The 90-minute challenge begins with the daily soup and a fresh loaf of garlic bread. Then come the entrees: homemade lasagna, chicken parmigiana, cheese manicotti, meatballs, spicy sausage and spaghetti. The finale is a red velvet cupcake. Regardless of finishing or not, guests who attempt this 7-pound food challenge get their photos on the Mick & Angelo’s Facebook page. Those who are successful get the meal for free along with a Mick & Angelo’s T-shirt. Folks who don’t finish must pay $48.19 plus 18-percent gratuity.

Ultimate Destroyer Challenge at Papa Bob’s Bar-B-Que, Bonner Springs, Kansas, United States

Ultimate Destroyer Challenge

Ultimate Destroyer Challenge (Image: Papa Bob’s Bar-B-Que)

Originally designed by Bob Caviar, owner of Kansas restaurant Papa Bob’s Bar-B-Que, for a family or friends to share, the 12-inch Ultimate Destroyer sandwich ultimately became a challenge at the urging of Caviar’s friends.

The foot-long hoagie bun is stuffed with a half pound of pulled pork, a half pound of sliced pork with sauce and two slices of white bread for stability, followed with a half pound of smoked turkey and a half pound of smoked ham with more sauce and two more slices of bread, followed by three half-pound smoked hamburgers with even more sauce and more bread, followed by a half pound of smoked brisket and a half pound of smoked barbecue sausage with yet more sauce. It includes more than 1-pound of French fries and either four pickle spears or four jalapeno peppers. Eat all this in 45 minutes or less, without going to the restroom, dipping any part of the meal in drinks or using the “UP-CHUCK” bucket and you win the sandwich, a T-shirt, an “I Survived the Ultimate Destroyer” button, an exuberant shout of “Attaboy or an Attagirl” and your picture is added to the “Wall of Fame,” which consists of only five people who have destroyed the Ultimate Destroyer. Can’t finish or keep the sandwich down for at least five minutes after your last bite? It will cost you $62, you will be added to the “Wall of Shame” and the friendly staff will pack up the rest for you to take home.

Malt Challenge at Crown Candy Kitchen, St. Louis, Missouri, United States

One of the oldest food challenges around, Crown Candy Kitchen in St. Louis, Mo. dares customers to drink five malts in 30 minutes. Since 1913, the old-school soda fountain, kitchen and candy shop founded by Harry Karandzieff and his best friend Pete Jugaloff, has had a policy of giving away the frosty malts to anyone who can slurp down five malts in a half-hour. The 24-ounce malts are made with three large scoops of ice cream, fresh milk and old-fashioned malted milk powder.

Death Roll Challenge at Superb Sushi, Boise, Idaho, United States

Death Roll Challenge

Death Roll Challenge (Image: Superb Sushi)

Many have taken the Death Roll Challenge but only 18 have succeeded at downing a “Bowl of miso soup from HELL” and one Death Roll, a spicy tuna roll infused with a teaspoon of bhut jolokia powder and one teaspoon of Demons Blood, two diced Habanero peppers, and one diced bhut jolokia pepper and topped with one Habanero pepper, one diced bhut jolokia chile, “Hot Streak” Death sauce, Superb Sushi’s secret “Heat Seeker” sauce and even more jolokia powder, along with a side of “#2 Death Sauce” topped with Demons Blood. The secret sauces include fiery ingredients like cayenne pepper, wasabi powder, horseradish root, chipotle pepper and Sriracha pepper.

Challengers must eat the soup, the entire roll and side of Death Sauce. They cannot drink anything and must wait five minutes after eating to be granted Elite Heat Status. Those who finish get the meal for free along with a T-shirt and picture on the Idaho restaurant’s “Wall of Flame.” Those who fail pay $20 for the attempt.

5-Pound Philly Challenge! at Jake’s Sandwich Board: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

5-Pound Philly Challenge!

5-Pound Philly Challenge! (Image: Jake’s Sandwich Board)

The folks at Jake’s Sandwich Board saw a lot of food challenges around the country and thought they could create one to top them all, Jake’s 5-pound Philly Challenge in Philadelphia, Pa. The Philly-themed food challenge consisting of a 2-foot cheesesteak, 24 Peanut Chews, 12 Tastykakes, four soft pretzels and one cherry soda. Challengers have 45 minutes to complete the meal. Only five folks have successfully finished the $34.95 feast. Those who can beat the beastly meal get it free along with a free Jake’s T-shirt and their picture added to the wall of fame.

Tex-Ass Challenge at Voodoo Doughnut, Eugene and Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado, United States

Tex-Ass Challenge

Tex-Ass Challenge (Image: Voodoo Doughnut)

When Voodoo Doughnut first opened its doors, the business hours were from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m., attracting drunken night crowds who boasted they would eat the Tex-Ass doughnut (a large glazed doughnut equivalent to six of its regular-sized doughnuts) in under a minute-and-a-half. Voodoo Doughnut decided to let them put their money where their mouths were – literally. Hundreds have accepted the challenge and have been successful including Travel Channel’s Richman.

The four Voodoo Doughnut locations are now open 24/7 allowing anyone to take on the challenge anytime. Those who eat the $4.25 Tex-Ass doughnut in 80 seconds or less get it for free along with a one-inch button that emblazoned with “I won the Tex-Ass Challenge at Voodoo Doughnut!”

For an added challenge, Voodoo Doughnut hosts a monthly First Friday eating contest at its original location in downtown Portland, Ore. Up to five people can sign up. Each contestant gets a box of doughnuts, picked out by the staff. The first person to eat all the doughnuts in the box wins a Voodoo Doughnut T-shirt, the 1” button and bragging rights.


(Main Image: West End Tavern)

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