Some people like a challenge. Life isn’t worth it without a challenge to test their skills and mental toughness against. Which explains the existence of extreme sports and their popularity. But not all challenges are about using your brain and brawn. Some are about the size of your appetite. Food challenges are spreading all over the country and restaurants are using them as a marketing ploy. But I think we can all agree that they are fun to take part in or even just watch. Here are 10 of the most deliciously difficult food challenges out there.
10. The 8th Wonder Challenge
We’ll start our journey of the 10 toughest food challenges from New Jersey. Clinton Station Diner has been running this challenge for years now and many have tried it. So if you have an insatiable appetite for burgers and you feel your stomach can take it, head over to the diner in Clinton, NJ, with 10 of your most stalwart friends to take up this challenge. Dubbed The 8th Wonder Challenge on social media, this challenge is about eating a 105 pounds burger in less than 1 hour. Now it’s important to remember that the monstrous burger itself costs $411.25 but if you manage to beat the challenge and finish the whole thing in under 60 minutes, you stand to win $5000. Easy, right? Not really. I mean have you looked at the bun on that thing? The picture shows a contestant by the name of Kay Angrum who tried to take up the challenge. She posted it on her twitter account. What she’s holding here is only one portion of the burger which is larger than her whole head. And just to be clear, this is not the 105 pounds burger either. Angrum was trying another challenge called Mt. Olympus. This picture shows a slice of the 50 pounds burger. So double that portion and see if your belly has enough room for it.
9. The Pizza Challenge
For this next challenge, you need to be a pizza lover. Which is a requirement that we all proudly satisfy. But loving pizza is one thing and willing to go to extremes for your love is a whole different ball game. Take this challenge held by J&J’s Kitchen Sink in Northern Indiana. It’s a pizza but not your average pie either. You can call it the mother of all pizzas. We’re talking 16 inches of goodness in diameter and weighs 6 pounds on a good day. Now it’s easy to imagine yourself devouring all this on an empty stomach. And just to whet your appetite let me tell you what’s in it. You’ll have sausage, Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms, onions, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, green peppers, green olives, ham, and bacon bits. And if you’re wondering why this challenge has not been beaten yet you need to take a look at some of the rules. You can’t leave the table once you’ve started the challenge, you can’t throw up, and you need to finish the challenge within 60 minutes. It’s no surprise that over the past 27 years a little more than 100 people have tried and failed this challenge. With 20 slices to finish of the deep-dish super pizza, no human stomach has been big enough to conquer this one.
8. The Pancake Challenge
Not all heroes wear capes and not all food challenges are about meat and pizza. Even the sweet and innocent pancake can go up to you and challenge you to a duel to the death. Just ask the folks at Seiad Valley, California where Seiad Valley Store and Cafe has been serving happy customers for years. The cafe decided to get this pancake challenge going because every other restaurant was doing it so why not them? The challenge is 5 pounds of pancakes drenched in butter and syrup and you have 2 hours to finish the whole thing. And yes the pancakes are buttery and fluffy, but seriously you’ll have a hard time going through just one let alone five of them. As usual, the challenge welcomed many aspiring contestants who all came to the place with high hopes which soon dimmed once they saw the large pancakes, weighing about one pound each. Still, if you find yourself near the cafe go ahead and give the challenge a try.
7. The Grill Challenge
Stadium Grill in Columbia, Missouri, brings us another challenge that has been daring foodies and diners from all over the country to finish it. The restaurant offers different types of grills so you know that when they offer a grill challenge it will be worth it. They call it The Hail Mary Challenge and it’s a fitting name as well. To claim the prize which is $50 worth of food per month for a whole year, you’ll need to go through the “Unnecessary Roughness Burger” and come out victorious. The burger is a huge bun stuffed with 5 pounds of meat, bacon, and pork in the form of a burger. In between, you’ll see three types of cheese, fried eggs, and onion rings. There’s also a side dish of fries which weighs one pound. It costs $49.99 to enter the contest and if you win you won’t have to pay for the meal. And since nobody has yet to claim the honor, the burger will be renamed after the first winner. But since you only have one hour to clean all your plates, the dish still goes by its working title.
6. The Spicy Challenge
A dash of spice in your food makes for an enjoyable meal. Some people prefer hot food while others can’t have it unless copious amounts of chili have been added to their plate. And it’s for the latter group that our next challenge has been designed. St. Petersburg, Florida, has an exotic restaurant called Nitally’s ThaiMex Cuisine that loves to spice it up for its customers. The challenge which started back in 2009 has been making diners tear up, not as much out of frustration as of its red-hotness. Just the name, The Inferno Bowl, is enough to make one shudder. Unlike other challenges on this list, this one is not about the proportion but about how many spices can your mouth and stomach take. And also unlike the many of the entries here, this one was beaten in 2013. Simply put the bowl of soup serves 48 ounces of 12 types of peppers that come from all over the globe. Mixed together in a unique style that draws from both Mexican and Thai traditions, the soup will make your eyes pop out and your stomach turn into an active volcano. The time slot is also limited since you only have 30 minutes to finish. Anyone who can hold this bowl of fiery soup without throwing up is tough enough to handle anything life throws at them.
