A-Bomb and ...

Eating contests and Eating challenges around Kona & Denver

What I Ate in 2009

2009 was the first complete year that I was not a member of the IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating). In 2008 I was only in 2 IFOCE contests while doing many local events - so it is somewhat of a stretch to say I cared about being in the IFOCE - but I got to compete along side of Kobayashi in late 2008 so it's all good. But even though I'm not in the IFOCE anymore my eating did not suffer one bit. In fact, I was in more events than ever before and my overall records in eating contests and eating challenges are better than at the end of 2008.

Here is a list of eating contests and challenges in which I competed in 2009.

1/3 - Round 1 of KBPI Wing Bowl qualifiers, 1st
1/3 - Round 2 of KBPI Wing Bowl qualifiers, 1st
1/10 - Round 3 of KBPI Wing Bowl qualifiers, 4th
1/17 - Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin' Challenge, SUCCESS
1/24 - Semi-finals of KPBI Wing Bowl
2/20 - Steak challenge at DB, FAIL
3/8 - Round 1 of Rocky Mountain Oysters contest, 2nd
3/8 - Finals of Rocky Mountain Oysters contest, 2nd
3/29 - Digger's #1, FAIL
4/17 - 6 lb burrito in Pueblo, SUCCESS
4/23 - Rock the Tot contest, 2nd
5/3 - Digger's #2, FAIL
6/6 - Brighton Hot Dogs (foot long)
6/14 - Pizza challenge #1, FAIL
6/28 - Pizza challenge #2, FAIL
7/3 - Media hot dog eating challenge Steve's kickoff
7/4 - Hot dog eating contest, 2nd
7/4 - Shoppe Cupcake eating contest, 3rd
7/11 - Qualifier for 2nd Annual Chow Down for Charity
7/23 - 7 lb burrito challenge at Jack-n-Grill, SUCCESS
7/26 - Finals for 2nd Annual Chow Down for Charity, 4th
8/1 - 5 lb burger challenge at Cactus Jack's, SUCCESS
8/5 - Pizza challenge at Beau Jo's, FAIL
8/8 - Rocky Mountain Oyster eating contest, 1st
8/15 - Pizza challenge #3, FAIL
8/23 - 15-egg omelet challenge at the Carriage House in Springfield, MO
8/30 - 1st time eating a smashburger. Go there.
9/7 - Hot dog eating contest at the Taste of Colorado, 1st
9/12 - I defended my title at a Hot dog eating contest in Ft Lupton, 1st
9/12 - Hands-free pie eating contest in Ft Lupton, 2nd. This was right after the hot dog eating contest.
9/19 - Hot dog eating contest (bunless) in Frederick, 2nd
9/29 - Jalapeno eating contest in Pueblo, 2nd. WOW!
10/8 - Hands-free pie eating contest in Denver, 2nd
10/14 - Wing King Challenge at the West End Tavern in Boulder
11/7 - Not a contest, but I ate 12455mg of sodium at Red Lobster
11/10 - 4 lb burrito challenge at The Rock, SUCCESS
11/21 - customized Bust It Big challenge in Evergreen, FAIL
11/28 - 7 lb breakfast burrito challenge at Jack-n-Grill, SUCCESS
12/4 - prepping for Vegas, I ate 2 BIG cheesesteaks in 10:30
12/9 - 24" Club challenge at Johnny McGuire's in Las Vegas, SUCCESS
12/10 - Big Badass Burrito challenge at the Sahara in Las Vegas, FAIL
12/11 - The Undertaker Challenge at LBS in Las Vegas, FAIL

That's 42 events. I do not know what 2010 holds as far as eating contests or eating challenges, but I do know this:

I have a re-match with the Big Badass Burrito in March. This time it's personal.


I really want to defend my Ft Lupton hot dog title to win it 3 years in a row.


I want to win the jalapeno eating contest in Pueblo. It'll be tough for a gringo to win.

