Food - General
By: - at June 6, 2013

19 Ridiculous Restaurant Food Challenges Around the World

strange food challengesThere are not very many people who do not have a favorite food or dish they enjoy having prepared for them either at home or at a specific restaurant or diner. Regardless of the country you live in, you can probably come up with a quick list of great places to have a delicious and enjoyable meal with your family members, friends and coworkers. However, there are also many different restaurants that offer dishes that are primarily designed to be admired from a distance, even though they may be just as tasty and appealing as all of the other delicacies available on the same menu. These are usually the dishes that you will find featured as competitive food challenges that many people try but few in comparison actually win. Many of the different challenges have been able to gain worldwide exposure through the Internet and various television programs, while other food challenges aren't as well known.

19)  The Big Eat at Wookey Hole  (Somerset, England)
Mince pies are usually served as holiday treats in many countries, such as in the U.S. as a Christmas dessert. When those special times of the year come around, most people can enjoy a few mince pies at the most before tucking the recipe away until the following year.

The Big Eat at Wookey Hole

The Big Eat at Wookey Hole Mince Pie Eating Challenge is held annually in Somerset, England where mince pies are always in season. This particular eating challenge is specifically designed to determine exactly how many mince pies can be eaten within 10 minutes.

The Big Eat at Wookey Hole

Hundreds of pies are usually eaten collectively by the panel of contestants in this popular food challenge each year. In 2011, there were actually two people who walked away from the competition as the winners. Michael Doggrell and Lee Palmer tied that year by both eating 19 mince pies within the allotted time, so they both shared the $1,000 pound prize. However, the all-time record for this particular competition was set by Sonya Thomas, a professional competitive eater from the U.S., after she ate 46 pies in 10 minutes in 2006.

18)  World Oyster Eating Championship  (Ireland)
World Oyster Eating ChampionshipThere are literally hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of people who come to Hillsborough, Ireland each year to witness the international World Oyster Eating Championship. Competitive eaters and people who really just enjoy eating oysters come to participate in this specific food challenge from all around the world. Before the competition begins, there is even an opening ceremony that allows the contestants to stand among the crowd on stage holding the flag of their respective countries.

The main goal of this particular food challenge is for the contestant to eat as many oysters as possible within three minutes. Each contestant is provided with a single tray of oysters and a tall glass of Guinness at the beginning of the competition. The trays are replaced with refilled trays after each one has been emptied during the actual challenge.

The current record for this competition was originally set in 2005 and then again matched seven years later by the same person – Colin Shirlow, a man who was able to consume 233 oysters within the allotted time frame in both years. He has faced some tough competition over the years from other record-breaking and record-setting men and women from around the world, but his record still stands strong. The simple fact that hundreds of oysters can be consumed by the same person in only a few minutes may quickly make even the strongest person sick to their stomach, but Shirlow has proven twice now that this monumental task can actually be achieved.

Colin Shirlow Oyster Eating World Champion:
Colin Shirlow Oyster Eating World Champion

17)  The Devastator Challenge  (London, England)
The Devastator ChallengeIf you have recently visited the Red Dog Saloon in London, England, chances are that you either heard of the Devastator Challenge, or you've had the chance to view a brave individual torture himself trying to win the competition. The Red Dog Saloon has been publicly praised and commended over the years since they first opened for creating some of the most delicious burger meals in all of England. However, The Devastator Challenge is not one to be taken lightly at all and is not for the casual eater that just decided to visit this particular restaurant to have a delicious meal.

When a restaurant guest volunteers to participate in The Devastator Challenge, the kitchen staff has to have enough time to prepare the feast because the burger that will need to be completely consumed in order to win the competition is not something that they regularly provide as a menu option. This burger has to be special-ordered and made specifically for these types of challenges. The basic lists of ingredients that are found within The Devastator include such things as: three 6 ounce beef burger patties; 200 grams of pulled pork; six slices of cheese along; and six bacon rashers. If you think that you would be able to handle this monstrous burger with little difficulty, keep in mind that the burger is not the only thing that needs to be eaten during these challenges. A contestant will also have to eat two side dishes (coleslaw and French Fries) and then wash it all down with a delicious milkshake – all in only 10 minutes.

