Ever want to try a 5-pound burger? How about a rack of ribs that can only be served on a shovel?
Well, you don’t have to be a professional, competitive eater to try out these super-sized food contests (although it does help). Check out some of New England’s top gut-busting food challenges.
— Matt Juul, Boston.com Correspondent
1918 Beacon St., Brighton
A favorite eatery among Boston College students, this Brighton deli’s famed challenge, once featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food’’ program, is not for the faint of heart. To beat the Eagle’s Challenge, one must consume a 5-pound burger topped with 20 pieces of bacon and 20 pieces of American cheese, along with a 5-pound side of fries, one deli pickle, and a fountain soda — all in under an hour.
Prize: Finish the monstrous meal in time and not only will you get your money back, but you will also receive a $100 gift card, a T-shirt, and your picture on the deli’s wall of fame.
KC’s Rib Shack
837 Second St., Manchester, N.H.
KC’s Rib Shack’s super-sized BBQ challenge is so large, it’s served on a shovel. According to owner Kevin Cornish, only two people to date have finished the “6 Pound Feedbag Challenge,’’ which is made-up of a rack of ribs (weighing in at 4 pounds before cooking) as well as a half p0und each of pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked sausage, pulled chicken, baked beans, and coleslaw, plus two pieces of cornbread. Competitors must finish the gigantic meal within a half hour to be declared a winner.
Prize: Conquer the shovel and the meal is on the house. Winners also recieve a free T-shirt as well as their picture on the rib shack’s wall of fame.
Mass Ave Tavern
94 Massachusetts Ave., Boston
According to Mass Ave Tavern director of operations Mark Grzelak, hundreds of attempts have been made to conquer the Uncle Buck Pancake Challenge through the years. However, only one person has finished the 6 pounds of pancakes topped with three ice cream scoops of butter and drenched with maple syrup within the one hour time limit.
To this day, the identity of the lone victor remains a mystery as the man refused to give his name or have his picture taken.
If you’d like to try the challenge, know that you have to sign a waiver and that you are not allowed to use the rest room during the contest.
Prize: If you win, the pancakes are free and you get your picture on the tavern’s wall as well as a free hat.
Big Fatty’s BBQ
1547 Maple St., Hartford, Vt.
If you’re a pork lover, then you are going to love this Vermont barbecue’s porcine-packed challenge. The “Big Fatty and Fries’’ is 4 pounds of food, consisting of 2 pounds of pork on a 1-pound bun (baked in house), which is then soaked in a whisky maple BBQ sauce. Contestants must eat the entire sandwich, with a pound of fries on the side, in under an hour.
Challengers are allowed to drink whatever they want during the contest, but once the clock starts, they are not allowed to leave the dining area for any kind of break.
Prize: Those who complete the giant pork sandwich challenge get a picture on the restaurant’s wall of fame as well as a free T-shirt.
64 Water St., Worcester
Named after New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, the “Gronk Challenge’’ at the Perfect Game is no easy task for even the seasoned eater.
According to co-owner Michael Erlich, only four people have successfully finished the challenge within the 30-minute time limit. The meal, which includes a basket of fries, consists of a 24 ounce burger served on an Italian loaf and topped with eight slices of bacon, seven pieces of kielbasa, a half pound of American cheese, and loaded with onion rings.
Prize: Challengers who successfully topple the “Gronk Challenge’’ get the meal free of charge.
The Cheese Truck
Cost: $6-$7 per sandwich, between $60-$70 total
Hungry for some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches? Then track down the Cheese Truck as it roams the streets of New Haven.
The mobile eatery’s challenge, which has been featured on “Man vs. Food Nation,’’ consists of 10 grilled cheese sandwiches each containing at least one topping of the challenger’s choice. According to co-owner Tom Sobocinski, only four people have successfully completed the feat within the one hour time limit.
Prize: Winners do not have to pay for the challenge and get a sandwich named after them, as well as one free sandwich a week for a year.
90 North Main St., Wolfeboro, N.H.
While 22 people have successfully taken down the “Moose Burger Challenge’’ at the Wolfe’s Tavern since 2009, no one’s been able to finish it as fast as competitive eater Tom Gilbert. According to Wolfeboro Inn general manager George Sodeberg, Gilbert ate the entire meal in just nine minutes, 45 seconds, consuming in record time the 2-pound burger, which is topped with a half pound of bacon, half pound of cheese, and more — and it’s served on a house-baked loaf of bread with a pound of fries on the side.
Prize: If you can eat the entire meal you will recieve a free T-shirt, your name on a plaque at the tavern’s entrance, and a $15 gift card.
Pittsfield Original General Store
3963 Vermont 100, Pittsfield, Vt.
The Original General Store in Pittsfield offers a home-style, country breakfast but on a super-sized scale. The “Green Mountain Feast’’ is an enormous morning meal made up of six pancakes, two pieces of French toast, six eggs, six strips of bacon, two orders of home fries, and two orders of toast. Contestants must finish in 30 minutes less.
Prize: Finish the feast and the big breakfast is on the house.
811 Harrison Ave., Boston
You better come hungry to Boston’s South End if you want to take on Andre’s Cafe’s burger challenge. In 45 minutes or less, contestants must eat four half-pound burgers filled with toppings of their choosing and includes a half pound of fries.
Prize: The first person to beat it gets the challenge named after them while all winners get the meal for free plus their picture on the restuarant’s wall of fame. Losers have to pay for the meal and also get their picture up, albeit on the cafe’s wall of shame.
77 Free St., Portland, Maine
Cost: varies by challenge
Binga’s Stadium in Portland, Maine, has a trio of challenges for hungry foodies to try. The restaurant’s three contests, collectively called Binga’s Oral Assault Test (B.O.A.T.) challenges, consists of two gigantically portioned meals and one spicy serving of chicken tenders.
The “Meat Mountain,’’ which costs $39.99 and must be eaten in 30 minutes, contains 5 pounds of meat, including chicken tenders, smoked wings, pulled pork, brisket, and whatever else they choose to add, as well as more than a pound of fries.
The “’08 Hate,’’ while significantly smaller in size, is also Binga’s spiciest dish, made up of six chicken tenders drenched in the restaurant’s signature fire sauce. Challengers must consume the entire meal, priced at $14.99, within 20 minutes and are not allowed to drink any liquids during the competition or for three minutes after they finish.
Binga’s also has an all-you-can-eat wings challenge.
Prize: Winners don’t have to pay for the challenges and earn bragging rights, of course.
Griff’s Chicken Shack
3000 Whitney Ave., Hamden, Conn.
Cost: $21.20 for challenge minimum of 15 tenders
Think you got what it takes to beat Griff’s Chicken Shack’s chicken tender challenge? Contestants must order at least 15 of the Hamden establishment’s famed tenders and eat at least 10 to secure a spot on the “Man vs. Bird Wall of Fame.’’
The current record is 36 tenders, held by competitive eater Jamie “the Bear’’ McDonald (pictured) who beat his previous record of 32 this past January. Owner Scott Griffin said that McDonald trains for eating competitions at Griff’s and recently won a cool $20,000 by consuming 287 wings to win this year’s Wing Bowl 21.
Prize: Contestants who finish at least 10 tenders get a picture on the wall of fame and get to either take home the leftovers or stay at the shack and eat more on the house. Challengers who can break the “normal person’’ (i.e. noncompetitive eaters) record of 25 get the meal for free.
Rozzi’s Lakeshore Tavern
1072 W Lakeshore Drive, Colchester, Vt.
One of Vermont’s premier burger joints, Rozzi’s Lakeshore Tavern in Colchester boasts an impressive selection of almost 30 different kinds of burgers. However, the restaurant’s real claim to fame is its “Dozer Challenge.’’
This behemoth of a burger is made up of two 1-pound patties, eight slices of bacon, four slices of cheese, and a myriad of other toppings, and it’s served on a cornbread roll. The meal also comes with a large order of fries and must be eaten within 30 minutes.
Prize: Winners get a free T-shirt and a spot on the Dozer wall of fame.