Intense food challenges are all the rage: these competitions have become increasingly mainstream, from eating a 30-inch pizza in under an hour to trying to down a dozen spicy chicken wings in five minutes. Some are harmless (although still challenging), but others can be dangerous. We’re not sure if we’d try any of these food challenges, but if you do—and survive—let us know how it went!
The Phaal Challenge at Brick Lane Curry House
The Phaal Challenge, the most famous of Brick Lane Curry House’s food challenges. It consists of a bowl filled with a spicy chicken and lamb curry served with naan bread, with two handfuls each of fried onions and fried potatoes on top. The dish also comes with a side salad and a shot glass filled with vodka.
The cost to eat this challenge is USD 50 (around £35). You have 15 minutes to finish it all; if you do, you get your name on the ‘Wall of Fame’ at Brick Lane Curry House!
Aside from the unusual combination of ingredients in this dish (chicken and lamb?). And some other things make us think twice about trying out this challenge. It has been known for people who attempt it to suffer from vomiting or diarrhea afterward as well as cramping stomach pains throughout their body.
The Mega Meal at Denny’s
You’ve heard of the Big Mac Meal. Well, at Denny’s in the US, they have their own version: the Mega Meal. It weighs 7 pounds and includes the following:
- Five pancakes.
- Four slices of bacon and three eggs (fried or scrambled).
- Three sausages (1 link per person).
- Three pieces of toast.
- A choice of hash browns or grits.
You only get 30 minutes to finish it all—but if you do manage to power through, your name will go up on the wall as a winner. Not only that, but you also win bragging rights for life!
The Gourmet Burger at Honky Tonk Burger Joint
The Gourmet Burger at Honky Tonk Burger Joint in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a behemoth of a burger. The restaurant serves this 10-pound monster topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, and other toppings for $50.
It’s equivalent to roughly two half-pound Whoppers.
In order to complete the intense food challenges, you have to finish your entire meal in 20 minutes or less. Or pay $100 for each additional minute you take longer than that to finish it.
You also have to sign a waiver before attempting it. Along with several other rules about how much liquid you’re allowed during the process (and whether or not you can use the bathroom).
If successful, the eater receives an “I Ate the Gourmet Burger” T-shirt as well as free food for life at Honky Tonk Burger Joint!
Intense food challenges are becoming more mainstream and come with some big (and sometimes dangerous) consequences.
Food challenges are becoming more mainstream, but that doesn’t mean they are a safe bet. While the majority of food challenges don’t come with serious consequences, there have been instances where people have died from trying out these extreme eating feats.
In 2018 alone, two people died from taking on the “Bird Box Challenge”. A viral stunt where people attempt to eat six jars of Nutella in an hour without wearing any clothes or a blindfold. Another person died after consuming more than three pounds of chili peppers in less than three minutes to win a $500 bet. Even more dangerous is the Tide Pod Challenge (which we will get into later). It also has landed teens in the hospital due to burns and chemical ingestion.
While most restaurants don’t advertise their menu items as being able to be eaten in one sitting. And some do offer larger portions that customers can buy at discounted prices if they finish them all themselves!
For example, The Atomic Burger at Johnny Rocket’s restaurant comes with so many toppings on it. Also it has become known as “America’s Most Unbelievable Burger.” It weighs over 2 pounds and costs around $20 for just one patty (the price goes down if you want both). Some restaurants even offer bigger versions of these burgers called “monster meals.”
It’s pretty cool that we now live in a world where food challenges are a thing. And while some of these might sound like they’re meant for people who want to test their limits, there are others that seem like they were made just for me (and probably you). But even though I may be tempted by one or two of these foods, I don’t think I could actually eat them all at once.