Las Vegas Thoughts

Las Vegas Thoughts

My '3 challenges in 3 days' in Las Vegas is a bit over a week past. I went in to it thinking I'd go 2-1 but ended up 1-2. I attribute that to my decision to switch up the BURRITO-SUB-BURGER order of attempt to the SUB-BURRITO-BURGER order. I thought the switched order would be good because I'd be able to go, challenge size-wise, from small to medium to large. But in the end that might not have mattered too much because I think the body would not have had time to recover from whatever was consumed on day 1 before day 2. No matter what day 1 was - if it had been the BURRITO first then I might not have finished the sub because my guys would not have been done processing the burrito. I think maybe if I had a day between each challenge then that would've helped go 2-1. The Undertaker Challenge is just stoopid.

Perhaps if I had tried the Extreme Challenge instead of the Undertaker at LBS then I would have completed that one. Maybe even in about 20 minutes. But that is all vapid conjecture because, again, being the 3rd straight day of challenges the body might have said "enough already".

We already have reservations at Bluegreen Club 36 in March. Burrito rematch. That's the challenge I really wanted to finish, so not even the success at Johnny McGuire's helps mend my broken heart.

I do not plan on eating again in 2009. I will take a few days more and get the body back to the pre-Vegas point through detox and solid workouts. And get the well-formed six-pack back.

The next thing on the horizon to kick off 2010 in January is the KBPI Wing Bowl. For the past two years I have competed in it and I have made it through the qualifying rounds to the semi-finals held in the atrium of the Pepsi Center. I eat wonderfully in the qualifiers but then choke hard in the semis. This year it would be great to make it to the finals which are held a couple of hours after the semi-final round on the carpet of the Pepsi Center at halftime of a Colorado Mammoth lacrosse game. Still no word if the defending champion Big Sexy will compete. Same with 3 time (consecutive) champion Mongo Marquez. That whole IFOCE thing. The IFOCE has made them their bitches.

Keep checking back here. I'll have a review of 2009. I am also tabulating my eating contest record and my eating challenges record. As always, follow me on Twitter or on Facebook for the latest.

Challenge #3

Third day in Vegas. Third food challenge. So far: 24" sub at Johnny McGuire's - YES, B3 burrito challenge at the Sahara's Nascar Café - NO. One way or the other this challenge would break the 1-1 tie.

Red Rock Resort and Casino. Restaurant: LBS. Is it "el bee ess" or "pounds"?!?

A couple of months ago they initiated the Extreme Challenge: a burger with six 1/2-pound patties each topped with bacon, cheese, and a ghost pepper paste. And with a pound of fries. The first finisher would get to rename it, and there would be an additional patty added along with more fries. And on and on. That was very doable and it would be very cool to rename a challenge. But with Toro, Koch, and LeFevre in Las Vegas, well, I thought it was only a matter of time before one of them finished it before I could get there to try. Toro tried but didn't do it. But a few days later Ron Koch did it in under 20 minutes.

He renamed the challenge the Undertaker Challenge. But the management, who thought the Extreme Challenge would never be done, added 5 patties and 2 pounds of fries to the renamed challenge. So now LBS has 2 challenges: the same-as-initial Extreme Challenge, and the new Undertaker Challenge of ELEVEN 1/2-pound patties each topped with bacon, cheese, and that ghost pepper paste. And THREE POUNDS of fries.

When I tell the server that I am there to do the Undertaker, she is taken aback. She tells me I might want to start with the Extreme Challenge. No, give me the Undertaker. Out of 28 attempts, 7 people have completed the Extreme. The Undertaker? Nobody has even attempted. I'm the first.

I sign waivers. Ghost pepper. Hot! Death! Over 9 pounds!

When the Undertaker Challenge is set down before me, it's pretty funny. The 11 1/2-pound patties are stacked on top of each other and the bottom third of the burger tower is shrouded by the 3 pounds of fries. One hour? How about one week?

