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

Monday, February 26, 2007


Every time I go to Denny’s (which is twice now) I get a giddy feeling when I pull into the parking lot and feel a little sad when I have to leave. Granted, the former is probably due to me having not eaten in 24 hours prior to arriving and the latter might have something to do with having three or four pounds of burger in my belly, but that’s just how I feel.

For the most recent visit, six members of the UEPa—all pictured below—were asked by Denny to visit on Saturday and be part of the unveiling of Denny’s new “World’s Largest Burger” (123 pounds). We also participated in a two-pound burger eating contest (roughly five pounds total). The details of Ian Hickman and Mark Lyle’s attempts are detailed in photos below, but Beau, myself and Wing Tut all ran out of time, having eaten about four pounds of our burgers when the hour expired. In his Denny’s debut, the newest member of the UEPa, Carey Poehlmann, was victorious. He downed his last bite at the 56 minute mark and now has his name on the wall at Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub. Pssh! Rookies.

DENNYS2 UEPa and 123 pounder
The six members of the day’s UEPa team posing with the largest burger ever created (123 pounds). The burger was unbelievable and almost didn’t look real. I’m still trying to figure out how the 100+ pounds of burger and top bun didn’t crush the bottom bun completely flat. Maybe some ingenious support system was in effect. From left to right: Ian “The Invader” Hickman, Dave “Mega Munch” Shoffner, Beau “Beauhemian” Faulkner, Mark “The Human Vacuum” Lyle (yellow), Derek “Wing Tut” Payne (red), Carey “Still Needs a Nickname” Poehlmann.

DENNYS2 Phill and the burger
Phil, the chef and artist behind the burger, applies some greenery before the burger tips the scales at 123 pounds. Denny is in the apron on the right. He gave a heartfelt speech to the packed room and said that this would be his last attempt at the record. He did say that when his son takes over the restaurant, he may choose to keep the burger wars alive.

DENNYS2 Ian eating
Ian Hickman tearing into his burger. He would finish in 14 minutes and 45 seconds to set the new world record for the fasted time for a Denny’s two-pounder (4 lb 12 oz total) with “the works.”

DENNYS2 Vacuum digging in
As is the case with most of Denny’s big burgers, eaters are given the choice of holding one item but for the main contest, we decided to hold nothing. Mark “The Human Vaccum” Lyle didn’t participate in the main event. Instead he performed solo for the German TV cameras (they planned to time elapse the footage and air it on what they called “the German equivalent of the Today Show”). Due to allergies, the Vacuum ordered his burger without tomatoes. Here we see just some of Mark’s flawless and awesome technique. He would finish with a time of 13 minutes 30 seconds, a new record for the two-pounder “with one item held.”

DENNYS2 Ian Carey Mark finishers
The day’s only finishers of the two-pound burger.

DENNYS2 Katie helping Beau
Beau's girlfriend Katie digs into Beau's scraps after he wisely threw in the towel (that’s him on the right envying her technique). On the drive up there she seriously considered competing and still thinks she could have been a contender. After seeing her gnawing fearlessly on Beau’s cold, congealed left overs, I would have to agree.

DENNYS2 Tut and meat lollipop
Derek “Wing Tut” Payne defies his mother’s advice and decides to play with his food. In this picture he’s taken a skewer and made a “meatpop” out of his left over burger. After several minutes of very intense and slightly disturbing licking, the technique proved worthless and he put the pop down, admitting “maybe it wasn’t a good idea to get so drunk last night.”

DENNYS Fighting Eagles Crew
This is a team of eaters from South Jersey called the Screaming Eagles. They would attempt the 15-pounder (two person team in foreground), the famous Ye Old 96er (one man, back left) and the three-pounder (one man, back right). With their yellow shirts they definitely took the award for “Best Eating Team That Looked Like An Actual Team”, reminding all UEPa members that we really need to get some t-shirts. Despite their uniformed approach, the burgers would be the winners in this battle.

A full set of pictures can be seen here and Wing Tut’s recollections of the day’s events, with photos and video, are here.


Blogger Carey said...

Dude, looking at what you had left, you could have easily finished it by the hour if you didn't do the "I am gonna take my time now" psych out. I knew from the Wendy's challenge what happens when you slow down. So when are we going back?

11:28 AM

Anonymous liz said...

Wow, pretty incredible! I kinda like the meatpop.

Third time's a charm, Dave.

11:50 AM

Blogger Carey said...

By the way, not to split hairs, but it was 56 minutes. And that was rounding up. Hey, I didn't get a completion certificate. I should get the newly elected UEPa president to straighten that out.

