The top 10 food challenges in Toronto (human vs. food)
Food challenges in Toronto are rarely one of those things that inspire spectator envy. Indeed, when a competitor is 15-inches into a 2-foot shawarma with the clock winding down (and has yet to touch his or her drink or fries) most of us are happy just to sit on the sidelines. Yet for an ambitious group of eaters, the allure of a free t-shirt and spot on the wall of fame is usually incentive enough, and out comes the antacid, and later, the overwhelming feeling of regret.
Here is the list of 10 Toronto food challenges.
Real Sports Bar
Often way more exciting than watching the game, only a rare carnivorous (and possibly masochistic?) specimen dare take on the Hail Mary challenge. Participants must eat (and keep down) a 67oz AAA ribeye, along with a pound of coleslaw and a pound of fries in under one hour. Victors are comped the price of the mammoth meal and have their names engraved on the Hail Mary Fork of Fame. If you fail, you're on the hook for the $75+ price tag.
For those who like their challenge attempts witnessed by thousands of strangers. The Hank Daddy food truck pops up at various Toronto events (such as the Canadian National Exhibition and International Auto Show, to name a couple), daring barbeque-enthusiasts to take up its FireWing challenge. Contenders must eat 15 FireWings in 15 minutes or less (with nothing to drink) in order to win a free t-shirt and lifetime bragging rights. Must sign a waver.
Holy Chuck Burgers
Home of the Go Chuck Yourself Challenge, which is almost as hard to watch as it is to compete in. Brave gluttons must eat the Holy Chuck double cheeseburger with bacon and caramelized onions, along with any specialty milkshake, within six minutes or less in order to achieve Chuck Yourself glory. Winners get their meal on the house and a free t-shirt, and losers are immortalized on the "Wall of Shame" forever.
Testing your ultimate shawarma love, the Laffananza Challenge at Best Grill serves up a two-foot shawarma wrap, along with a pop and fries for its in-house extreme eating challenge. Contenders must consume the drink, fries, and the entire toddler-sized wrap in under 30 minutes to win a spot of the wall of fame. The meal (otherwise $20) is free for successful challengers.
Another burger challenge for the extremely hungry beef-lover, Philthy McNasty's "Showdown Burger" is one and a half pounds of pure beef, topped with cheese and bacon. Challengers must eat the entire burger plus a side of fries in under seven minutes to be declared victorious. Those who complete the challenge get the meal for free, along with the unofficial prize of plenty of cheering for enthusiastic cheerleader-types.
I know what you're thinking, but this barbeque challenge (unfortunately?) does not involve devouring multiple racks of barbeque ribs. Instead, those who choose to partake in the "Great Stack Challenge" must eat two Stack burgers, plus a milkshake, plus fries, in under 30 minutes. You might get some ribs on the house of you succeed, but I doubt you'll really want them.
Perhaps a little more gentle than some of the other options on this list, Shamrock Burger's Monster Sham challenge is not necessarily time-sensitive. Contenders must simply devour the entire Monster Sham burger on his or her own, complete with two 10 oz patties, cheese, and selected toppings on a kaiser. Winners receive a free $5 Shamrock Burgers gift card, essentially earning a discounted burger.
While some lament the quality of the now-ubiquitous ACME Burger, I bet a free t-shirt will soon change your mind! Still no? Anyway, the Man vs. ACME challenge is set to arrive in the spring, offering a free meal and t-shirt to those who can ingest a 20oz burger, a 20oz milkshake, and a pound of fries in under 30 minutes. At that rate, you probably won't even taste it.
All Star Wings
Another challenge wherein participants must sign a waiver before attempting to "compete." I wonder if a heart condition and/or pregnancy automatically renders you disqualified. In any case, eating the Armageddon wings at All Star will win you bragging rights and/or your name on the wall depending on the location, some keeping a tally of the most Armageddon wings eaten in one sitting, and others recording the feat of the shortest amount of time. Best to have Pepto and a designated driver on hand, just in case.
Corned Beef House
Every Monday is Man vs. Sandwich at Corned Beef House. Deliphiles assemble to take on a 40 oz deli sandwich (meat of their choice), which they must consume (plus a pickle) in one hour or less. Those who find themselves bested by the sandwich must fork over $29.99 plus tax; winners get the meal free and, most likely, the meat sweats.
Photo from Monika from Holy Chuck