But I begin. The patty meat is (they claim) dry aged for 21 days. I can't tell if it is or not, but it is good. The bacon - well anything is better with bacon! The ghost peppers are what I really wanted to try - and they don't disappoint. Nice flavor. Nice kick. The fries are a bit tough and tasteless.

My strategy is to eat it patty by patty and mix in fries onto each patty and between finishing a patty and moving on to the next. I do that, and for 20 minutes it's going pretty well. Good pace, and the burger is really good.

Then the ghost peppers kick it up a notch. Or two notches. I really begin to notice the heat. And I notice the numbing lips.

My pace definitely slows. Numb. Lips on fire. But I keep it up for almost 20 more minutes.

Then just under 45 minutes, I've gotta stop. While I could eat more of the delicious beefy-bacony-juicy burger, my lips might fall off.

I went in this challenge thinking "maybe I can" but after seeing it placed in front of me I definitely knew I wasn't going to eat this 9+ pounds in one hour. The Undertaker Challenge is probably safe for a long while. The waitress had my leftovers weighed after I called it: 4 pounds left. I ate 7 patties and about 1.5 pounds of fries.

After dropping out I get some milk to soothe the burn. I don't DRINK the milk but more SOAK my lips in it. It helps. All in all, I didn't meet the Undertaker Challenge but I did get a damn good burger and I did eat some ghost peppers.

The morning after, I'm almost afraid of what the after-effects could be. The whole burns-on-the-way-in thing. But it doesn't happen that way. Nothing much happened.

There's a full photo gallery here.


Challenge #2

The 2nd day in Las Vegas meant my 2nd food challenge. The day before I had joined the 24" Club at Johnny McGuire's Deli by eating a 24" sub (I ate the Trucker) in 28:22 which stands as the 2nd best time at that location behind Rich LeFevre who downed his in 20 minutes.

T-bonz, Mommye, and 3M are along for the ride. We show up at the Sahara Resort and Casino a little after 4pm. I am not as hungry as I prefer to be going into a food challenge, but I am focused. As we enter the Nascar Café I notice two bar-height tables that are in a roped-off section by a chalk board listing the rules of the B3 Burrito Challenge. One of the tables is a normal table and the other one is an official "Man v.Food" competition table that was used by Adam Richman when he attempted the B3 a few months ago. Wasn't he clearly seated at a normal four-person table? But I digress…

There's a good crowd. Some sitting at tables, and some seated at the bar. The Pittsburgh-Cleveland football game is on the TVs. Lots of people there to watch the game. Little did they know they'd get a sideshow, too.

The burrito arrives. It's big. And there are HUGE mounds of sour cream and guacamole on top. I HATE sour cream and I HATE guacamole. And I HATE black olives (they are inside, and on top of, the burrito). But in competitive eating situations or food challenge situations, the target food item is what it is. The manager serves as official timekeeper. She was low-key about giving me time updates. I liked that a lot. Our waiter places it down in front of me.

I begin by using the knife and fork to cut off a bite on the left end of the burrito. I do not know if it was the knife/fork combo or me, but it was an awkward bite. I cut the burrito in half, put down the knife and fork and attack the burrito in Furious Pete style. Though I had to swallow. Our waiter would later tell us that of the burrito finishers all of them ate the burrito with their hands instead of utensils.

I am on a great pace. Consistent speed. The burrito is really good, too. I finish the burrito in just under 20 minutes. Phenomenal. The wait staff is digging it. The assembled crowd is in it. With the burrito finished, I have to clean up the droppings. Eating the burrito was really messy. Much fell out. Probably close to 3 pounds of stuff fell out onto the plate. I transition from burrito to droppings very well. For my first bite of the droppings I grab the knife and spoon. Again, using utensils is awkward. I decide to put down the knife/spoon and go at the innards with my hands.

