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.