The Devastator:
The Devastator Challenge

16)  Big Heavenly Burger Challenge  (Melbourne, Australia)
If you think you can handle a big burger challenge in under 10 minutes, then you should also consider the Big Heavenly Burger Challenge held at Captain America's in Melbourne, Australia throughout the year. Captain America's is primarily known for providing top-quality American dishes, such as cheeseburgers.

Big Heavenly Burger Challenge

These menu items make many American tourists and visitors feel right at home and provide local residents with a taste of American food just in case they never get the chance to visit the U.S. and taste it on their own. The burger is known as the Double No. 4 Heavenly Burger. This particular sandwich weighs over 2 pounds – and that does not include the 1.5 pounds of chips that the male and the almost 11 ounces of chips that the female contestants have to consume.

Heavenly Burger Challenge

There are no cash prizes involved, as with many other popular food challenges, but the select few who manage to consume all of this food within the allotted time can have their personal pictures and names put up for public display. The current world record for this particular challenge is 8 minutes for men and only 16 minutes for women. If you are able to beat the record, then you will not have to worry about paying the cost of the burger and will have your name and accomplishment honored on the restaurant's Wall of Fame.

15)  Full-O-Bull Challenge  (Fort Worth, Texas)
Can't get enough of chicken fried steak? You may think otherwise if you attempt this food challenge. The Cowtown Diner in Fort Worth, Texas has the "Full-O-Bull" challenge that hundreds of people attempt to win each year. The Cowtown Diner is known as one of the best places in Texas to get a delicious and juicy chicken fried steak. However, the Full-O-Bull Challenge breaks the boundaries of the average steak dinner.

Participants are given a 4-pound chicken fried steak smothered in gravy along with six pounds of mashed potatoes as well and 10 slices of Texas toast that all must be eaten in order to finish the challenge. One of the biggest differences between this particular challenge and many of the other ridiculous food challenges around the world is the amount of time that is provided to participants to finish this overwhelming meal.

Full-O-Bull Challenge at The Cowtown Diner in Fort Worth, Texas

Instead of an hour or even several hours, the Cowtown Diner allows participants to pay the cost of the meal upfront ($70) and then take the entire business day to finish it. If they are able to finish it during the diner's regular business hours, their bill is refunded and they will receive recognition on the Wall of Fame. As for those who don't complete the challenge? At least they will have plenty of leftovers to take home.

14)  The Kitchen Sink Pizza Challenge  (Valparaiso, Mich.)
J&J's Pizza Shack made it on this list thanks in large part to its multiple restaurants spread throughout Michigan that are all widely known as the homes of the Kitchen Sink Pizza Challenge. There are hundreds of different pizzerias and pizza restaurants around the world that offer different types of food challenges for their menu items, but J&J's Pizza Shack is featured on a much shorter list of restaurants that have been able to create a challenge that no one has ever beaten.

The Kitchen Sink Pizza Challenge

Many have tried to end the Kitchen Sink Pizza Challenge with a victory, but thus far, no one has come away victorious. This 6 pound, extra-large pizza is actually featured on the restaurant's regular menu but is designed to feed a party of between four and six people. However, people that are interested in taking the challenge have to be able to eat this monstrous pizza all by themselves. The Kitchen Sink Pizza is a 16 inch round pizza with a deep dish crust and is overflowing with a laundry list of toppings, including sausage, mozzarella cheese, Canadian bacon, olives, peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, bacon bits and ham. The main prize for this challenge? You won't have to fork out the cash afterward to pay for the pizza, provided you complete the challenge. This, of course, has proven to be a goldmine for J&J's Pizza Shack, since no one has actually won it yet.

13)  The Inferno Bowl  (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
In most cases, many people might think that eating a bowl of soup as a food challenge is not very ridiculous at all. It is fairly easy to digest even a monstrous-size bowl of soup within a specified period of time, especially since a lot of it is just liquid that can be consumed like a beverage. At least, that's what most people think when they decide to visit Nitally's ThaiMex Cuisine and agree to take the Inferno Bowl food challenge.