That might have been a bad decision because the droppings are soft, almost mud-like, so with each handful I do not get too much in my mouth. I seem to be treading water. But I'm not treading water because each time I form the soupy stuff into a log it is smaller than before. Maybe not as small as I'd prefer, but smaller.

After over HALF AN HOUR of consuming the stuff this way, I have an urge. But I hold it back. A few minutes later, another urge. Again I hold it back. But I can't hold back the 3rd urge. Luckily there's a trash can right in front of me. Two boots. They had placed a plastic grocery bag behind me but I don't know if I would have been able to open it and shoot straight.

So at just under an hour, I am done. Maybe a half-pound remaining. That sucks. Looking at the Wall of Shame the people who didn't finish still had burritos intact - like they had not attacked. Or ate much more cleanly than I - which is not that hard to do. I only saw one picture on the wall where the guy seemed close to being finished. That sucks.

The B3 Wall of Shame
The B3 Wall of Fame (finishers)

748 people, well 749 counting me, had tried the B3 Burrito Challenge. 14 people have finished it in the allotted 90 minutes. With my failure I don the pink "Certified Weenie" t-shirt. That's fun that they do that. Vegas gets another $19.95 from me.

The red neon atmosphere made for tough picture taking conditions at times. But T-bonz got some great photos. And she was working the crowd. I do not understand why she gets so into me being stupid, but it makes me happy.

In hindsight, I am pleased that I switched up from using the knife and fork to using my hands to eat the burrito. Very good decision. But my decision to eat the droppings with my hands was not good. The manager did bring me a spoon, and I tried once using it, but didn't. I should have asked for a slightly bigger spoon.

Next time (hello March?), I will go in knowing to use my hands to eat the burrito, and then switch to a good spoon to clean up the dropped stuff. It would also be good to drop less stuff when eating the burrito but that might not be possible as the saucy shredded beef and the runny beans just do that, and the burrito is served as one long tube. Maybe I'll cut the burrito in half and consume each half from that middle cut to the end. I just thought of that. The not-too-well-closed-ends-but-better-than-open-ends would hold more of the innards inside. On my attempt I did cut the burrito in half, but then ate it left to right. Dumb.

I also won't eat a 24" sub sandwich before eating the burrito. I thought the sandwich would be a great stretch. It probably was a great stretch but my body did not process the sandwich fast enough.

I had not before tried 3 big eats in 3 days. Usually I like to have a couple of detox days between eats like these. But that's what I'm doing, so just do it.

There is a complete photo gallery here.

Next: the burger!


Club 36 is It

Club 36 is It

Before going on, I have to mention where we stayed. We had a very nice 2 bedroom unit at Club 36. It is located on Tropicana Avenue, between the MGM on the west side and Paradise Road on the east side. I'd call it a nice hotel - maybe in the class of a Marriott. There are much nicer places in Las Vegas, but you could do a lot worse, too. Big king-size bed, lots of bathrooms and lots of flat-screen TVs. On the ground floor there was an Einstein Bros. Bagels, Subway, Due Pizza, ABC Store, and more. Great location and convenient to everything.

Club 36 is one of Bluegreen Vacation Club's many properties. Bluegreen Vacation Club is unlike most vacation ownership programs because you do not just use vacation time at a specific resort but you purchase Vacation Points that allow you to enjoy any and all resorts in the Bluegreen family. And if you want you can exchange points out of the Bluegreen network.

My parents have been members of Bluegreen for over 5 years. They have been very satisfied with Bluegreen. And so have I. Check them out at bluegreenonline.com!

Challenge #1 Gallery

Here is the link to a photo gallery of my attempt to enter the 24" Club at Johnny McGuire's Deli in Las Vegas.


Challenge #1

Me, T-bonz, Mommye and 3M were in Las Vegas for 5 days. For the first 3 days, I was taking on 3 food challenges. Here's #1: the 24" Club at Johnny McGuire's Deli.

