How to Eat Across America for Free Slideshow
December 7, 2011
Wing King Challenge: Boulder, Colo.
Weekend wing enthusiasts be warned: West End Tavern's Wing King Challenge is not for the faint of heart. With bragging rights, the 50 wings for free, a picture on the wall of fame, a T-shirt, and a dozen free wings (for whenever you want wings again) on the table, challengers must eat 50 hot wings clean to the bone in a half-hour without leaving the table, and they have to keep all the wings down.
Eagle’s Challenge: Brighton, Mass.
At Eagle's Deli, $60 buys you an enormous hamburger. Namely, it buys you the Eagle's Challenge, which comes with 5 pounds of hamburger, 20 pieces of bacon, 20 pieces of American cheese, 5 pounds of fries, one pickle, and a soda. Down it all in less than an hour, though, and it's free — and it comes with an $100 gift card.
Carnivore Challenge: Atlanta
Complete the Carnivore Challenge at Atlanta's Big Pie in the Sky and you'll actually make money. This challenge allows two people to finish the $50 and 11-pound Carnivore Pizza topped with pepperoni, ground beef, Italian sausage, ham, and bacon in less than an hour. If they succeed, $250 is theirs, but they can't get up or throw up in the process.
Jumbo Curry Challenge: New York City
Food challenges are not limited to conventional fast-food picks, as evidenced by Kenka in New York's East Village. Their Jumbo Curry Challenge puts 4 pounds of curry on a plate with rice that's meant to be devoured in 20 minutes or less. Finish and it's free, but be defeated and you're out $25.
The Brahma Bull: San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Leisurely driving down California's blissful Pacific Coast Highway absolutely doesn't prepare you for the Brahma Bull Challenge at The Rib Line in San Luis Obispo. The barbecued feat includes 3 pounds of tri-tip steak sandwiched in sourdough bread and topped with your choice of barbecue sauce or salsa. Free for the finishers or $30 for those who can't make it.
Mongo Burrito Challenge: Sarasota, Fla.
As the name suggests, Burritos Mexican Grill's Mongo Burrito Challenge is an enormous burrito, with all the usual fixings, that weighs in at 8 pounds. That they actually include the burrito's dimensions on their web site (22.5 inches-by-8.5 inches-by-5 inches) is a testament to its mind-boggling size. Finish, and your meal is free, plus you'll get one free dinner each month for a year, or $50.
Ultimate Slider Challenge: Multiple Locations, Arizona
Sliders may sound easy to get down — such cute, small little hamburgers! But Chompie's, in Arizona, has thought of the epic Ultimate Slider Challenge, which is 5 pounds of sliders (12 in total), served with onion strings, going down the gullet in 30 minutes or less. Finish them all and they're free, plus you get a T-shirt, bragging rights, and your picture on the Wall of Fame.
Lucky’s Sandwich Contest: Chicago
At Lucky's Sandwich Company in Chicago, sandwiches are on another level — they put a heap of fries onto already enormous sandwiches. And their Sandwich Contest is the diner's choice of any three sandwiches to be completed in less than an hour, which gets you a T-shirt, the third sandwich free, and a photo on the wall. Finish in less than 30 minutes, though, and it's all free.
Kitchen Sink Challenge: San Francisco
What child doesn't dream of having a never-ending banana split? You may have grown up slightly, but the challenge now exists at the San Francisco Creamery — it's called the Kitchen Sink Challenge. You must finish three bananas, scoops of up to eight ice cream flavors, eight servings of toppings, a mountain of whipped cream, almonds, and cherries on top. Finish in a half-hour and you get free ice cream for a year.
The Texas King: Amarillo, Texas
In true "everything's bigger" fashion, the Big Texan Steak Ranch boasts the Texas King Challenge, which consists of a 72-ounce steak dinner, complete with a baked potato, salad, dinner roll, and shrimp cocktail. It all must be completed in an hour or less to be free; if you take longer or don't finish, it's $72.00. While most attempts have failed, the youngest person to tackle the steak was an 11-year-old boy.
Nine Pounder: Washington D.C.
It may be called the Nine Pounder, but BGR, The Burger Joint's challenger burger actually weighs in at a whopping 15.4 pounds, once the bun and condiments are factored in. If you can down the 9-pound burger, two heads of lettuce, eight tomatoes, three onions, four whole pickles, and a "river" of their signature sauce in one sitting, it's free and you get a bottle of Maalox. Otherwise, it serves 10 to 15 people.
15 Dozen Club: New Orleans
Before you attempt to join the 15 Dozen Club at New Orleans' Acme Oyster House, you must sign a medical release form. The club is for people who have downed a minimum of 15 dozen oysters in under an hour, a feat which gets you 50% off the oysters, a t-shirt, hat, and your name on the winner's board. Beat the record (currently at 42 dozen), though, and they're completely free.