The Inferno Bowl

Participants are given a 48-ounce bowl that is filled with their signature soup and then allowed 30 minutes to finish eating it all. However, what the vast majority of contestants seem to overlook or underestimate is the list of ingredients that are used to make the actual soup. Aside from the traditional noodles that are clearly visible inside of the bowl, there are also 12 different types of peppers. In other words, it has a lot of "kick" to it. Peppers used include a variety of habanero peppers and green peppers. However, the key ingredient is the ghost pepper, considered one of the hottest peppers in the world. The grand prize for consuming the entire bowl within the allotted time is $800, but no one has been able to win this particular challenge.

12)  The 4-Pound Pho Garden Challenge  (San Francisco, Calif.)
If you are interested in trying your hand at another bowl meal challenge, but don't want the peppers, then consider heading to the Pho Garden in San Francisco. Like many of the other ridiculous food challenges across the globe, the Pho Garden Challenge is another one that can be easily misleading to the eyes. At first glance, this challenge may seem like you are receiving a nice-sized bowl of beef and noodles. However, those who take on this challenge will quickly realize that there is much more within the bowl than meets the eye.

The 4-Pound Pho Garden Challenge

There are actually 2 pounds of noodles along with 2 pounds of a special combination of beef mixed in as well. Most people are already aware that noodles swell within your stomach as they are digested, which is why many Asian restaurants provide noodles and rice with many of their most popular menu items. Therefore, being able to get through a bowl filled with 4 pounds of noodles and beef within an hour is much more difficult than it may seem. Successful participants who win the challenge do not have to pay for the meal and will also have their picture taken and posted on the Wall of Pho Garden Champions. You may never want to eat noodles again after this challenge, but it least your crowning moment will be immortalized at the restaurant.

pho challenge

11)  The 8-Pound Gus and Paul's Deli Sandwich  (Springfield, Massachusetts)
8-Pound Gus and Paul's Deli Sandwich ChallengeAnother ridiculous food challenge that seems at first glance like it's fairly easy based on the type of food involved is the 8-Pound Gus and Paul's Deli Sandwich Challenge. And like many of the other food challenges, completing this one can be far more difficult than it seems. Let's just say that you won't be asking for dessert afterward (or maybe ever). Even though Gus and Paul's provides an extensive list of deli sandwiches and other delicious menu options to choose from, this specific sandwich is not featured on that list.

Instead, the sandwich comes with half a pound of mustard that is layered on top of 8 pounds of corned beef, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, pickles and lettuce. Along with the sandwich, participants also have to eat a side of coleslaw, an order of French fries and a dinner roll. The good news is that the $60 bill for this meal is refunded to anyone who is able to win this challenge. The bad news? No one has won the challenge yet.

10)  The Nine-Pounder Burger  (Washington D.C.)
Washington, D.C. is famous for its restaurants – and the people who can be seen dining there. So, what are the odds that someone from the Oval Office will ever make his way to the BGR, The Burger Joint? Known for its delicious, juicy cheeseburgers, this restaurant has been in business for many years. Each of its multiple locations caters to thousands of customers each year. And they even have a special challenge for all those cheeseburger lovers: The Nine-Pound Burger Challenge.

Here's a hint: You really have to love your cheeseburgers. Those who sign up for this challenge quickly realize that the actual name of the contest is not completely accurate. After you add the bun, toppings and required condiments into the equation, the full sandwich actually weighs more than 15 pounds. Many people honestly believe that they can win this challenge mostly because they eat burgers with toppings on them all of the time. However, there are not many people in the world who can consume two full heads of lettuce, four pickles and three onions on a single sandwich. For a little bit comic relief –and also relief from indigestion and your poor, aching stomach – the restaurant also provides participants with a complimentary bottle of Maalox.