1:35 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

I was waiting for you to correct my report of your time!

YEah, I was surprized too when I looked at the "defeated" photo of my on Flickr how much I had eaten. Hind-appetite is 20/20 though...if I'd have trained more beforehand, I might have finished it.

Like Liz says, third time's a charm.

2:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you El Presidente!

You and me gotta get back there and conquer it! No Excuses... eevn if we have to hole up in Clearfield for the night before like the Penn State football team so as not to do anything to jeopardize our chances of coming out victorious!

And, as Carey mentions, it's probably not a good idea to slow down.

3:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yeah, mark held the onions.

he doesn't like tomatoes or onions, but in the long run, he decided to hold the onions.

3:14 PM

Anonymous INVADER said...

THE PRESIDENT'S FIRST OFFICIAL WRITE-UP! So, maybe I am getting a little teary-eyed but it's true. Great write-up and pics to boot. You and TuT really covered the events well. Props without a doubt! Perhaps the next "meeting" should be a break from burgers but substituted with cheesesteaks. Jim's? What do ya think?

8:24 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

I'm all about cheesesteaks! I've been talking for awhile about doing some sort of "Ultimate Philly Cheesesteak Tour"...hit four or five of the best cheesesteak joints in Philly and eat like it's going out of style. End our tour at Geno's and Pat's (across the street from each other) and eat until we're sweating cheese whiz.

7:06 AM

Anonymous Philly Guy said...

Only 4 or 5 cheesesteaks!?!? As a man that eats as many as 10 a week thats an insult! I know some hole in the wall places that make some amazing steaks. The obvious Tony Luke's, Pat's, Jim's, Geno's (pure garbage),Rick's(2nd generation Pat's, and Steve's. Then there are some good hidden ones like JR's and Pete's Lunch Box (2 of the best pizza steaks ever). While in town Nick's Roast Beef is a deffinate choice. I never made a big deal about Roast Beef till I ate there. After looking at the list no wonder I eat so much.

8:53 AM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

I said we'd visit four or five places. I never said how many we'd eat at each place!

Since you're the man regarding cheesesteaks, you'd have to come with us, Philly Guy. It doesn't really qualify as the now taboo "restaurant challenge" since we're just sort of hanging out and eating at random places. To me that sounds more like "Friday night."

10:34 AM

Anonymous Philly Guy said...

That's my view exactly, so mark me down as in. My wallet is going to cry spending at least 70 on cheesesteaks though.

11:15 AM

Blogger Carey said...

That is agreat idea. Philly guy, can you put together 7 places reasonably close to each other, and pick various steaks for each like the pizza steak for Petes lunch box? Then we can have an all day steakshop crawl. Dave, get T-shirts together. The first annual UEPa Steakshop Crawl 2007!

- Still Needs A Nickname

12:59 PM

Anonymous INVADER said...

In a word: GENIUS! Let's make this happen. "UEPa Steakshop Steak-Out 07'. Be there, or it's your mis-STEAK!" HA!

2:13 PM

Blogger la beauheme said...

I'm in. Who knows where we can rent a stretch Hummer to carry our heft around? Or should we go back to the Uhaul living room?

8:38 PM

Anonymous Philly Guy said...

Only 191 mentions on Google news and you guys go all bling bling with the hummers. Can eaters do anything in moderation?

11:34 PM

Blogger SupersizedMeals.com said...

Mmm Cheesesteak... I had my first not long ago at a place in San Jose, can't remember the name, but it's on the Lawrence Expressway.... ah, a memorable experience.

If you're thinking about going to Tony Luke's, you should check out the challenge they have there, the 3lb "Big Daddy Luke" burger. Joey Chestnut and Humble Bob Shoudt did it in under 6 minutes. Those guys are crazy ;) Anyway, check out the pics from their trip there. Folk law now the IFOCE has banned eating challenges *grumble* (Click here)

8:02 AM

Blogger Carey said...

ok, now we have two event's to plan on my side of town. Thank you SSM.Com.
I really like the limo idea, that will allow us to relax and digest in between places, and give us a little status.
Bling Bling? You wanna see bling bling? If we get the limo, I am bringing a crunk juice cup with me and am wearing a large burger medallion to each place. Call me Mike D.

9:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted your link to the article on RoadFood.com

The more exposure the better.


5:19 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

Good thinking. Thanks Vac.

As for the ride, Steakbellie supposedly just bought a used Weinermobile. Maybe he'll hook us up and let us borrow that. Or we can hijack an ice cream truck.

7:02 PM


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