A-Bomb and ...

Eating contests and Eating challenges around Kona & Denver


To Ben Monson, Eric Booker, Bryan Beard, Peter Davekos, Tim Brown, Bob Shoudt, Erik Denmark, Andrew Bosque, Sonya Thomas, Sean Gordon, Kristopher Adams, Pat Bertoletti, Tim Janus, Juliet Lee, Allen Goldstein:

We know what was on the video.

Someone please wear gloves or something like that as you are introduced to the stage in Coney Island live on ESPN. You will get some shit for doing it, but it would be hilarious. Sure, it won't mean a thing to 99.999% of the people watching, but it would be so cool. Your IFOCE career would probably end there, but someone - at least one of you - has got to have the balls to make a statement such as that.


Big City Burrito

Big City Burrito held a benefit for a local boy who is going to undergo some stem cell operations and therapy in Germany. Great turnout, lots of people, and they made lots of money for AJ and his family.

As part of the event, they held a burrito eating contest. Eat one burrito. Fastest time wins. Going in, I knew this format is not my ideal. It's all speed. And with many firemen there (they've been helping AJ for a while), well, they know how to eat fast.

There were 39 people in the contest. There were to be 8 heats of 5 eaters each. I was in the 1st heat. The burritos - roughly Chipotle or Qdoba-sized - were mainly potato, a bit of rice, and a little ground beef, and sauce. In heat 1 we had fresh (read: steamy hot) burritos. I chose to stand. Burrito in one hand. Bottle of water in the other. On go, I tore in and it was a blur of bites, swigs of water, chewing, and swallowing. It was between me and this firefighter. He ended up clearing his mouth just before I did. Him 1:36.0, me 1:41. Darn.

There were more heats. Good thing I stuck around, because after heat five I asked if I could do it again. I snagged the final spot in the final heat.

I made a few adjustments.

Heat 8. Going again. This time I would sit, not stand, and try to not hit the water as much as before. There was a few minute delay as the burritos were prepared. In that time I made a decision to go for it.

And I did. Bigger bites. Less chewing. Less water. I blew away the other eaters in the heat. That firefighter from heat #1 was still leading. Until I finished my 2nd eat in 1:32. It felt kind of weird trouncing the firefighter in that majority firefighter crowd, but it was a burrito eating contest not a burrito eating contest that a firefighter had to win.

Free burritos for a year! Well, coupons for 52 free burritos. That expire on 12/31/10. So technically I won free burritos for what's left in 2010, not for 52 weeks. Anyway, great event. Good win in a format that would not favor me.

Win #20.

Getting set to go in heat #1

Heat 1 has begun

That guy on the left wins the heat

The tortilla is beginning to fail


My 2nd eat, getting ready for heat #8

It's on

Going all out

I sprayed this guy

It's gone. Now get it down.

Clear it

Wow, I'm spent


The Commish

T-bonz and I were in Atlanta a few days ago to do an eating challenge and go to a wedding. Heading toward the challenge we crossed over a road that was, from all I know, named for the commissioner of the IFOCE. Wow, go figure!

Pimp My Ride?

If you are cool you are out to accessorize your truck and make it look really great. When you are looking for any accessory take a look at realtruck.com where you can find just about anything. And it is not only for trucks. Realtruck.com has stuff for SUVs and cars! Need hitches? Or maybe a ball mount? Or a loading ramp? Or practically anything else. Take a look at what they have to offer! You will not be disappointed! And hat better time than now to get that perfect gift for someone special – not because there is a holiday or something, but just because!

Mezcal Tacos

Tuesday night: Taco eating contest at Mezcal in Denver

Going in all I knew about the format of the contest was that there would be a couple of rounds followed by a 3-minute round to eat the most tacos. Round 1 would last 10 minutes, and each eater had to eat a plate of 10 tacos. The second round would be 5 tacos in 5 minutes. And then the final third round where the win, place, and show would be determined by who ate the most in the 3 minutes.

Eaters had their choice of chicken or veggie tacos. 4-inch white corn tortillas, meat, and a bit of cabbage.

I figured most people in the contest would eat 10, to move to the next round. Then some would finish their 5. And then a handful of people would eat for the title in the 3rd round.

Turns out that every one of the 19 competitors ate the 10 in 10. The lone female included.

For round 2, hot sauce was added to each taco. It was hot. The female and a couple of the guys did not move out of this round.

Round 3 was up. Each eater got a plate of 10 tacos, with hot sauce on them. On go, the 16 of us tore in to the tacos. If you finished your plate of 10 you would get one more at a time until the 3 minutes was up.

