Super Bowl Special.
Now, I know the Super Bowl has long passed, and I apologise for not posting it sooner. The NHL playoffs reminded me that I had this post saved up…I know, sound logic. This is a challenge I had my eyes on for a while, but only got a shot to do it on the final day it ran, which was Super Bowl Sunday. By the time I had a moment to do this write up, enough time had passed to make posting it awkward… so instead, here it is after all this time for some nostalgia for fans.
This challenge was run at the Hippodrome Casino. It was described as:
• 800g of tortillas
• 750g of five bean chilli
• 300g of USDA prime ribeye steak
• 300g of chicken
• 200g of guacamole and equal amount of soured cream
• 1000g of grated cheese
You and 3 friends have 20 minutes to finish. If you do, you get the meal for free, a pitcher of beer (about 5 pints), and a £100 voucher for the Heliot Steakhouse.
Now, on the menu this was described as “an ideal sharer for 8 people”. Based on the picture (above), it didn’t look bad at all. Hell, it looks soloable in the pic. When I asked the waiter, he said “yeah, it’s good enough to feed over 10”. That comment made me more nervous… But still, in my mind 4kg amongst 4 people in 20 minutes seemed like a cakewalk, and even after the comment my hopes were high. Until I saw “it”:
The photo does not do it justice. It took up the whole table and was probably the size of my torso. The glasses of water are basically on the edge, and we had to let a bit of it hang off the side. “Oh sh!t” I exclaimed. My friends too became nervous when I ushered said phrase since they were expecting an easy challenge with my carry. Butterflies filled my stomach. It’s useful to remember the shock factor such challenges have. The amount of times I’ve though “how am I going to eat all of this”, and yet succeeded should serve to remind you, a lot of the time, it’s mind over matter. Bite by bite, you can usually get through a challenge after the initial shock wears off. I tried to shake off the nerves with logic. “Nachos don’t stack well, so this pile is probably a lot smaller than at first glance” I tried to reassure the others. The waiter laughed at my attempts to hype the others. Looking at us, we didn’t seem like big eaters, especially compared to the usual groups that tried to tackle this mountain and failed.
For the approach, I took some of the toppings and set them aside for later. I knew the nachos underneath would have less stuff mixed in with them, and would probably lead to flavour fatigue, so planned ahead.
The remaining toppings were eaten with the top layer of the challenge. Nothing hard there actually. They had time to help the nachos become less crisp. Not to the point of being soggy, but enough to be able to chew and get them down without much water. The top quarter layer was short work. The next quarter was dryer and harder to get through, but still nothing bad. We breezed through it. At this point, this challenge was not looking so bad. Our spirits were up, as we saw how quickly the pile disappeared. “Guess it wasn’t so much food after all, and just how it was stacked that made it seem bad” I thought to myself.
Then the last quarter happened. At this point the flavour and jaw fatigue was real. We needed a lot of water to get them down. I was trying to spare my jaw by crushing them in my hand to reduce how much I would have to chew, taking more and more sips of water. Capacity was going. The looks on the other’s faces was down. Doubt started to set in. Time kept ticking down. Mustering what willpower we had, and bringing out the toppings set aside, one last motivational speech was given. The second wind helped us (although to a large degree me) power through that remainder. Flavour fatigue be damned. It was just time to zone out and get through this. Soon, only jalapenos remained, that we reluctantly shared and finished amongst ourselves. It was over. It was done. We had won in under 15 minutes. Still lots of time to spare, but not so much capacity. This was later proved when there were still some of the ‘prize beers’ left (good beer at that). We were just too full up on carbs. I regretted my pint to. But what I did not regret was doing this challenge with my friends… and the ice cream we had afterwards. Remember, no matter how full you are, your desert stomach always has room for ice-cream.
I highly recommend doing a similar challenge next year if it’s still run. To my knowledge this was the first team challenge available (that you don’t have to pay for even with a win) in London over my time in the city. It’s a great opportunity to have a go with some friends, and I really hope they run it next year since it offers a fresh challenge.
Here is a link with details from this year’s challenge:
One thing to note. Call ahead and double check if they’re doing it and when. Our first visit we were turned away saying it wasn’t happening that day, and on the day we did it, we had to wait until 8pm instead of 6pm we had planned.