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

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I suck. Let me just get that out of the way right now. If I’m ever in a competitive eating contest with you and I start talking trash, just say, “Hey Dave, how’d you do against that three-pound burger at Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub?” That’ll shut me right up.

Yesterday Pete “Broken Wing” Maurizio, Derek “Wing Tut” Payne, Ian “The Invader” Hickman and myself met at Dennys Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, PA to eat some of the biggest burgers ever created. They all attempted the 6-pounder (10 pounds total) and I tried the three-pounder (four to five pounds total). And, even though we all failed to finish in the prescribed three hour time frame (90 minutes for mine), we learned a lot about ourselves as eaters and as men on that day.

I’ll let the pictures (and captions) below tell most of the story. A link to a full set of pictures is at the bottom of this post. Captions also accompany those Flickr photos, so don’t do the slideshow. For some reason it hates captions.

DENNYS - The Gang
From left to right, Pete “Broken Wing” Maurizio, Dave “Mega Munch” Shoffner, Ian “The Invader” Hickman and Derek “Wing Tut” Payne. We look pretty happy here, even though this picture was taken about 10 seconds before we left. Pete, Ian, and Derek are all AICE guys. Since I’m not ranked in the IFOCE or AICE, I guess that makes me sort of a free agent. Regardless, this day wasn’t about AICE or IFOCE or any of that crap…it was just a bunch of guys who love food coming together to have a good time. The way it should be.

DENNYS - Two 6 pounders and a 3 pounder
Here we see our waitress, Kimberly, bringing out the second of our three 6-pounders. That’s another in the background and my 3-pounder on the table. Something we learned when we placed our order is that you get to hold one ingredient (besides “beef” or “bun”). I held the onion, Hickman held the mayo, Pete held the tomato, and Derek held the…mayo? Funnily enough, only Pete’s burger came with his ingredient held.

DENNYS - Me and the 3 pounder
This is me. Don’t I look so confident? So full of energy and machismo? About 70 minutes later I’d be full of beef and bread and mayonnaise and looking much, much less aggressive. I ordered a 26-ounce beer to drink with my burger (and I drank it). I’d like to blame that on my disappointing performance, but I know it’s not the Yueng-Ling’s fault.

DENNYS - Broken Wing digs in
I love this picture because it captures the mood of the day perfectly. That’s Pete “Broken Wing” Maurizio biting into his 6-pound burger for the cameras (Hickman laughing in the background). Of course, it’s impossible to actually eat the burger that way. In reality, Broken Wing would eat both buns, his veggies, his souplike mass of condiments and nibble about a pound of his 6-pound beef patty before calling it quits.

DENNYS - Denny and Me
This is me with Denny himself, the owner and founder of Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub. He was really happy to see us and even dispatched his webmaster/local newspaper photographer to get some shots of us while we were eating. The pics will be on the Denny’s website and in the local paper. Denny said he’s already begun working on a new World Record “Largest Commercially Available Burger” (topping Clinton Station Diner’s recent 105-pounder) which he hopes to launch around the New Year.

DENNYS - Wing Tut Full
Here we see Wing Tut after admitting defeat. He had hoped that the glare from his stomach would blind The Invader and cause him to lose his focus, but it didn’t work. On this day, Tut was nursing a “case of sniffles” and a “tooth brushing injury” he’d sustained a few days prior.

DENNYS - Invader full
This is The Invader after he’d thrown in the towel. He outlasted us all. The angle doesn’t show it, but he ate about two-thirds of his beef, along with most of his buns and condiments. He was also the most upset at himself for not finishing the burger. Our humbling defeats lead us all to wonder exactly how an average gal like Kate Stelnick was able to eat that whole burger. The world may never know.

A full set of pics and captions can be found here. Don’t miss the shot of The Invader’s bread dunking cup. As Borat would say, “Very nniiiiiice!”


Anonymous ojrifkin said...

Thanks for the trip report and pictures and congratulations to the Invader for what may be the best 96er performance of 2006. I will link to the post & gallery when eatfeats comes back up.

4:56 PM

Anonymous INVADER said...

Great write-up and pics Dave. Seriously, I couldn't help but smile as I read the event's re-cap. I know we all had a blast and I'm definently looking forward to the next "meeting." Did someone say cheesesteaks?

6:16 PM

Blogger Wing Tut said...

Awesome write up, Dave.

As I was eating, I didn't even realize you took so many pics.

We discussed on the way home that Ye Olde 96er is a sucker bet. Heck, even the 3lb wall of fame only had about 6 people on it.

Cheesesteaks sounds like a great idea.
Since Steak and Kong couldn't make it out our direction, we'll have to take the party to them.

8:15 PM

Blogger la beauheme said...

valiant attempt MM...that chick that finished one might be an alien or at least has a hollow leg.

9:46 AM

Blogger Gustad said...

i need to find me some big food joints in the city. do you know any? if so email me please! gustadmody@gmail.com

10:43 AM

Blogger steakbellie said...

i am full of woe and regret.
wish me and Kong had made it......

12:18 PM

Anonymous ojrifkin said...

The photographed 3lber plaque only goes from 2004 and some people finished before then. The record for it is 36 minutes and was set in 2002.

12:45 PM

Blogger Hall "Hoover" Hunt said...

Very nice! The trip looked like it must have been fun. I loved looking at all the pics and reading the captions too. It hurt so bad to see those plaques for the bigger burgers with so many blank spots. I know it must hurt so much more for you guys. Those burgers must be loaded with a ton of condiments! There is a place I always go to in Gainesville with a bunch of my buddies to eat a 3 pound hamburger. Every time I have gone at least one or two new people succeed, so I know those Denny's burgers must be loaded. They looked kind of like it from the pictures. The bun looks like a huge loaf of bread too. Anyway, good work to all of you guys and thanks for posting all the great pics!

10:28 PM


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