"It is possible to die from eating. But I think to be professional means you don't die." (Takeru Kobayashi)

Friday, November 14, 2008


The thing about good meals – or any meal, for that matter – is that they all come to an end at some point. The last bite of a Whopper. Savor it. The final hickory barbecue wing. Bittersweet. The last spoonful of chocolate chip cookie dough. At least it’s got three pieces of cookie dough in it.

In many ways this blog, from March 11, 2006 until the present day, has been one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Which is why, after 32 months and 453 posts, it’s difficult to admit that this post is my final bite. Oh sure, I could keep eating for many more months – years probably – but you gotta pay the bill and leave sometime, right?

I’ll still be around though. On MySpace, on EatFeats, on Flickr (it'll always be a sort of photo blogging extension of Mega Munch) and commenting on other CE blogs. And if you want to contact me via email, feel free (shoffner1974@yahoo.com).

As for the UEPa, we'll still be meeting and conquering restaurant challenges throughout the state. I'll also still keep on eating competitively in real life (I’ll never stop doing that), but my energy levels when it comes to food blogging just aren’t what they used to be and I didn’t want to simply disappear like so many bloggers do, into thin air with no explanation. I may even start a new blog. Something about baseball statistics or weird things found on eBay. I’ve got a few other ideas too.

It’s been a great ride and I won’t completely rule out a comeback here on MM, but for now I’m stepping away from the food blogging table. A huge thanks to everyone who has read and commented here over the years. This thing started out as a stupid blog about competitive eating and it turned into a stupid blog about competitive eating that actually gained a few readers. I hope to be half as lucky with my future blogging endeavors.

And so, I’ll leave everyone with three things I’ve learned during my time as the author of Mega Munch:

1. Adding ranch dressing to almost anything will increase your capacity by up to 10 percent. The same is true for competing against friends.

2. Bite, chew, swallow, repeat. If unable to complete steps three and four, perform any or all of the following: heave and feign nausea, jump up and down, press on stomach and wince painfully, fake step one and continue step two, throw remaining food items at crowd and/or fellow competitors.

3. When it comes to oversized food items, size and quality are inversely proportional. Exceptions: Ice cream sundaes, hot dogs, and the yet-to-be-created giant piece of bacon.

Speaking of bacon, I’ll leave you all with one last mouth-watering image. Thanks for reading, keep on eating, and don’t forget to tip the wait staff.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Remember: A vote for Obama is a vote for thick, juicy cheeseburgers. In fact, I think I read something in his Blueprint for America about investing in burger-related ventures. If he wins, I'm celebrating with a caribou burger!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


If there's one thing I can't live without in the morning, it's coffee. That includes mornings when I've got an eating contest. I don't care what the caffeine might do to my appetite, the absence of it would do worse things to my psyche.

Normally I have my morning cup at home. Morning road trips warrant an extra cup at a gas station. I was in one of Harrisburg's several 7-Eleven stores a few weeks ago and they're running something called the "7 Election." Java junkies can cast their "vote" for president by filling up with either a blue Obama cup or a red McCain cup. Undecideds (really? still?) can opt for the non-descript standard cup.

The results of the poll are tracked on 7-Election.com. State by state and nationally.

The store I visited is in a particularly urban part of Harrisburg known as Penbrook, which might explain why there were four towering stacks of McCain cups available and only two (count 'em, two) Obama cups left. But before you dismiss the accuracy of the poll by saying more 7-Eleven's are located in urban, left-leaning areas or that conservatives prefer Starbucks, consider these facts from the 7-Election website:
  • In 2000, the first year 7-Eleven ran the poll, George Bush's cup outsold Al Gore's cup by just one percentage point.

  • In 2004, Bush won again, beating John Kerry's cup by a 51-49 percent margin. Those totals tracked identically with real national election results.

Pretty accurate, huh? So what are the results so far in this year's coffee showdown? In the 30 states in which 7-Eleven stores are located, Obama is beating McCain in every state except North Carolina (McCain's up 59-51) and New Hampshire (a tie). Nationally, Obama is winning 60 percent to 40 percent.