The Nine-Pounder Burger

9)  The Bacon Bomb Challenge  (Chicago)
Bacon has quickly become one of the most popular toppings for foods, beverages and even desserts in many countries around the world. It has also been the key ingredient in a wide variety of ridiculous food challenges worldwide. Take, for instance, the Bacon Bomb Challenge that is held at Paddy Long's in Chicago.

bacon bomb

The only price that has to be paid in order to join in on the fun is $50 for the sandwich itself. With a name like "Bacon Bomb," it should be apparently clear that bacon is the key ingredient. Here's a hint: You better like bacon – as in, lots of it – if you want to win this particular challenge.

bacon bomb challenge grilling

So, you may be saying to yourself, "I can handle a lot of bacon – I love bacon!," you better think again. It's not as easy as it seems. The sandwich itself consists of a 5 pound combination of beef, ground sausage and pork that is completely wrapped in a casing of bacon. Along with the sandwich itself, participants are also required to eat a side of fries within 45 minutes to win the challenge. Winners receive a refund on their bill, a free T-shirt as well as a designated spot for their name and picture on the Wall of Fame. But when you're finished, you probably will never look at bacon again the same way. That is, until the next food challenge.

8)  The Mongo Burrito Challenge  (Sarasota, Florida)
It truly is amazing how much food can be stuffed inside of a burrito. Even though the vast majority of restaurants that serve burritos only provide just enough food to satisfy their appetites, there are some restaurants around the world that sponsor ridiculous food challenges consisting of more than enough food for several people within a single serving. This is the case with the Mongo Burrito Challenge sponsored by Burritos Mexican Grill. The complete burrito weighs more than 8 pounds and must be completed by one person within one hour. Winners do not have to pay for their meals and can also receive either a complimentary dinner each month or $150, depending on whether they live in Florida.

Mongo Burrito Challenge

7)  The 15-Minute Ghost Wings Challenge  (Brooklyn Park, Minn.)
The Inferno Bowl challenge is definitely not the only ridiculous food challenge that is based more on the heat of the ingredients than the quantity of the food. The Girvan Grille in Brooklyn Park has also been able to create its own heat-based food challenge that requires participants to only eat 10 hot wings in 15 minutes. Any fan of hot wings will agree that this is almost too easy to do, especially since the average lover of wings can go through that many wings in just a fraction of that allotted time.

Ghost wing Challenge:
Ghost wing Challenge

However, it does not stop there. The Girvan Grille raised the stakes of the challenge by adding ghost chilies into the equation. These "ghost wings" are the ones that participants have to finish eating in less than 15 minutes, which adds a whole new level of difficulty to the challenge.

ghost wing challenge hall of fame girvan grille

Winners receive a free T-shirt from the restaurant and a picture posted on the "Wall of Flame" featured on the Girvan Grille website. Even though you only need to eat 10 wings to win, the restaurant record is currently set at 38. Of course, your mouth may be on fire afterward, but it's a small price to pay for hot wing immortality.

6)  54 Inch Pizza Team Challenge  (Los Angeles, Calif.)
If you want your friends to join in on the fun or just do not want to participate in a ridiculous food challenge all by yourself, then get together some of your hungriest friends and take on a team challenge. Big Mama's and Papa's Pizza is one of L.A.'s most popular pizza restaurants primarily because of its widely known 54 Inch Pizza Team Challenge. Many people are mistaken when they think that winning the challenge will be fairly easy, since they will not have to eat the full pizza on their own. However, they realize just how wrong they were after taking the various measurements of the pizza into consideration. For instance, more than 20 pounds of dough is used to create this pizza, along with over 6 pounds of pizza sauce and 12 pounds of cheese. A team of no more than five people are allowed to take this challenge and, if the team is able to eat the full pizza within two hours, they will be able to split $1,000 as the grand prize. Or, like most people, they'll finish with full bellies and a whole lot of pizza left over to take home.

