Recently I went to Man Vs Food in London. The place has eating challenges at its core, even the non-challenge meals are outlandish creations you would expect to see at US fairs, e.g. they do a Krispy Kreme burger, that despite sounding strange is actually good. For the less adventurous, they do ribs and steaks. However, I was there to take on a single patty burger that I heard was quite big.
I placed my order and waited. After 30 minutes, they rang a bell and announced to the whole restaurant that the challenge was about to begin. On the counter, I saw what I would be up against.
Now this, is a big burger.
The 7lb behemoth consists of:
- single beef patty (choice of chicken breast or veggie patty available)
- topped with a heaping pile of cheese
- resting on a bed of healthy vegetables
- on top of a generous helping of mayonnaise
- all sandwiched between a burger bun the size of a cake
If you manage to eat it in under 40 minutes, your table gets the bill up to that point for free, you get the meal for free, a T-shirt, and £250 cash. A very worthwhile prize.
Sounds easy right? I mean, its just one patty and no crazy ingredients, how bad could it be? Well, let’s just say it’s called the belly buster for a reason.
I tackled this one by going for the patty first, followed by vegetables before finishing with the bun. My tactic was to go as fast as possible at the start for as long as possible and then to coast it to the end. I started from the centre since it was hot and juicy, plus all the cheese was still melted on top. I did not want to be having to deal with a lot of cold cheese at the end, so decided to get it out of the way first. The centre went down easily, the cheese actually helped.
10 minutes in, I was still going at the patty, I was actually starting to feel full at this point and doubt flashed across my mind. However, I did not come to lose, so I pressed on. I started to combine the patty with the vegetables and mayo to help get everything down without having to rely too much on water. It was part of the challenge anyway, so I wanted to use it to my advantage. When the centre was done, I started working on the outside of the patty. By now I was tired of beef, so I tried to make a burger out of the buns and what I had left. That did not work though, the bun was too big and dense, so it actually made it harder. I had to set the top bun aside.
Tackling the bun was just a matter of perseverance. It went down surprisingly easily compared to the patty. By this point I was tired of water, so a carbonated drink helped mix up the flavours and coast this burger to the end. Overall, just over 30 minutes to complete, quite happy with that.
Safe to say, I was pretty full for a few days after that burger. Overall, it was a fun experience with the restaurant and the crowd being supportive. Great concept, great atmosphere.
They do a variety of other challenges, so I will be back. Glad to have the biggest challenge out of the way now; a good confidence boost and learning experience.
Tried any of their challenges or had any particularly big burgers lately, let me know in the comments below.
If you fancy a go, you can find Man Vs Food at:
42 Syon Lane