5. The Burger Challenge
Another burger challenge but this time on the West Coast. Danville, California is home to That Bar which came up with this challenge to draw customers and spice up business. And while it’s easy to create a huge burger sandwich and challenge any diner to finish it on time, you really need to get creative if you want your sandwich to go viral on social media and become the talk of the town. To their credit, the people at That Bar put their heads together and came up with a unique challenge that has yet to be beaten. Rather than go large like their Texan counterparts, the chefs in That Bar decided to refine the sandwich. The hug bun has two beef patties made of Angus Beef. One of the beef patties has a hole in it where a grilled cheese sandwich is snuggly squeezed in. And that’s not the only cheese you get with your burger. There are 4 types of cheese crammed in there. And just to stack the odds even more against you there’s a bacon patty hidden inside the mountain of cheese and beef. The fries just add that extra garnish to round up this sizeable feat. Oh, and you only have one hour to devour the whole thing in one sitting.
4. The Breakfast Challenge
The UK has a place on this list as well. If you’re familiar with British humor you’ll appreciate this challenge. It’s called the Kidz Breakfast Challenge. Not because it’s for kids but because it weighs almost as much as a child. The 6,000 calories breakfast is a wonder of its own. As the picture shows you have 12 sausages to get you started, then you have to rush through 12 slices of bacon, 14 eggs some are fried and some make a huge omelet, 4 slices of toast, 4 more slices of bread with butter, and yet 4 more slices of fried bread. Having made it so far you still have to make room for mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns, fries, and 4 slices of black pudding. We mentioned the British sense of humor but it’s obvious the British take their breakfast seriously. This gigantic breakfast weighs 9 pounds and you have to finish it within one hour. Joking aside, this one terrible way to have a heart attack. Imagine consuming 6,000 calories in one hour? Still, the publicity and media coverage was good for business and the restaurant owner must be proud of his idea and how it had paid off.
3. The Beef Challenge
Still in Britain where The Breaking Badass, a beef challenge will take you to extremes you never thought existed. Seriously, the only way to finish this beef fest is if you hate-eat your way through it. Just take a look at this picture. Now let’s list the contents in detail. This challenge dishes out beef brisket and ribs, a whole rack of pork ribs, chicken wings, smoked hog, and sausage. And that’s just the meat part. Veggies are represented by three-bean chili and then you have the usual assortments of buns, coleslaw, and fries just to help you down all this meat. Again you only have one hour to finish it. And while many heroic English men and women have given it their very best, none have managed to finish the task on time. We’re talking about UK foodies who make it a mission in life to take up any food challenge and beat it into submission. None have managed it. It’s just there’s too much red meat in there to stomach all at once. The Longhorns Barbeque Smokehouse in Newcastle, UK, must be really satisfied with their culinary challenge.
2. The Bomb Challenge
There’s a reason they call it the Bomb. Not just because it eerily looks like one, but because its contents are nothing but a mesh of explosive meat that will take you down even as you fiddle with it. This challenge comes from Paddy Long in Chicago, IL. It weighs 5 pounds and contains ground sausage, bacon, and beef all nicely mixed and wrapped in bacon smothered in brown sugar. And did we mention that the core of the bomb contains cracked pepper bacon? You also need to finish all the fries which are usually served to 8 people on a good day. And the time limit? Just 45 minutes. But if you win you get the meal for free, your name appears on the wall of the restaurant and you also get a T-shirt that says you have a stomach of steel. Needless to say many have tried in vain. In the end, they all had to pay for their meal and concede defeat.
1. The Chicken Fried Steak Challenge
By now and judging by the challenges on the list we are slowly coming to the realization that both the constraints of time and proportions can turn any dish into an ordeal. As the minutes tick away each bite becomes harder and harder to swallow. And no matter how much you love what’s in front of you, right now in the middle of the challenge you’d rather be doing anything but shoving the next morsel into your mouth. But you feel the end is within reach and you’re all fired up to get there and win even as that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach is getting heavier and heavier. And this is why this challenge at Cowtown Diner in Fort Worth, Texas has yet to claim a winner. It’s called the Full-o-Bull Challenge and this being Texas you know that this will be a big challenge. But the word big doesn’t even begin to describe it. This challenge has three components. First, you need to finish a chicken fried steak that weighs a whopping 64 ounces. Then you turn to the pizza served under the chicken. It’s a 10-pound pizza that measures 14 inches and contains all the toppings you crave on a normal day. Having successfully finished both the chicken steak and pizza, it’s time to turn your attention to the side dishes. Four pounds of mashed potatoes and Texas toast (10 pieces) need to be finished on time. And by on time, we mean around the time the restaurant closes. That’s right. This challenge is so mind-boggling, the restaurant gives you from 7 AM when it opens its doors until 1 AM to finish it. And for the past couple of years, not a single one of the 175 people who tried this challenge have managed to claim the winning shirt. Could it be you next? If you feel you have what it takes to win any of these challenges, why not give them a try?