Big Mama's and Papa's Pizza Team Challenge

5)  Lone Star 87-oz. Beef Challenge  (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
The Lone Star Bar and Grill has been a longtime tourist attraction within the beautiful state of New York, primarily because of the superior customer service and delicious menu options. However, what seem to draw crowds even more than the food are the brave – and hungry – souls who decide to take the Lone Star 87-oz. Beef Challenge. Keep in mind that 87 ounces is equivalent to almost 5 1/2 pounds of meat.

Lone Star 87-oz. Beef Challenge

As if that is not enough, the restaurant requires that participants also finish eating a side that they can personally choose from on the menu. Even though it may seem like an impossible task, there have been many people who have walked away from the Lone Star Bar and Grill as challenger winners, and they have free T-shirts and posted photographs online to prove it. Along with the bragging rights, online recognition and free clothing, a key motivation for the average challenge participants is the fact that they will have to pay $87 for their meal if they do not finish.

4)  A Burger Lover’s Dream  (Clinton, N.J.)
In Clinton, New Jersey, burger lovers, invigorated with a team-type spirit, can get their 50 lb. burger free if they can eat the monstrosity in three hours with the help of four burger-loving friends. The 50-pound burger, dubbed Mt. Olympus, is featured on the menu at the Clinton Station Diner as is the seven pound burger called Zeus. If you finish the Zeus burger in 90 minutes with a friend, or by yourself in three hours, then that burger is free as well. Eat the diner’s three pound Atlas burger by yourself in 2 hours or gobble it up with a friend in 45 minutes and it’s also free.

Clinton Station Diner Mt. Olympus

3)  The Port Royal Challenge  (Islip, N.Y.)
Should you happen to be in Islip, New York and are famished, then you may want to take on the Port Royal Challenge at the Port Royal Pub & Grille. Consume one of these two large meals in an hour and all the food is free. Either choose from the Davy Jones Locker meal, a smorgasbord consisting of two jumbo seafood stuffed flounder, two pounds of snow crab legs, and a pound each, of jumbo shrimp, steamed mussels, and fried clam.  Or if you are more of a meat man/woman the Landlubber BBQ meal.  The BBQ bounty includes a rack of baby back ribs, a pound of pork, chicken and brisket, and one-half of a barbecued chicken. Two sides and a soup or salad are included as well.

Landlubber Port Royal Challenge

2)  A Free Meal in Amarillo  (Amarillo, Texas)
For instance, in Amarillo, Texas, you can get your meal free if you can consume a 72 ounce steak within 60 minutes. Visit the Big Texan Steak Ranch and see if you can add your name to past steak-eating winners. Dinner is served with a baked potato, shrimp cocktail, a salad and a roll.

The following video provides a tour of the restaurant:

1)   King Kong Challenge  (Alliance, OH.)
We all love a good old fashion burger challenge, as the Aussie's of "The Captain America Burger" pointed out.  So, what about the American home of Superman?  What do they have to offer?  In, Alliance OH, they will offer you the King Kong Challenge.  Here, you will be challenged to eat, not one, not two, but three 2-pound burgers all topped off with a quarter pound of ham and bacon.  Not enough? 

King Kong Challenge

Throw in a small fries, a side of your choice of applesauce, coleslaw or cottage cheese, and of course you'll need a liter pop to wash it all down.  Eat it all in 30 minutes, and you walk away with a free meal, T-shirt, and Doug's Diner Mug.  If that still isn't enough, then put your money where your mouth is. Eat one more King Kong Burger, and Doug's Diner will pay YOU $100 bucks!

Doug's Diner, Alliance OH

Final Thoughts
Think Your Hungry Enough? Throughout the world, there are professional competitive eaters who make their living competing in international competitions. However, the number of people who work in this particular field is microscopic when compared to the thousands of people around the world who attempt these ridiculous food challenges either just for a free meal, a little money or a complimentary T-shirt. Many people enjoy participating in these various types of challenges to satisfy their competitive spirits.

Others just compete in them to have a great time while out on the town with their family and friends. Some even do it because someone dared them. Regardless of the reason, it is vital that they keep in mind their individual health limitation and dietary restrictions. Finishing off a food challenge with a trip to the emergency room – along with a free T-shirt and free meal – probably isn't worth it.





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