Check out the numbers for yourself here. And to locate a 7-Eleven near you and cast your vote, check out the store finder here. I recommend the Columbian Dark Roast.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Seriously, that's one of the issues you have to consider when you cast your vote for President on November 4. Both candidates have been spotted making ice cream pit stops on the campaign trail. Planned photo ops, I'm sure, but indulging their sweet tooth nonetheless.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden stopped in a small town north of Pittsburgh at the Windmill Ice Cream Shop. Barack chose a scoop of butter pecan on a cone. Joe ordered TWO vanilla and chocolate cones, admitting to his running mate "I may have vices but this is my biggest one. I ran for vice president just so I could get ice cream.” That's my kind of veep. You think Dick Cheney likes ice cream that much? Somehow I doubt it.

McCain and Sarah Palin have also stopped the Straight Talk Express long enough to grab a scoop or two. Interestingly, both opted for dishes instead of cones. McCain's was a medium chocolate.

I'm not sure how I feel about the whole dish versus cone thing. I've been known to try both myself. Depends on the mood, I guess. But you have to admit, there's something comforting about a candidate who chooses a cone. No spoons. Just enjoying the ice cream one lick at a time.

That sort of person isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty and do what it takes to get the job done. Whether that job is cleaning out the garage or cleaning up the environment. Or providing accessible healthcare for all Americans. Or even rolling back tax breaks for corporations that ship job overseas. Anyhow, don't forget to vote on November 4th. Especially if you live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Missouri or North Carolina.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Battle pizza burger is in the books and after a week of voting, Wild Bill's open faced creation is the clear winner, with 14 votes. My saucy, peppery burger finished second with six votes, followed by Skinnyboy's creation with four votes. Congrats Wild Bill!

Now I know there were some ballot stuffing accusations surrounding the sheer number of votes for Wild Bill's burger on Wild Bill's own blog (I didn't count the one anonymous comment), but I believe we've got a fair contest here and his novel outside-the-bun thinking is what won him this contest. At left are the burgers (click to enlarge). Mine on top, Bill's in the middle, and Skinnyboy's on the bottom.

I have to say, I loved my burger. It's definitely not the pizza burger you remember from high school. I started with a layer of pepperoni on the bottom bun topped with a pan fried 6 ounce 80 percent lean beef burger patty smothered in two thick slices of mozzarella cheese. I used Newman's Own marinara spaghetti sauce (it was the thickest I could find) and topped that with a few slices of crisp onion and green pepper. The great thing about this burger was that it really did taste like a pizza AND a burger. You could taste every ingredient in every bite, but the pepper was definitely the star of the show.

Thanks to everyone for voting. I think our next burger is going to be a burger packed between two grilled cheese sandwiches (as seen here and suggested by Skinnyboy). Can wait to see how that comes out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


You may remember, Skinnyboy won our first burger showdown with his peanut butter burger. Now we're back in our second face-off and we're joined by fellow competitive eater and burger lover, Wild Bill.

Below, in no particular order, are all three burgers. Please vote with a comment which burger -- #1 (top), #2 (middle) or #3 (bottom) -- you think looks the best ("best" being a subjective term and meaning whatever you'd like it to). Sorry, no anonymous votes will be counted. Like Wild Bill said on his blog, it's too bad you can't taste these burgers, because I'm sure all three are delicious. Good luck, guys!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


If you've read the comments from my last post, you'll know that I'm being terrorized. A few months ago, during our "Six Pack Challenge" (six burgers/six beers), I misplaced my prized Mega Munch towel. I've been using it in contests for years. It's never been washed.

Now, a mysterious group calling themselves "The Light Elves" (a not-so-subtle play on my fantasy football team name "The Dark Elves") is holding the towel hostage and is threatening to cut it into pieces unless I meet their demands. They've even posted a photo of it online.

Like I said in my comment, my appetite hasn't been the same since I lost that towel and I really could have used it during my recent whoopie pie contest. All I can say to The Light Elves is: Let's talk.