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!