I started off pretty well. Was in front from the beginning, and kept up the pace. I did speed up a bit toward the end because with 16 people eating it was difficult to know where everyone stood. I ate through my plate of 10 and got 2 more singles. I chipmunked pretty extremely - which I always do - at the end on the final 3 that I got down. Up until then I really had not chipmunked so I was pleased at that. Of course there would be no point in chipmunking in the 1st or 2nd rounds.

I didn't know how the body would respond to the format, but it turned out OK!

The contest was so well organized, possibly the best organized event I've been in. It was Mezcal's first contest, but they ran it well. They did not rock the mic as well as Castellano did, and Rich or George do. But the IFOCE could learn a thing or two about everything else:

Sign-in: eaters has previously registered so they had a list of names. Tell a guy your name, he X'd it off, gave you a shirt and name badge, and you were signed-in. Smooth. I hated having to fill out that stupid IFOCE form every goddamed time.

Tables: they called up each eater and put them in their position. The IFOCE certainly intros each eater but sometimes eaters are not directed where to go at the table which can lead to confusion.

And the staff was absolutely on top of debris (as you know tacos can be messy), plates, and water. Need I even bring up the debris issues in most every IFOCE contest? With the staff being on top of things, the between-round time intervals were really minimized. That was great!

Mezcal, you guys kick ass!

More photos and video coming soon!


Tacos Tonight

The format for the taco eating contest sounds interesting.

In the 1st round, all of the eaters have 10 minutes to eat 10 tacos. Those eaters that do such move to the next round. In the 2nd round, eaters have 5 minutes to eat 5 tacos. Those who do move on to the final round where eaters eat tacos for 3 minutes. The eater eating the most in the 3 minutes wins.

The 1st and 2nd rounds are not about speed really. Its more just eating a bunch, taking a little break, and then being able to eat more. Then round 3 is somewhat about speed, but it is really about who can eat even more after youve already eaten a lot, and factoring in the waits.

Hmmm, but well see.

Good eyes

It is about time to maybe think about Lasik surgery. I will see what's out there and what my options are. I know there are many options, and perhaps one of the best options is USAEyes. They have a very informative site at USAEyes.org that is filled with good stuff. Take a look at it!

TOFC: Pizza & Ribs

I thought there was no way I would ever think there is a worse eating contest format for me than first-to-finish. But I think I found one. More on that later.

Mama Roni's pizza eating contest was on the first day of the Taste of Fort Collins. And the contest was the opening act for Ed Kowalcykz.

10 of us took to the stage and filed behind the contest table. We each opened a pizza delivery box inside of which was a large cheese pizza. The win, place, and show would be decided by the order of who finished first, second, and third. Not my favorite format when the food item to be eaten is so tasty and delicious - as this pizza is - that it would be easy for anyone to eat it all.

There was pre-contest talk about not giving the contestants water during the eating. That would maybe have been a very bad idea. So the guys from Mama Roni's relented and each eater got two tiny bottles of water, and an eater could bring up another beverage if they wanted.

On GO right away the tall guy and Tuna began fast. I mean fast. Robin inhaled his slice innards leaving the 8 crusts for last. Tuna did entire pieces. The race for 1st and 2nd was right there. Robin finished the innards first, but he had 8 crusts at the end that he had to get down. Robin was finishing his last crust when Tuna was finishing his last slice. It came down to the last couple of swallows. But Robin got it all down right before Tuna did. It was tight for 3rd as well but I pulled it out.

Day two was a Texas Roadhouse rib eating contest. Or rather 2 of them. Each mini-contest had 8 eaters. The organizers were making up the rules as they went along, and they decided on two minute contests to be decided by counting bones. Two minutes with a debris food? How clean is clean?

Terrible format. But the eaters in the first contest, me in it, filed on stage. We each got a plate of ribs and a bottle of water. It was unclear that the girl giving the GO countdown was giving the actual countdown, so on GO we were all kind of looking at her for a second. Then we started. Delicious ribs. I really hated the format because I would have loved to eat the deliciousness for longer than two minutes. At the finish of two minutes I tied for 3rd. The two guys that tied for 1st had to have a 30 second eat-off to break their tie. The guy supplying the ribs gave me more ribs. I thought "Am I in the eat-off?" I didn't think I was, but I should have eaten in it because I bet they would have allowed it and I could have had a shot at 1st. But oh well.

Bono was there. And the Edge.

How hip is my 77-year-old mother-in-law? She asked the name of the band. I didn't know. Some U2 tribute band. Her response? "Oh, maybe their name is U3"! 77! Cracking off beauties like that!!

New Hard Drive

If you need some more space for photos or music or whatever, do what I did and get a new hard drive. Hard drives are very affordable now and the bigger drive you get the better deal it is. Find out about drives, like my new 1tb hard drive, right here.

