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Eating contests and Eating challenges around Kona & Denver

Preview of Steve's

2011 Chow Down for Charity Hot Dog Eating Contest

Steve's Snappin' Dogs Hosts 4th Annual Chow Down for Charity
Hot Dog Eating Contest in Celebration of National Hot Dog Month

July is National Hot Dog Month. In honor of the occasion, Steve's Snappin' Dogs (3525 East Colfax Avenue) will host its annual Chow Down for Charity hot dog eating contest this Sunday, July 31st starting at 1:00 pm. The event will feature the top eight contestants who qualified throughout the year. The group, known as the "Elite Ate", will be given eight minutes to chow down as many hot dogs as they can. The winner receives a cash prize, trophy and is crowned "Top Dog" of the year. Two-time winner and contest record holder for most hot dogs consumed in the contest, Jimmy Mares, will be competing for a perfect trifecta this year and will compete alongside other contest perennials, Andrew Lane and Mark Sutherberg who respectively placed second and third in last year's contest.

Newcomer Dominic Doan of Arvada receives an automatic bid to the finals after winning Steve's hot dog eating contest qualifiers at A Taste of Colorado last September. Doan successfully beat out Lane and Sutherberg at those contests which adds to speculation on whether Doan can beat the heavily-favored Mares at Sunday's finals. Whether it is Mares, Doan, Lane, Sutherberg or one of the other contestants, this year's chow down offers to be a competitive one.

Now in its fourth year, the contest is the brainchild of Steve's Ballas, the owner and operator of Steve's Snappin' Dogs. Ballas was simply looking to develop a new and exciting way to raise money for his favorite charity - Project Angel Heart. His Chow Down for Charity concept has grown and through this and other fund raising efforts, Ballas has successfully helped raise over $7.000 for the charity. A total of 25% of the sales and a portion of entry fee will directly benefit Project Angel Heart from Sunday's event.

The highly visual event is free, open to the general public and will take place at Steve's Snappin' Dogs on 3525 East Colfax Ave (@Monroe) In Denver.

The contestants:

Jimmy Mares - Defending Champ and 2 time winner
Andrew Lane - Second Place 2010
Mark Sutherberg - Third Place 2010
Dominique Doan - Winner of A Taste of Colorado
Sean Jensen - New this year
Daniel Sanders - New this year
Michael Henderson Jr. - New this year
My Vongphachanh - New this year


Ben Handwerker - New this year
Tiger Kim - New this year
Gene Edwards - New this year

Now That's a Burrito!

Went down to Colorado Springs to take on the El Gordo Burrito Challenge at Puerto Palomas. Great place! T-bonz, Mommye, and 3M were there to witness it.

Going in, I thought "30 minutes to down a 5 pound burrito? No problem."

But, and as advertised actually, the burrito was 5 pounds of meats stuffed inside 3 massive homemade tortillas. Plus beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and manteca. Lots and lots of manteca. Do the math, and the final weight was over 8 pounds. The presentation was nice with the lettuce leaves and tomato slices.

Time to get at it. 30 minutes.

Easily the tastiest oversized eating challenge item I've eaten. Easily. The side of the burrito that I started on had barbacoa mostly. The other meats were mixed in to some degree but pretty much it was 1/3 barbacoa, 1/3 carne asada, and 1/3 carnitas. But 1/1 delicious!

I ate just over 1/2 in those 30 minutes. 8+ pounds in a solo challenge is too much for me. 8+ in a contest, I've done that. 8+ in a non-solo eating challenge? Maybe. How tasty was it? I took the left overs home. I have never done that before, mainly because I normally have had enough of an unfinished challenge food.

And I ate, very uncharacteristically, cleanly so my plate was not a mess at all. I had been provided a big knife and big spoon so I cut big bites off. Didn't go hands with it.

Can't wait to go back. There are some other dishes to try, notably the Juarez Burger. A colossal mash-up of lipids from both sides of the border that includes a burger patty, ham, mild, melted white cheese, bacon, avocado, mayo and a hot dog sliced lengthwise. Hold the mayo, please!

There is a gallery of all the photos on the Facebook.

#4 at Mezcal

A few nights ago was the 4th taco eating contest at Mezcal. I had won contests 1, 2, and 3. #4?

Round 1. The 13 competitors had 15 minutes to eat 20 tacos. Top 5 would move on to Round 2. As in contests 1-3, eaters could have either chicken or veggie tacos. I went with the chicken tacos again. Tacos of the street variety, so a corn tortilla + chicken or veggie + cabbage + bit of hot sauce. Four guys with veggie tacos finished first. Only one spot left in the final round. Me and some dude were neck and neck for that 5th spot. We both finished our plate of 20 tacos at essentially the same time, and it came down to clearing the mouth. I as usual had a bunch packed away in my cheeks, but I did get my mouth clear before the other guy. Barely.

This is after round 1 ended. That's the guy who could have taken my spot.

Round 2. The five of us would have 5 minutes to eat. Winner would be whoever ate the most in those 5 minutes. The field was me with chicken tacos and 4 guys with veggie tacos. I had barely made it in the round, so I did for a split second think about going with veggie, but I didn’t. I had done chicken in the previous contests too, so I stuck with my choice. Bad move because one of the other guys ate 10 to my 7. I had always since contest #1 wondered when chicken would bite me in the ass. And it did this night. I wonder what the weight of my chicken tacos is in comparison to veggie tacos?

Still I did finish 2nd, but my streak ended. So I know what I need to do so I can begin another streak.

Had to go drown my sorrow

Final results:

Mezcal's 4th Taco Eating Contest
Denver, Colorado
13 competitors - 15-5 format

1st: 30 - Colter Wilkie
2nd: 27 - Me
3rd: 25 - Kiko Juarez

Hot Dogs in Highlands Ranch

I've been in the Highlands Ranch hot dog eating contest sponsored by Bernie's Hot Dogs for the past 3 years, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd annuals. Each time, 2nd place. Above are the three trophies for 2nd.

In the contest this year on July 4th the top 3 results were the exact same as last year. The guy who won last year also won this year. I tied with the same guy as last year. In the eat-off, I won it so I took 2nd place. Him 3rd.

Other than being 100 degrees this year, not much was different than last year. I ate like crap and pretty much cannonballed the hot dogs and buns. At the end I thought I was out of the running but it turned out everyone ate pretty badly. The dogs, Vienna Beef, were great. The buns, not so much. Dry. Hard. But fun.

Link to the report from last year.

Some galleries on Facebook. 1 2.

At the end of regulation.

For the record the top 3:

7/4/2011 – 3rd Annual Highlands Ranch Hot Dog Eating Contest
5 minutes, 22 competitors

1st: The Inhaler
2nd: A-Bomb
3rd: Big C

(*) won two-dog eat-off

More Calzone

Here is the photo album that Mannie & Bo's Pizzeria in Golden, Colorado posted to Facebook. James & I became the first team to defeat the big ass meaty calzone.