Up until the day before departure, my challenge schedule was BURRITO-SUB-BURGER. The morning of leaving Denver I changed up the menu: SUB-BURRITO-BURGER. More on that later...

We get to Vegas and we can't check-in until 4pm so we decide to get lunch. At Johnny McGuire's. It was a bitch to find, but we did. They have a great selection of soups, salads, and hot dogs. 24" Trucker for me: turkey, BBQ sauce, tomatoes, lots of lettuce, and cheddar cheese. On white. Hold the mayo, please.

After a few minutes, the sandwich is brought out. Man, it's BIG! Rich LeFevre holds the store record for the 24 inch club - 20:19. I was so shooting for that.

I begin. It's good. I mean really good! The chef loaded on the lettuce. Gotta remember that for next time. Maybe get less lettuce. The BBQ sauce is not only delicious, it also provides some good lube.

The sandwich is cut into 4 sections. I get through the 1st at 4:30. Second at a bit over 9. 3rd at 17. 4th at 21. Then I have a pile of droppings to consume. I do so and finish in 28:22.

2nd best for the location! Yes, there is a guy who finished his sandwich in 23 minutes, but the manager puts me in 2nd because that guys had a sub composed of just bread and tuna. Very dry, no doubt, so I applaud that eatfeat, but he didn't have the weight of the toppings. That's one weird thing about the 24" Club - the eater can choose the sub and customize it any way they want. For the challenge there should be a standardized list of ingredients on the sub. I wonder what kind of sub Rich ate.

It was a good eat. T-bonz coached me through it. She got me to clear a couple of times when I had to do so and start anew. She got some great photos. What a terrific athletic supporter she is!

With the sub down, I start preparing for the B3 burrito less than 24 hours away.


Weight a Minute!

I'll get the photos and stuff posted from my assault on 3 food challenges in 3 days in Las Vegas but I have to start with this: the morning we left Denver, I weighed in at 149.0 pounds. Then in Las Vegas I ate at least:

24" sub sandwich at Johnny McGuire's. Turkey, BBQ sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar cheese. Hold the mayo, please.

6 pound burrito at the Nascar Cafe in the Sahara. Shredded beef, refried beans, lettuce, cheese sauce, sour cream, guacamole.

11 1/2-pound patty cheeseburger at LBS. Each patty topped with bacon, cheese, and ghost peppers. Couple cups of whole milk after. Oh yeah, and 3 pounds of fries.

Box of stuff at Raising Cane's. 4 chicken fingers, fries, texas toast.

Much too much at the Bellagio brunch buffet.

How can my weigh-in this morning be 147.2 pounds?!?

The Whole Story

I am working on the photos and reviews from the 3 Las Vegas food challenges I attempted. Keep checking back!

B3 burrito

B3 burrito

Day #2: after being successful on Las Vegas food challenge #1, the results of challenge #2 - the big badass burrito - were not as good.

I crushed on the 1st pass - under 20 minutes for it. But probably 2.5 pounds of the insides fell out in the 1st pass so I had to clean that.

At about 1 hour, I DQ'd. Under a pound of insides left. Damn.

Much more later. Today: day #3, challenge #3.

Doing It

I am in the middle of my eating challenges in Las Vegas.

Yesterday I successfully ate the big sub sandwich at Johnny McGuire's Deli. I ate a 24" Trucker sandwich in 28:22 to enter the 24" Club with the second-best time. Rich LeFevre is #1 with a time just over 20 minutes. It was lots of fun, and the sandwich was delicious.

Later today I am eating the Big Badass Burrito at the Sahara. The burrito is 2 feet long and it weighs over 6 pounds. Adam Richman on Man v Food tried it...and failed. That should be fun.

Tomorrow: an 11 one-half pound patty burger with bacon, cheese and ghost peppers at LBS.

Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for more immediate updates.

Ready.. Set..

Wednesday morning we go to Las Vegas. Over the past few days I've reviewed the three eating challenges I'll be attempting when we are there. 3 challenges in 3 days.

I think I'll get it started by doing the 24" sandwich challenge at Johnny McGuire's Deli. The next day will be the Big Badass Burrito at the Nascar Cafe in the Sahara. A day later you will find me at LBS taking the challenge to eat the Undertaker Burger.

I have not decided on the sub. I believe you can choose any of their sandwiches. They're just bigger than normal. Take a look at their menu and feel free to share your thinking about which one I should eat.


Getting Ready

Above is a photo of the two large cheesesteaks from Taste of Philly that I ate in preparation for an eating challenge I'll be doing in Las Vegas next week.

The challenge in Vegas is at Johnny McGuire's Deli. I'll have 40 minutes to eat a 24-inch sub. I can choose the sub. If I do not finish, I pay TWICE the normal cost, so $50.

At Taste of Philly I ordered two large Hoagie Philly sandwiches. Each one is 12". And 2 X 12" equals 24". The sandwiches were packed with chopped steak, onions, lettuce, and tomato. Melted provlone cheese. And that awesome Amoroso bread.

I wasn't going all out, but at a good clip. The timer was 4:15 after the 1st one cleared, 9:45 after the 2nd sandwich, and 10:30 after I cleaned up the droppings on the plate. Not too shabby!

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Vegas #3

That is challenge #3 I am doing when we're in Las Vegas. Here's another view:

LBS: A Burger Joint is in the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa. And these photos are not the challenge. Kind of, but not. This is the Extreme Burger which is: six half-pound patties loaded with American cheese, smoked bacon, a Portobello mushroom, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, LBS Burger sauce, spicy mustard, herb mayo, "ghost" peppers (the hottest chili in the world, as confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records) and a pound of fries.

But that was their Extreme Burger. This was the challenge when nobody had defeated it. But competitive eater Ron Koch finished it in late October. He got to rename the burger, and the management (who didn't think anyone could do the Extreme) decided to add five (yes, FIVE) more 1/2-pound patties and another pound or two of fries! Jesus!

So now the challenge is the Undertaker Burger. Ron's nickname. Eleven 1/2-pound patties. Again, ELEVEN 1/2-pound patties. And all the other stuff. Yikes.


Vegas #2

This is a picture of a guy eating a 24" sub sandwich at Johnny McGuire's deli in Las Vegas. That's not me in the photo, but it will be me next week when we're in Las Vegas. I'm doing 3 food challenges in 3 days.

Yesterday you met challenge #1. Here's #2. I don't know that much about the challenge, but I do know that the eater can choose to eat any Johnny McGuire's sub. Any way they want it. They have 40 minutes to eat it to enter the 24" Club. You get your name on a plaque and a good meal. If you don't finish, you PAY DOUBLE. That's their Vegas twist.

Their menu of subs looks incredible. I am leaning toward getting the Marley (no mayo) or the 220-B (again, no mayo). Or some other hot sub. Meh about the cold subs.

Tomorrow, challenge #3.


Vegas #1

You are looking at a photo of the Big Badass Burrito which is a challenge at the Nascar Cafe in the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas.

We're going to Vegas next week and this burrito is one of three challenges there that I am attempting. Three challenges in three straight days.

Back to the burrito. It is 2 feet long. Over 6 pounds. Four tortillas. Lettuce. Rice. Beans. Cheese. Jalapenos. Shredded beef. Nacho cheese sauce. It is topped with sauce, more nacho cheese, tomatoes, olives, and big scoops of sour cream and guacamole.

Those taking on the burrito have an hour and a half to finish. Finishers get a t-shirt, their photo on the wall of fame, and the burrito is free. Those who do not finish get a stomach ache and a pink "weenie" t-shirt. And their photo goes on the wall of shame.

Hundreds have tried, and you can count the finishers on one hand. Even Adam Richman on Travel Channel's "Man v. Food" couldn't do it. If that means anything.

Tomorrow, meet my Vegas challenge #2.