Another IKEA Update

Here is another update on the IKEA that is opening in the fall of 2011 in Centennial, Colorado.

Activity at the construction site began in April. For the past few weeks there has been a lot of earth moved. A big hole. Drilling of wells. No concrete poured or anything "built" yet. Below are a few photos.

Another guy looking in

Activity in the hole

Drilling machinery in the background

A hole in the hole

It's a deep hole

Bubba Chino's

At Culturefest in Brighton this year there were 3 eating contests sponsored by Bubba Chino’s. So naturally, I’m there.

Going in, I knew the foods. I didn’t know the format of the contests. Not until sign-up did I find out the format of the contests: first to finish. I really do not like that format – speed eating really is not my thing. I’m a chewer.

First up: whole canned jalapenos. Each contestant had a plate of 12 jalapenos set down in front of them. Canned jalapenos, while hotter overall to me than raw jalapenos, are nice and soft. Not too much chewing involved. On go, I get a pretty good start. Hand speed, key in a contest with whole jalapenos, was good. Toward the end I did flail on one pepper and I did drop one on the ground so I had to pick it up. It ended up being pretty tight but when my jalapenos were gone and the closest competitor had one on his plate, I calmly made sure I got it all down. Just under a minute!

One contest, one win.

Next was green chile cheese fries. About 15 minutes after the jalapenos. This is Bubba Chino’s “thing”. The competitors get a plate piled wide and piled high with fries, cheese, and smothered in green chile. There’s a fork on the plate, but on go I get rid of the fork and go at it with my hands. I’m out in front again, but I’ve got to keep going because it’s close, and fries are my nemesis. The green chile though provided quite a bit of moisture so the fries weren’t dry. But they were HOT. Well, the green chile. I think hotter than the jalapenos from the last round. Coming near the end, the fries were hard to grab on the plate so I pour the remaining stuff on the table and mop everything up that way. I’m always messy. Not Juliet-Lee-cheating-messy, but messy.

Two contests, two wins.

Finally it was the last contest: smothered burritos. Competitors each had in front of them a plate with one burrito. But that one burrito is smothered by cheese and green chile. Much like the fries were. After the first bite it became evident that the burrito had only beans in it. Though very close, I did not pull out the win in this contest. The temperature of the burrito caused me to lose. Or, how I handled the temperature caused me to lose. First, I did the mouth-open-stare-up delay to get cooler air. I also stopped a moment when stuffing it so I could get cooler air. Third, I punctured the tortilla and hit a hot pocket of bean filling, lost grip on the burrito and it fell on the plate. So any of those, or a combination of, made me lose by a bite. Dang it!

Three contests, two wins.

This other guy who also did all 3 contests placed behind me in each so he went 0-3. But I am happy with my finishes because of the format. First to finish is not my thing so I’m OK with each contest.~


Oskar Blues Wings

It can’t be that hot. I’ve had ghost pepper wings and ghost pepper ice cream.

That’s what I was saying before actually taking the Ghost Pepper Wing Challenge at Oskar Blues in Longmont. Boy was I wrong! Whereas at the Rock Rest Lodge the ghost pepper wings were not THAT hot, these at Oskar Blues were f-in molten-lava-diabolical hot. They’re a blend of 5 peppers – jalapeno, habanero, scotch bonnet, Serrano, and the Ghost pepper. Yowza!

For the challenge you have to down 2 pounds of the wings, a bit of celery and carrots, some blue cheese crumbles, and a pint from the tap of one of their micro brews, in 10 minutes. This is my first real challenge like this – it’s totally mental. But I’m ready. So T-bonz and I place our orders with Angie – me the wings, and her a delicious BBQ burger (I want that next time).

The wings arrive, and they are steamy hot. And the beer. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had a beer – 13+ years? The plan is eat the wings. Don’t stop. That’s when it gets hot. And that’s what I do. Good calm pace. Not tasting. Not thinking. Just eating. At about 6 minutes in my focus wavers a bit and the hot begins to get to me. Up until this point, I – yes, me! – have eaten pretty cleanly as far as the table and my face. But once the hot hits me, all bets are off. As you can see in the video.

But I do dispatch everything at 7:51.

Absolutely the hottest thing I have ever eaten. Ever. The beer (which was a bit too dark for my taste) didn’t help cool the burning. Milk? No. Nothing helped. But time. Maybe 20 agonizing minutes later the heat-pain was bearable. Before then, it wasn’t that fun. And looking back, the wings weren’t even the hardest part. Hot, most indeed yes, but the beer was daunting – 13+ years – and the carbonation – I stopped carbonation a year or so ago.

I guess because I had the beer this means I have to go all the way back to Step 1. “Hi, I’m Andrew, and I’ve been sober for 3 days”.

Here are some more photos: