Last night I Rocked the Bar Louie Tots. If you were following me on Twitter you'd already know this
Rocked to a 2nd place finish. And I think I felt the worst I've felt after any other contest (and STILL feel pretty shitty).
I got to the Denver Bar Louie at about 6:30 for the 8pm start. Wanted to be sure I got in the 2nd annual edition - and that turned out not to be a problem as up until a few minutes to 8 there were only 3 of us entered. But a couple last minute guys ponied up, and a bar employee, so the field was 6. Four of them I wasn't worried about. I only was worried about me and the 410 pound bar regular (who went by the unassuming nickname of Tiny - but yo yo yo in honor to B.I.G. I refer to him as Biggie). Biggie works at the all-you-can-eat-Churrascaria Texas de Brazil and it shows.
So a little after 8 we're introduced and called up on stage. A DJ stage that could hold maybe 4 of me-sized people. But we have the emcee, two tables, 6 chairs, 5 eaters, oh - and Biggie. It was tight. The bar employee who ate was dangling of the edge. 10-9-8 and we're off. It felt like slow-motion, and as the totals show it was slow-motion. We had one-pound baskets of tots in front of us and a pint of water. Judges would replace baskets and water as needed.
At just over a minute in, Biggie gets basket #2. Followed by me a few seconds later, and HT. Then HT essentially stopped, and the other 3 too so clearly it was Biggie and me. He gets basket #3 at 3:30 in, then I go to #3 a few seconds later. After a few handfuls on #3, he's ready to blow. But he keeps it under control. Barely. He stares at me. I stare at him. Him. Me. Him. Me. 10 seconds. Stuff. Chipmunk. Blow? No. Go. When 0 is called, I throw in the basket the ball of mush in my hand.
The final tally:
Biggie: 2lb 7.1oz
Me: 2lb 7.0oz
Hungry Trucker: 1lb 8.4oz
Santo Domingo: 1lb 2.0oz
Some dude: 1lb+
Bar employee: 5oz
Yeah, sucks to lose by .1oz but I got over the heartbreak really quickly because before we started the prize up for grabs was announced: $250 gift card to Bar Louie and free tots for a year. No trophy. When I thought the prize was $250 cash, free tots, and a trophy - well, that got my attention. As you know, I want hardware. Screw the money and infamy. Besides, Biggie - since he worked down the block - could make better use of the gift card and free tots. The place is a bit too hipster dufusy for me, so going back would mean going way out of my way. Winning would have been a nice addition to my other wins, but it is what it is.
Big Sexy went to the Bar Louie in Westminster. He got beat down by the defending champion from last year, Mike McAvoy. Sexy lost by a less-nail-bitingly-close 2.5oz.
For the 3rd year, take notes Bar Louie people. The tots really sucked. Word is last year they were salty as hell. This year they were not salty, but they were really really really oily and greasy. I mean, really really really badly. I ate by having my water in my left hand, and tots in the right hand. With every handful, I was wringing out the grease. So was Biggie, and that might have been a factor in his blowing, Biggie-style, right after the end of the 5 minute post-eating wait window. Sure, I could have feigned some dry heaves and he undoubtedly would have reversed and I would have won the thing, but that's not how I roll. One more thing, judge. Be consistent. On my first basket I didn't clean it out totally before getting #2. But to get #3 the judge made me clean each bit from the basket. Maybe same with Biggie, but I only know what went on with me. One more: the tots totally disintegrated into Tot bits. Don't know how. So we weren't reaching for handfuls of tots, but handfuls of hash brown bits.
And going in I didn't really like the 6-minute contest time. 6, to my mind, borders on the speed vs. capacity line. Speed, not really my strong point. If the contest had been 8 minutes I know he would've blown or stopped. Win for me then. Again, it is what it is.
A bartender was Flipping the contest. And I have a few pictures.